Violent Extremists
Understanding the Domestic and International Terrorist Threat
by Thomas R. Mockaitis
June 2019, 180pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5948-9
$75, £56, 63€, A108
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5949-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

More than 90 percent of terrorist attacks occur within the context of local conflicts, evidence that Americans have more to fear from domestic extremists than they do from members of ISIS.

Written for the general reader as well as the professional, this succinct but comprehensive work examines the hybrid nature of the two violent extremist movements threatening the United States: Islamist extremism and white nationalism.

Scholarship as well as popular discourse on terrorism often focuses disproportionately on specific groups without paying sufficient attention to the ideology that motivates them. This book emphasizes understanding and countering the ideology that fuels extremism over preoccupation with specific organizations such as Al Qaeda or ISIS. It sets contemporary terrorist threats in perspective, avoiding fear-mongering and political rhetoric.

The book examines the nature of violent extremism today in all its forms, including lone wolves and cyber threats. Focusing on the threats posed by both international and domestic terrorism, it analyzes each in depth as a multidimensional hybrid phenomenon: each threat exists as an ideology, as distinct groups espousing that ideology, and as a network of followers. Short, easy-to-read chapters take readers through the subject matter in a clear, methodical manner. Written in an accessible style by an author who has studied terrorism for more than 30 years and provided extensive media coverage on the subject, the work is a valuable addition to the literature on violent extremism.


  • Provides concise but comprehensive analysis of violent extremism as a hybrid phenomenon
  • Focuses on contemporary threats that are of great concern to the United States and other Western powers
  • Combines scholarly rigor with an accessible writing style
  • Debunks fear and counters myths while avoiding political hype
Thomas R. Mockaitis, PhD, is professor of history at DePaul University. He presents programs with other experts through the Center for Civil-Military Relations at the Naval Postgraduate School at venues around the world. Mockaitis was the 2004 Eisenhower Chair at the Royal Military Academy of the Netherlands. He has also lectured at the NATO School, the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Canadian Forces Staff College. A frequent media commentator on terrorism and security matters, he has appeared on PBS, National Public Radio, and BBC World News and is author of numerous books and articles.

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