Why do seemingly ordinary young men and women volunteer to turn themselves into human bombs? What can we do to stop them? In What Terrorists Want Louise Richardson investigates these crucial questions. She delves into the minds of terrorists and demystifies the threat we face today. She draws on her unique contact with real terrorists as well as years of teaching and research at Harvard to show that terrorists are not crazed criminals but rational, ideological actors willing to exploit their own weaknesses to maximum effect. By introducing us to other terrorists in other times she shows that an understanding of terrorism today must look way beyond 9/11 and simplistic associations with Islam.
Irish-born Louise Richardson is one of the world's experts on international security and terrorism. She is Dean of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. In addition to her research and teaching she gives lectures to audiences as diverse as corporate executives, the US senate and, most recently, the international conference held in Madrid to mark the first anniversary of the bombing there.