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216 × 138 × 30 mm
320 pages
5 illustrations
01 Oct 2010
  • £19.95

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Pakistan Terrorism Ground Zero Khuram Iqbal, Rohan Gunaratna

After the US-led coalition targeted terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, al Qaeda, the Taliban and two dozen other such organizations relocated to the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) of Pakistan. This remote, inhospitable region has become the sanctuary for, and headquarters of, the al Qaeda-led global jihad movement. From this base al Qaeda and its associated cells have planned, prepared and executed numerous terrorist attacks around the world, in addition to supporting and waging insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. The epicentre of international terrorism, Pakistan is the keystone in the international fight against terrorism today.

Pakistan: Terrorism Ground Zero is the first detailed analysis of the myriad insurgent groups working in Pakistan. Well-known author on global terrorism Rohan Gunaratna, and leading scholar Khuram Iqbal examine the nature, structure and agendas of the groups, their links to activists in other countries, and describe how complex it will be to defeat terrorism in this part of the world. Based on extensive field research and interviews with serving and former terrorists and government officials, the authors argue that Pakistan faces a grave and continuing pressure from within, and that without steadfast international goodwill and support, the threat of extremism, terrorism and insurgency will continue to grow.

Pakistan: Terrorism Ground Zero demonstrates that if the international community is to win the battle against ideological extremism and operational terrorism around the world, then Pakistan should be in the vanguard of the fight.

‘Written by two terrorism experts . . . it is the first detailed analysis of all the militant groups operating in Pakistan. It is a daunting array . . . an important work.’ — Christina Lamb, Sunday Times

‘Gunaratna and Iqbals assessment can serve as a valuable tool to shape a comprehensive strategic policy to defeat terrorism in Pakistan. The book also provides counterterrorism analysts with a much-needed roadmap of the multiple variables and subtleties in action that have affected, and will undoubtedly continue to affect, much of the rest of the world.’ — Perspectives on Terrorism

‘a detailed review, based on extensive and thorough research . . . sets the current and immediate threat in historical context and, equally, reminds the reader that the origins of much of the threat have been around for many years and, sadly, that they were as intractable a problem as they are now . . . [a] valuable addition to understanding one of the most important challenges of current times.’ — Asian Affairs

‘an interesting and compelling case of how Pakistan became an epicentre of global terrorism over the years. Ultimately, this work demonstrates why grasping the complex nature of the threat is paramount in winning a crucial battle against the global war on terror . . . this book is a must read’ — Sara De Silva, Daily Times, Pakistan

‘a significant and timely contribution’ — Weekly Pulse, Islamabad

‘Gunaratna and Iqbal have done an excellent job of documenting the different strands of terrorism in the country. This book would form an excellent base for those interested in more in-depth analysis of specific trends, such as possible impacts of terrorism emanating from Pakistan . . . this book fills an important gap.’ — Dawn

‘The most important battle in the War on terror is being fought in Pakistan. The book reveals intensity and complexity of the matter in detail. Leaving Pakistan alone in this horrible situation will repeat the 1990s. Who will be the ultimate winner? What will be the scenario regarding regional and global peace? Pakistan: Terrorism Ground Zero makes it clear that there is an immediate need to revisit Counter Terrorism initiatives.’ — The News, Pakistan

‘Rohan Gunaratna remains one of the preeminent global experts on terrorism. His historical grasp of the origins of al Qaida and its ideology combined with his vast network of experts around the world - including in some of the darkest corners of the world - provide him and his readers with important insights into the nature of the threats we all face. This has become even more important as the terrorist networks in South Asia continue to morph and the nature and goals of terrorist groups blend and adapt to global and local pressures. To understand how al Qaida-led or inspired violent extremism continues to adapt in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and around the globe, one needs to listen to and read Rohan Gunaratna.’ — Juan Carlos Zarate, Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC

Pakistan: Terrorism Ground Zero makes an important contribution to our empirical understanding of this key theatre through its descriptive analysis of the nature, structure and agendas of the various radical Islamist groups operating in Pakistan, as well as their links with co-religionists in Iran and India . . . a useful addition to the literature on the vital important Afpak Theatre, drawing attention to the complex challenges which the book has highlighted will not be easy to meet, certainly not by Pakistan alone.’ — Andrew T.H. Tan, University of New South Wales

‘offers an interesting and compelling case as to how Pakistan became an epicenter of global terrorism over the years. Ultimately, this work demonstrates why grasping the complex nature of the threat is paramount in winning a crucial battle against the global war on terror.’ — Sara De Silva, Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention, University of Wollongong, Australia

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Khuram Iqbal is Head of Research at the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan. He has conducted extensive field research on Islamist organizations, suicide terrorism, radicalization and madrassas in Pakistan.

Rohan Gunaratna is head of the International Centre on Political Violence and Terrorism Research and Professor of Security Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. and Senior Fellow, Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy's Jebsen Centre for Counter Terrorism Studies. He is the author of the best-selling Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (2002) and Countering Terrorism (Reaktion, 2006).


1. Tribal Pakistan: The Epicentre of Global Terrorism
2. Understanding the Pakistani Taliban
3. Terrorism and Karachi
4. Mainland Pakistan Terrorist Groups
5. Instability in the Region: The Wider Effect of Militancy in Pakistan
6. The Suicide Terrorist Threat in Pakistan
7. Is Pakistan the Ground Zero of Terrorism?

    Suicide Attacks in Pakistan (1995–2009)
     US Drone Strikes in Pakistan (2005–February 2010)