War on Terrorism

Monday, August 13, 2007

Preventing Terrorist Suicide Attacks by Michael Aman

As a subject matter expert in law enforcement, I often take assignments as a pre-publication technical reviewer for publishing houses. Some weeks ago I was asked to review the law enforcement related portion of an upcoming Administration of Criminal Justice text book for Jones and Barlett Publishers. In addition to monetary compensation, I was allowed to choose a copy of any of their titles. Naturally, I choose a book written by a cop and that was listed on www.police-writers.com.

Michael Aman, a detective with the El Paso Police Department (Texas) is the author of Preventing Terrorist Suicide Attacks. Michael Aman’s book is a practical look at suicide attacks and the information is squarely aimed at the first responders such as police officers and security officials. While the book is brief, only 90 or so pages, it has an extraordinarily high ratio of words to ideas. That is, there is a ton of information succulently presented in the book.

The book is divided into two sections: the first discusses the
terrorist and terrorists groups that use human beings as delivery mechanisms; the second section uses the terrorists’ own methodology as a means to explore prevention. As an example, in the first section, Michael Aman covers the objectives of a suicide tactics. This becomes important because by understanding objectives and motivation, the first responder gets a clearer picture on what to look for, beforehand.

In the second section Aman concentrates on presenting the reader with practical means for prevention. As an example, on page 44, Aman provides a simple, yet powerful matrix with which to evaluate potential targets. The section on prevention has checklists, prevention tips, self-assessment questions and clear learning objects.

While the book makes an excellent reference for the first responder, its hidden potential may be to first line supervisors in
law enforcement and private security, and those officers involved in bomb disposal units. Michael Aman’s book was developed as a result of his teaching a course on the subject. Therefore, the book is a teaching tool. If you are supervisor (in law enforcement or security) you should own this book so that you can teach your subordinates. Michael Aman lays out a clear path for you to increase your knowledge and the discussion questions are perfect for training at briefings, etc. If you are working in a bomb disposal unit, well, you are an expert. But, Michael, again, has given you a tool, already designed to use as a means to share your knowledge and expertise within your organization and community.

About Michael Aman
Michael Aman was a commissioned officer in the German Air Force from 1984 to 1993. Upon immigrating to the United States he joined the El Paso Police Department and has risen to the rank of detective. Michael Aman has served in the Gang Unit, Cold Case Squad, Criminal Investigations Division, Dignitary Protection Unit, and the Patrol Division.

Michael Aman has an MBA from the German Armed Forces University. During his law enforcement career, Michael Aman Developed a course for law enforcement officials called “Defense Against Terrorist Suicide Attacks.” Eventually, that course let to the book Preventing Suicide Terrorist Attacks.

About the reviewer
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA is a 24 year veteran of
law enforcement. In his retirement he is a university professor and writer. He is the author of Police Technology; Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style; and, is currently working on. From NYPD to LAPD: An Introduction to Policing. You can view Raymond’s complete CV at www.police-technology.net/raymond.foster.cv.html.

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