Add to bookbag
Author: Scott Merriman
Title: Site Reviews
Publication Info: Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library
November 2001

This work is protected by copyright and may be linked to without seeking permission. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Please contact for more information.

Source: Site Reviews
Scott Merriman

vol. 4, no. 3, November 2001
Article Type: Site Review

Site Reviews

Scott Merriman

(Electronic Resource Review Editor)

For this column, we focus on sites examining terrorism, as the September 11th attacks are still fresh in our mind. (See also A Site Worthy of Note)

ABC Special Report on Terrorism

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, one common response was "how much did we know." This special report, prepared in 1998 by ABC News, discusses some elements of terrorism and our government's response, although it focuses on weapons on mass destruction. The three reports here are entitled "Random, anonymous, unpredictable," "anti-terrorism budget explodes," and "new tools of fear and death." Some maps and graphics are also included.

Anti-Defamation League Articles on Osamah Bin-Ladin

This site, prepared by the Anti-Defamation League, presents a profile of Bin-Ladin. In addition to a personal history, the site also reprints excerpts from Bin-Ladin's speeches and contains links to related sites. The profile recounts the United States' efforts to contain and capture Bin-Ladin, which, of course, have been unsuccessful. The profile also enumerates all of the terrorist incidents that Bin-Ladin has been linked to.

Articles on Bin-Ladin

This article provides background information on Bin-Ladin. It explains how he came to be such a hunted terrorist, and how his thought process led him to target the United States. It also links to other related documents, including an ABC interview with Bin-Ladin and the text of Bin-Ladin's fatwa (religious ruling) ordering attacks on Americans, who he views as taking over the holy Muslim lands of Mecca and Medina.

Bibliography on Terrorism

This is a bibliography on terrorism (as the title promises). It is quite extensive, but is not annotated. It is organized mostly geographically, in terms of the geographic interest of the book or journal article. It also includes a section on reference works, and sections on specific terrorists, theories, psychosocial aspects, state violence, street violence, and etiology. There is no date of when this bibliography was last updated, but it contains works through early 2000 (at least) and is very expansive.

Countering Terrorism: The Israeli Response to the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre and the Development of Independent Covert Action Teams.

This is a reprint of a Master's thesis by Alexander B. Calahan submitted to the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. While the views, as the thesis tells us, "are those of the author (Calahan) and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government," they still are quite informative. It examines a decentralized approach to fighting terrorism, which was used by the Israelis. As a response to the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the Israelis equipped multiple independent teams, compartmentalized them so that they did not know of one another, gave them targets and let them go. The thesis concludes that a decentralized, non-bureaucratic approach was more successful in this situation than the more traditional bureaucratic approach. The thesis includes a large number of notes, a bibliographic essay, and a table noting the efforts of the Israeli teams, their successes, failures, and "collateral damage," among other things.


This is the site of the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, and it allows you to make complaints on both internet fraud and to provide information about the September 11, 2001 attack. The very fact that the FBI does not have a separate site for terrorism is quite revealing. One can also link to the FBI and read their press releases.

Joint Terrorism Task Force

This site, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, examined the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The JTTF in New York was established in the wake of the World Trade Center Bombing of 1993. This force was responsible for bring those who had committed the bombing to justice and their eventual conviction. Links here discuss topics such as "What is the JTTF" and the "History of the JTTF." Besides the JTTF in New York, there are also fifteen more JTTFs across the country, and the site describes their operation.

The Lockerbie Bombing

The bombing of September 11, 2001 was, by far, not the only terrorist incident. The site details the 1988 crash in Scotland, including pictures and a list of victims. The trial is also recounted, with information about the verdict and those convicted and acquitted. Memorials from around the world dealing with the crash and honoring those who lost their lives are also linked to. The site includes a list of books related to the issue.

The Office of Emergency Preparedness - CounterTerrorism

The Office of Emergency Preparedness is one of the official government agencies, which prepares for and responds to incidents of terrorism. This site describes this office's efforts and links to related documents. Of particular interest here are presidential directives which are unclassified, and various documents prepared by the agency. Included here are "the economic impact of a biological attack: are prevention and post-attack intervention programs justifiable (?)," "Department of Health and Human Services Health and Medical Services support plan for the Federal Response to Acts of Chemical/Biological (C/B) Terrorism," and "Metropolitan Medical Response System Field Operations Guide." It should be noted that most of the documents here address a terrorist act through use of a weapon of mass destruction, or a WMD, in this office's jargon. Those types of weapons would include biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, but not planes.

Oklahoma City Bombing

Before September 11, 2001, the worst terrorist bombing was at the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building. The memorial consists of three parts: the physical memorial on the site of the former federal building, the National Memorial (which is a memorial building nearby), and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. The website describes the physical memorial outside on the site and discusses the work of the Institute. The National Memorial website discusses the series of images inside the memorial building and the ideas behind them. Hours and general information are also available.

Policy Institute for counter-terrorism

This institute, located in Israel, publishes articles and news updates on terrorism. This ICT, according to their web page, is "a research institute and think tank dedicated to developing innovative public policy solutions to international terrorism." Included here is a list of links to sites of related interest. Among the areas highlighted are "international terrorism," "(the) Arab-Israeli conflict," and "counter-terrorism." The site is text-searchable, and contains articles on a large number of different issues. The site also lists hardcover publications available from the Institute and details the institute's other activities.

State Department

This is the general site for the U.S. State Department. It contains some information about the U.S. State Department and also has a section on terrorism. Of particular interest here are travel warnings for U.S. citizens traveling abroad, links to official statements, and links to other official government web sites.

Terrorism watch report from Jane's Intelweb

One here can get copies of Terrorism Watch Reports from Jane's, if one is a member. One can subscribe from here or get examples. Samples of both the Terrorism Watch Report and the Intelligence Watch Report are available. Links to other online products are also provided. The service is quite expensive, but some interesting resources are available free here. There are links here to Jane's other products as well.

A site worthy of note

The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh

This site examines the ways that rickshas (or rickshaws) are decorated in Bangladesh. Dr. Joanna Kirkpatrick, who has previously published in popular art and medical anthropology (among other fields), created this site. She argues that this art is a "popular" type of art (as opposed to fine art), and combines elements from several fields ranging from commercial art to folklore. The site includes a discussion of how the art varies regionally and a map of Bangladesh. Images of many of different rickshas are presented, along with a discussion of the various styles. Music is also integrated, along with the lyrics. Thumbnail images of the rickshas are utilized, but if one clicks on the small image a larger image is then loaded, which is a good compromise between the speed of loading and the image quality. A list of links and suggested readings are also included.