The Freedom Fighter: A Terrorist's Own Story (Paperback) book cover

The Freedom Fighter

A Terrorist's Own Story

By Murat Haner

© 2018 – Routledge

480 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138104518
pub: 2017-09-19
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Hardback: 9781138104501
pub: 2017-09-14
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Description

The ability of terrorist groups to inflict death and destruction has markedly increased with technological advances in the areas of communication, transportation, and weapon capability. Using these new tools and networks, terrorists now seek to inflict mass casualties worldwide. Given these realities, it is essential to research the factors that underlie a terrorist group’s origins, grievances, and demands. Such insights might help others respond more effectively to insurgencies, especially when military campaigns to capture or kill every terrorist have proven unsuccessful.

The Freedom Fighter: A Terrorist’s Own Story explores why so many Kurdish people—especially young adults—join the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and conduct terrorist acts. Inspired by the ground-breaking classic, The Jack-Roller: A Delinquent Boy’s Own Story, by Clifford R. Shaw, the author explores the issue of radicalization into terrorist organizations through the life-history method, enabling a PKK terrorist—or “freedom fighter”—to tell his story. Over a five-month period, the author interviewed “Deniz,” a high-level PKK terrorist in a Turkish prison, who during his time in the PKK rose from the lowest level to near the top in terms of terrorist operations.

This riveting life history, told in Deniz’s own words, provides unique insights into why someone becomes a “freedom fighter” and what such a life entails. The account provides extensive information on the PKK, including the group’s recruitment, ideological and military training, armed strategies, internal structures and code of ethics, treatment of women, and goals for peace. Deniz’s story not only explains why more Kurdish “freedom fighters” will be recruited to engage in terrorist acts, but also facilitates understanding of how “normal people” can become involved in conflict and organizations that are designated as “terrorist groups.” A foreword by renowned criminologist Francis T. Cullen helps contextualize the material. This book will interest students of criminology, terrorism/counterterrorism, political violence, and security.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Francis T. Cullen

Preface

PART I. Terrorism in Context

Chapter 1: Meeting Deniz

Chapter 2: The History of Kurds and the PKK

PART II. The Freedom Fighter’s Own Story

Section A: Becoming a Terrorist

Chapter 3: The Early Years

Chapter 4: Joining the PKK

Chapter 5: Mission Trainings

Section B: Being a Terrorist

Chapter 6: Rangers and My First Mission

Chapter 7: Turkish Oppression Toward the Kurdish Villagers

Chapter 8: The PKK Organization

Chapter 9: On the Way to Damascus, Syria

Chapter 10: War Against Barzani’s Peshmerghas

Chapter 11: Chaotic Situation at Central Headquarters

Chapter 12: The Women Guerillas of the Organization

Chapter 13: The War Against the YNK

Chapter 14: The Invasion of Iraq by U.S. Forces

Chapter 15: That’s All She Wrote!

Chapter 16: The Trip to Amed

Chapter 17: Recruiting New Guerillas

Chapter 18: Decision to Keep My Hands Off

Section C: Prison and Beyond

Chapter 19: Leaving the PKK

Chapter 20: The Prison and the General

Chapter 21: Penitence (Second Thoughts)

Chapter 22: The Turks, The Kurds and the Last Chance

PART III: Conclusion

Chapter 23: Lessons from a Terrorist’s Own Story

Appendix I

References

Index

About the Author

Murat Haner received his Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Department of Socials Sciences, Program of Criminology, at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee. He teaches courses in counterterrorism, homeland security, radicalization, the Middle East, criminal justice, and intelligence science. Previously, he was a ranked officer with the Turkish National Police, at various departments. He worked undercover on counterterrorism and similar areas across Turkey. He also traveled to Hungary, Israel, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Greece, Syria, and Germany for security training and education programs under the auspices of European Union and Turkish state funds.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC004000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology