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Pittsburgh, PA -- May 5, 2011 -- Osama bin Laden's death and its effect on al-Qaeda and worldwide security have consumed a considerable portion of the days following the May 1 announcement for La Roche College professor Lawrence E. Likar, J.D., M.A., CPP.

Likar is associate professor and chair of the Department of Justice, Law, and Security and a retired supervisory special agent of the FBI who specialized in the investigation and apprehension of violent criminals and major offenders. He is a nationally recognized authority on violent crime and terrorism and has appeared as a commentator/guest expert on Pittsburgh television stations and national broadcast and cable news networks.

The events of recent days coincided with the April release of Likar’s first book “Eco-Warriors, Nihilistic Terrorists, and the Environment” (Praeger, 2011) and have kept Likar in demand helping local journalists interpret the magnitude of bin Laden’s death and its security implications for the future. The book – several years in the making -- thoroughly examines the ideologies, tactics, and goals of terrorists with an emphasis on nihilistic terrorism, including al-Qaeda inspired, home-grown jihadi cells.

In the book’s chapter “Nihilistic Terrorists: Fanatical Cells, Lone Wolves, and Hybrid Groups,” Likar writes, “The nihilistic jihadi groups that operate in Europe and the United States are characterized by their ...unrealistic, violent strategy that bears little relationship to their stated goals.”

Focusing on the capability of lone-wolf terrorists and small, self-radicalizing cells to commit effective violent acts, Likar furnishes personality and operational profiles of nihilistic terrorists, such as bin Laden and eco-terrorists like Daniel Andreas San Diego, the first domestic eco-terrorist to be placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. Most critically, the book also addresses the gap in current security-planning methodology and literature, and it reveals novel intelligence-gathering techniques, operational procedures, and countermeasures designed to defend against attacks. Likar contends that “focusing on the terrorist adversary’s beliefs and pre-attack actions will help detect planned attacks and make them impossible to implement.”

But the overall theme of the work is much broader. This is the first work that links the ongoing, negative changes in world ecosystems to the increased potential for terrorists to focus on environmental issues in selected regions of the world. Likar explains and illustrates how the natural environment can be used as a target, weapon, and motivation for terrorist attacks as bin Laden obviously realized when he stated that “the life of all mankind is in danger because of the global warming resulting to a large degree from the emissions of the major corporations.”

Terrorism and the endangered, natural environment are among the most significant, societal problems of the 21st century. Likar notes that violent conflicts, including terrorism, have often been fueled by the exploitation of natural resources. He believes that this link between the natural environment and terrorism, although not widely understood, presents a critical security problem for governments and multinational companies.

To counter terrorism, we must understand why it occurs, Likar says. “Eco-Warriors, Nihilistic Terrorists, and the Environment” is a comprehensive examination of the vulnerability of the natural environment, of its nexus with the strategic goals of terrorists, and of a security-planning methodology that can prevent or ameliorate environmentally linked attacks.

For more information about the book:

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