From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism

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9781908979537: From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism
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The two most wanted terrorists in Southeast Asia -- a Malaysian and a Singaporean -- are on the run in the Philippines, but they manage to keep their friends and family updated on Facebook. Filipinos connect with al-Qaeda-linked groups in Somalia and Yemen. The black flag -- embedded in al-Qaeda lore -- pops up on websites and Facebook pages from around the world, including the Philippines, Indonesia, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Australia, and North Africa. The black flag is believed to herald an apocalypse that brings Islam's triumph. These are a few of the signs that define terrorism's new battleground: the Internet and social media.In this groundbreaking work of investigative journalism, Maria Ressa traces the spread of terrorism from the training camps of Afghanistan to Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Through research done at the International Center for Political Violence & Terrorism Research in Singapore and sociograms created by the CORE Lab at the Naval Postgraduate School, the book examines the social networks which spread the virulent ideology that powered terrorist attacks in the past 10 years.Many of the stories here have never been told before, including details about the 10 days during which Ressa led the crisis team in the Ces Drilon kidnapping case by the Abu Sayyaf in 2008. The book forms the powerful narrative that glues together the social networks -- both physical and virtual -- which spread the jihadi virus from bin Laden to Facebook.

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About the Author:

Maria A Ressa is the CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler, a social news network which uses a hearts-and-minds approach to news through a unique mood navigator.

Ms Ressa has been a journalist in Asia for more than 25 years, most of them as CNN's bureau chief in Manila (1987-1995) and Jakarta (1995-2005). She was CNN's lead investigative reporter focusing on terrorism in Southeast Asia, and wrote Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia in 2003.

In 1987, she was one of the founders of independent production company, Probe. In 2005, she took the helm of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs, for six years determining strategic direction and managing more than 1,000 journalists for the largest multi-platform news operation in the Philippines. Her work aimed to redefine journalism by combining traditional broadcast, new media and mobile phone technology for social change.

She taught courses in Politics and the Press in Southeast Asia for her alma mater, Princeton University, and in broadcast journalism for the University of the Philippines. 10 Days, 10 Years: FROM BIN LADEN TO FACEBOOK is part of her work as Author-in-Residence and Senior Fellow at the International Center for Political Violence & Terrorism Research at RSIS in Singapore. She is also the Southeast Asia Visiting Scholar at CORE Lab at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Review:

The ability to return to a harrowing experience - one that was deeply personal to her - and recount it in detail so that others may learn can only be borne of the courage and professionalism that she has always displayed as a journalist . -- Benigno Aquino III "President of the Philippines"

Maria Ressa has crafted a remarkable, true and troubling story. Her description of the nexus between social media and terrorism sheds an important light on the challenges we face in confronting non-state actors bent on destroying innocent lives. Ressa does not flinch in describing the ordeal her co-workers experienced, her role in freeing them or issuing a clarion call to us to be aware of the danger we face from Internet-connected terrorists. Her work is a critical literary experience for us all. -- Harry K Thomas, Jr "US Ambassador to the Philippines and former Director for South Asia, National Security Council"

Maria Ressa wrote the first book on the rise of terrorism in Southeast Asia. In the last decade, concerted intelligence, law enforcement and military operations have disrupted international, regional and domestic threat groups in Southeast Asia. Maria captures these emerging developments in From bin Laden to Facebook, a must-read for policy and decision makers, security practitioners and scholars, as well as the public. -- Rohan Gunaratna "Head, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies"

One of the leading experts on terror in Southeast Asia, Maria Ressa has written a fascinating and important primer on the ties of family and loyalty that bind the region's Islamist networks. Rich with the personal histories of some of the region's most dangerous men and women, her account is framed by the gripping step-by-step drama of a kidnapping that brought terror to her doorstep in what she calls 'the most challenging ten days of my life'. -- Seth Mydans "Former New York Times Correspondent"

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