Terrorism As Crime

From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond

271 pages

March, 2007

ISBN: 9780814736968



Also available in



Part of the Alternative Criminology series


Mark S. Hamm is a former prison warden from Arizona and currently Professor of Criminology at Indiana State University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Terrorism Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York. His books include Terrorism as Crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond (NYU Press, 2007), and In Bad Company: America's Terrorist Underground. He is the recipient of the Frederick Milton Thrasher Award for Outstanding Gang Scholarship, and the Critical Criminologist of the Year Award from the American Society of Criminology.

All books by Mark S. Hamm

Car bombing, suicide bombing, abduction, smuggling, homicide, and hijacking are all profoundly criminal acts. In Terrorism as Crime Mark S. Hamm presents an understanding of terrorism from a criminological point of view, arguing that the most successful way to understand, detect, prosecute and deter these acts is to use conventional criminal investigation methods. Whether in Oklahoma City or London, Terrorism as Crime demonstrates that criminal activity is the lifeblood of terrorist groups and that there are simple common denominators at work that can remove the mystery surrounding many of these terrorist groups. Once understood the vulnerabilities of these organizations can be exposed.

This important volume focuses in on six case studies of crimes committed by jihad and domestic right wing groups, including biographies of more than two dozen terrorists along with descriptions of their organizations, strategies, and terrorist plots. Terrorism as Crime offers an original and significant framework for explaining international and domestic terrorism, as well as how future acts might be detected or exposed.


  • “As a recognized expert in the field, Hamm is eminently qualified to prepare this text on the subject of terrorism from the criminal law perspective. . . . The text is written in a clear, lively manner.”


  • “Drawing on six case studies of terrorist attacks by radical Islamists and right-wing racists, Hamm writes that American counterterrorist agencies have neglected some basic insights from scholarly criminology.”

    The Chronicle of Higher Education

  • “Read this book to understand the important nexus between terrorism and crime! This cutting edge analysis suggests a new approach to defeat the terrorist threat to the United States.”

    —Marc Sageman, author of Understanding Terror Networks

  • “Hamm's clear writing style, careful research and theoretical insights promise to make this a classic in criminology.”

    —William J. Chambliss, author of Power, Politics, and Crime

  • “[Provides] the first detailed account of how crime provides logistical support for terrorist strikes. By blending the study of terrorism and criminology, Hamm offers the possibility of detecting and stopping terrorism through the pursuit of conventional methods of criminal investigation.”

    —Gary LaFree, Director, START, National Center for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism University of Maryland Department of Criminology/Democracy

  • “Mark Hamm’s Terrorism as Crime deals with the problem of terrorism through a criminological lens, and it does so with skill and effectiveness.”

    —Brian Forst, Theoretical Criminology