Document:Institute for Studies in International Terrorism, extract from The "Terrorism" Industry

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Disclaimer (#3)Document.png book extract  by Edward S. Herman dated 1990
Subjects: Institute for Studies in International Terrorism
Source: The "Terrorism" Industry

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This institute, organized in 1977 at the State University of New York (Oneonta), appears to be little more than a one-man operation run by Yonah Alexander. Alexander is an important figure in the terrorism industry [...]. ISIT's extensive international ties to military, police, and intelligence operations as well as the U.S., European, and Israeli right reflect Alexander's own connections. An advertising flyer for the institute claims credit for thirty seminars and conferences, twenty-five books published on terrorism, and three educational films on the subject. Some of its conferences have been done collaboratively with the NFF, CSIS, the University of Chicago's Institute for Social and Behavioral Pathology, and Ray Cline's U.S. Global Strategy Council. ISIT also publishes 'Terrorism: An International journal.'

Terrorism regularly sets forth chronologies of terrorist "acts" as compiled by Risks International, a Virginia-based "risk assessment" firm owned by a private security company, Business Risks International. An examination of these chronologies soon exposes their bias, inherent in the data gathering of an organization servicing business and attuned to its narrowly focused interest in particular forms of retail terrorism, but entirely inappropriate for a journal purporting to look at terrorism from a broad perspective. Alexander has been in the risk analysis business himself, and he is a committed ideologue and propagandist rather than a scholar. On January 19, 1988, ISIT and the U.S. Global Strategy Council cosponsored a conference with University Microfilms International (UMI), a subsidiary of Bell and Howell Company, at Washington's International Club, in order to preview UMI's latest product "Terrorism: An International Resource File." The file, which projects by September 1991 a "complete" bibliography on literature relating to terrorology from 1960 to 1990, is being offered to libraries worldwide and promises to become the definitive research tool on terrorism. Yonah Alexander is directing the UMI project, and he oversees an "international advisory board" of scholars and specialists who will aid in the collection and cataloguing of relevant materials.

Alexander's selection of specialists for work on this project not only excludes all non establishment experts, it is heavily weighted toward analysts and propagandists of right-wing think tanks and lobbying groups. Among those included on the project's advisory board are James Denton of NFF; Ray S. Cline of CSIS and the U.S. Global Strategy Council; Glenn Campbell, head of the Hoover Institution; Edward Teller, also of Hoover; Robert Kupperman, CSIS; Walter Laqueur of CSIS and JINSA; Eugene Rostow of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, Reagan administration, National Defense University, and JiNSA; Robert L. Pfaltzgraaf, president of the far-right Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA); Paul Wilkinson of the Research Foundation for the Study of Terrorism; Jillian Becker of London's Institute for the Study of Terrorism; Brian Jenkins of Rand; and retired General Aharon Yariv, former chief of Israeli intelligence and now director of Tel Aviv's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.

"Terrorism: An International Resource File" will provide a nominally "objective" institutional outlet for data on terrorism that will not only stick closely to the basic Western definitions and model, but will also tilt sharply toward the right-wing end of establishment perspectives.