Wednesday, February 04, 2009

NYT Daily Review: How to Beat Terrrorists

Books of The Times

How to Beat Terrorists: Use Big Stick and Brains

By Dwight Garner


In his revealing and nerve-rattling new book, “Securing the City,” a look inside the New York Police Department’s counterterrorism division, Christopher Dickey recounts the details of dozens of terrorist plots against New York City and elsewhere. Some were planned by smart and determined people, others by misfits and crazies and DVD addicts who couldn’t pull off the heist of two AAA batteries at a Radio Shack. The problem, Mr. Dickey writes, is that, given luck and the right assistance, “even the dumb ones could be dangerous as hell.”

“Securing the City” recounts the story of how, within a few years after Sept. 11, the Police Department transformed itself from a large but not untypical urban police force into one that possessed one of the world’s elite intelligence-gathering operations. The department had no choice. Terrorists are obsessed with New York City, focusing on it, Mr. Dickey writes, “like a compass needle quivering toward magnetic north.”....

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