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Shay, Shaul 1955–

Shay, Shaul 1955–

PERSONAL:

Born 1955. Education: Bar Ilan University, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

CAREER:

Israeli Defense Forces, Israel, colonel, head of the department of military history, deputy head of the National Security Council; Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, lecturer; International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel, senior research fellow. Military service: Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), senior career colonel, paratrooper officer, military intelligence, serving for twenty-eight years.

WRITINGS:

Terror Beshlihut Haimam, 20 Shnot Terror Shiie, International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center (Herzliya, Israel), 1999.

(Editor, with Yigal Sheffy) The First World War: Middle Eastern Perspective: Proceedings of the Israeli-Turkish International Colloquy, 3-6 April, 2000, Tel-Aviv, Israel, Tel-Aviv University (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 2000.

Ha-Imut Hai-Yiseli: 1948-2000, Maarachot Publishers (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 2002.

The Endless Jihad: The Mujahidin, the Taliban and Bin Laden, International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center (Herzliya, Israel), 2002.

Milhamah Ha-yom: Hikre Milhemet Yom-ha-Kipurim, Maarachot Publishers (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 2003.

(With Yoram Schweitzer) The Globalization of Terror: The Challenge of Al-Qaida and the Response of the International Community, Transaction Publishers (New Brunswick, NJ), 2003.

Tsir Ha-reshara: Iran, Hizbalah Veha-teror Ha-Palestini, International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center (Herzliya, Israel), 2003, translation published as The Axis of Evil: Iran, Hizballah, and Palestinian Terror, Transaction Publishers (New Brunswick, NJ), 2005.

Ha-Imut Ha-mugbal: Kovets Maamarim, Maarachot Publishers (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 2004.

Meshulash Ha-teror Ba-Yam Ha-Adom: Sudan, Somalyah, Teman Veha-teror Ha-Islami, Mifalot Publishers/International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center (Herzliya, Israel), 2004, translation by Rachel Liberman published as The Red Sea Terror Triangle: Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Islamic Terror, Transaction Publishers (New Brunswick, NJ), 2005.

The Shahids: Islam and Suicide Attacks, translation by Rachel Liberman, Transaction Publishers (New Brunswick, NJ), 2004.

Bi-reom Ha-menoim: 50 Shanah Le-milhemet Sinai, Maarachot Publishers (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 2006.

Petsatsah Metakteket: Pigue Hitabdut Vehahitmodedut Itam, Maarachot Publishers (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2006.

Ha-Teror Ha-Islami Veha-Balkan, Mifalot Publishers (Herzliya, Israel), 2006, translation published as Islamic Terror and the Balkans, Transaction Publishers (New Brunswick, NJ), 2007.

Islamic Terror Abductions in the Middle East, Sussex Academic Press (Portland, OR), 2007.

Nahshonim: 40 Shanah Le-Milhemet Sheshet Hayamim, Maarachot Publishers (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2007.

Somalia between Jihad and Restoration, Transaction Publishers (New Brunswick, NJ), 2008.

SIDELIGHTS:

Israeli writer Shaul Shay earned his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in political science from Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. Shay spent twenty-five years in the military, where he served both as a paratrooper officer and in military intelligence. Over the course of his career with the Israeli Defense Forces, he attained the rank of colonel. In addition to his military career, he has also served on the faculty of Bar Ilan University, where he is a lecturer, and at the International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, where he is a senior fellow. A prolific writer, Shay is also the author of a number of books that have been published both in Hebrew and in English translation, including The First World War: Middle Eastern Perspective: Proceedings of the Israeli-Turkish International Colloquy, 3-6 April, 2000, Tel-Aviv, Israel, which he edited with Yigal Sheffy; The Globalization of Terror: The Challenge of Al-Qaida and the Response of the International Community, which he wrote with Yoram Schweitzer; The Shahids: Islam and Suicide Attacks; The Axis of Evil: Iran, Hizballah, and Palestinian Terror; The Red Sea Terror Triangle: Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Islamic Terror; Islamic Terror and the Balkans; and Somalia between Jihad and Restoration.

The Shahids looks at the phenomenon of suicide bombings as they are practiced by the shahids, or Islamic martyrs. Shay attempts to deconstruct the thought patterns that lead to these types of human weapons by providing some insight into their culture and by investigating the history of suicide missions. Salim Mansur, writing for the Middle East Quarterly, observed that "Shay has filled an essential gap in our understanding of suicide bombings as a modern political phenomenon."

In The Axis of Evil, Shay offers readers a blow by blow history of Hezbollah, from its inception in 1979 during the revolution in Iran and the accompanying rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini. In addition, he describes the organization's means of operation and how they developed their various strategies for terrorist strikes against not just Israel but other major targets in the region. This is particularly of interest for anyone interested in the movements of Al-Qaeda, given that the two groups shared bomb experts and other technology on a regular basis from 1996 onwards. The book includes information about the religious turmoil that lies at the root of the revolution and analyzes how fundamentalist principles and ideas spread from this period, particularly to Shi'ite factions in Iraq. Robert M. Cassidy, in a contribution for the Military Review, remarked that "Shay inclines towards descriptive lists and chronologies that can at times be cumbersome. Overall, however, this work merits reading because it provides lucid insights into Hezbollah and other Iranian-sponsored terrorist groups."

The Red Sea Terror Triangle focuses on three nations that Shay considers to be of major importance in the ongoing global war on terrorism, as he believes they are potential targets: Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. He analyzes the history of each country and includes their links to Islam where appropriate. A major factor for each nation is the instability it faces in a postcolonial era, as well as its present-day link to known terrorist organizations. He also looks at the structural differences between a state-oriented people and one that is nomadic, pointing out that each has different beliefs, vulnerabilities, and systems of governing, and therefore should also be prosecuted in separate ways as well. Christopher E. Bailey, writing for the Military Review, stated that "this interesting book offers a glimpse into a corner of the world as well as useful insight into the problems with failing states and what is needed to rehabilitate them." Fred Rhodes, reviewing Shay's effort for the Middle East, wrote that "understanding these countries is of critical importance, since … [they] may constitute a base for Islamic terror organizations."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Middle East, August 1, 2007, Fred Rhodes, review of The Shahids: Islam and Suicide Attacks; December 1, 2007, Fred Rhodes, review of The Red Sea Terror Triangle: Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Islamic Terror, p. 64; January 1, 2008, Fred Rhodes, review of The Axis of Evil: Iran, Hizballah, and Palestinian Terror, p. 64.

Middle East Journal, January 1, 2004, review of The Globalization of Terror: The Challenge of Al-Qaida and the Response of the International Community, p. 167; summer, 2007, review of Islamic Terror Abductions in the Middle East, p. 558.

Middle East Quarterly, spring, 2006, Salim Mansur, review of The Shahids, p. 91.

Military Review, January 1, 2006, Christopher E. Bailey, review of The Red Sea Terror Triangle; September 1, 2006, Robert M. Cassidy, review of The Axis of Evil.

Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2007, review of Islamic Terror Abductions in the Middle East; August 1, 2007, review of Islamic Terror and the Balkans.

ONLINE

Ariel Center for Policy Research,http://www.acpr.org.il/ (May 28, 2008), author profile.

University of Calgary Web site,http://www.cmss.ucalgary.ca/ (May 28, 2008), author profile.

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