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3 Questions For ISIS expert Jessica Stern

September 10, 2015

Jessica Stern at SanfordDURHAM, NC - Author and national security expert Jessica Stern is among the nation’s top experts on ISIS and religion-based terrorism.

The Washington Post declared Stern's most recent book, ISIS, The State of Terror "should be required reading for every politician and policymaker." The book details how the group is recruiting Westerners, and its innovative use of social media. The author also explores ISIS’ abuse of women and children "and its use of horror to manipulate world leaders and its own adherents as it builds its twisted society."

Stern spoke to Duke University students and the public in a talk September 10. Prior to the event, Stern talked with David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, one of the event sponsors.

"ISIS has committed grotesque acts of violence but has attracted thousands of people, including some Americans, to join its cause," said Schanzer.  "How do you explain that?"

Schanzer also asked Stern to talk about ISIS' success in recruiting women, noting that women join ISIS despite widespread reports of systematic rape and sex slavery by the group.



Listen to the full conversation, the first in our "Three Questions" series, here:



Stern is a Lecturer on Terrorism at Harvard University and serves on the Hoover Institution Task Force on National Security and Law. She is also the author of Denial: A Memoir of Terror, Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), and The Ultimate Terrorists. 

Here is video of the public address:

Event sponsors include the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security.