Book Review: “The Counterterrorist Manual: A Practical Guide to Elite International Units” by Leroy Thompson


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

June 14th, 2010




I don’t read very many books. No real reason, other than I just never seem to be able to find the necessary time to do so. However, when I do read one, if it does not capture my interest in the first few pages, I just lay it down and never get started again.

The book reviewed here caught my interest right off the bat, as it is very timely to the events happening worldwide today concerning terrorism, and it also backtracks to events beginning decades ago which brings us up to the current situation in which we find ourselves today. Leroy Thompson has spent his life dealing with the effort to keep terrorism in check around the globe. I remember reading Leroy’s works dealing with the topic of executive protection and counterterrorism decades ago. Throughout the years, Leroy has trained elite units on how to deal with such threats, trained personal bodyguards on how best to protect their wealthy and powerful clients, and has written numerous books and articles dealing with such topics.

This book, “The Counterterrorist Manual”, goes in depth into the history, training, and mission of counterterrorist units around the world. The book contains ninety-two illustrations and photographs depicting scenes of terrorist activity and members of elite counterterrorist units from around the world. The book deals with the initiation and evolution of such units and their tactics used in dealing with the resolution of crisis situations in both historical and present tenses.

“The Counterterrorist Manual” is both entertaining and informative. Today’s terrorist groups are well-equipped, well-funded, well-trained, and ever evolving in their methods and tactics. Thompson, with his personal hands-on knowledge of many of the units and individual operatives who are involved in the fight against terrorism, delivers this information to the reader in a chronological method, dealing with both the tactics and equipment used historically and in today’s fight against terrorism.

This is a very informative and enlightening book, and I highly recommend it.

You can buy it at better book stores, or online at places like

The first edition is hardbound, 256 pages, is published by Frontline Books, and the ISBN is 978-1-84832-514-2.

Jeff Quinn


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“The Counterterrorist Manual: A Practical Guide to Elite International Units” by Leroy Thompson.



Author Leroy Thompson is an internationally-renowned expert on elite unit training and counterterrorism, and our friend.