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Professor Godfrey Garner Book Focuses on Terrorism

Homeland Security Professor Godfrey Garner
Homeland Security Professor Godfrey Garner

International terrorism didn't begin just a few years ago. A Mississippi College Homeland Security professor, Godfrey Garner, traces its beginnings in his new book titled “Origins of Terror: The Rise of the World’s Most Formidable Terrorist Groups.”

The book published this year by CRC Press details the rapid growth of terrorist groups worldwide that date back decades. Much of the focus is on the roots of Islamic terrorism.

Garner and Maeghin Alarid-Hughes teamed as the co-authors. This summer, MC students will utilize the book in the professor’s classes on the Clinton campus.

The Mississippi College educator thoroughly researched the subject – from ISIS to the Al Qaeda and the Taliban - to make the textbook must reading for his students in Jennings Hall classrooms.

“I'm really proud of this text because it brings subtle relationships and connections between terror leaders to light,” he said. "The text gives substance to fact-based incidents that helped or hindered the growth of groups like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and even the Islamic State.”

The text tells readers why terrorist leaders like Bin Laden and Musab al Zarqawi, a Jordanian jihadist, got along at times and were bitter foes on other occasions. Zarqawi ran a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.

At one point, Mullah Omar, an Afghan commander and Taliban leader gave sanctuary to Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda mastermind, although he didn’t want to, the book explains.

“Origins of Terror” takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey to examine the lives of these terrorists and their organizations. Terrorism was first coined in the 1790s to refer to the terror used during the French Revolution.

Besides appealing to Homeland Security students, the new 194-page book is a valuable resource for security and intelligence professionals around the world.

His co-author, Maeghin Alarid-Hughes, teaches terrorism and risk analysis at Arapahoe Community College in Colorado. An anti-terrorism specialist, Alarid-Hughes has consulted security companies and brings 15 years of experience working for the Department of Defense.

Professor Garner has served the USA in Afghanistan as a counterinsurgency intelligence analyst. He’s penned articles in publications such as “Homeland Security Today.” He’s written several books in recent years.

He co-authored “Intelligence Analysis Fundamentals” with Patrick McGlynn in 2018. The Hinds County resident studied cases of law enforcement intelligence utilized after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April 2013. The MC professor shared insights after suicide bombers blasted the Navy ship USS Cole in a Yemen harbor on October 17, 2000. Seventeen American sailors were killed in the attack.

In April 2020, Garner’s book “Brothers in the Mekong Delta” captured the essence of his life-changing experiences with buddies during two tours as a young Army soldier during the Vietnam War. He earned his doctorate in counseling and psychology at Mississippi State University.

Mississippi College students value Dr. Garner’s experience in a complex and dangerous field on the front lines. He retired from the 20th Special Forces in 2006. The Mississippian completed two military and six civilian government-related tours in Afghanistan.