I can vouch from following Islamic State and Syria, that of all Western analysts, Max Abrahms is the only one who saw through the PR crap. He has an intellectual rigor not found in international affairs. Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Author of The Black Swan

Rebels, terrorists, and revolutionaries are among the mightiest forces of human nature, responsible for shaping nation states as we know them. Max Abrahms’ book takes on an insurgency of its own by overthrowing mainstream myths about militant groups by establishing a new order of how such movements succeed or, as in the case of ISIS, fail as spectacularly as they rise. Tom O'Connor


Max has ideas that merit attention. Jim Clancy

34-year veteran of CNN

Max Abrahms is a smart, disruptive thinker. His insights are invaluable when it comes to predicting how specific terrorist groups will succeed or not. He pulls no punches when it comes to recommendations on combating terrorist networks based on his scientific analysis. Mike Lyons

CBS News

Max Abrahms consistently provides an academic and unbiased view towards rebellions and terrorism. He has an impressive track record for getting things right. Chase Winter

Deutsche Welle

Abrahms brings a unique insight to the field of counterterrorism, and his latest work is a compelling study into what brings success or failure to militant movements. Joshua Philipp

Epoch Times

This book represents the kind of outside the box analysis which Abrahms brings to every one of his interviews with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. His understanding and deep knowledge of the evolution of terrorism and how it impacts on security issues today makes this required reading for policy makers and all concerned citizens. Linda LoPresti

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Abrahms has original insights about terrorism. His ideas about Islamic State have been spot on. John Stanley Hunter

Business Insider

Living and working in a region beset with conflict and war, as I do, it’s important to have a go-to expert who understands the layer cake of history and context in the Middle East. I’ve interviewed the author on numerous occasions and I’ve always found his analysis cogent, clear and utterly logical particularly in relation to the conflicting narratives spun across the region. Max Abrahms has an acute talent for breaking down the most complex issues and making them accessible, relevant and contemporary. Peter Dobbie

Al Jazeera

While we journalists witness and report on the cycles of violence in the Middle East and beyond, we reach out to those who take a step back and make sense of this madness. Max Abrahms is amongst the best of them. With his probing questioning, careful reasoning and deep vision, Abrahms out-analyzes think tanks and their experts. I strongly believe that not only academics and analysts, but anyone interested in militancy in the new era will learn a great deal from this book. Chris MassaroCeyda Karan

Cumhuriyet Daily

Max Abrahms is a thoroughly unconventional thinker, and a thoroughly responsible one too — a rare combination. His research is scientifically rigorous, based on empirical evidence. The fact that his conclusions often run counter to the Think Tank consensus should give us all pause. Juliet Lapidos

Los Angeles Times

Max Abrahms once again raises provocative and important ideas about terrorism, ideas that need to be taken seriously. Robyn Lee Kriel


Rules for Rebels showcases Abrahms’ expertise in terrorism and counter terrorism. It is a must-read for those seeking insight into why certain militant groups succeed and why others fail. We have needed new insights to combat extremism. Abrahms’ latest book delivers. Adriana Cohen

Boston Herald

Max Abrahms offers an insightful perspective on the modern landscape of international terrorism, the dynamics within militant groups, and how they employ various forms of violence to achieve their goals. His commentary on the Syrian civil war brings clarity to one of the most complex and devastating conflicts of our time. Chris Massaro

International Business Times