In a single massive volume, the Office of International Criminal Justice brings together information on well over 200 extremist groups, including some 50 in the Middle East. Unfortunately, the result is nearly useless, due to a confused notion of which groups to include, outdated and inaccurate information, and an almost complete absence of analysis.
First, who gets in and who does not makes little sense. The Iran entry includes the now tame Mujahedin-e Khalq but not a word about the network of Hizbullah organizations Tehran has fostered around the world. Similarly bizarre, the Sudan entry includes only the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, the military insurgency in the south that seeks to get out from under the north's thumb, and has nothing to say about Hasan at-Turabi, Usama bin Ladin, and the host of terrorist groups they sponsor. Amazingly, Syria is not even listed, despite the regime's sponsorship of dozens of terrorist groups.
Information is often unreliable. The Syrian Social Nationalist Party entry, for example, misspells names Mayayri instead of Mahayiri, wrongly claims the group is made up primarily of Shi`is, misses most of its major violent acts, killing of Bashir Jumayyil, girl suicide bomber, TWA airliner and has no new information after 1989. Worse, the group is said "to currently be defunct" when it is not.
Finally, the terse, just-the-facts style tells the reader nothing about the political context of these groups, their ideologies, social makeup, or significance.