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Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden
     

Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden

4.1 11
by Peter L. Bergen
 

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On September 11, 2001, the world in which we live was changed forever. The twin towers of the World Trade Center came crashing down, one side of the Pentagon burst into flame, and more than six thousand men, women, and children lost their lives in the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil. As shocking as it was, it had been long in the making: The assault was

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Holy War, Inc. 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good read. Some inaccuracies due to the release date. We have learned quite a bit more about al-Qadea since 2002. Informative, quick and easy to read. Very knowledgable information regarding the early years of this terrorist organization.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a good study of Al Qaeda, a criminal organisation whose modus operandi is the murder of innocent civilians. Some relevant background: in the 1980s, the Thatcher government allowed the mujehadin to open recruiting offices, under the name Al Kifah, in London. In 1994, Osama bin Laden took advantage of Home Office laxness to use London as a base for his terrorist operations. London-based Abu Hamza, who openly supports bin Laden, is head of the `Supporters of Shariah¿. He tries to recruit young British Muslims for terrorist training and operations. The Hizb Ut Tahrir organisation claims to be peaceful, yet one of its recent leaflets said, ¿The head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is the prayer and its highest peak is Jihad.¿ Another said, ¿That the world should end is less in the sight of Allah than the killing of a Muslim.¿ And ¿The Hizb can see the Khilafah on the horizon, by the will of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta¿aala). At that time no Kafir colonialist would dare to attack the Muslims¿ lands, let alone occupy them. Rather, they would not be able to prevent the Muslim army from bringing the Light of Islam in their homeland, by Jihad and the clear conquest.¿ (Kafir is Arabic for infidel.) But the Blair government has made no attempts to ban its publications or to question any of its senior officials. Last year¿s head of the Islamic Society at Kingston University, when asked why he did not inform the Students¿ Union or the University about Hizb Ut Tahrir¿s activities at the University, replied, ¿What could we have done, tell me? You¿re telling us to go to the Kafir against a Muslim, is that what you are saying we should have done?¿ This identification with the co-religionist as against the infidel puts a value only on the lives of believers. It is at root inhuman. The atrocities committed by Al Qaeda and its sympathisers are not acts of war, not retaliation for the war on Iraq, as their apologists claim. Al Qaeda's acts are acts of terror, of murder. They are anti-human and fascist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Holy War, Inc. is an enthralling book that depicts Osama Bin Laden¿s true intentions for the United States. Not only are his intentions real, his ideology for a full blown all out war with the U.S., to cause mass destruction and murder, have time to pray and keep on planning, are convincingly extreme, and yet perhaps inevitable to stop. The faction, Al Qaeda, is undeniably wicked; they are very well oriented in the Art of War and are deranged individuals looking to go head to head with the U.S. itself. Peter Bergen masterfully provides sufficient historical information on Bin Laden and his followers with the utmost detail that will live you astonished at how quickly they are capable of learning about their enemies, planning and executing their devilish ploys and how they are funded by sympathizers all over the world. Holy War, Inc. is a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very easy to understand and read. For those of us that subscribe to the theory of 'get to know your enemy', I do recommend this book as it gives insight into bin Laden and his terrrorist network in an easy to read format.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very excellent read on the Bin Laden terrorist network. One can gain insight not only to terrorism, but to the Islamic movement as well. The only negative vibe out of this book, is that towards the end the author somewhat has befriended a few of the people associated with the evil one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listened to the audio version of the book. I liked it a lot, and Bergen did a great job. He actually was there and travelled a lot of the places he wrote about. He provides a good historic background, while still making the people seem personal and up-close. There were a couple of minor errors, if I am not mistaken, though. For example, the author states that Muhammad Atta studied at the technical department of the university of Hamburg, when it was Harburg (just south of Hamburg, but a different university, much smaller, etc. ). Also, when the U.S. went into Modadishu, Somalia in 1993 to raid ('Blackhawk Down'), the raid was not, as the author claims, on Aidid himself, but on his leutenants. Like I said, I believe that those are two minor errors in the book. I kind of wish that editors and authors would clean up their work before rushing it into print, but given that they wanted to print it soon after Sep. 11, that is understandable. Despite the very minor errors, a great book that I would highly recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'It is bin Laden's ability to attract recruits willing to martyr themselves that is the priceless commodity in his holy war.' Holy War, Inc. goes on to explain the roots of that capability lying primarily in opposition to any Christian and Jewish presence on the Arabian peninsula, support for this concept as a source of holy war from some Muslim clerics, U.S. support of Israel, bin Laden's role as a Muslim hero through the Afghan rebellion against the Soviet Union, a large number of rootless, educated Muslims with the technical skills to produce sophisticated terror who adhere to these views, and a worldwide network of terrorists, infrastructure, and fund-raising to support them. The book also points out U.S. mistakes in encouraging the development of al-Qaeda and its allies. You will come away with a greater understanding of how difficult it will be and how long it will take to quell this threat. The book's main appeal is that Mr. Bergen has visited and done interviews from most of the sites from which the terrorist threats have been developed or launched, so you get a detailed look at the views, geography, and organization involved. In most cases, not too much is known so you'll end up with scattered dots tied together occasionally where that is possible. The manuscript was completed in August 2001 and submitted to the publisher. After September 11th, material was added to describe what was known immediately after the attacks in the United States. So you will find some repetition in the material from what you have heard on television. The author apologizes for the roughness and repetition in places, but felt that getting the book out was more important than creating the best possible book. I think that was the right choice. The book is filled with names, dates, and quotes. The key points could have been made in far less space, so see the detail as providing texture rather than substance. For most readers, the most interesting part will come in the book's beginning as Mr. Bergen describes the background to the interview that CNN did with bin Laden in 1997. You will feel like you are reading some sort of spy thriller. Will this sort of Muslim terrorism against the United States survive the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the capture of bin Laden? No one can know for sure, but this book suggests that the threat will continue. Sleeper agents interested in performing major terrorists acts are in place waiting to be activated. Most of the terrorists acts require relatively little financing. September 11th was the most expensive set of attacks to launch, and probably cost less than $500,000. This terrorism is run by a structure not unlike that which an effective multinational corporation would use, and has so many sources of funding that we should assume that future acts of terrorism will not lack for money. The book does a good job of addressing all of the terrorist attacks that have occurred against the United States in the last 11 years that probably are or could be related to bin Laden in some way or other. How can we defend ourselves against people who feel it is their religious duty to attack us wherever we are vulnerable? Not very easily, seems to be the answer provided by this book. In the process of defending ourselves, we should not lose sight of the need to make peace with those who have hate in their hearts and the injunction to love thy neighbor as thyself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good book, certainly worth reading. Provided good background information on the operations and causes of recent terrorist attacks. I was, however, a little disapointed that the book didn't cover more on bin Laden himself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Peter L. Bergen has excellent insight into the world of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization. I would call this the definitive book on jihad terrorism and a close look into the life of the man who currently leads it. Great reading and I highly recommend it to anyone who has wondered how jihad actually works.