After bin Laden: Al Qaeda, the Next Generation by Abdel Bari Atwan, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
After bin Laden: Al Qaeda, the Next Generation

After bin Laden: Al Qaeda, the Next Generation

by Abdel Bari Atwan
     
 

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Osama bin Laden is dead, but Al Qaeda remains the CIA’s “number one threat.” Yet since the 9/11 attacks on the United States, the organization has evolved into a much more complex and far-flung entity, even as American military strikes have killed its most identifiable spokesmen and leaders. Moving well beyond the headlines, this richly documented

Overview

Osama bin Laden is dead, but Al Qaeda remains the CIA’s “number one threat.” Yet since the 9/11 attacks on the United States, the organization has evolved into a much more complex and far-flung entity, even as American military strikes have killed its most identifiable spokesmen and leaders. Moving well beyond the headlines, this richly documented and fascinating account of Al Qaeda offers readers a completely new understanding of the organization’s aims, strategies, and fortunes in a new era of conflict with the United States and the Western powers.

Drawing on firsthand accounts and interviews with uniquely well-placed sources within Al Qaeda, noted journalist and expert Abdel Bari Atwan investigates the movement’s new internal dynamics, how it survives financially, and how its political appeal has changed dramatically following the Arab Spring. Atwan profiles the next generation of foot soldiers and leaders and explores both the new methods they embrace—especially on the digital battlefield—as well as the full global range of their operations and local variations in Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and elsewhere.

After Bin Laden is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the latest chapter in America’s long struggle with terrorism.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
On May 2, 2011, a team of U.S. Navy Seals landed in Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed the cofounder of al-Qaeda and the world's most recognizable terrorist. As this highly informative and readable book demonstrates, however, al-Qaeda's activities are more widespread today than ever before. Bin Laden's "martyrdom" has become a rallying point for al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-associated movements (AQAM). Atwan, editor in chief of the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, is among the few individuals known to have interviewed bin Laden on several occasions. Judging by the proliferation of AQAM groups today, the author argues that the "war on terror" has failed. He analyzes how al-Qaeda has become a decentralized organization and examines its new structure and nature. Although the Arab Spring threatened to challenge al-Qaeda's role in the Arab and broader Muslim world, chaotic developments in such countries as Libya, Syria, and even Egypt have given AQAM groups new opportunities to expand their influence. Atwan provides detailed analyses of AQAM's expanding role in regions ranging from North and East Africa to the Sahel and Arabian Peninsula. VERDICT This book should be read by policymakers, journalists, and all interested in learning about today's jihadist movements.—Nader Entessar, Univ. of Southern Alabama, Mobile
Publishers Weekly
In this dry account of the Al Qaeda movement, Atwan writes that Bin Laden's death simply enhanced the leader's legacy; the movement is now "stronger and more widespread" than ever. In fact, he adds, since Bin Laden's death the rise of "regional emirs" has made the worldwide movement "harder to target and destroy." Atwan shares the enormous advances Al Qaeda has made via social media since he completed his 2006 book, The Secret History of al-Qa'ida, though he primarily focuses on the extent to which the Al Qaeda movement has infiltrated countries from South Asia to North Africa. For instance, Atwan analyzes widespread media coverage about Somali pirates, noting how little of said publicity emphasizes the enormous contributions those pirates make from ransom payments to support jihad. He also provides specific examples of the Taliban leadership's innovation. Certainly Atwan's description of Al Qaeda's widespread influence in Libya and Algeria should send chills up readers' spines when they realize those countries' enormous shares of oil reserves and natural gas . It's likely that only extremely motivated readers will make it through this book, but those who do will be rewarded with fascinating and often horrifying tidbits along the way. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Abdel Bari Atwan:

"Abdel Bari Atwan has long been one of the sharpest commentators about al Qaeda and the Middle East in general. Now he turns those sharp analytical skills to what the future holds for al Qaeda and its affiliated groups in the Middle East as some of the early promise of the Arab Spring begins to sour. His prognosis is dismaying: In countries from Syria to Libya to Yemen, al Qaeda and its allies are poised for a comeback. Atwan's sobering assessment deserves a wide audience."
—Peter Bergen, director of the national security studies program at the New America Foundation and author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Osama bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad

"An insightful book on Al Qaeda today and tomorrow by one of the Arab world's most renowned journalists. After Bin Laden is crucial to understanding how al Qaeda used the Arab awakening to strike back after bin Laden's death."
—Bruce Riedel, senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute and author of The Search for Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future

"Abdel Bari Atwan has written a critically important book on the future of al Qaeda. Based on his unparalleled access to al Qaeda associates, Atwan highlights the evolution of al Qaeda into a more complex, decentralized, yet still dangerous organization. After Bin Laden provides us with a crystal-ball glimpse into the future of al Qaeda."
—Seth G. Jones, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and author of Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of Al Qa’ida Since 9/11

"The book we’ve been waiting for since Abbotabad. Here is painstaking research by a thoughtful investigator; intelligent, readable analysis that cuts through the DC rhetoric. Despite all those drone attacks, Al-Qaeda is on the come back."
—Paul McGeough, author of Killing Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas

"Atwan captures the essence of Osama bin Laden, the man, his leadership, and why we will never be free of the legacy he left behind. Intelligent and fascinatingly readable."
—Pat Lancaster, editor in chief of Middle East Magazine

"As editor in chief of the best Arabic- language daily newspaper, Al-Quds al-Arabi, Atwan 'got it' from the moment bin Laden appeared on the scene. . . . Atwan’s 1996 interview with bin Laden in his Afghanistan redoubt was one of the first and remains one of the best."
—Michael Scheuer, former chief of the CIA's Bin Laden Issue Station

"[Atwan’s work] is required reading for all journalists covering the present Middle East mess and indeed for anybody concerned with the future of the globe."
The Spectator

"Atwan offers a chilling narrative that covers [Al Qaeda] activity in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula, where it hopes for its strongest toehold; Iraq and Afghanistan, as the U.S. departs; the Maghreb, Africa, Indonesia, China and even ex-Soviet Muslim states; and an increase in ‘lone wolf’ jihadist attacks in the West. Moreover, the group has cunningly adapted the Internet for its ideological spread. A sobering, intensive report."
Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
An al-Qaida watcher lends some farsighted insight into the group's motivation and direction. Editor-in-chief of the London newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, Atwan (A Country of Words: A Palestinian Journey from the Refugee Camp to the Front Page, 2009, etc.) has evidently been studying the terrorist organization for decades (he interviewed Osama bin Laden twice). Here, he presents a wealth of strategic information and cleareyed assessment that casts American efforts in a fairly naïve light. There are some essential givens about the group that need to be grasped before an effective approach can be tendered: that the organization has only grown horizontally since the killing of bin Laden, so much so that the elimination of one leader only leads to martyrdom and replacement by others; the group is inextricably linked to the Taliban and will probably be present as the Taliban moves back into Afghanistan with the vacuum of American withdrawal; and the group has anticipated the fall of the Arab dictators and the re-establishment of an Islamic Caliphate across the Arab world, which looks something like the Arab Spring. Indeed, senior leaders such as Ayman Al-Zawahiri have been preaching this philosophy for some time. Atwan offers a chilling narrative that covers the group's activity in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula, where it hopes for its strongest toehold; Iraq and Afghanistan, as the U.S. departs; the Maghreb, Africa, Indonesia, China and even ex-Soviet Muslim states; and an increase in "lone wolf" jihadist attacks in the West. Moreover, the group has cunningly adapted the Internet for its ideological spread. A sobering, intensive report.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595589002
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
03/05/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
409 KB

Meet the Author

Born in Gaza, Abdel Bari Atwan is editor in chief at the London-based newspaper Al Quds al-Arabi. Atwan is one of the foremost experts on Al Qaida, having interviewed Osama Bin Laden twice in the 1990s and cultivated uniquely well-placed sources within the movement. His other works include The Secret History of Al Qaida and A Country of Words. He lives in London.

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