Al Qaeda in Europe: The New Battleground of International Jihad / Edition 1

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The July 2005 London bombings are yet another example of how Europe has emerged as one of the key battlegrounds in the global War on Terror. The region has become a critical "ground zero" for Islamist terrorists, not only as a target but as a base of operations. The implications for the United States are tremendous: under existing law, for example, terrorists carrying European passports could easily enter the country. It is not a coincidence, in fact, that every attack planned or executed against the United States, including 9/11, has had strong European ties.

Al Qaeda in Europe is the first book in English that dissects Islamist terrorism in Europe. Written by Lorenzo Vidino, European expert at The Investigative Project — a Washington, D.C.-based counterterrorism institute and America’s largest private data-gathering center on militant Islamic activities —Al Qaeda in Europe fills a critical gap in the understanding of the new threats posed by Islamist terrorism.

Vidino analyzes the causes of this dangerous situation while providing an extensive historical overview of Islamist terrorist activities in Europe. The book shows how terrorists — most of them native to the Continent — raise money, communicate, and hide in plain sight in the suburbs of London, Paris, and Amsterdam. It also presents with painful clarity the difficulties that law enforcement agencies worldwide have had in shutting down terror cells. Finally, the book describes three of the most important networks operating in Europe. Vidino analyzes events such as the Madrid train bombings, the thwarted plot to attack various European capitals with chemical weapons, and the movements of hundreds of European Muslims who are joining terrorist groups in Iraq to fight U.S. forces.

Vidino includes fascinating information taken from a dozen countries’ original documentation (intelligence reports, indictments, court transcripts), plus transcripts of conversations among al Qaeda operatives that have been intercepted by intelligence agencies.

Al Qaeda in Europe is authoritative, informative, and written in a lively narrative that will captivate general readers, and become a valuable new resource for scholars and government officials.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Given last month’s riots in France [Al Qaeda in Europe] could not have arrived in the bookstores in a more timely fashion. This is the first book to examine Islamic terrorism in Europe…This book is yet another wake up call to anyone who does not yet grasp how widespread the Islamic jihad is as it describes three of the most important terrorist networks in Europe and analyses events there."
Foreword by Steven Emerson
Director of the Investigative Project

"Although the book was completed prior to the July 2005 London bombings, it nevertheless succeeds in explaining the magnitude of the jihadi threat in Europe."
Book Reviews

"Mr. Vidino offers valuable insights on the workings and organization of Al Qaeda in Europe and the threat this terrorist group poses not only to European countries, but also to the United States."
Congressman Elton Gallegly
Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Europe & Emerging Threats

"Vidino peels back the layers of the al Qaeda networks in Europe and shows how lax immigration and asylum laws, coupled with the availability of false documents and financing, have allowed terrorists to operate in Europe with relative ease. Thoroughly researched."
Representative Ed Royce, Chairman
Subcommittee on International Terrorism & Nonproliferation
House International Relations Committee

Dennis M. Lormel
"Vidino's book is an extraordinary depiction of the multi-dimensional dynamics confronting the international law enforcement and intelligence community. His painstakingly meticulous research offers a compelling study of the evolution, ideology and operations of radical extremist elements residing in Europe. This work is a reflection of Mr. Vidino's exceptional insight and experience ."
— Former Chief, Terrorist Financing Operations Section (TFOS), Counterterrorism Division, FBI. Current Vice President, Corporate Risk International (CRI).
Scott Newark
"Vidino has produced an invaluable exposé of Al Qaeda's roots and tentacles in Europe and the threats that result from them."
— Former Crown Prosecutor, Executive Director of the Canadian Police Association
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591024330
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 1,000,994
  • Product dimensions: 6.21 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Lorenzo Vidino is widely recognized as an expert on terrorism in Europe. In March and April 2005, he testified before Congress on the subject, and he frequently consults for the U.S. government on terror-related issues. He regularly appears on television, including The NBC Nightly News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and European and Middle Eastern channels. He holds a law degree and speaks five languages.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Profiling al Qaeda in Europe 23
Ch. 2 Life among the infidels 71
Ch. 3 Europe's tied hands 103
Ch. 4 The Algerian network and its origins 135
Ch. 5 The Strasbourg plot 147
Ch. 6 The Ricin plot 171
Ch. 7 Chechnya, land of the forgotten jihad 201
Ch. 8 The Islamic Cultural Institute of Milan 215
Ch. 9 From Afghanistan to Iraq through Europe 233
Ch. 10 The Iraqi jihad 263
Ch. 11 The Madrid train bombings 291
Ch. 12 The Van Gogh assassination 337
App Testimony of Lorenzo Vidino : testimony before the House Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats 367
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2005


    An impressive and well-documented book that grabs and holds your interest from the very start.  Vidino gives an overview of who's who behind the terrorist networks--great for the layman!--then addresses the specifics of how each group finds recruits, finds financing and finds havens.  I find him masterful at weaving everything together, including how political, social and legal issues in Europe bear upon the existence of radical groups there.  A fascinating analysis...but disturbing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2005

    Review of Lorenzo Vidino's New Book: 'Al Qaeda in Europe...'

    Vidino has come up with a well-researched, well- documentd and a very well-written book that is the most authoritative volume on the subject. Anyone with an interest in the worldwide expansion of the Jihadi Terrorist Network would be well-rewarded by reading this book, It is as up-to-date as today's newspaper headlines.

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