Bin Laden: Behind the Mask of the Terrorist

Overview

Osama bin Laden has presented himself to the world as a zealous freedom fighter and a deeply pious man, a de facto paragon for Muslims everywhere. Telling a far different story, this authoritative new biography lifts bin Laden's mask of moral purity as it recounts his transformation from dissolute rich kid into terrorist mastermind and delineates his long campaign to bring jihad to the United States. Based on reliable information provided by members of bin Laden's family and extensive independent research, Adam ...
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Overview

Osama bin Laden has presented himself to the world as a zealous freedom fighter and a deeply pious man, a de facto paragon for Muslims everywhere. Telling a far different story, this authoritative new biography lifts bin Laden's mask of moral purity as it recounts his transformation from dissolute rich kid into terrorist mastermind and delineates his long campaign to bring jihad to the United States. Based on reliable information provided by members of bin Laden's family and extensive independent research, Adam Robinson opens a window onto a privileged childhood riven by jealousies, family politics, and the early death of his father, and depicts the young bin Laden desperately seeking attention and acceptance. Documenting the teenager's excesses in the Beirut nightclub world of hedonism, sex, and alcohol, he traces the steps that led to bin Laden's transformation, via the Soviet-Afghan war and Operation Desert Storm -- and with no small amount of media manipulation -- into an icon in the Islamic fundamentalist world. The author shows how bin Laden's business skills shaped Al-Qaeda into a kind of Terrorism, Inc., and recounts in detail the increasingly violent stages of his decade-long war against the United States, right up to the attacks of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath.

At the same time he underscores the contradictions and fanaticism of a would-be Islamic hero who claims moral superiority while profiting from the opium trade, which has abetted the spread of HIV and AIDS among fellow Muslims; whose past is littered with alcohol and prostitutes; who courts publicity and seeks adulation within the Muslim world while staging modesty; who inspires his followers to commit murder in the name of a peace-loving religion; and who would go to any lengths to achieve his goal of a global Islamic fundamentalist revolution. In researching this book, the author traveled to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Bahrain, Oman, Libya, and Pakistan. Bringing a through knowledge of Middle Eastern politics and society to the story, he provides insight into the character of the terrorist and offers a sobering portrait of the real Osama bin Laden.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Tracing his life from his birth in 1957, this biography of Osama Bin Laden places the development of his beliefs and activities within the context of the vortex of politics swirling around Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Afghanistan and other areas of the Islamic world. Journalist Robinson details his student days in Lebanon, his relationship with his large family and the family business, and his efforts to build a large organization capable of striking against his enemies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781840185973
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.81 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Adam Robinson is a writer and journalist who has worked in the Middle East for ten years. He began researching this biography a year before the attacks of September 11, 2001, and spent several months in Beirut investigating the young Osama bin Laden’s activities. Mr. Robinson lives permanently in the Persian Gulf.

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Table of Contents

Preface 7
1 Family Ties That Bind 11
2 The Manhattan of the Desert 17
3 National Politics, Childhood Scars 33
4 Son of the Slave 49
5 Off the Rails 61
6 Alcohol and Redemption 73
7 Fighting for Islam 83
8 Birth of an Icon 103
9 Blowback 113
10 Homecoming of a Hero 121
11 Terrorism Inc. 135
12 Establishing the Firm 155
13 Full Circle 167
14 International Merger and Expansion 185
15 Diversification of the Core Business 199
16 Smoke Screen 209
17 African Smoke Screen, World Cup Soccer 217
18 Putting Atta to Sleep 233
19 The President's Nemesis 239
20 Tweaking the Nose of the Enemy 253
21 Preparing for War 265
22 One Day in the Sun 275
Epilogue 283
Index 289
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