Riedel, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and senior adviser on the Middle East to three past presidents, reviews how al-Qaeda has flourished since the September 11 attacks with "franchises" mushrooming around the world. The author surveys al-Qaeda's origins, workings and key members and introduces fresh information about the organization's ideology and future plans. Riedel warns against conflating the war against al-Qaeda with the current war in Iraq ("the president chose to declare war not on al Qaeda, but on 'terrorism,' a concept that he and Vice President Dick Cheney arrived at by confusing 9/11 with Saddam Hussein's Iraq") and demonstrates how U.S. actions compound "the public's ignorance and vulnerability." He argues that concentrating forces in Iraq has diverted attention and presence from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the hotbeds of jihadist organization, and suggests redirecting the military back to the "badlands" of the Afghan-Pakistan border while offering economic aid to forestall the extremism that thrives in destitute areas. Riedel's argument in favor of greater U.S. involvement in the Arab-Israeli peace process is persuasive, and his prescriptions are well-evidenced, unfailingly sound and refreshingly sensible. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Search for Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Futureby Bruce Riedel
Al Qaeda is the most dangerous terrorist movement in history. Yet most people in the West know very little about it, or their view is clouded by misperceptions and half truths. This widely acclaimed book fills this gap with a comprehensive analysis of al Qaeda—the origins, leadership, ideology, and strategy of the terrorist network that brought down the Twin… See more details below
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Al Qaeda is the most dangerous terrorist movement in history. Yet most people in the West know very little about it, or their view is clouded by misperceptions and half truths. This widely acclaimed book fills this gap with a comprehensive analysis of al Qaeda—the origins, leadership, ideology, and strategy of the terrorist network that brought down the Twin Towers and continues to threaten us today.
Bruce Riedel draws on decades of insider experience—he was actually in the White House during the September 11 attacks—in profiling the four most important figures in the al Qaeda movement: Usama bin Laden, ideologue and spokesman Ayman Zawahiri, former leader of al Qaeda in Iraq Abu Musaib al Zarqawi (killed in 2006), and Mullah Omar, its Taliban host. These profiles provide the base from which Riedel delivers a much clearer understanding of al Qaeda and its goals, as well as what must be done to counter and defeat this most dangerous menace.
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