The Secret History of al Qaeda [NOOK Book]

Overview

Over the last ten years, journalist and al-Qa'ida expert Abdel Bari Atwan has cultivated uniquely well-placed sources and amassed a wealth of information about al-Qa'ida's origins, masterminds and plans for the future. Atwan reveals how al-Qa'ida's radical departure from the classic terrorist/guerrilla blueprint has enabled it to outpace less adaptable efforts to neutralize it. The fanaticism of its fighters, and their willingness to kill and be killed, are matched by the leadership's opportunistic recruitment ...
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The Secret History of al Qaeda

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Overview

Over the last ten years, journalist and al-Qa'ida expert Abdel Bari Atwan has cultivated uniquely well-placed sources and amassed a wealth of information about al-Qa'ida's origins, masterminds and plans for the future. Atwan reveals how al-Qa'ida's radical departure from the classic terrorist/guerrilla blueprint has enabled it to outpace less adaptable efforts to neutralize it. The fanaticism of its fighters, and their willingness to kill and be killed, are matched by the leadership's opportunistic recruitment strategies and sophisticated understanding of psychology, media, and new technology - including the use of the internet for training, support, and communications. Atwan shows that far from committing acts of violence randomly and indiscriminately, al-Qa'ida attacks targets according to a decisive design underwritten by unwavering patience. He also argues that events in Iraq and Saudi Arabia are watershed moments in the group's evolution that are making it more dangerous by the day, as it refines and appropriates the concept of jihad and makes the suicide bomber a permanent feature of a global holy war. While Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri remain al-Qa'ida's figureheads, Atwan identifies a new kind of leader made possible by its horizontal chain of command, epitomized by the brutal Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi in Iraq and the bombers of London, Madrid, Amman, Bali, and elsewhere. Scholarly, analytical, objective, it is also intensely readable, being by far the best book on the subject.’ Tony Benn ‘This is a must-read book for anyone interested in understanding our increasingly scary world.’ Gavin Esler 'What shines out ... is a profound desire to investigate and reveal the truth. Intelligent and informative.' Jason Burke, Guardian 'Deeply researched, well reported and full of interesting and surprising analyses. It demands to be read.' Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc
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Editorial Reviews

Michael Scheuer
Here, Atwan's blend of memoir and journalism far outshines an academic's work.
— The Washington Post
Library Journal
In the last two years, quite a few books have been published about al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden. Most shed light on our understanding of how al Qaeda emerged as a potent threat to regimes world wide. What is distinctive about this particular book is that author Atwan met bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in 1996 and is intimately familiar with both the Muslim world and the West as the editor in chief of the London-based newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, which has been one of the main outlets for the release of al Qaeda communiques. Atwan objectively provides a detailed account of the organization's ideology, strategy, membership, and modus operandi, explaining al Qaeda's expert use of cyberspace to implement its goals. Among the interesting revelations is that there were several al Qaeda members, including Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of the so-called al Qaeda in Iraq, who opposed the 9/11 attacks as counterproductive and detrimental to the future of the organization. This is a readable and informative book on a subject about which much has been written but scant reliable information is available. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Nader Entessar, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780863568435
  • Publisher: Saqi
  • Publication date: 7/15/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Abdel Bari Atwan, a Palestinian, has lived in London for thirty years and is Editor in Chief of Al-Quds al-Arabi.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : inside the lair : with bin Laden at Tora Bora 15
1 Osama bin Laden 39
2 Holy warrior 64
3 Human bombs and the concept of martyrdom 89
4 Cyber-Jihad 120
5 Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia 150
6 Al Qaeda in Iraq 179
7 The future of al Qaeda 219
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