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The Secret History Of Al-Qa'ida

Abdel-Bari Atwan

4 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, Sociology & anthropology

* A unique and indispensable insight into the story of al-Qa'ida from a UK-based Arab Muslim journalist and expert on the organisation

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. In this book, Atwan reveals how al-Qa'ida's radical departure from the classic terrorist / guerrilla blueprint has enabled it to outpace less adaptable efforts to neutralise 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 also argues that current events in the Middle East represent 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.

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Praise for The Secret History Of Al-Qa'ida

  • Wonderful ... required reading for anyone concerned with the future of the globe - SPECTATOR

  • What shines out is a profound desire to investigate and reveal the truth ... intelligent and informative - Jason Burke, GUARDIAN

  • Scholarly, analytical, objective, it is also intensely readable, being by far the best book on the subject - Rt Hon Tony Benn

  • This is a must-read book for anyone interested in understanding our increasingly scary world - Gavin Esler

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