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Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam [Paperback]

Mark Curtis
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2010

In Secret Affairs, Mark Curtis shows how Britain has helped create the Islamic terrorism that now threatens us. Exploring how the bombings of 7/7 can be traced back to groups and individuals trained and supported by Britain, Curtis draws on formerly classified government files to unravel a long history of the British government's secret collusion with and direct involvement in Islamic terrorism, from 1945 to the present day.

From the overthrow of Iran's popular government during the 1950s and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, to Libya, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia's ruthless internal oppression, Secret Affairs shows Britain's hidden hand in the rise of global terrorism. At a time when British forces are being sent to wage war in Afghanistan in increasing numbers, Mark Curtis' book shows how the seeds of today's lose-lose situation were sown a long time ago in a hidden politics as ineffective as it was immoral.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (1 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846687632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846687631
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 399,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


As much of history is appropriated by the media and we are beckoned into an era of endless war, this superb book could not be more timely. Sensational in the best sense, it examines the darkest corners of the imperial past to reveal the truth behind today's news (John Pilger)

This latest contribution to the remarkable record of post-World War II British foreign policy that Mark Curtis has been compiling presents often startling and deeply disturbing evidence about how, in an effort to preserve

declining influence in the world's oil-producing regions, the government has lent frequent and critical support to the states that have been the primary sponsors of radical Islam and the terrorism that it spawns, and even to the

groups that have emerged. Unearthing this largely hidden history is a contribution of the highest significance, and could hardly be more timely.

(Noam Chomsky)

This valuable and important book by Mark Curtis, the result of painstaking and extensive research into declassified files on British policy towards the Islamic world over the last half century, presents a far more accurate and balanced picture than the shallow simplicities fed by Bush?s so-called war on terror.

It shows in extensive detail how Britain and the US have repeatedly sided with radical Islamic forces in the Middle East and elsewhere as counterweights to check the rise of nationalism, as shock troops to bring about pro-Western regime change, and as proxies to fight wars against the West?s enemies. There is no war between civilizations (Bush), no Manichaean struggle between the good and evil forces of Islam (Blair), rather the ever-present serpentine thread of shifting alliances to maintain British control of key energy resources and Britain?s place in a pro-Western global financial order centred on Saudi Arabia.

This is a fascinating account which can change outlooks and deepen comprehension of a hugely misunderstood drama, and it should be compelling reading before any further Middle East wars are set in train.

(Michael Meacher, MP)

Book Description

Revelatory investigation into Britain's secret collaboration with radical islam

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant exposé 12 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The thousands of pieces of evidence that Curtis has amassed and structured into this remarkably coherent book, present a convincing picture of a country that has been (and continues to be) put at risk through the machinations of unseen and unaccountable people working for secret organisations, whose motives and strategies are as opaque as they are questionable. Yet, even if their purposes remain opaque, there has been an remarkable consistency in the nature of their plottings over the century since the break-up of the Turkish Ottoman empire and the establishment of the nations of the Middle East that were created largely by the British in pursuit of a "divide and rule" policy designed to retain control over the oil wealth in the region.

Curtis presents clear evidence that throughout its post-colonial history, beginning even as far back as the 1920s, British governments and Civil Service have exploited Islam and Islamic fundamentalism for its own (obscure) purposes - from the establishment of the Saudi kingdom; the division of India in 1948 to create the strategically useful Muslim state of Pakistan; to the support of the Muslim Brotherhood during Nasser's control over Egypt; to the backing of both sides during the Israeli-Palestinian wars; to the active support of terrorists (including Bin Laden) during the Afghan-Russian war; to the support of KLA and other terrorists during the Bosnian and Kosovan wars. Even after the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks, Britain continued to harbour known terrorists on its shores, giving them a safe-haven from American, French and other prosecutors.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
In this stunning book, historian Mark Curtis details the British state's collusion with Islamic terrorists and their state sponsors.

Britain is allied with the two major sponsors of Islamist terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia funded Al Qa'ida and Pakistan funded the 7/7 bombers. As the interim report of the 9/11 Commission said, "Pakistan, not Iraq, was a patron of terrorism."

Britain was the second largest investor in Pakistan, which received Britain's third largest aid programme in Asia. By 2001, 900 British citizens were visiting Kashmir for military training every year.

London is a base for many jihadist groups including Algeria's Armed Islamic Group, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and Osama bin Laden's front, the Advice and Reformation Committee. After 9/11, the Terrorism Act made it an offence to send someone abroad for terrorist training, yet Abu Hamza wasn't touched for years.

In 2004, MI5 heard the London bombers `talking about jihadi activity in Pakistan and support for the Taliban', but as they weren't talking about terrorist attacks in Britain, MI5 left them alone. Britain, like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, tries to get its own terrorists to attack only targets abroad.

In April 2005, three months before the London bombings, the Joint Intelligence Committee said that the war in Iraq `has exacerbated the threat from international terrorism'. The bombings stemmed from the terrorist bases set up by the Pakistani state, backed by the British state. British governments accuse Iran of what Saudi Arabia and Pakistan do - backing and training terrorists.

The war in Afghanistan in the 1980s was Britain's biggest covert operation since 1945.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a sad world we live in!! 6 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have recently returned from a four week holiday to Iran. Whilst this beautiful country is full of very friendly people, who apologized endlessly for their country's poor relations with the rest of the world, they all asked me why the UK and US keep "scheming behind the scenes" in the Middle East and Central Asia. This book substantiates this belief, but from a European perspective, and goes a long way to explaining how it is that the UK Government, which claims every day to be here to protect its citizens from terrorism, was the principal sponsor if not creator of Islamic terrorism. What a sad world we live in!! The saddest part is, having chosen its friends, the UK Government can not even be loyal - look at the speed with which David Cameron dumped his buddy Mr Mubarak. This book explains all in simple terms and with a lot of detailed evidence. It joins the dots between well know events and fills in the missing parts to make a coherent story. My only (small) complaint is that Mr Curtis does not clearly explain reason the Islamic terrorists turned on their sponsors (the UK and US) in the early 1990s. I recommend this book.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book. 17 Aug 2010
This is a very informative book on the true relationship between Britain and Islamist. In a sense it takes the lid off the 'Secret Affair' between the British state and Islamist and reveals why this geo-political relationship exists. And how Britain has attempted to use extreme Islamists to her advantage.

Mark Curtis is one of only a few British dissidents in the UK who focuses on British foreign policy per se. He is not one of these Chomsky regurgitators, who simply focuses on what America is getting upto. Curtis brings dissent back to us.

If you are looking for something truely beyond the headlines,'BBC impartiality' and formuliac American-obsessed dissent, then this book is certainly the starting point.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Two faced Tories ( and Labour) sitting sozzled in their Mayfair club...
Two faced Tories ( and Labour) sitting sozzled in their Mayfair club deciding which Arab du jour is to be killed, sick scum. Read more
Published 3 months ago by C. duffy
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be a wake-up call to every British subject!
This should be a wake-up call to every British subject! (I hesitate to use the word citizen).
If half of what Mark Curtis has written is true then we are in real trouble. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Socrates
4.0 out of 5 stars One should not miss
It is an informative book with a document support of all articles, and it explores a lot of grey areas in the recent history
Published 3 months ago by magdy
2.0 out of 5 stars Gloomy and ultra-cynical
I have given up on this book about half-way through. On the assumption that Mark Curtis is a man of integrity, I have no reason to doubt his facts, though of course I cannot... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mary Fairfield
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant political book to read
It makes you understdand the politics in the area of the Middle East and how Britain has always been involved and shaping this area of the world.
Published 8 months ago by Dina Fathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret Affaris
Mark Curtis is a contemporary Historian and he is brilliantly disclosed events and facts, corroborations of the British and the US governments in creating the Hard Core Muslim... Read more
Published 10 months ago by E. Butt
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
If this won't scare you then you must be part of the Occupation Army here in England! The bare Truth of the lies of HMG for 100 years plus!
Published 12 months ago by Rd Harper
5.0 out of 5 stars I hear its very good :)
Got this for my dad on fathers day, He loves it and said it is very gripping and truthful,

Not sure what else I can say, I havent personally read it, but the rest of the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by aaron
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener
I haven't finished the book yet, but have read enough so far to recommend it as a good read and educational tool
Published 12 months ago by Mrs. Frances A. Waldron
5.0 out of 5 stars Documented historical facts about terror
Excellent and a must read about the relationship between the Muslim Brothers and its terrorists affiliates with the the UK
Published 13 months ago by Maurice Elfeke
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