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The Secret History Of Al-Qa'ida Paperback – 5 Apr 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349120358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349120355
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 810,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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)

Book Description

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

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Abdel Bari Atwan has made a genuine contribution to our understanding of the complex issues associated with Al-Qaida. The book has the considerable dual merit of being very readable whilst being informative in depth. The author is at pains to be objective in his appraisal of the situation and, as a consequence, the book is relevant to both Muslim and non-Muslim readers. Likewise, there is no particular political stance but, notwithstanding, one can only hope that those who make decisions on our behalf are influenced either directly or indirectly by Abdel Bari Atwan's analysis and, more importantly, his conclusions.
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Format: Hardcover
This book, is meant as the title says, with a lot of knowledge of the subject. The author is perhaps the most qualified author of such a book as he has been in the field of Arabic and Islamic news coverage and analysis for decades as well as he have personally met with Bin laden in Tora Bora caves, it is useful and can be used as a reference.
The author is also rather funny in the way he describes his adventuress trip to Bin Laden and the fears he encountered; he also distinguished between the legitimate Jihad resistance and terrorism, the book goes deep into the war in Iraq and the long term strategy of alqaeda to defeat the Americans on Arabic territory. This book is a must read.
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Format: Paperback
Abdel Bari Atwan, a Palestinian exile in London and editor at al-Quds al-Arabi, has written an interesting book on Al-Qa'ida. The book itself is a useful introduction to the Al-Qa'ida movement that in a matter of fact way gives the reader an insight into the grievances that brought Al-Qa'ida into existence, a description of the organisation and how it functions, its strategy and its methods.

It is obvious that the Muslim world in general has many legitimate grievances regarding western interference stretching over a number of decades: the lack of any meaningful intervention with regard to the Israel/Palestine conflict, the support for the dictatorial regimes of a number of states in the area - Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Saudia Arabia, etc, the sanctions (pre 2003) against Iraq and the subsequent invasion of that same country. In the authors opinion they do not hate us for what we are but for what we have done, or at any rate what our governments have done in our name. The grievances in short are real regardless of what you think of the methods of Bin Laden who evidently thinks that the bombings in London, Madrid, Kenya, Tanzania and the attacks of 9/11 are a price worth paying (ala Madeline Albright) in pursuit of his agenda.

The chapter on suicide bombers is probably the strongest piece of writing in the book. Atwan considers this phenomena in a number of places at different times: Sri Lanka, Palestine, Vietnam, Iraq and of course the 9/11 attacks on the United States. A number of myths regarding this practice, which Mike Davis (see
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