Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam (Paperback)

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Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam (Paperback)

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On a hot summer's day in 1996 a plane carrying Osama bin Laden and a few friends and family landed at a runway just outside the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. The Saudi-born Islamic activist had little equipment, few followers and minimal local support. Yet within five years he had built an organisation that was to carry out the most shocking and devastating terrorist attack in history. 'Al-Qaeda' is now the most over-used and misunderstood term in the media. In Arabic, it is simply an abstract noun, meaning 'resource', 'network' or 'base'. In the West, it symbolises the greatest threat to global security: though its Afghan training camps have now been reduced to dust, no one believes that al-Qaeda was destroyed with them. But what is al-Qaeda? Is it a disciplined, motivated, structured terrorist organisation led by a single criminal mastermind or no more than an idea, a language in which angry young Muslim men can articulate their rage? Bin Laden's aim to provoke conflict between militant Islam and the West appears closer to fulfilment than ever. But is al-Qaeda the catalyst of this conflict, or merely a symbol of it? Drawing on his unparalleled experience Jason Burke provides.
Jason Burke is the prize-winning Chief Reporter for The Observer, London. He has spent the last five years in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, on the trail of Osama bin Laden and his followers.
Product Details ISBN: 9781850436669
ISBN-10: 1850436665
Publisher: I. B. Tauris & Company
Publication Date: October 1st, 2004
Pages: 400
Language: English

"An accurate analysis...an informative book."-- Albert Smith, The Irish Independent
"A must-read...Burke's sophisticated view of Al-Qaeda is convincing. Burke's book is the one that will last. It's a triumph."--Giles Foden, The Guardian
"This book is an eye-opener... authoritative and detailed"--Hazhir Teimourian, The Literary Review
"This young, impassioned journalist has made an important contribution to the growing literature on al Qaeda."-Jeff Stein, Washington Post Book World
"He has given us an indispensable guide to the multidimensional reality of Al-Qaeda"-- John Gray, New Statesman
"...more lively and powerful than most of the recent books on the subject."--Publishers Weekly
"...Burke has taken the time to sort it out...compulsory reading for Rumsfeld and his clique."--Sam Kiley, The Evening Standard (UK)
"Fascinating...packed full with totally new material."--Gilles Kepel, author of Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam
"...a book which vastly increases our understanding of the Al-Qaeda phenomenon. Burke writes with admirable lucidity and the benefit of his frontline reporting and deep research."--Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc.

''Drawing on frontline experience, on secret documents, and on interviews with intelligence officers, militants, mujahideen commanders and bin Laden associates, the author reveals the story of al-militants, mujahidden commanders and bin Laden associates, the author reveals the story of al-Qaeda, and demolishes the myths that underpin the ‘war on terror’.  He demonstrates the ‘al-Qaeda is merely a convenient label applied by the West to a far broader phenomenon of Islamic militancy, and shows how eradicating a single figure or group will do nothing to combat terrorism.  Only by understanding the true complex nature of ‘al-Qaeda’, he argues, can we address the real issues surrounding our security today.’’-- Oxfam Development Resources Review





"He has given us an indispensable guide to the multidimensional reality of Al-Qaeda"

-John Gray


"Fascinating...packed full with totally new material."

-Gilles Kepel


"...a book which vastly increases our understanding of the Al-Qaeda phenomenon. Burke writes with admirable lucidity and the benefit of his frontline reporting and deep research."

-Peter Bergen