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Al Qaeda in Its Own Words

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3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  38 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Despite the frequent appearances of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri on television screens worldwide, Al Qaeda remains an elusive entity. As the world has grown increasingly familiar with the spectacle of Islamist terrorism, Al Qaeda's essential worldview has remained bewilderingly opaque. To reveal its inner workings, Gilles Kepel and his collaborators, all scholars ...more
Paperback, 363 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Belknap Press (first published January 1st 2005)
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Tariq Mahmood
Dec 01, 2012 Tariq Mahmood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terrorism
If you want to find out what 'the rules' or Al Qaida really means, the. This book is the right choice. As a knowledgeable Muslim with a lot of study of the Islamic history, I found the references and notes section very useful indeed as it furthered by understandings of the latent and searing resentment felt by Sunnis towards their present plight. Basically, it's everyone else's fault that they find their society struggling and decadent. Too much focus on history of a bygone era will naturally re ...more
Sean Glover
Aug 15, 2009 Sean Glover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for the social science style analysis of Islamic fundamentalism. While the dogmatic diatribes were not very engaging, the authors notes on the texts were informative enough to make it worthwhile, especially references to the atrocities the Muslim world has seen in contemporary history, for examples, the civil war in Tajikistan, scapegoating in Burma, wars in Chechnya and Bosnia, massacres in Lebanon (1962?) and Jenin (2002)and the international sanctions around the first Iraq wa ...more
Amar Pai
Aug 29, 2012 Amar Pai rated it really liked it
Scholarly yet accessible

Update 9/12/2012: This book is more relevant than ever, e.g. see this article on the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya. Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abdullah Azzam are two of the four al-Qaeda members whose writings are profiled in Al Qaeda in Its Own Words. Azzam in particular is worth knowing more about; he was the "preeminent theoretician of global jihad," and the major ideological force behind al-Qaeda and related movements. He's not as well known as Osama bin Laden, but
...more
Andrew
Jan 18, 2010 Andrew rated it it was amazing
This is an important work. It provides a collection of literature from four of the principal architects of the Al Qaeda movement. Before each of the four sections, it provides a detailed historical background to set the thinker in a tangible context and prepare the reader who might otherwise be lost in a set of foreign ideas.

I recommend it to anyone who sincerely believes it is necessary to understand the other side in the global conflict on terrorism, not just obliterate it.
Jon Levinson
Jun 24, 2014 Jon Levinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and dense.
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68791
A French scholar and analyst of the Islamic and the Arab world. He has written works on Radical Islam including Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. He was the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs for 2009-10 at LSE IDEAS (Centre for Diplomacy & Strategy, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Professor Kepel has previously been a visiting professor at Col
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