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Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida since 9/11

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  167 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
This comprehensive, landmark history chronicles our ongoing battle against al-Qa’ida, the greatest threat the West has faced in the modern era. An internationally recognized authority on terrorism and counterinsurgency, Seth G. Jones presents a dramatic narrative of the on-the-ground police work; the elaborate, multiyear investigations led by the CIA, FBI, and Britain’s MI ...more
Hardcover, 534 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by W. W. Norton Company
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David Quinn
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid, workmanlike, readable history of al Qaeda. This is a book I wanted to keep reading and one I remembered after putting it aside. The book was published in 2012 and with any history of a dynamic organization much has happened since that time.

Early on I thought the author gave too much credit to the CIA but he seemed to offer some criticism later on. (As a contrast I hated Tim Weiner's "Legacy of Ashes" where I thought he went out of his way to fault the CIA at every turn in his history of
Joseph Stieb
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: terrorism
As a Rand Corporation analyst and former advisor to the US Special Operations Command in Afghanistan, Seth Jones is well-equipped to offer expansive thoughts about counterterrorism strategy. His latest book, Hunting in the Shadows, is a survey of the struggle of the US and Europe against al Qa’ida and its affiliates from 1998-2011. Jones frames the West’s battle with terrorism as a series of three waves in which al Qa’ida’s effectiveness, popularity among Muslims, and organizational structure ha ...more
Bryn Dunham
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hunting in the Shadows is a very interesting account of al Qaeda's operations and status since 9/11. This chronicles the various operations conducted or inspired by al Qaeda and the various individuals in carrying out the plots and the aftermath. What the author argues is that al Qaeda's operations come in waves in which operations are planned grow strength and attempted or carried out followed by a lull as those attempts are responded to. For example the first wave began with the US Embassy bom ...more
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A comprehensive, well-written, and riveting history of both al-Qaeda since 9/11 and the overt and covert war against it by the US and Britain. Jones has a good grasp of the subject matter, makes his work easy to read, and does a fine job portraying how al-Qaeda perceives its war against the West, which doesn’t always make sense from a Western perspective.

Jones writes that al-Qaeda activity comes in “waves,” and he also shows how the intensity of international counterterrorism efforts force the
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent history of al-Qaida. The author bases his book on the hypothesis that there have been three major waves of the terrorist organization with the first wave beginning with the embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya and the third wave ending with the assassination of Osama bin Laden. The book draws on a variety of sources within the intelligence agencies of the United States and the UK and is very well written. The book is easy to read and also accessible to those who have limi ...more
John Magee
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great chronicle of the recent "War on Terror". This book connected the dots between many news snippets I'd heard over the years and gave me a greater understanding of terrorist networks and the complex political structure of the Middle East.
Matt S
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Clear, detailed, poignant, accurate. There are dozens of words capable of describing this account. I'm looking forward to a new addition with some added detail of the past four years.
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