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Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror


Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Inside Al Qaeda examines the leadership, ideology, structure, strategies, and tactics of the most violent politico-religious organization the world has ever seen. The definitive work on Al Qaeda, this book is based on five years of research, including extensive interviews with its members; field research in Al Qaeda-supported conflict zones in Central, South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East; and monitoring Al Qaeda infiltration of diaspora and migrant communities in North America and Europe.

Although founded in 1988, Al Qaeda merged with and still works with several other extremist groups. Hence Al Qaeda rank and file draw on nearly three decades of terrorist expertise. Moreover, it inherited a full-fledged training and operational infrastructure funded by the United States, European, Saudi Arabian and other governments for use in the anti-Soviet Jihad.

This book sheds light on Al Qaeda's financial infrastructure and how they train combat soldiers and vanguard fighters for multiple guerrilla, terrorist and semi-conventional campaigns in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Caucuses, and the Balkans. In addition, the author covers the clandestine Al Qaeda operational network in the West.

Gunaratna reveals:

how Osama bin Laden had his mentor and Al Qaeda founder, Azzam, assassinated in order to take over the organization and that other Al Qaeda officers who stood in his way were murdered,

Al Qaeda's long-range, deep-penetration agent handling system in Western Europe and North America for setting up safe houses, procuring weapons, and conducting operations,

how the O55 Brigade, Al Qaeda's guerrilla organization, integrated into the Taliban,

how the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui forced Al Qaeda to move forward on September 11,

how a plan to destroy British Parliament on 9/11 and to use nerve gas on the European Union Parliament were thwarted,

how the Iran--Hezbollah--Al Qaeda link provided the knowledge to conduct coordinated, simultaneous attacks on multiple targets, including failed plans to destroy Los Angeles International Airport, the USS Sullivan, the Radisson Hotel in Jordan, and eleven US commercial airliners over the Pacific ocean,

that one-fifth of international Islamic charities and NGOs are infiltrated by Al Qaeda,

how the US response is effective militarily in the short term, but insufficient to counter Al Qaeda's ideology in the long-term.

Finally, to destroy Al Qaeda, Gunaratna shows there needs to be a multipronged, multiagency, and multidimensional response by the international community.

Book News Annotation:

Arguing that Al-Qaeda is a more widespread and dangerous threat than has previously been realized, Gunaratna (Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, U. of St. Andrews, Scotland) sketches the origins of the organization; discusses its ideology, structural organization, and organizational connections; and assesses the international response to its activities. He makes sweeping claims that go far beyond previous assessments of the organization, suggesting that they control a fifth of all Muslim charitable organizations, that their reach into Muslim political organizations across the globe is extensive, and that numerous operations not previously connected to them are part of an extensive coordinated campaign against the West. He suggests that current strategies for battling them may have some short-term successes, but what is needed in the long-term is a sophisticated international inter-agency police effort.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


The definitive work on Al Qae'da from the expert summoned by Congress following September 11 to explain its organization, tactics, and unprecedented global reach. 30 illustrations.

Product Details

Gunaratna, Rohan
Columbia University Press
New York
Middle East - General
International Security
Qaida (Organization)
Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Political Freedom & Security - International Secur
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
no. 295
Publication Date:
9.40x6.20x.91 in. 1.22 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Terrorism Mercenaries and Guerrillas
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
History and Social Science » Politics » Terrorism
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East

Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror New Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Columbia University Press - English 9780231126922 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The definitive work on Al Qae'da from the expert summoned by Congress following September 11 to explain its organization, tactics, and unprecedented global reach. 30 illustrations.
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