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The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda

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The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this concise and fascinating book, Fawaz A. Gerges argues that Al-Qaeda has degenerated into a fractured, marginal body kept alive largely by the self-serving anti-terrorist bureaucracy it helped to spawn.

In The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda, Gerges, a public intellectual known widely for his expertise on radical ideologies, including jihadism, argues that the Western powers have become mired in a "terrorism narrative," stemming from the mistaken belief that America is in danger of a devastating attack by a crippled al-Qaeda. To explain why al-Qaeda is no longer a threat, he provides a briskly written history of the organization, showing its emergence from the disintegrating local jihadist movements of the mid-1990s-not just the Afghan resistance of the 1980s, as many believe-in "a desperate effort to rescue a sinking ship by altering its course." During this period, Gerges interviewed many jihadis, gaining a first-hand view of the movement that bin Laden tried to reshape by internationalizing it. Gerges reveals that transnational jihad has attracted but a small minority within the Arab world and possesses no viable social and popular base. Furthermore, he shows that the attacks of September 11, 2001, were a major miscalculation--no "river" of fighters flooded from Arab countries to defend al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, as bin Laden expected. The democratic revolutions that swept the Middle East in early 2011 show that al-Qaeda today is a non-entity which exercises no influence over Arabs' political life.

Gerges shows that there is a link between the new phenomenon of homegrown extremism in Western societies and the war on terror, particularly in Afghanistan-Pakistan, and that homegrown terror exposes the structural weakness, not strength, of bin Laden's al-Qaeda. Gerges concludes that the movement has splintered into feuding factions, neutralizing itself more effectively than any Predator drone.

Forceful, incisive, and written with extensive inside knowledge, this book will alter the debate on global terrorism.

About the Author

Fawaz A. Gerges, the Director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics, is Professor of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations. His books include Journey of the Jihadist and The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global.

Table of Contents

Intro: Life After Death

1: The Rise of al-Qaeda

2: The Growing Rift

3: A Success and a Miscalculation

4: Decline and Fall

5: Legacies and Aftershocks

Conclusion: Down to Size

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199974689
Author:
Gerges, Fawaz A.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Subject:
Politics
Subject:
Politics - General
Publication Date:
20140231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
5.4 x 8.2 x 0.9 in 0.6 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda New Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199974689 Reviews:
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