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The Siege of Mecca: The 1979 Uprising at Islam's Holiest Shrine

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The Siege of Mecca: The 1979 Uprising at Islam's Holiest Shrine Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. The same morning—the first of a new Muslim century—hundreds of gunmen stunned the world by seizing Islam’s holiest shrine, the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Armed with rifles that they had smuggled inside coffins, these men came from more than a dozen countries, launching the first operation of global jihad in modern times. Led by a Saudi preacher named Juhayman al Uteybi, they believed that the Saudi royal family had become a craven servant of American infidels, and sought a return to the glory of uncompromising Islam. With nearly 100,000 worshippers trapped inside the holy compound, Mecca’s bloody siege lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths.

Despite U.S. assistance, the Saudi royal family proved haplessly incapable of dislodging the occupier, whose ranks included American converts to Islam. In Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini blamed the Great Satan—the United States —for defiling the shrine, prompting mobs to storm and torch American embassies in Pakistan and Libya. The desperate Saudis finally enlisted the help of French commandos led by tough-as-nails Captain Paul Barril, who prepared the final assault and supplied poison gas that knocked out the insurgents. Though most captured gunmen were quickly beheaded, the Saudi royal family responded to this unprecedented challenge by compromising with the rebels’ supporters among the kingdom’s most senior clerics, helping them nurture and export Juhayman’s violent brand of Islam around the world.

This dramatic and immensely consequential story was barely covered in the press in the pre-CNN, pre–Al Jazeera days, as Saudi Arabia imposed an information blackout and kept foreign correspondents away. Yaroslav Trofimov now penetrates this veil of silence, interviewing for the first time scores of direct participants in the siege, including former terrorists, and drawing on hundreds of documents that had been declassified on his request. Written with the pacing, detail, and suspense of a real-life thriller, The Siege of Mecca reveals how Saudi reaction to the uprising in Mecca set free the forces that produced the attacks of 9/11, and the harrowing circumstances that surround us today.

Synopsis:

In The Siege of Mecca, acclaimed journalist Yaroslav Trofimov pulls back the curtain on a thrilling, pivotal, and overlooked episode of modern history, examining its repercussions on the Middle East and the world.

On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. That same morning, gunmen stunned the world by seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca, creating a siege that trapped 100,000 people and lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths. But in the days before CNN and Al Jazeera, the press barely took notice. Trofimov interviews for the first time scores of direct participants in the siege, and draws upon hundreds of newly declassified documents. With the pacing, detail, and suspense of a real-life thriller, The Siege of Mecca reveals the long-lasting aftereffects of the uprising and its influence on the world today.

Synopsis:

On November 20, 1979, the first morning of a new Muslim century, hundreds of gunmen stunned the world by seizing Islam's holiest shrine, the Grand Mosque in Mecca. These men came from more than a dozen countries, launching the first operation of global jihad in modern times. They believed that the Saudi royal family had become a craven servant of American infidels, and sought a return to the glory of uncompromising Islam. With nearly 100,000 worshippers trapped inside the holy compound, the bloody siege lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the U.S. and causing hundreds of deaths. The desperate Saudis finally enlisted the help of French commandos, who prepared the final assault. The Saudi royal family ultimately compromised with the rebels' supporters, helping to set free the forces that produced the attacks of 9/11 and the harrowing circumstances that surround us today.--From publisher description.

About the Author

Yaroslav Trofimov, an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, has extensively reported from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. He is also the author of Faith atWar: A Journey on the Frontlines of Islam, from Baghdad to Timbuktu.

www.siegeofmecca.com

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307472908
Subtitle:
The 1979 Uprising at Islam's Holiest Shrine
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Author:
Trofimov, Yaroslav
Author:
Yaroslav Trofimov
Subject:
History : Middle East - General
Subject:
Religion : Islam - History
Subject:
Political Science : Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Subject:
Religion : Islam - General
Subject:
Islam -- History.
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Subject:
Middle East - Saudi Arabia
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Mecca (Saudi Arabia)
Subject:
Mecca (Saudi Arabia) - History - Siege, 1979
Subject:
Middle East
Subject:
Middle East-Arabian Peninsula
Subject:
World History-Middle East
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20080909
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
336

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East
Religion » Islam » General
Religion » Islam » History

The Siege of Mecca: The 1979 Uprising at Islam's Holiest Shrine
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Product details 336 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780307472908 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In The Siege of Mecca, acclaimed journalist Yaroslav Trofimov pulls back the curtain on a thrilling, pivotal, and overlooked episode of modern history, examining its repercussions on the Middle East and the world.

On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. That same morning, gunmen stunned the world by seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca, creating a siege that trapped 100,000 people and lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths. But in the days before CNN and Al Jazeera, the press barely took notice. Trofimov interviews for the first time scores of direct participants in the siege, and draws upon hundreds of newly declassified documents. With the pacing, detail, and suspense of a real-life thriller, The Siege of Mecca reveals the long-lasting aftereffects of the uprising and its influence on the world today.

"Synopsis" by , On November 20, 1979, the first morning of a new Muslim century, hundreds of gunmen stunned the world by seizing Islam's holiest shrine, the Grand Mosque in Mecca. These men came from more than a dozen countries, launching the first operation of global jihad in modern times. They believed that the Saudi royal family had become a craven servant of American infidels, and sought a return to the glory of uncompromising Islam. With nearly 100,000 worshippers trapped inside the holy compound, the bloody siege lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the U.S. and causing hundreds of deaths. The desperate Saudis finally enlisted the help of French commandos, who prepared the final assault. The Saudi royal family ultimately compromised with the rebels' supporters, helping to set free the forces that produced the attacks of 9/11 and the harrowing circumstances that surround us today.--From publisher description.
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