How was it possible for one middle-aged Saudi millionaire to have threatened the world's only superpower? How did he evade capture for so long? And how was he eventually found and killed? These are the questions at the centre of Jonathan Randal's riveting account of Osama bin Laden's role in the rise of terrorism in the Middle East. Randal - a ...
How was it possible for one middle-aged Saudi millionaire to have threatened the world's only superpower? How did he evade capture for so long? And how was he eventually found and killed? These are the questions at the centre of Jonathan Randal's riveting account of Osama bin Laden's role in the rise of terrorism in the Middle East. Randal - a journalist whose experience of the Middle East spans the past forty years - makes clear how Osama's life epitomized the fatal collision between the twenty-first century West and the Islamic world. His investigations into the history of 'Al-Qaeda' produce all kinds of surprises, such as the real sources of Osama's money, and the possibility that Osama offered the Saudis his band of radical Islamist fighters to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in 1991. In this latest, fully-updated edition, Randal explores the background and ideologies of Al-Qaeda and its leader, and his eventual death at the hands of US Navy SEALs. With his long-maintained sources in the Middle East and his intimate understanding of the region, Randal gives us a clearer explanation than any we have had of why, where and how the world's most feared terrorist operated.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-07-12 This study of the terrorist leader is an outstanding achievement, especially in light of the inherent difficulty in writing at length about so elusive a man, who rarely appears in public, has left few written traces yet has a larger-than-life stature. Randal, a veteran Middle East correspondent, triumphs over this challenge and succeeds in presenting bin Laden's life as representative of a larger regional narrative. Randal gives a thorough and penetrating look into the different stages of bin Laden's life and how each battle hardened his resolve, deepened his sense of struggle and intensified his anger. Randal is systematic in outlining the failures and miscalculations of the U.S. in its attempts to contain and thwart bin Laden-most notably, Clinton's series of bombings in Afghanistan and Sudan, which, in failing to kill bin Laden, led many Muslims to believe that Allah had saved him and boosted his reputation hugely. Randal's writing is lively and rich, and he conveys complicated developments with ease and often grace. At one point he cleverly characterizes Osama as "a cross between the president of the Jihad Incorporated money machine and the head of a maverick Ford Foundation dispensing seed-money grants of a very special nature." Full of sharp prose (Osama as a "Muslim Samson" who "brought the temple down on his Taliban hosts") and shrewd assessments, this is a trenchant look into the life and mindset of one of the world's most mysterious, menacing and important figures. (Aug. 26) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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