The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 9/14/2011
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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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 leading authority on Islamic extremism, argues that the West has 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 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. He reveals that global 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. Gerges concludes that the movement has splintered into feuding factions, neutralizing itself more effectively than a Predator drone. Forceful, incisive, and written with extensive inside knowledge, this book will alter the debate on global terrorism.

Author Biography

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

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Life After Deathp. 3
The Rise of Al-Qaedap. 29
The Growing Riftp. 69
A Success and a Miscalculationp. 84
Decline and Fallp. 104
Legacies and Aftershocksp. 127
Conclusion: Down to Sizep. 192
Notesp. 215
Indexp. 249
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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