AFTER BIN LADEN by Abdel Bari Atwan

AFTER BIN LADEN

Al Qaeda, the Next Generation

KIRKUS REVIEW

An al-Qaida watcher lends some farsighted insight into the group’s motivation and direction.

Editor-in-chief of the London newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, Atwan (A Country of Words: A Palestinian Journey from the Refugee Camp to the Front Page, 2009, etc.) has evidently been studying the terrorist organization for decades (he interviewed Osama bin Laden twice). Here, he presents a wealth of strategic information and cleareyed assessment that casts American efforts in a fairly naïve light. There are some essential givens about the group that need to be grasped before an effective approach can be tendered: that the organization has only grown horizontally since the killing of bin Laden, so much so that the elimination of one leader only leads to martyrdom and replacement by others; the group is inextricably linked to the Taliban and will probably be present as the Taliban moves back into Afghanistan with the vacuum of American withdrawal; and the group has anticipated the fall of the Arab dictators and the re-establishment of an Islamic Caliphate across the Arab world, which looks something like the Arab Spring. Indeed, senior leaders such as Ayman Al-Zawahiri have been preaching this philosophy for some time. Atwan offers a chilling narrative that covers the group’s activity in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula, where it hopes for its strongest toehold; Iraq and Afghanistan, as the U.S. departs; the Maghreb, Africa, Indonesia, China and even ex-Soviet Muslim states; and an increase in “lone wolf” jihadist attacks in the West. Moreover, the group has cunningly adapted the Internet for its ideological spread.

A sobering, intensive report.

Pub Date: March 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59558-899-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: New Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2013




10 CHARACTERS WE LOVE TO HATE:

Nonfiction THE PRICE OF JUSTICE by Laurence Leamer
by Laurence Leamer
Fiction WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN by Lionel Shriver
by Lionel Shriver
Nonfiction MORTAL SINS by Michael D’Antonio
by Michael D’Antonio
Nonfiction AMONG MURDERERS by Sabine Heinlein
by Sabine Heinlein

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionTHE NEXT WAVE by Catherine Herridge
by Catherine Herridge
IndieBLACK LION by Carlos Viola
by Carlos Viola
NonfictionDINING WITH AL-QAEDA by Hugh Pope
by Hugh Pope