Skip to content
Open global navigation

Cambridge University Press

AcademicLocation selectorSearch toggleMain navigation toggle

Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist

Jihad in Saudi Arabia
Violence and Pan-Islamism since 1979

$120.00 (P)

Part of Cambridge Middle East Studies

  • Date Published: May 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521518581

$120.00 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Saudi Arabia, homeland of Osama bin Laden and many 9/11 hijackers, is widely considered to be the heartland of radical Islamism. For decades, the conservative and oil-rich kingdom contributed recruits, ideologues and money to jihadi groups worldwide. Yet Islamism within Saudi Arabia itself remains poorly understood. Why has Saudi Arabia produced so many militants? Has the Saudi government supported violent groups? How strong is al-Qaida's foothold in the kingdom and does it threaten the regime? Why did Bin Laden not launch a campaign there until 2003? This 2010 book presents the first ever history of Saudi jihadism based on extensive fieldwork in the kingdom and primary sources in Arabic. It offers a powerful explanation for the rise of Islamist militancy in Saudi Arabia and sheds crucial new light on the history of the global jihadist movement.

    • The first ever history of al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia - helps understand the causes of 9/11
    • Includes new information from fieldwork and primary sources to fill numerous holes in our understanding of radical Islamism
    • Contains detailed descriptions of recruitment and radicalisation in Saudi Arabia
    Read more


    • Silver Medal Winner, 2011 Arthur Ross Book Award

    Reviews & endorsements

    “A rare combination of sympathetic nuance and critical rigour…[A] useful corrective to common misreadings of the kingdom and deserve a wide audience…Mr. Hegghammer’s analysis of the rise and fall of Saudi jihadism reveals some fascinating details…Yet what stands out most are his persuasive insights. The spread of jihadist ideas in Saudi Arabia, it seems, owed as much to temporary local factors as to outside influences or, for that matter, to Islamic scripture. The state erred, for instance, with policing methods that switched abruptly from being so hard as to provoke anger to so soft as to dispel fear. Hair-splitting ideological rivalries between Islamists, meanwhile, led to a polarisation of the different camps and to a radicalisation of no more than a few men.”
    The Economist

    “The definitive work on Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, this book makes an exceptional contribution to studies of Saudi Arabia, political Islam, and comparative political violence.”
    David Commins, Dickinson College

    “Thomas Hegghammer presents the first substantiated study of the jihadist movement in Saudi Arabia. He brilliantly analyses a wealth of hitherto unexamined material and adds both depth and subtlety to our understanding of Islamic politics in the Kingdom. In doing so, he perceptively highlights the importance of pan-Islamism as a mobilizing and radicalizing factor. This informed and conceptually suggestive study deserves a very wide reading.”
    James Piscatori, The Australian National University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521518581
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The politics of pan-Islamism
    2. The classical jihadists
    3. Recruitment to the early jihad fronts
    4. Opportunities for global jihad
    5. Al-Qaida and Saudi Arabia
    6. Recruitment to al-Qaida
    7. Post-9/11 Saudi Arabia
    8. The Mujahidin on the Arabian Peninsula
    9. Recruitment to the QAP
    10. The failure of the jihad in Arabia

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Intro to Middle Eastern History
    • Introduction to Middle East Politics
    • Islam and Politics
  • Author

    Thomas Hegghammer, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment
    Thomas Hegghammer is a Senior Fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). He has contributed chapters to several edited books and his articles have appeared in journals such as International Affairs, The International Journal of Middle East Studies, The British Journal of Middle East Studies, The Middle East Journal, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, and The Times Literary Supplement.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Back to top

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel Delete

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.