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The Far Enemy
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  • Cited by 87
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Ibrahimi, S. Yaqub 2018. Theory of the rise of al-Qaeda. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, Vol. 10, Issue. 2, p. 138.

    Kassab, Hanna Samir 2018. Grand Strategies of Weak States and Great Powers. p. 25.

    Messerschmidt, James W. and Rohde, Achim 2018. Osama Bin Laden and His Jihadist Global Hegemonic Masculinity. Gender & Society, Vol. 32, Issue. 5, p. 663.

    Tosini, Domenico 2018. The suicide bomber as a medium of terrorist communication: a contribution from social systems theory. International Review of Sociology, Vol. 28, Issue. 3, p. 524.

    Glazzard, Andrew Jesperson, Sasha Maguire, Thomas and Winterbotham, Emily 2018. Conflict, Violent Extremism and Development. p. 75.

    Ibrahimi, S. Yaqub 2018. Unipolar politics and global peace: a structural explanation of the globalizing jihad. Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, Vol. 11, Issue. 1, p. 50.

    Glazzard, Andrew Jesperson, Sasha Maguire, Thomas and Winterbotham, Emily 2018. Conflict, Violent Extremism and Development. p. 3.

    Ahmad, Jared 2018. Serving the same interests: The Wood Green ricin plot, media–state–terror relations and the ‘terrorism’ dispositif. Media, War & Conflict, p. 175063521881092.

    Cragin, R. Kim and Stipanovich, Susan 2017. Metastases: Exploring the impact of foreign fighters in conflicts abroad. Journal of Strategic Studies, p. 1.

    Cragin, R. Kim 2017. The Challenge of Foreign Fighter Returnees. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Vol. 33, Issue. 3, p. 292.

    Heath-Kelly, Charlotte 2017. The geography of pre-criminal space: epidemiological imaginations of radicalisation risk in the UK Prevent Strategy, 2007–2017. Critical Studies on Terrorism, Vol. 10, Issue. 2, p. 297.

    Ciftci, Sabri O’Donnell, Becky J. and Tanner, Allison 2017. Who Favors al-Qaeda? Anti-Americanism, Religious Outlooks, and Favorable Attitudes toward Terrorist Organizations. Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 70, Issue. 3, p. 480.

    Thompson, Gareth 2017. Parallels in propaganda? A comparative historical analysis of Islamic State and the Nazi Party. Journal of Public Relations Research, Vol. 29, Issue. 1, p. 51.

    Glazzard, Andrew Jesperson, Sasha Maguire, Thomas and Winterbotham, Emily 2017. Islamist Violent Extremism: A New Form of Conflict or Business as Usual?. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, Vol. 6, Issue. 1,

    Chalmers, Ian 2017. Countering Violent Extremism in Indonesia: Bringing Back the Jihadists. Asian Studies Review, Vol. 41, Issue. 3, p. 331.

    Kassab, Hanna Samir 2017. Prioritization Theory and Defensive Foreign Policy. p. 127.

    Boeke, Sergei 2016. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: Terrorism, insurgency, or organized crime?. Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 27, Issue. 5, p. 914.

    Joffé, George 2016. Global Jihad and Foreign Fighters. Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 27, Issue. 5, p. 800.

    Bezhan, Faridullah 2016. War and the Radicalization of Afghan Society in Maryam Mahboob’s Short Stories. Women's Studies, Vol. 45, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Joffé, George 2016. The fateful phoenix: the revival of Al-Qa’ida in Iraq. Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 27, Issue. 1, p. 1.


Book description

Since September 11, Al Qaeda has been portrayed as an Islamist front united in armed struggle, or jihad, against the Christian West. However, as the historian and commentator Fawaz A. Gerges argues, the reality is rather different. In fact, Al Qaeda represents a minority within the jihadist movement, and its strategies have been criticized and opposed by religious nationalists among the jihadis, who prefer to concentrate on changing the Muslim world rather than taking the fight global. Based on primary field research, the author unravels the story of the jihadist movement and explores its philosophies, its structure, the rifts and tensions that split its ranks, and why some members, like Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, favored international over local strategies in taking the war to the West. Gerges asks where the jihadist movement is going, and whether it can be transformed into a non-violent, socio-political force.


'In this well-grounded and … gripping account of militant Islamist activism, Gerges gives the most persuasive explanation yet for the direction taken by those jihadis who have set their sights on nothing less than a shift in the global balance of power. Taking these ruthless idealists of the new century seriously, through their writings and through interviews, he brings an immediacy to the story which shows up their limitations, but also underlines the ferocity of their desire to eliminate those who stand against them.'

Charles Tripp - School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

'Fawaz Gerges has written an authoritative, deeply-researched account of jihadist movements around the Middle East, and shows that these movements, far from monolithic, are rife with ideological and strategic debates. This stimulating and well-written book will be of great interest to the general reader and the specialist alike.'

Peter Bergen - CNN Terrorism Analyst and author of Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden

'No previous author has gone as far as Fawaz Gerges in explaining and illustrating the politics of Al Qaeda. On the basis of many interviews with jihadi militants, a close reading of the voluminous Arab literature thrown by its members, and, not least, the author's astute and historically informed judgment, he has produced a rich and most informative portrait of this movement. Identifying the political costs to the Arab world of this extreme, if very much minoritarian tendency, he also shows how repeated miscalculations by the West, from Afghanistan in the 1980s to Iraq after 2003, have given a new lease of life to the anger and fantasies of bin Laden and his followers.'

Fred Halliday - London School of Economics and author of Two Hours that Shook the World and 100 Myths About Islam

'Those interested in jihadist thought should consider Fawaz A. Gerges's The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global, a well-researched account of how the Islamist movement is riven by ideological disputes and petty feuds.'

Peter Bergen - author of The Osama Bin Laden I Know, Washington Post

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