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Since 9/11, al-Qaida has become one of the most infamous and widely discussed terrorist organizations in the world, with affiliates spread across the globe. However, little-known are the group's activities within Afghanistan itself, something which Anne Stenersen examines in this book. Using an array of unique primary sources, she presents an alternative narrative of al-Qaida's goals and strategies prior to 9/11. She argues that al-Qaida's actions were not just an ideological expression of religious fanaticism and violent anti-Americanism, but that they were actually far more practical and organised, with a more revolutionary and Middle Eastern-focused agenda than previously thought. Through Stenersen's analysis, we see how al-Qaida employed a dual strategy: with a small section focused on staging international terrorist attacks, but at the same time a larger part dedicated to building a resilient and cohesive organization that would ultimately serve as a vanguard for future Islamist revolutions.Read more
- Examines al-Qaida's activities in Afghanistan prior to 9/11, maintaining focus on how the group organised itself and its members
- Uses internal documents from al-Qaida's top leadership to provide new insight into the creation and implementation of strategy
- Makes systematic use of new and inaccessible primary sources in Arabic and Pashto, presenting a novel and convincing narrative of the history of al-Qaida's relationship with the Taliban
Reviews & endorsements
'Anne Stenersen has written what surely is the definitive account of al-Qaida in Afghanistan. She writes with great authority and also is even-handed and well balanced in her assessments.' Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden, from 9/11 to AbbottabadSee more reviews
'This is the most comprehensive, carefully researched and detailed account of al-Qaida in Afghanistan until 2001. Stenersen makes in particular extensive use of Arabic sources, many of which have become available in recent years, and comes to a more sophisticated understanding of the organisation's aims and strategy.' Antonio Giustozzi, King's College, University of London
'Using a vast range of previously unexploited sources in multiple languages, Anne Stenersen reveals al-Qaida's strategic and operational doctrines, which were more complex and flexible than they are usually portrayed. Al-Qaida continues to show that it is far from defeated, and anyone who wants to know what it may be planning should read this outstanding and path-breaking book.' Barnett Rubin, Center of International Cooperation, New York University
'Fifteen years after 9/11, we finally have an in-depth organizational history of al-Qaida in its 'golden age'. Anyone seeking a deeper understanding of why 9/11 happened must read this book.' Thomas Hegghammer, Norweigan Defence Research Establishment
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- Date Published: July 2017
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107075139
- length: 220 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 158 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.45kg
- contains: 4 maps
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
2. Training under pressure
3. Return of the Sheikh
4. The troublesome guest
5. Training under the Taliban
6. Taliban's policies towards the Arabs
7. Frontline participation
8. International terrorism
9. Al-Qaida's dual strategy
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