Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Caravan
Abdallah Azzam and the Rise of Global Jihad

$44.99 (G)

Award Winner
  • Date Published: March 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521765954

$ 44.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

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
  • Abdallah Azzam, the Palestinian cleric who led the mobilization of Arab fighters to Afghanistan in the 1980s, played a crucial role in the internationalization of the jihadi movement. Killed in mysterious circumstances in 1989 in Peshawar, Pakistan, he remains one of the most influential jihadi ideologues of all time. Here, in the first in-depth biography of Azzam, Thomas Hegghammer explains how Azzam came to play this role and why jihadism went global at this particular time. It traces Azzam's extraordinary life journey from a West Bank village to the battlefields of Afghanistan, telling the story of a man who knew all the leading Islamists of his time and frequented presidents, CIA agents, and Cat Stevens the pop star. It is, however, also a story of displacement, exclusion, and repression that suggests that jihadism went global for fundamentally local reasons.

    • Tells the entertaining story of Azzam's extremely eventful life, culminating in his extremely mysterious death
    • Explains why the jihadi movement went international in the 1980s, improving our understanding about this ideology and the people behind it
    • Revises early history of al-Qaida through the use of previously untapped primary sources
    Read more


    • Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2021, Choice Reviews

    Reviews & endorsements

    'For anyone wishing to understand the story of global jihad, understanding the life and thought of Abdallah Azzam is essential. Hegghammer provides a first-rate guidebook. Meticulously researched, this reads like a Graham Greene thriller - only it's true.' James L. Gelvin

    'Thomas Hegghammer’s exceptional book is a detailed account of the life of Abdallah Azzam, Islamist ideologue, activist and organiser. It is a fascinating story in itself, told with forensic skill and a powerful sense of place and time. But it is also much more than this. Through this narrative of Azzam’s ideas and activities we get an unparalleled insight into the many dimensions of the world of transnational Islamism.' Charles Tripp, author of The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East

    'Thomas Hegghammer’s long-awaited biography of Abdallah Azzam turns out to be more than an interesting account of his life. It is about the rise of global jihadism, an entirely new phenomenon in the 20th century. Azzam’s role cannot be fully appreciated without this valuable book.' Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    'The Caravan deals with a highly sensitive and controversial subject, but it is evidence-based, meticulous and full of carefully judged distinctions - recent history at its finest.' Ian Black, The Observer

    ‘… Hegghammer's massive research effort makes this essential reading for all scholars studying terrorism.’ S. Waalkes, Choice

    ‘The book is a remarkable scholarly achievement that adds new and provocative layers to the study of jihadism in Africa.’ Sebastian Elischer, Comparative Politics

    ‘The trouble the author has taken to foolproof his conclusions, interviewing the largest cast of characters and triangulating just about every testimony, is remarkable … Hegghammer consistently fills gaps in the history of the transnational jihadist movement.’ José S. Vericat, Journal of Palestine Studies

    'The Caravan – Abdallah Azzam and the Rise of Global Jihad is an important addition to the scholarship of jihadism and political Islam. It is not a dry academic text; it’s simply a good read for anyone interested in some of the most significant developments in modern history. Hegghammer’s panoramic view of jihadism makes this book a vital resource for anyone seeking to further understand the development of jihadism.’ Ilan Fuchs, AMU Edge

    'Hegghammer's book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the origins of the global jihad movement and the soil from which al-Qaeda sprung.' A. J. Caschetta, Middle East Quarterly

    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: March 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521765954
    • length: 718 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 160 x 39 mm
    • weight: 1.27kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 4 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Palestinian
    2. Brother
    3. Fighter
    4. Scholar
    5. Vagabond
    6. Writer
    7. Pioneer
    8. Diplomat
    9. Manager
    10. Recruiter
    11. Ideologue
    12. Mujahid
    13. Resident
    14. Enemy
    15. Martyr
    16. Icon

  • Author

    Thomas Hegghammer, Universitetet i Oslo
    Thomas Hegghammer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Universitetet i Oslo. Trained in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford and Sciences Po, Paris, he is the author of the prize-winning book Jihad in Saudi Arabia (Cambridge, 2010) and is the editor of Jihadi Culture (Cambridge, 2017). He has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Middle East, including interviews with former militants, and he has testified on jihadism in front of the US Congress and the British Parliament.


    • Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2021, Choice Reviews

Related Books

also by this author

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 ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


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.