Author: Michael Scheuer
About the Book
This seminal work on modern terrorism is the one book to read in order to truly understand the reasons why radical Muslims such as Osama bin Laden and his followers have declared war on America and the West. In order to win the war against terrorism, argues Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit, we must first stop dismissing militant Muslims as “extremists” or “religious fanatics.” Formulating a successful military strategy requires that we see the enemy as they perceive themselve—highly trained and motivated soldiers who believe their cause is righteous.
This revised paperback edition provides a more extensive study of Osama bin Laden and the sources of his thought. Scheuer has added a good deal of bin Laden’s words, focusing on those issues that have been most misunderstood or ignored and therefore are most in need of exposition. These include bin Laden’s personality; his early years as a nonviolent Saudi dissident and reformer; the causes motivating al Qaeda and its allies, especially their perception that U.S. foreign policy threatens Islam’s survival; bin Laden’s long history of interest in and support for the Palestinian cause against Israel; his evolutionary growth as an Islamic hero and leader between 1996 and 2001; and the profound impact the Afghan-Soviet War had and continues to have on bin Laden, al Qaeda, and worldwide Sunni Islamic militancy. Only by understanding these words can the West appreciate the threat it faces and formulate a strategy to defeat it.