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Al Qaeda in Its Own Words


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About the Author

Gilles Kepel is Professor of Middle East Studies, and Jean-Pierre Milelli is lecturer in Arabic, at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris.


With this book, Kepel and Milelli, professors at the Institute for Political Studies in Paris, have produced a seminal study of al-Qaeda, introducing the key texts and figures inspiring this still shadowy movement...Kepel and Milelli compellingly present the online texts that serve as al-Qaeda's "doctrine," dissecting the discourse and identifying the images and rhetoric al-Qaeda depends upon. This view of al-Qaeda from within presents sobering evidence of the threat al-Qaeda poses and is an indispensable read.
Despite all the political and popular attention that it has received in the last six years, Al Qaeda's essential worldview still remains largely unexplained. Written statements and television appearances by its leaders provide an occasional glimpse. This book is an incisive insight into the intellectual and discursive world of Al Qaeda that might just survive the lifetime of its present leadership. To reveal its inner workings, Gilles Kepel and his collaborators have collected and annotated key texts of the major figures from whom the movement has drawn its beliefs--Azzabdallah Azzam, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Impeccably researched and richly detailed...["Al Qaeda in Its Own Words"] provides readers with some insight into and understanding of the theology and doctrine that forged al-Qa'ida and the rationale that has driven its global terror campaign for almost two decades...[The] collection of jihadist excerpts and extant commentary offers fascinating views of the personal motivations and historical influences that shaped bin Laden...A volume indispensable to a better understanding of the group's world view. Kepel's precise and brilliantly written introduction to the writings and statements, of bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abdallah Azzam and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, immediately articulates the difference between the tactic of terrorism (so much the focus of Western democracies' war on terror) and al-Qa'ida's overarching doctrine as an organization that seeks to reshape the world in its own image.--Peter Khalil"The Australian" (09/03/2008)

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