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The Search for Al Qaeda


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About the Author

Bruce Riedel is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He served in the U.S. intelligence community for nearly thirty years, advising three U.S. presidents as a senior adviser on Middle East and South Asian issues in the White House. From 2003 to 2006, Riedel was an adviser to NATO in Brussels.


"Riedel's argument in favor of greater U.S. involvement in the Arab-Israeli peace process is persuasive, and his prescriptions are well-evidenced, unfailingly sound and refreshingly sensible." -- Publishers Weekly "Mr. Riedel argues that a new American president should tackle al-Qaeda by undermining the "narrative" of Muslim oppression. He provides several sensible recommendations, such as making a renewed effort to settle the festering disputes over Palestine and Kashmir." -- The Economist "Bruce Riedel's The Search for al Qaeda is in parts alarming and in parts reassuring. Yes, we need to be worried Riedel argues... Yet the situation is not hopeless: good policy would ameliorate the problem. In a literature tending towards either the blithe or the fatalistic, Riedel's book stands out... an extremely valuable primer." --Clive Crook, Financial Times "What puts The Search for al Qaeda in the "must read" category is its length. In just 150 pages, Riedel explores the networks ideology and motivations through tightly drawn profiles of Osama bin Laden, the Egyptian-born strategic thinker Ayman al-Zawahiri, Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who outsmarted Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld in Iraq... Riedel may not have all the answers, but his book is a critical primer for those who will have to find them." --Raymond Bonner, The Guardian "As Bruce Riedel argues in his slim but provocative book, Al-Qaeda has returned to the site of its genesis: the badlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The book serves as a quick recap of the Al-Qaeda story to date, but Riedel takes the terror tale forward on a number of fronts. One conclusion he forcefully makes is "that Pakistan is the country most critical to the development and survival of Al-Qaeda." --Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times "If you are tired of the same old talking heads blathering on TV about things they don't really know about, this is the book for you. Bruce Riedel is the real expert on Al Qaeda...this is a fascinating and important account of the whole Middle East problem with a focus on Al Qaeda by someone who has had firsthand experience in the region for the last thirty years." -- Leadership Development News "Riedel offers no easy solution for how to defeat al Qaeda, but he does put the threat in perspective." -- Macleans "Riedel manages to distill the essence of Al Qaeda in just 150 pages. Among other things, he notes that the Islamic fundamentalists do not hate America's values, only its policies... a starting point for a much-needed debate." --Ray Bonner, New York Times Book Review "In a fast-paced narrative, it offers the reader much of what he might want to learn about Al Qaeda." --Amir Taheri, Asharq Al-Awsat "While there have been numerous books on international terrorism and al Qaeda since 9/11, few have done such a masterful job of presenting essential knowledge about the organization in such a correspondingly insightful, detailed, and straightforward way. This book by a gifted analyst and strategist deserves the attention of readers seeking a strategic outlook." --W. Andrew Terrill, US Army War College, Parameters "The Search for Al Qaeda is an excellent source for understanding the threat of al Qaeda and ways to counter it, and a book best suited for analysts and internationally oriented security professionals." --Mayer Nudell, Security Management "This straightforward, concise and sensibly organised book sets forth a balanced assessment of al-Qaeda and its capabilities and prospects." --Jonathan Stevenson, Survival "This crisp, cool, highly informed analysis of 9/11 and al-Qaeda puts things in perspective better than most accounts." --Steven Carroll, The Age (Melbourne) "In 150 lucid pages, Bruce Riedel gets inside the heart of Al-Qaeda and shows us how to kill it." --Eboo Patel, On Faith Washington Post

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