Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State
- Publish Date: 2017-05-02
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Ali Soufan
A compelling, definitive account of how and why bin Ladenâs ideology keeps rising from the dead.
In early 2011, the heart of the Muslim world roiled in protest, consumed with the upheaval of the Arab Spring. The governments of Tunisia and Egypt had already fallen; those of Libya and Yemen would soon follow. Watching the chaos from his hideout in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden saw a historic opportunity: âthe next stage,â he declared, âwill be the reinstating of the rule of the caliphate.â
Within weeks, bin Laden was dead, shot in the dark by a U.S. Navy SEAL. Commentators around the world began to prophesy al-Qaedaâs imminent demise. But six years later, the reality is the reverse. The groupâs affiliates have swollen, and the Islamic Stateâal-Qaedaâs most brutal spinoff to dateâproclaims itself the reborn caliphate bin Laden foretold in his final weeks.
In Anatomy of Terror, former FBI special agent and New York Times best-selling author Ali Soufan dissects bin Ladenâs brand of jihadi terrorism and its major offshoots, revealing how these organizations were formed, how they operate, their strengths, andâcruciallyâtheir weaknesses. This riveting account examines the new Islamic radicalism through the eyes of its flag-bearers, including a Jordanian former drug dealer whose cruelties shocked even his fellow militants, an Air Force colonel who once served Saddam Hussein, and a provincial bookworm who declared himself caliph of all Muslims. We meet Ayman al-Zawahiri, titular head of al-Qaeda; Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian ex-soldier who faked his own death to become the groupâs security chief; and bin Ladenâs own beloved son Hamza, a prime candidate to lead the organization his late father founded.
To eliminate the scourge of terrorism, we must first know who the enemy actually is, and what his motivations are. Anatomy of Terror lays bare the psychology and inner workings of al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and their spawn, and shows how the spread of terror can be stopped.