Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright

Good book on the development of Al-Qaeda from the mid-1900s through to the events of September 11th 2001. The day and events of September 11th are hardly touched upon. Its the history and development of the ideology that led to it which is the focus of this book. The main two characters that feature throughout the book are Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawihiri and there's some focus on Syed Qutb in the first chapter. The places and events that get special mention are the early years of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the 1940s, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, the Afghan civil war and the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the arrival of US troops in the 1990s. The book is a little tongue in cheek in places but overall it's a good, easy to read narrative. Very beneficial and highly recommended.

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