What Does Al Qaeda Want?: Unedited Communiques (Terra Nova Series)

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9781556435485: What Does Al Qaeda Want?: Unedited Communiques (Terra Nova Series)

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, al-Qaeda has become the most infamous terrorist organization in history. While their actions are deplorable, it remains a populist and idealist movement—and one that continues to spread. Despite heavy media coverage, most people are unaware of the group's ultimate goals. Sampling from actual al-Qaeda texts, this is al-Qaeda in its own words, rather than another interpretation (which often emphasizes the inflammatory religious rhetoric) offered by the Bush administration and other factions of the Western world. Introductions and commentary provide the historical context necessary to understand fully the interconnection between the religious, social, and political issues that led to the emergence of Osama bin Laden and his jihad against the West. These primary sources enable readers to discern the fundamental convictions underlying the group's demands, and help answer the question, "What does al Qaeda want?"

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About the Author:

Robert O. Marlin IV is a Ph.D. candidate in Borderlands Studies at the University of Houston, where he specializes in twentieth-century Latin American, Texan, and Southwestern history. Marlin has been widely published and writes on subjects that include the death penalty, Texas-Mexico border concerns, and parole reform. His interest in editing this book on al-Qaeda stemps from a commitment to supplying primary documents to scholars and others interested in the topic. Marlin works at the University of Houston Libraries and lives in Houston, Texas.

From Publishers Weekly:

While it lacks the latest bin Laden tape advising U.S. citizens how to avoid "another Manhattan," this compendium of excerpted translations covers broadcasts by the Al-Qaeda leader and by deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, as well as press releases. It begins with the declaration of Jihad in August of 1996 ("It is a duty now upon every tribe in the Arab peninsula to fight..."), which is the longest of the 13 documents here. Short commentaries by Marlin, a Ph.D. candidate in borderlands studies at the University of Houston, establish a cursory historical and political context for each piece. The selection criteria are not given, and feel arbitrary and incoherent. Most of the translations are stiff and sourced to the Web, rather than to the originals; the lack of a single voice adds to the sense of jumble.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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