The Looming Tower (TPB) (OM)

The Looming Tower (TPB) (OM) : Al Qaeda's Road to 9/11

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In November 1948 a frail, middle-aged writer, Sayyid Qutb, left Egypt on a cruise ship bound for New York. His impressions of what he found there - jazz bands and dancing, drunks in alleyways, the neon glow of burlesque house - would change his view of the West fundamentally, and give birth to the group we now know as Al Qaeda...

The Looming Tower is the first book to tell the full story of Al Qaeda from its roots up to 9/11. Drawing on astonishing interviews and first-hand sources, it investigates the extraordinary group of ideologues behind this organization - and those who tried to stop them. There is the tormented, resentful Qutb, whose writings on the godlessness of Americans turned him into a martyr for Islamic extremists around the world. There is Ayman al-Zawahiri: a devout student who, by the age of fifteen, had already helped to form an underground jihadist cell. There is the deeply contradictory Osama bin Laden: Saudi millionaire turned muhajideen commander, whose interests merged with al-Zawahiri's to form a global terror coalition. And there is the FBI's counterterrorism chief, the flamboyant John O'Neill, who found his warnings that 'something big' was coming continually ignored, and would finally meet his fate in the shadow of the Twin Towers.

Interweaving this extraordinary story with events including the Israeli-Palestine conflict, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the troubles in Egypt and the first attack on the World Trade Center, Lawrence Wright takes us into training camps, mountain hideouts and top secret meetings to explore how it all fed into the planning and execution of 9/11 - and reveals the real, complex origins of Al Qaeda's hatred of the west.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 154 x 234 x 38mm | 744g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0713999764
  • 9780713999761

About Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for the New Yorker and a fellow at the Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law. He is the author of Twins and Remembering Satan, and the cowriter of the movie The Siege.
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20,512 ratings
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5 53% (10,772)
4 36% (7,390)
3 10% (1,967)
2 1% (285)
1 0% (98)
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