Book review: Brilliant book written by one of only a handful of journalists who have interviewed Bin Laden in person

“The Secret History of Al qaeda” by Abdel Bari Atwan

How frightening it is to read the history of an extremist group and learn that despite the casualties, the destructions and the terror they have caused; their condemned actions have a good underlying reason.

As one of only a handful of journalists who have interviewed Osama Bin Laden in person, Abdel-Bari Atwan wrote this book based on his first-hand knowledge from visiting Al Qaeda camps and interviewing key players, among other in-depth researches. And his findings are intriguing.

What begins as a fight against the corrupt oil-rich Saudi government, the Zionist state of Israel and US foreign policy to control the Middle East; Al Qaeda has evolved from a regional radical organization fighting for oppressed Muslims, to become a global ideological umbrella with many small cells all over the world, conducting complex financing and mastery over the cyber world. The growth and violence are inevitable, especially after the US-led coalition invade Iraq with no legitimate reason, killing hundred of thousands of civilians and destroying the country into a total mess.

What struck me most with this book is the psychology of suicide bombing. How the worst socio-economic and political conditions leave many people with no other option whatsoever in their lives other than to fight against the regime that have killed their family and friends, and destroyed their home and country; by becoming a suicide bomber.

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