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Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror

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Based on over five years of research, Inside Al Qaeda provides the definitive story behind the rise of this small, mysterious group to the notorious organization making headlines today.


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Based on over five years of research, Inside Al Qaeda provides the definitive story behind the rise of this small, mysterious group to the notorious organization making headlines today.

30 review for Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I made the executive decision late last night to give up on this book. ::GASP:: This is huge. Big-time. No joking around. I don’t quit on books. EVER. I could count on one hand the number of books I’ve given up on and not use all five fingers. And two of the times I gave up on a book I ended up going back and rereading it at a later stage in life (Beloved and Wuthering Heights, the first I liked enough to reread twice, the second I still don’t especially like), so I can’t even count those two. B I made the executive decision late last night to give up on this book. ::GASP:: This is huge. Big-time. No joking around. I don’t quit on books. EVER. I could count on one hand the number of books I’ve given up on and not use all five fingers. And two of the times I gave up on a book I ended up going back and rereading it at a later stage in life (Beloved and Wuthering Heights, the first I liked enough to reread twice, the second I still don’t especially like), so I can’t even count those two. But I’m giving up. I cannot stand to read any more of this book. It takes me 45 minutes to read 10 pages and while I wouldn’t call myself a fast reader, I’m not that slow. Ugh. This was the worst fucking book I’ve read in a very, very long time (and yeah, I said the F word, bite me). Actually, this was the worst book I’ve read since college, which was the last time I read a mind numbingly dull text book. There was no writing in this book. It was simply 200+ pages of facts all strung together with references to other books and documents the author had found the facts in. Parts of it reminded me of reading certain passages of the Old Testament: so and so begat so and so who begat so and so who begat so and so who begat so and so who begat so and so…and on and on and on, ad nauseum. Except in the case of this book there would be several inches-long paragraphs of text that would be nothing but foreign-sounding, Middle Eastern names with lots of al’s and el’s and hypens and Muhammed’s and Mohammed’s, all of whom were involved with one terrorist organization or another. I’m not going to remember these names so reading through them was a major waste of my time. To give the book some credit, yes, the facts were all compiled in one place which means I don’t need to go digging around in 8 kazillion other texts to get some in depth background information about this particular terrorist group and I appreciate that. However, I experienced zero enjoyment and felt no spark of interest in reading this book. The only thing I feel now that I’ve decided to return it to the library even though I only read three-quarters of it is RELIEF that I never have to touch it again. Another thing that angered me about this book was the size. It was deceptively thin. So when I checked it out from the library, I was like, “oh, this won’t take long to read. It’s under 250 pages, not bad.” Except when I cracked the damn thing open, I realized that I would practically need a magnifying glass to read the words. They were MINISCULE! I’m in my 20’s. I should not have had this much difficulty making out the text in a book but I did. I felt it was totally unnecessary and am convinced the only reason the text was so small was to fool potential readers into thinking this was a “short” book, an “approachable” book, which it isn’t. This book should be closer to 600 pages long for how small/dense the text was. Totally misleading. I was also royally pissed off by what appears to have been a complete lack of editing in this book. Typos happen. I get it. But the nature of the typos in this edition was really bad. I skimmed over the first several, rolling my eyes but not book marking them because I tend to overlook the first few (I was a Copy Editor for my high school yearbook, I dig it). But after awhile, they really started popping off the page and I couldn’t not keep track of them. Professional publications should not have this many typos, especially of this nature, I’m sorry. Here are some I book marked when I was actually reading in a place where I could book mark them (not the bus on my daily commute, which is where I get a huge chunk of my daily reading time in): --In the spectrum of contemporary terrorist leaders Osama bin Laden. has no equal As a leader who… (p. 53) --Two other others were found in Afghanistan after the collapse of the Taliban regime. (p. 54) --In retaliation for the imposition of us sanctions against Sudan and later Afghanistan, he reiterated this call. (p. 90) --There he kept switching from hotel to hotel to avoided going home, until he was arrested by the police in Navi Mumbai (New Bombay) on October 2, 2001. (p. 120) Laziness! And you know what? For all I know, there are probably tons more that I missed when I was zoning out, which I spent a lot of time doing through the first 166 pages. Good riddance to you, ya shitty ass book!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    This book was clearly well-researched. It reads as a playbook of Al Qaeda's creation and growth. It contains details about regional operations, personalities involved, finances, and the whole nine yards. If you are a US strategist who wants a detailed introduction to Al Qaeda, the organization and the business, its origins and history, then this is the book for you. I gave this 2 stars because it was basically impossible to read. It's not very long, but it's basically just jam-packed with facts. This book was clearly well-researched. It reads as a playbook of Al Qaeda's creation and growth. It contains details about regional operations, personalities involved, finances, and the whole nine yards. If you are a US strategist who wants a detailed introduction to Al Qaeda, the organization and the business, its origins and history, then this is the book for you. I gave this 2 stars because it was basically impossible to read. It's not very long, but it's basically just jam-packed with facts. After the first 100 or so pages it goes into details of the organization at a regional level, region by region, detail by detail. It's more of an encyclopedic reference than someone one could actually sit down and read. Definitely not my style, but I respect what he's managed to accomplish because I'm sure it's valuable to someone out there.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    This author is a crack. He is trying to pull the wool over your eyes by assaulting you with a laundry list of facts without any context (the facts come so fast and furious you fell out of breath while you read it). And when he does try to push (unreasonable) conclusions, they don't flow from his facts and don't have any supporting citations (despite the fact that the book has so many citations it reads like an academic paper). It's even difficult to cherry pick the few gems in this book because This author is a crack. He is trying to pull the wool over your eyes by assaulting you with a laundry list of facts without any context (the facts come so fast and furious you fell out of breath while you read it). And when he does try to push (unreasonable) conclusions, they don't flow from his facts and don't have any supporting citations (despite the fact that the book has so many citations it reads like an academic paper). It's even difficult to cherry pick the few gems in this book because you have no confidence in the author.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Drury

    Although it is slightly dated, it still presents a (relatively) clear picture of AQ. My only problem with this book was how Gunaratna tried to cram too much information into each sentence. I understand that he was striving for brevity, but it made the book harder to read, often leading me to have to re-read sentences to understand their structure.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Decent book, if not a tad dry, that has given the most details I've seen on this shadowy group. Despite all of the details, however, I still did not come away with much of a stronger grasp of the inner workings of this organization. We know so little about them and yet they know us so well. That is the price that we pay for living in an open civilization. Decent book, if not a tad dry, that has given the most details I've seen on this shadowy group. Despite all of the details, however, I still did not come away with much of a stronger grasp of the inner workings of this organization. We know so little about them and yet they know us so well. That is the price that we pay for living in an open civilization.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gursimran

    Didnt read the whole thing. picked up chapters in the middle and have kept it for reference. VERY detailed and probably not what i was looking for. People have even complained of inaccuracies but im not aware as such.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hampshire

    A must read for anyone who wants to learn anything about al-Qaeda from its inception to how it currently operates. Very well researched and written.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andre

    OUTSTANDING BOOK. READ IT NOW.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    For the immediate aftermath of 9/11 it was a good read, but much of the content would be more of a historical account now. Good one at the time, just not as relevant anymore.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Total snoozefest. Reads like an interoffice memo. It was as if the author had simply put together a bunch of stuff he had heard about Al Qaeda in the news over a period of a few years.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Snowdon

    a look at the structure, goals and organization of the group. it also calls into question the current route we are taking to combat this ideology.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Kan

    mindblowing

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    Book reviews- ummburpoops.wordpress.com

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sean Rife

    Gunaratna provides an excellent history of the terror network. Some of his insights seem speculative, but that doesn't make them wrong. Gunaratna provides an excellent history of the terror network. Some of his insights seem speculative, but that doesn't make them wrong.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    THis was good, but not as good as Burke. This was more from an academic side with many interviews. Some of his arguments were weak, but it was very informative and useful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maria Buttram

  17. 4 out of 5

    Walt

  18. 4 out of 5

    JAMES SMITHER

  19. 4 out of 5

    Abdurrahman Adamu

  20. 5 out of 5

    Agatha Glowacki

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nousheen Sharmila Ritu

  22. 4 out of 5

    Drk Harry

  23. 4 out of 5

    Felix Marwick

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dgcox

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Martin

    bit of a data dump....

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carlos

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jaspreet Singh

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Vaughn

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Premier

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