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Understanding Al Qaeda


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Table of Contents

Preface 1. Casus Belli 2. Changed Context 3. Purpose and Pattern 4. Fallacies and Primacies 5. The Way Forward Appendices Chronology Bibliography

About the Author

Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou is Professor of International History at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and teaches at the doctoral school at Sciences Po Paris. Previously the Associate Director of the Harvard University Programme on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, he is the author of A Theory of ISIS (Pluto, 2017) and Understanding Al Qaeda (Pluto, 2011).


Mohammad Mohamedou has written a political analysis which provides a much-needed secular understanding of Al Qaeda as one among several organized forces in a rapidly changing international arena. Unlike most writers on the subject who tend to be mezmarized by Al Qaeda's religious discourse, Mohamedou insists on understanding the changing significance of the discourse against a historical backdrop of actions and events. -- Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman Professor of Government, Columbia University and author of Good Muslim, Bad Muslim
This sober and sobering analysis is essential reading for Americans and Europeans, and opinion leaders everywhere. In times of crisis, listen to those who tell you what you need to know, not those who tell you what you want to hear. -- Abdullahi An-Naim, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory University
Very thought provoking. -- Richard H. Shultz Jr., Director of the International Security Studies Program at Tufts University's Fletcher School.

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