Looming Tower

Topics: Al-Qaeda, September 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden Pages: 10 (4335 words) Published: December 13, 2011
Lawrence Wright’s, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.: Outline

I. Introduction
A. An overview of the book
II. Discussion
A. Discussion on the issues covered by the book.
III. Conclusion and recommendations
A. This part of the report will cover an overview of the books strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations.

Wright has a special way of explaining things. When reading this book, a reader need not have a background knowledge on terrorism, Wright crafts the book in such a way that it consists of a ten page list of the main characters, fifty pages of notes, a list of interviews held, a bibliography and a clear bibliography for those who would love research the topic more. He also uses pictures of the main characters in the book, so that a reader can see the person being discussed. The book can be divided into two major parts with the first part focusing on giving the reader a comprehensive background and beginnings of militant Islam and the terror group Al Qaeda. In the book’s first three chapters, the writer writes bibliographies of three important persons. He writes about an Egyptian named Qutb who is seen as the father of militant Islam, he also writes about Zawahri who also is an Egyptian and a co founder of Al Qaeda. The last character in the three chapters he talks about is Bin Laden who is the central character of the book. After reading the first three chapters a reader gets to learn about the internal politics of two most important countries in the history of Al Qaeda: Saudi Arabia and Egypt (Wright, 2006). The author tries to explain how the governments of both countries might have influenced the rise of radical Islam movement. This is helpful for the reader to understand why Al Qaeda is against everything represented by the West. Through the book, a reader can visit the towns and cities where these men grew up. After writing the bibliographies, the author then looks at the bigger picture and writes two chapters on Saudi Arabia. In these two chapters the writer talks of a spy master, Turki, who is instrumental in the search of bin Laden. The chapters also discusses the political and social structures of the Saudi Kingdom, the Soviet-Afghan war, the Afghanistan – Pakistan border jihadist movement and lastly how jihadism has spread around the world. Wright at this point builds a strong groundwork so that when he starts to discuss about the Al Qaeda attacks a reader can understand the context. Wright then takes 200 hundred pages of the book to discuss the American Security and Intelligence agencies, The FBI and CIA. He tells of how the agencies reacted to the first cases of jihadists. This section of the book ends with a chapter dedicated on Osama’s life in Sudan (Bergen, 2010). The second part of the book looks at the Al Qaeda’s activities in the rest of the world. He begins by writing about how, in 1995, the Al Qaeda raided and bombed a building in Saudi Arabia that was housing Americans in the town of Riyadh. The chapters in this second part of the book are not very detailed and the writer talks of various key players. It is also in this second part we learn of the gruesome murder of tourist by Zawalhri. The author describes how Zawalhri stormed the Queen Hatchupset temple located in Egypt and killed all the tourists that were there. Wright then looks at the evolution of the terror group Al Qaeda on how they recruit, leadership, and their use of suicide bombers in carrying out their attacks. He looks and blames the actions of the CIA who had no right to with hold crucial information from the sole mandated agency, the FBI, to carry surveillance on the people who later committed the attacks. The last two chapters the author talks of the aftermath after the attacks. He explains in heart-wrenching details about the fear and desperation after the attacks. Wright in this book can be praised for his making it compelling and emotional. Discussion

Al Qaeda is a...

References: Bergen. P., (2010). The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al-Qaeda. New York: Simon and Schuster
Bolton, M., (2008). U.S. national security and foreign policymaking after 9/11 present at the recreation. Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield.
The Plot against America. (2006). Retrieved September 16, 2011, from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/06/books/review/06filkins.html
Wright, L., (2006). The looming tower: Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11. New York : Vintage Books.
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