The war on terror relied on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the threat, say author and academic Malise Ruthven. He picks the best books to get a better understanding of Islamism.
Many thought that 9/11 was the start of an Al-Qaeda assault on the West, but it turned out to be Bin Laden’s Pearl Harbor – a victory that led to strategic defeat – says Peter Bergen, one of the few reporters who met the Saudi-born militant.
Jason Burke, journalist and author of an acclaimed book on Al-Qaeda, tells us what he learnt about militants when he was caught in a firefight in Iraq—and suggests five books we should read to understand their motivations.
The award-winning BBC documentary maker Peter Taylor tells us what he learned in his ten years investigating Al-Qaeda, and suggests what we should read to understand where the group came from, and what it’s still trying to do