As the world wonders what happened to the elusive Usama bin Ladin, two authors have published a well-researched, accurate, and unbiased dossier on the man and his al-Qa‘ida cohorts. But while Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida helps correct the mistakes made by erroneous talking heads on television, it contains no analysis or editorial to make sense of all the facts.
It begins with a lightning-quick overview of the world's most dangerous terrorist group, followed by a list of its objectives and its personnel, including bin Ladin himself, Muhammad ‘Atif, Ayman az-Zawahiri, and others. The book also provides an overview of the group's financial structure, affiliated groups, and areas of operation.
A list of al-Qa‘ida attacks makes for impressive reading. The first known operation was the 1992 bombing of a hotel in Yemen, intended to strike at U. S. troops en route to Somalia but instead killing two Australian tourists. Subsequently, al-Qa‘ida was implicated in the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, the car-bombing of American military training personnel in Saudi Arabia in 1995, and the car bombing at a U. S. Air Force barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1996. Following those attacks, bin Ladin's name became synonymous with the death and destruction of the 1998 twin embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the crippling of the USS Cole in 2000, and finally, the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.
The authors also detail the various declarations and fatwas (religious edicts) issued by al-Qa‘ida, plus a list of high-profile arrests, including that of Muhammad ‘Awda (the man who linked bin Ladin to the bombings in East Africa). The appendix includes many of bin Ladin's statements as well as transcripts from the 2001 trial, United States of America vs. Usama bin Laden, et al.