Wednesday, 4 May 2011

BIN LADEN UNMASKED: 4 piercing books on the world's most wanted

Osama Bin Laden: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies, 2010) by Thomas Mockaitis.
From his life in Saudi society, to the religious transformation that led him to denounce that society and become a jihadist leader, to the horrendous acts of terror that he orchestrated, and how different segments of the Muslim world perceive him, the book spares no detail in its efforts to reveal the making of this internationally notorious man.

Holy War, Inc. (Free Press, 2002) by Peter Bergen.
Bergen has long tracked the Islamic world, and this book opens with the account of his 1997 interview with bin Laden, the terrorist's first TV interview. And it shows. Bergen sheds light on several outstanding questions, arguing, among other things, that it's unlikely Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks, and that it's a myth that the CIA directly funded and trained bin Laden during the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Growing Up Bin Laden (St. Martin's Griffin, 2010) by Najwa Bin Laden and Omar Bin Laden.
A compelling look at the intimate family life of a notorious man, as told by his wife and son. Omar, the fourth child of Osama and Najwa, recalls a severely strict father: no toys, no ventilators for boys who suffered from asthma, hikes in the desert with no water. He also recalls accompanying his father to a training camp at 15 and their later confrontations—and eventual break—as he began to understand his father’s involvement in al-Qaeda. Then there are the conflicting emotions, including love and pride in his father and eventually shame for his father’s renown as a terrorist and architect of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

Kill Bin Laden: A Delta Force Commander's Account of the Hunt for the World's Most Wanted Man (St. Martin's Griffin, 2009) by Dalton Fury.
Described as the first eyewitness account of the Battle of Tora Bora (Dec 2001, the earliest mission to eliminate Bin Laden) and the first book to detail just how close Delta Force came to capturing him, how close American bombers and fighter aircraft came to killing him, and exactly why he slipped through their fingers. It's an extremely rare inside look at the shadowy world of Delta Force and a detailed account of the warriors in battle.


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