‘Al-Qaeda, past and present’ (14.12.11 Housmans)

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kiwi hirsuta
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Nov 30 2011 11:26
‘Al-Qaeda, past and present’ (14.12.11 Housmans)

Housmans – radical booksellers since 1945

‘Al-Qaeda, past and present’
with Christina Hellmich

Wednesday 14th December, 7pm

Hellmich critically examines the development of Al-Qaida - from its inception and on up to the death of Osama bin Laden - and asks what the future holds for the terrorist organisation.

Since the attacks of September 11th 2001 and up to and beyond Osama bin Laden's death, al-Qaeda has come to embody the new enigmatic face of terrorism, dominating discussions of national and international security. Yet in spite of the attention it receives, conflicting assumptions about the group abound.

Is al-Qaeda a rigidly structured organization, a global network of semi-independent cells, a franchise, or simply an idea whose time has come? What is meant by talk of the ‘global Salafi jihad’ that is confronting the West? What are the implications of bin Laden's death? Christina Hellmich offers a critical examination of the widely-held notions regarding the origins and manifestations of al-Qaeda and the sources on which they rely, mapping the organisation’s alleged transition from what began as a regional struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan to the increasingly leaderless jihad of the post-9/11 world.

Rather than just providing yet another biography of al-Qaeda, Hellmich forensically examines discrepancies between the most common explanations and to the limits of what can realistically be known.

Drawing on a wide variety of sources, 'Al-Qaeda: From Global Network to Local Franchise' offers a penetrating insight into an organization which, for all its notoriety, is one of the least-understood of our time.


'A comprehensive book filled with fresh material.' - Time Out

'A sensible, sharp, reasoned, comprehensive overview of analysis of modern Islamic militancy and discussion of the nature of the phenomenon of al-Qaeda.' - Jason Burke, author of al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam

'Undermines many of the widely held assumptions about al-Qa'ida.' - Nelly Lahoud, Associate Professor, Combating Terrorism Center, United States Military Academy, West Point

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: September 11th and the Anxious Search for Answers
2. Who is Al-Qaeda?: From Afghanistan to 9/11
3. Hypocrites, Wahhabis and Salafi-Jihadis: Post 9/11 explanations of Al-Qaeda’s ideology
4. Reclaiming the Umma: The ideology of al-Qaeda in the context of the Pan-Islamic Tradition
5. Al-Qaeda Post-9/11: Destroyed, Weakened or Re-emergent?
6. The Future of Al-Qaeda

About the Author

Christina Hellmich is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Reading, UK and co-author of Knowing Al-Qaeda: The Epistemology of Terrorism.

Book information

'Al-Qaeda: From Global Network to Local Franchise'
by Christina Hellmich
Zed Books (2011)
224 pages
ISBN: 9781848139084

Event information

Housmans Bookshop
5 Caledonian Road
King's Cross
London N1 9DX
Tel: 020 7837 4473
Email: shop@housmans.com

Entry: £3, redeemable against any purchase
Nearest tube: King's Cross