My counter-terror reading list

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by x6655321, Jul 26, 2008.

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  1. I was just wondering if anyone here had read anything by Osama bin Laden, Dr Zawahiri, Sayyid Qutb or anyone else connected to Islamic militancy. I've been reading a few compilations of their writings as well as books about them, and highly recommend certain volumes.

    Some of the books I've been reading:

    His Own Words (a collection of Ayman al-Zawahiri's writings, including Knights Under the Prophet's Banner, a must-read for anyone involved in HERRICK or TELIC, or likely to be

    The al-Qaeda Reader - I haven't read this one yet, but it looks promising

    Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden

    The Islamist - Ed Husain's account of his involvement as a radical British Muslim with Hizb ut-Tahrir and other groups. Pretty short, but very informative and particularly resonant for anyone familiar with London

    Inside the Jihad - by one "Omar Nasiri", who claims to have trained at an training camp (Khaldan, if I remember correctly, and perhaps Darunta as well) in Afghanistan while working for a number of Western Intelligence services

    The Looming Tower - Lawrence Wright's masterpiece about the background to the Big Wedding operation (9/11), which I've just finished and absolutely loved

    Al Qaeda - Thoroughly informative... by Jason Burke

    On the Road to Kandahar - another book by Jason Burke, much shorter than al-Qaeda but a very entertaining read

    The Great War on Civilization - extraordinary. I don't know how else to describe this immense volume. By Robert Fisk

    Al-Qaeda and What it Means to Be Modern - not exactly about al-Qaeda, but analyzes the militant movement's roots in a uniquely illuminating fashion

    And of course, you can find Sayyid Qutb's Milestones online. If you don't want to splash out on any of the books I've listed, find a copy of Milestones on the internet and read it.
  2. Incidentally, I do apologize for the poor punctuation etc, but it is Friday night and I have been drinking heavily.
  3. if you're reading as much as that when do you find the time to drink?

    I had to curb back on my reading cos it was interfearing with my drinking.

    Not had a drink for two weeks :(

    Roll on next weekend :D
  4. I have insomnia... I'm awake long enough to sober up and then read! It's not as fun as it sound I'm afraid...
  5. It works for me!!!! :clap:
  6. Let me add another book - Peter Hopkirk's The Great Game. Might not seem relevant, but reading it helped at my AOSB briefing!
  7. "Through Our Enemies Eyes" is an interesting read.

    Written by/for Americans it probably sent them hopping mad with the comparisons to the founding fathers.

    Now the author has also been "outed" as the ex-head of Alec Station (the CIA/FBI bin Laden unit). He was on Al-Jazeera english the other day and made an interesting pundit.
  8. That's Michael Scheuer, isn't it? Alec Station features pretty strongly in Wright's book. I particularly like how clearly he shows how counter-productive the rivalry between the FBI and CIA was (and probably still is, despite everything that's happened).
  9. 'Arabs' By Mark Allen is an interesting read and good background on the culture and mentality from someone with a hell of a lot of experience in the area.

    Author recently Knighted for his work and I heard him speak recently, absolutely fascinating and remarkable man.
  10. 'What Terrorists Want - Understanding the Threat" by Louise Richardson. Quite a good look into the psychogical reasoning for attacks and terrorist groupings etc...
  11. Afghan Guerilla Warfare by Ali Ahmad Jalali and Lester w Grau is a beauty as far as Taliban tactics in Afghanistan goes. 400 pages of attacks, counter attacks etc against the Russians. Various ex-Taliban will explain a situation,then a US expert will discuss, and a map included with each situation. Chapters include ambushes, raids, fighting heliborne insertions, urban combat. Found it for £2.99 in Putney Bridge Oxfam.
  12. Burkes book is really good.

    Almost anything by Paul Rogers.

    You can find lots of free publications online at

    Combating Terrorism Centre

    Be sure to read the Army Review as well as they often incorporate well written articles.

    Be careful which Islamic publications you read online.....don't want to end up like these guys......

    Clicky here for news story
  13. Times havent changed very much. Back in the 'good old days' of the Cold War, reading 'Das Kapital' in order to gain an insite into the ideology of the 'enemy' did'nt do your PV and career much good either!
  14. Read "The Bear came over the Mountain" by Glantz and "The Other Side of the Mountain" by Glantz and Jalali. The first is the Russian view, the second the Afghan.

    Both books are FMSO so if you are military you can get them in bulk for free, or look on Amazon for the commerical printings. The free bit applies to UK military as well. If you are not deploying on Herrick with both of these volumes then you can't call yourself a professional soldier in my biased, old and grumpy opinion.
  15. Its a good list, I shall probably buy one or two. I am keen to know more about Al-Zawahiri. My problem with that list though, is that is more 'counter Taliban/AQ' than counter-terror.

    A more rounded list would at least include books about NI, Malaya, Somalia etc etc.