Architect of Global Jihad: The Life of Al Qaeda Strategist Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri

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Columbia University Press, 2009 - Political Science - 510 pages
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Despite his alleged capture in Pakistan in late 2005, Abu Mus'ab al-Suri, a Syrian originally known as Mustafa Sethmarian Nasar, remains a potent political and ideological figure. One of the foremost theoreticians of the global jihadist movement, al-Suri trained a generation of young jihadis at al-Qaeda's Afghan camps and helped to establish the organization's vast European networks. Having gained extensive military experience fighting in the Syrian Islamist insurgency of the early 1980s, he helped to shape al-Qaeda's global strategy in a series of writings, including his influential Global Islamic Call. In that 1,600 page book, al-Suri outlined a broad strategy for al-Qaeda's younger generation to follow and described practical ways to implement the theories and tactics of jihadi guerrilla warfare.

Architect of Global Jihad is a biography of this powerful, charismatic, and prophetic individual. Examining not only the life of Al-Suri but also the world that gave rise to him, Brynjar Lia reveals al-Suri's skill for maximizing the political impact of jihadi violence. Lia provides the first and only English translation of two key chapters from al-Suri's Global Islamic Call and exposes his methods for building successful, autonomous cells for "individualized terrorism." Al-Suri's words have inspired thousands of today's militants, making Lia's carefully researched, detailed portrait required reading for students and specialists of Islamist movements and the study of contemporary forms of terrorism.

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About the author (2009)

Brynjar Lia is a research professor at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). A former Visiting Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University, he is the author of several books on Islamism and terrorism.

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