Chechen Jihad: Al Qaeda's Training Ground and the Next Wave of Terror

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Harper Collins, Dec 26, 2007 - History - 442 pages
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In this authoritative look at the roots of modern terrorism, Yossef Bodansky, one of the most respected—and best-informed—experts on radical Islamism in the world today, pinpoints the troubled region of Chechnya as a dangerous and little-understood crucible of terror in the struggle between East and West. In his number one New York Times bestseller, Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America, published before 9/11, Bodansky was among the first to introduce American readers to Osama bin Laden. Now in Chechen Jihad he returns to alert American readers to the lessons to be drawn from the terror campaign in Chechnya—and its ramifications for the global war on terrorism.

The final years of U.S.-Soviet relations left Chechnya a fertile breeding ground for Islamic terrorism, and in the past decade an uneasy alliance of native Chechen separatists and militant jihadists have joined forces to help al Qaeda and the greater Islamist movement pursue its war against the West. As Bodansky points out, "the Chechens are professional fighters—disciplined and responsible, with a combination of skills, expertise, and character that has made them the most sought-after 'force multipliers' in the jihadist movement." Bodansky traces the secret history of the two Chechen wars, illuminating how the process of "Chechenization" transformed the fight from a secular nationalist struggle into a jihadist holy war against Russia and the secular West. And, in the most instructive message for Western audiences, he reveals how the Chechen rebellion was eventually crippled by a schism between the jihadists and the Chechen people whose nationalist rebellion they had co-opted—an object lesson in the potential vulnerability of Islamist campaigns around the world.

Drawing on mountains of previously unseen intelligence from Islamist movements and other military and intelligence sources from throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as senior officials in many of the affected nations, Chechen Jihad offers an intimate and startling portrait of the jihadist movement that is astonishing in its detail and chilling in its implications—but one that points to a new way forward in the struggle to answer the challenges of international Islamist terrorism.

 

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User Review  - jimocracy - LibraryThing

There was nothing especially bad about this book. But I struggled to find a context. I didn't know most of the people mentioned in the book and the author seemed to jump around so much that a plotline was all but incoherent. Read full review

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User Review  - Eagleduck86 - LibraryThing

Long and almost too detailed, but shows a largely unrecognized part of the background behind current conflicts and how they are tied to other events. Read full review

Contents

The Routine of War
179
Chechnya and the Palestinian Problem
190
The Chechen Jihad after 911
199
Chechenization in Afghanistan
210
Moscow Strikes Back in Chechnya
223
Strikes in Moscow and in Western Europe
236
The Black Widows
257
The Road to Beslan
271

The Slide to Crisis
87
The Slide to War
106
The Second Chechen War
117
War Again
131
The Internationalization of the Jihad
139
A New War
153
Money Matters
167
SelfDevouring
295
In the Theater of Global Jihad
323
Center Stage in Global Jihad
354
End Game
377
A Note on Sources and Methods
420
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About the author (2007)

Yossef Bodansky, author of The Secret History of the Iraq War and the number one New York Times bestseller Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America, was the director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare for sixteen years (1988–2004). He is also the longtime director of research at the International Strategic Studies Association. The author of ten books, he has written frequently for numerous periodicals, including Global Affairs, Jane's Defence Weekly, Defense and Foreign Affairs: Strategic Policy, and BusinessWeek. A member of the Prague Society for International Cooperation, he is a former senior consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of State. Bodansky was also a visiting scholar in the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. He divides his time between the Middle East and the Washington, D.C., area.

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