Monday, 19 July 2010

Advance Praise for BROTHERS IN ARMS

‘In Brothers in Arms Camille Tawil delivers a carefully reported and well balanced assessment of al Qaeda and its affiliated Arab jihadist groups, which has been sensitively translated by Robin Bray. Tawil is especially good on the Libyan and Algerian jihadists and his book is a welcome and important addition to the studies of al Qaeda and the other militant groups it has influenced.’
Peter Bergen is the author of Holy War, Inc. and The Osama bin Laden I Know

‘Brothers in Arms’ is a well-written and engaging account of the origins and evolution of Al-Qa’ida and associated militant Islamist groups in North Africa. It draws on a wealth of original material and new sources including testimonies and the author’s interviews with key Islamist personalities to offer a refreshingly human perspective on the various groups involved in jihad. Indeed Tawil steers clear of sensationalism yet paints a vivid picture of the development of nationalist militant groups in the region. More importantly in a world where much of the commentary has tended to lump these groups together, Tawil’s detailed account highlights the very real ideological and operational differences between them. ‘Brothers in Arms’ is an excellent addition to the existing literature on Al-Qa’ida and on North African jihadist groups and is a ‘must-read’ for anyone interested in the evolution of militant Islam in the region and beyond.
Alison Pargeter
Senior Research Associate

Department of Politics and International Relations
University of Cambridge

‘One of the most rigorous, best researched and informed account of Islamic militancy available today. Tawil’s deep understanding, fine analysis, eye for detail and the reams of new material gathered in years of reporting makes this work invaluable to the scholar and general reader alike.’
Jason Burke, author of Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam

‘[This] book is a long-needed, detailed, and primary source based analysis of the structure, evolution, and operations of the Maghreb’s Sunni militant groups, focusing on Libya, Egypt, and Algeria. In a politically correct world, Mr. Tawil bravely and correctly shows that the Arab world’s brutal police states have motivated an Islam-based resistance, as well as how the militants’ differing views of Islamic law have so far prevented them from unifying to threaten the rule of the North African regimes. Mr. Tawil also places the Maghreb groups in the broader context of worldwide Sunni militancy, describing and assessing their often close but never smooth ties to al-Qaeda. He shrewdly concludes that Washington’s with-us-or-against-us reaction to 9/11; invasion of Iraq; and maintenance of policies Muslims see as anti-Islam have ironically made some Islamist leaders rethink their earlier rejection of bin Laden’s idea of defeating the United States (the “far enemy”) as the first step to ending Arab tyrannies. If Mr. Tawil is right – and I think he is – U.S. actions may be spurring a bin Laden-inspired renaissance of the Islamist movement in the Maghreb and worldwide. Through this insight, Mr. Tawil’s Brothers in Arms sheds a clear and indispensable – if troubling – light on a religious war that is far from over.’
Michael F. Scheuer, former CIA Chief of the bin Laden Issue Station and Professor of Security Studies, Georgetown University

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