This book tells us the story of Bin Laden from his early days of sighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan, to his re-exile to Taliban Afghanistan where he plotted the fall of the looming towers, to his escape to Tort Boar. In order to understand Bin Alden’s ideologies, religious beliefs and agenda against America, the author of The Looming Tower tells us the story of Stayed Quit. He seems to have a lot in common with Bin Laden and came to be a good influence in his path to al-Qaeda. Quit opposed Communist and Capitalist systems.
He also thought that Christianity was powerless in comparison to Islam. He believed Islam was a complete system with laws, social codes, economic rules and its own method of government. Going through the pages of the first chapter, could not avoid finding a resemblance between Quest’s and Bin Laden. However, Bin Laden took Quest’s beliefs to a dangerous extreme. Wright does an amazing job explaining Bin Alden’s background. Bin Alden’s father built a company out of hard work and even became a favorite of the monarchy of Saudi Arabia.
According to Wright through his clever alliance with powerful foreign corporations, “Bin Alden’s father began diversifying his company named “Binnacle Kaiser which became one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world” (Wright p. 77). The Bin Political Science -2 Alden’s became a well known family and Osama was supposed to follow those footsteps and help in the family business. Comma’s calling was different. He focused on his rage against the Soviet Union and the world of Christianity.
The Soviet Invasion is the war that gives shape to the first organization of Arabs that wanted to change the world and protect their land and religious beliefs. Bin Laden and Sheikh Abdullah Zamia set up what they called the Service Bureau (Magmata al- Chatham). According to Jonathan R. White, Izard believed that the realm of Islam had been dominated by foreign power for too long and it was time for all Muslims to rise and fight Satan. “He saw the war with the Soviet Union as the beginning of a holy war against all things foreign to Islam” (White p. 79). It was during these times that Martyrdom starts to be a strong part of this story. Martyrdom is a reward and a glorious death. Zamia talked to his group and other audiences around the world many times about martyrdom. The pageant of martyrdom that he limned before his audiences created the death cult which would one day form al- Qaeda. In 1986, Bin Laden financed the first permanent all Arab camp for this project which did not involve his partner in The Business Bureau Zamia.
In front of the eyes of followers and old friends and family, Bin Laden reiterated his vision of creating an Arabic force that would defend Muslim causes everywhere. Bin Alden’s camp was known as Lion’s Den and it was a place formed by man-made caverns, well disguised and perched above the main supply line from Pakistan. Some of the caverns would be more than a hundred yards long and twenty feet high, serving as shelters, dormitories, capitals and arm dumps. During the time that Lion’s Den was the center of Bin Alden’s operations, he saw a huge victory against the Russians.
For the Afghans, this victory became the foundation of the myth that they defeated the superpower. When the Soviet Union finally fell into pieces, Bin Laden created a vanguard that was to carry Political Science -3 forward. The author tells us that al-Qaeda was a marriage of the following assumptions: “Faith is stronger than that of weapons or nations and the ticket to enter the secret zone where such miracles occur is the willingness to die” (Wright p. 1 38). While the Soviet union was still a threat to Bin Laden, the tragedy of Palestine was always present in his thoughts and speeches.
His dream and ambitions included plans to move the movement to Kashmir, the Philippines, and the central Asian Republics where he could continue the jihad against the Soviet Union. The United States was not present on this list of targets at that time and that leads us to understand that the vanguard that he would create was primarily to fight gag insist communism. When it comes down to the formal creation of al-Qaeda, there was a lot said about its goals. Bin Laden and his associates painted al-Qaeda as an organized Islamic faction that must lift the word of God to make his religion victorious.
The founders divided the military work into two parts: The limited duration in which the Arabs would be trained and placed with Afghan mechanized for the remainder of the war, and The open duration in this stage the brothers were tested and the best were chosen. Only the chosen ones would become members of al-Qaeda. When the news of the creation of al- Qaeda reached Zamia, he seemed unconcerned. He did not think Osama was cap able of managing such an organization. The creation and first stages of al;Qaeda seem very similar with the formation f any corporation or new business.
After signing oaths of loyalty to Bin Laden, members earned signing bonuses and tickets to see their families. There was also a health care plan in place. From the very beginning this organization seemed to be a very attractive employment opportunity. In the book “Terrorism & Homeland Security’ Jonathan White mentions a research that gives us some insight of al-Qaeda first members. A research essay by Brock Bloomberg Gregory Hess Political Science -4 and Monika Warplane explains about economic factors involved in justifying terrorist violence.
AY-Qaeda was justifying violence to exhibit a collective frustration about poverty. All al-Qaeda members were taken care of by the organization. They were not necessarily poor. By the end of 1989 Osama was a thirty one year old man that commanded an international volunteer army of unknown dimensions. He was also a hero for many in South Arabia, especially among the young citizens Of Saudi Arabia who Were enraged by the precarious situation of their country. Osama seemed to be their voice and major supporter.
The end of 1 989 is of major importance for the connection of Bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Ignited States. The author tells us that during this time Bin Laden pointed a finger to the United States making them responsible for the Arab’s failure. The bottom line is that Bin Laden did not approve the support that America had given to Israel. Bin Laden would say later that America had always been his enemy. Bin Laden dated his hatred for America to 1 982, ” when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth fleet helped them. The author was able to trace the relation of Osama and America to the very beginning but later we will find the reasons that made Osama terrorize American territory and kill civilians. When Saudi Arabia needed help protecting its borders they had to ask the united States for help and this was a huge blow for Bin Laden. He tried to convince the Kingdom that it was a bad idea, but he was not heard. At the time he seemed very irrational and desperate. He offered his group of people to defend the borders of Saudi Arabia.
The victory of America against Saddle was another turning point for Bin Laden. He wanted to create a new world that was ruled by Muslims, not directed by America and enforced by the United Nations. The scale of his ambition started to reveal itself and with his deed to push America to the side in order to achieve a Muslim world. According to Jonathan White Bin Laden could not deal with having foreigners Political Science – 5 so close, so he not only declared war on America but also to Saudi Arabia for teaming up with the enemy.
Lawrence Wright tries to go deep inside the reason that Bin Laden had to turn against America. AY-Qaeda saw America as the lotus of Christian power. The book marks the 1 992 car bombs in Yemen as a way for al-Qaeda to make America uneasy. No American citizens died in this particular attack, but al- Qaeda was satisfied with the results of the attacks. This terrorist attack marked a new era in the history of al-Qaeda. From now on innocent people would die and their death would be justified. The murder of civilians turned al-Qaeda into a global terrorist organization.
This organization would toss aside their conception of defending Muslim lands in favor of a policy of permanent subversion of the West America was the only power capable of stopping the world from becoming a Muslim world, so it would have to be confronted and defeated. So far the author had set the scene and reasoning behind Bin Alden’s intentions to destroy America, but Americans knew very title about al-Qaeda until the first terrorist attack to the World Trade Center in the Winter of 1993, even though this attack was not connected to them. Mullah Omar and CNN had some contact with Bin Laden in Tort Boar.
The interview with CNN was the first television interview that he had ever granted. During this interview Osama answers questions in a religious matter instead of a political one. “He went to mention the assistance to Israel and the presence of American troops as a reason for the declaration of war” (Wright p. 280). Wright thinks that Bin Laden was answering the questions as the preventative of the Islamic Nation. Bin Laden and al-Qaeda became more famous outside Saudi Arabia when they made public their intentions to kill Americans whenever they might be found.
While Bin Laden was Political Science – 6 becoming a household name around the world, John O’Neill would work without stopping trying to understand and follow al-Qaeda. O’Neill was a special agent in charge of the national security division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Wright portrays O’Neill as a person with a strong personality and the perfect rival for Bin Laden , He has been described as a person that old be confused as a member of the mob. O’Neill had the personality of a workaholic. He would work faster than the system and the government bureaucracy which would usually slow him down.
The American CIA and FBI will never forget August 7, 1 998 when al-Qaeda detonated bombs simultaneously in the American Embassies of Nairobi and Tanzania. These bombings were audacious assaults on America’s place in the world. O’Neill never doubted about the possibilities of an attack from al-Qaeda on American soil. The CIA warned of multiple attacks in the United States but very few details were revealed. After the Millennium roundup, O’Neill concluded that al-Qaeda had sleeper cells buried in America.
This is where Wright starts giving us the details of the months before 9/1 1 that we feel like we are about to hit the climax of an action/horror movie. Mohammed Data was one of the master minds behind the “plane operation” of 9/11. This operation was supposed to be executed before 2001 but Bin Laden first refused to accept the plan. Once the green light was given to Mohammed it was time to find the right people to execute the plan. All of these came with challenges such as learning the language, funding, and lack of trained pilots. It would take precise planning to make this happen.
Wright does not avoid details when explaining al-Qaeda preparations. In the meantime the CIA had information about the developing of some meeting in Malaysia and the presence of al- Qaeda members on American soil. The men living in America were part of the team of the 9/1 1 hijackers. The CIA kept this information because they feared that prosecutions resulting from specific intelligence might compromise its relationship with Political Science – 7 foreign services. However, the author also mentions O’Neill presence in the CIA as a reason for the omission to disclose this piece of intelligence.
Nothing was said and this catastrophe could have been stopped, but bureaucracy prevailed. The author mentions a moment of real sadness for America when All Sofa (a Lebanese-American FBI agent) was given photos and a complete report of the meeting in Malaysia. These materials had been requested previously by Sofa but she was denied. The fight of Tort Boar closes Wright’s book and shows Bin Laden leaving for Pakistan and going into hiding. Wright is a perfectionist when it comes to explaining in great detail the resonantly and background of Osama Bin Laden.