Osama Bin Laden
Before Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. troops in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, the shadowy leader of al-Qaeda had all but disappeared from public consciousness. Largely depicted as a historical figure, he was viewed by the media, government and public as the mastermind behind 9/11, but no longer relevant to the world it created. Yet to view the man through this lens, Michael Scheuer argues, only contributes to a widespread denial of his ultimate significance and power. In the newly updated paperback edition, Scheuer, the first head of the CIA's bin Laden Unit, draws from a wealth of interviews, speeches, and previously untranslated documents to challenge the complacency of the West's perception of Osama bin Laden. Exploring bin Laden's evolution from a peaceful Saudi dissident to America's Most Wanted and shedding light on his development as a theologian, media manipulator, and military commander, Sheuer produces a closely reasoned, authoritative portrait of America's most determined enemy. Discrediting prevailing claims that bin Laden is irrelevant or unimportant, Scheuer's much-needed corrective shows a figure of remarkable leadership skills, strategic genius, and considerable rhetorical abilities who was significantly underestimated by the West. In light of the success of the U.S. special forces mission that brought down bin Laden in Pakistan, Scheuer expands his argument to consider the political landscape that bin Laden left behind, and the dark legacy that survives him. Despite the reactions of the media and American public to bin Laden's death and the renewed depictions of him as an irrelevant and one-dimensional demon that followed, Scheuer argues that the jihadist leader was truly a complex and formidable enemy of the West, and that his influence and ideology only take on a heightened relevance in the wake of his assassination.
By: Michael Scheuer