Tuesday, Nov 13, 2001 Publishers Weekly

From Publishers Weekly There’s a lot of new information in this well-written examination by CNN’s terrorism expert on the man believed to be behind the events of September 11, though some of its revelations have already been reported elsewhere in the media. What distinguishes this account is its depth: Bergen has long tracked the Islamic […]

Sunday, Nov 11, 2001 Prophet of Evil

This is the only book you need to read about Osama bin Laden, at least for now. Peter Bergen, a British-raised producer for CNN and ABC television news, has done the world a favor by writing a work that is at once lively, literate and authoritative — equal parts journalism, history and even whimsical travelogue, from the London salons of welfare-supported, turbaned blowhards to the sand-whipped redoubts of the jihad in Yemen, Cairo and, of course, Afghanistan. Some Holy War. Imagine, if you will, that Hitler had been booted out of Germany and taken his closest psychopaths into unhappy exile. In Bergen’s telling, Holy War, Inc. is a global network of mostly professional Arab malcontents bent on overthrowing the corrupt regimes of the Middle East and taking their peoples back to an idealized version of the 7th century. (The future disposition of the technology they use to get their message across — cell phones, bank transfers, credit cards, fax machines, Apple Powerbooks, video cameras and satellite dishes, not to mention passenger jets — remains to be worked out.)

In 1997, CNN correspondent Peter Bergen interviewed an obscure terrorist in Afghanistan. Of course, that was back when the Western world knew little about Osama bin Laden. And cared less. In “Holy War, Inc.,” Bergen compares Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network to a multinational holding company, with similar global reach. It has a truly international roster of “employees,” drawn from at least 24 countries, including America.

El libro de Peter Bergen, analista en temas de terrorismo de la CNN, fue una de las grandes estrellas de la feria de Francfort, y hay que decir que si solo se tiene tiempo para una biografia del hombre mas odiado de Occidente, lease Bin Laden, esta debe ser la eleccion. Cuatro anos tardo Bergen en recopilar la informacion y otros dos en redactar esta biografia, que finalmente tuvo que ser revisada a toda velocidad para ponerla al dia tras el 11-S.

Professor Sir Michael Howard MC knows a great deal more about warfare than I do, or ever shall. His elegant analysis of the current crisis, first delivered as a lecture to the Royal United Services Institute last week, has been hailed as “brilliant”, has been widely reported, reprinted in full, and is fast becoming the locus classicus of those opposed to military intervention in Afghanistan. Who am I to criticise a former Regius professor? I feel, metaphorically, like a Taliban fighter loosing off a couple of rifle rounds at a passing B52.

CNN’s terrorism analyst, Peter L. Bergen, observes in his new book on Osama bin Laden that the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were “the deadliest salvo” yet in a holy war against the United States that began “almost a decade earlier with the little-noticed bombing of a Yemen hotel that housed American soldiers.” “An Australian tourist was the sole casualty of that assault,” he writes, “but with every passing year the attacks became more sophisticated and more deadly.”

few hours after the first American air strikes against Afghanistan, on October 7, a pre-recorded videotape was broadcast around the world. A tall, skinny man with a scraggly beard, wearing a camouflage fatigue jacket and the headdress of a desert tribesman, an AK-47 assault rifle at his side, stood placidly before a rocky backdrop. In measured language Osama bin Laden again declared war on the United States.

Thursday, Nov 01, 2001 Booklist review

From Booklist Books rushed out in the wake of historical calamities tend to be a patchwork of sloppy research and poor writing. But Bergen, who spent 10 years reporting on the Islamic world as a producer for CNN, has written a penetrating examination of al-Qaeda, which he compares to a multinational corporation with Osama bin […]

Thursday, Nov 01, 2001 GUERRA SANTA S.A.

Una lectura esencial para cualquiera que pretenda comprender las amenazas terroristas del futuro y los movimientos islamistas radicales que podrian determinar el destino de gobiernos –y de vidas humanas- en todo el mundo.”

With the 24-hour news cycle providing a messy first draft of history, context has become a scarce commodity, especially when it comes to a figure as frightening and unknowable as Osama bin Laden. Will he be remembered down the line as an evil tactician who touched off a tectonic clash of civilizations? Or will his ideas end up, as President Bush memorably put it, “in history’s unmarked grave of discarded lies”? <em>Holy War, Inc.</em> doesn’t address such questions directly, but it does offer a comprehensive and well-balanced look into the militant world that gave rise to bin Laden and his army of believers.