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PERFECT SOLDIERS: THE HIJACKERS WHO THEY WERE, WHY THEY DID
Author: TERRY MCDERMOTT
ISBN: 0060584696
Year: 2005
Publisher: HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS (USA)
Category: POLITICS / CURRENT AFFAIR / INTERNATIONAL RELATION
Edition: 1
Format: Hard Cover
Language: English
Pages: 330
 ABOUT THE TITLE
The attacks of September 11 2001 were a calamity on a scale few had imagined possible. In their aftermath we often exaggerated the men who perpetrated them shaping hasty and often mistaken reporting into caricatures we could comprehend-monsters and master criminals equal to the enormity of their crimes. In reality the 9/11 hijackers and their cohorts were unexceptional men not much different from countless others. It is this enemy not the caricature that we must understand if we are to have a legitimate hope of defeating terrorism. The intent of this book is to uncover a better understanding of who the hijackers were and thereby why they did what they did. Perfect Soldiers traces these men s lives and the evolution of their beliefs putting a human face on heinous acts. Most of the hijackers were from apolitical and only mildly religious backgrounds. As they came of age though they were shaped by historical tides and their own circumstances evolving into devout pious Muslims. In fundamentalist Islam religion and politics are inseparable; they saw themselves as pilgrims soldiers of God. In the end this is a story about the power of belief to remake ordinary men. Matching unrivaled research undertaken in twenty countries on four continents with a voice that is engaging authoritative and thought-provoking Los Angeles Times correspondent Terry McDermott provides detailed portraits of the main players of the 9/11 plot including by far the most comprehensive study yet produced of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the plan s mysterious engineer. With brilliant reporting and thoughtful analysis McDermott brings us a clearer more nuanced and in some ways more frightening understanding of the landmark event of our time.
AUTHOR: Terry McDermott
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 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Key Figures xi
Preface xv
Prologue: Welcome 1
Book 1 Soldiers
1 A House of Learning 9
2 Alone, Abroad 20
3 Friends 34
4 Pilgrims 47
5 The Smell of Paradise Rising 69
Book 2 The Engineer
1 The Rebirth of Jihad 93
2 Those Without 107
3 World War 127
4 War, After War 155
Book 3 The Plot
1 The New Recruits 171
2 Preparations 185
3 The Last Year 212
4 That Day 233
Appendix A Mohamed el-Amir's Last Will and Testament 245
Appendix B The Last Night 249
Appendix C Bin Laden's 1996 Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places (abridged) 253
Appendix D Bin Laden's 1998 Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders 267
Notes 271
Selected Bibliography 309
Acknowledgments 311
Index 313
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