Osama bin Laden
terrorists led by Osama bin Laden attacked the U.S. embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania in 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered retaliatory missile strikes
against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan.
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It was the first time the United
States had responded to an individual terrorist with such overwhelming military
force. Bin Laden, of course, is no run-of-the-mill rabble-rouser; Clinton called
him "perhaps the pre-eminent organizer and financier of international
terrorism in the world today."
That's quite a label for someone who, as
biographer Yossef Bodansky describes, "lives with his four wives and some
fifteen children in a small cave in eastern Afghanistan" without running
water. Yet he is "a principal player in a tangled and sinister web of
terrorism-sponsoring states, intelligence chieftains, and master
terrorists." Remarkably little is known about the man; as Bodansky reveals,
even the year of bin Laden's birth is uncertain. This book, then, is more than
the story of a single terrorist. It's a description of a whole movement waging a
jihad--holy war--against the United States in the belief that America's
modernizing influence on Arab nations thwarts Islamic fundamentalist goals. Bin
Laden is strikingly current, extremely well informed, and thoroughly
detailed. Readers interested in facts about the Middle East's violent underworld
will find it fascinating--and chilling. Bodansky notes that bin Laden has become
a hero to radical Muslim youth, and Osama is now a very popular baby name in
many Arab countries.
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