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Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network Paperback – November 25, 2004

2.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The definitive account of a battle Al-Qaida lost ... Kohlmann's mastery of this phase in the war on terrorism is complete.” ―Richard Clarke, author of Against All Enemies

“The definitive account of a battle Al-Qaida lost ... Kohlmann's mastery of this phase in the war on terrorism is complete.” ―Richard Clarke, Former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism, US National Security Council (NSC)

“Pathbreaking ... provides us unprecedented insights into the current threat facing the West. It is a must-read to understand the contemporary wave of terrorism.” ―Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside Al Qaeda

“Kohlmann, one of the world's foremost counterterrorism experts, documents and explores [an overlooked] chapter with insight and depth.” ―Andrew C. McCarthy, counterterrorism expert and former federal prosecutor in the 1993 WTC bombing

About the Author

Evan F. Kohlmann is an International Terrorism Consultant based in Washington, DC. He has served as an expert witness on Al-Qaida and Usama Bin Laden in post-9/11 federal terrorism trials held in the U.S. His articles have appeared in the New York Post, FoxNews.com, and the National Review, and he is frequently interviewed as a terrorist expert in the major media, including NBC, CNN, and Fox news programs.|

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1st Edition/1st Printing edition (December 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859738079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859738078
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fabio Weissert on March 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Still today, although slightly less, the crucial importance of Bosnia for Al-Qaida's Jihad in and against the West is underestimated. How was it possible that the holy warriors, after having fought for many years in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, were able to establish save havens in Bosnia and spread terrorist cells throughout Europe, Canada and the United States?

This book offers a detailed approach to the genesis of Al-Qaida (above all in Europe) and enumerates a number of components that enabled it to spread globally. Starting with the holy war in Afghanistan and its infrastructure and fighters, the focus gradually moves to Bosnia (its Civil War) and, later on, to a global scale.

The book features various illustrations, extensive coverage of many individual destinies of the "mujahideen", references to a great variety of sources and is written in a very appealing way. Furthermore, it sheds light on the doubtful rôle of Alija Izetbegovic, on flawed Western intelligence, on the consequences of the hesitant intervention of the International Community, on the crucial impact of so-called Islamic "Charities" and finally offers lessons of the "Afghano-Bosniaks".

At the beginning, you might have to get used to the particular fashion of the book, however, after a few pages you will enjoy a very good read. To conclude, a few pieces of advice in order to get the most out of the book: have a map of Ex-Yugoslavia (especially Bosnia) within reach, write down the most important Arabic expressions you encounter with the corresponding translation and make a list of the most important Arabic names, as some are difficult to remember and prone to confusion.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a pathbreaking piece of research into two underexplored aspects of contemporary terrorism. Author Evan F. Kohlmann outlines the trajectories of Arab-Afghan veterans of the anti-Soviet jihad and subsequent civil war in Afghanistan during the 1980s and early 1990s. He also looks to the origins and patterns of mujahedin activity during the 1992-1995 wars in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The result is a deeply disturbing illumination of late twentieth century Islamic militancy. Both troubled states attracted fighters from across the Greater Middle East and North Africa, and although many of the leading jihadists in wartime Bosnia made their reputations in the earlier Afghan conflict, Kohlmann portrays both states as roughly parallel forges of extremist sentiment. Al-Quaida's Jihad in Europe traces terrorist trajectories from the Peshawar-based Mujahedin Services Office, across the mountains of central and southwestern Bosnia, to London's infamous Finsbury Mosque and the metropoles of Western Europe and North America.

The weight of the book is on the Arab-Afghan migration to Bosnia-Herzegovina. As organized combatants, the contribution of mujahedin units to the Bosnian Muslim war effort was clear: their fearlessness under fire, and their consequent impact on military goals, was undisputed. Their lack of discipline and total disregard for the laws of war, on the other hand, were a liability to the government of Alija Izetbegovic. As religious colonizers, their promotion of conservative Islam also conflicted with the laissez-faire attitudes of Bosnian Muslims. Kohlmann addresses this ambiguity quite adroitly, exploring official reluctance to deal with the post-war settlement of foreign fighters who shed blood in defence of their admittedly obscure Bosnian Muslim brethren.
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Format: Paperback
To pose that Bosnian Muslims colluded with Afghani Muslims shows the authors lack of knowledge and limited grasp on Bosnian Muslims and their strong secular tendencies. Not to mention the many place names author gets wrong. This reads more like a master’s thesis, pounded out on a laptop with occasional gulps of natural ice, focused mainly on meeting one’s deadline. I would bet the author has never lived or travelled to the Middle East.
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From the get go mr. Kohlmann is making cardinal mistakes starting from names of the places, and people (even ex Croat president for God's sake), to the flipping geographical positions of numerous places in the book. As someone who spent the entire war in Zenica, and who received help from one of the organizations mentioned in the book, and as someone who took part in their educational programs I'm deeply offended that there is person who is willing to put it in words (book) that my mother was forced (for the sake of survival) to send me as a 10 years old boy to "brain washing" classes. Educational classes were absolutely 100% optional and kids were attending them if they wanted to. There was no brainwashing and I have never witnessed any sorts of hate speech. With that being said, religious education of some sort was required but it could have been done in local elementary schools or masques as long as we had signed proof of attending such classes from teacher in school or from imam at the masque.

So mr. Kohlmann's writing in that particular instance is flat out incorrect and far from the truth as one could get. Taking in consideration mr. Kohlmann's background I was hopping to have a chance to read truly neutral outlook on foreign forces in Bosnia, but what I got was nowhere near that. This book can not be used as reliable source of any kind but rather as amusement reading.
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