Jihad in Saudi Arabia

Book cover: Jihad in Saudi Arabia by Thomas Hegghammer May’s Featured Book:

Jihad in Saudi Arabia:

Violence and Pan-Islamism
since 1979

by Thomas Hegghammer

Saudi Arabia, homeland of Osama bin Laden and many 9/11 hijackers, is widely considered to be the heartland of radical Islamism. For decades, the conservative and oil-rich kingdom contributed recruits, ideologues and money to jihadi groups worldwide. Yet Islamism within Saudi Arabia itself remains poorly understood. Why has Saudi Arabia produced so many militants? Has the Saudi government supported violent groups? How strong is al-Qaida’s foothold in the kingdom and does it threaten the regime? Why did Bin Laden not launch a campaign there until 2003? This book presents the first ever history of Saudi jihadism based on extensive fieldwork in the kingdom and primary sources in Arabic. It offers a powerful explanation for the rise of Islamist militancy in Saudi Arabia and sheds crucial new light on the history of the global jihadist movement.

About the Author

Thomas Hegghammer, (MA & MPhil Oxford University, PhD Sciences-Po Paris) is William D. Loughlin member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), and associate of the Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. He was previously a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University. Before writing Jihad in Saudi Arabia, he co-authored Al Qaeda in Its Own Words (Harvard University Press 2008). Dr. Hegghammer has published widely on jihadism Saudi Arabia, jihadi ideology and the foreign fighter phenomenon. He also edits the blog www.jihadica.com.

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