The Dim-Post

May 30, 2008

Why did Al Qaeda Attack America?

Filed under: general news — danylmc @ 3:56 pm

Death will always find you
Even in the looming tower

Sura IV, The Koran

If you’re of a certain ideological bent you already know why the 9/11 attacks happened: either because America had it coming to them for various reasons (rather vaguely involving Israel); or maybe you think it was because the attackers were Muslims and they’re just prone to do that sort of thing now and then (possibly because they hate freedom).

To most people however these theories are less than persuasive, and fortunately we have Lawrence Wrights book The Looming Tower to help make sense of it all.

Endlessly fascinating, this book is at once a history of radical Islamic thought in the past 100 years, a history of modern Saudi Arabia and post-revolutionary Egypt, biographies of bin Laden and Zawahiri and an account of the failure of US intelligence to prevent the attacks.

Wright currently has an article up at the New Yorker about the various intellectual currents extant in the modern jihadi movement. It’s long but well worth the effort.


  1. Making a start on this now, thanks to your recommendation. Pretty good so far – just finished “The Founder”.

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — November 26, 2008 @ 4:08 pm

  2. Nice thread necromancy!

    Comment by danylmc — November 26, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

  3. Heh. Sorry. I thought you might like to know that someone picked up on your book recommendation and ran with it.

    Also I have been devouring your archives for a week or so now, as I generally do when I find a really good new blog.

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — November 26, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: