"The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11"
"The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11" is a book written by Lawrence Wright, staff writer for The New Yorker and a fellow at the Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law, published by Knopf and released August 8, 2006 (ISBN 037541486X).
"The Looming Tower", "based on more than 500 interviews, gives the reader a searing view of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, a view that is at once wrenchingly intimate and boldly sweeping in its historical perspective," Michiko Kakutani wrote September 4, 2006, for the New York Times. "The book also suggests that the events of Sept. 11 were not inevitable. Rather, bad luck, the confluence of particular decisions and chance encounters, dithering on the part of U.S. officials and a series of absurd turf wars between the CIA and FBI all contributed to al-Qaida’s success that sunny September day."
"Wright is equally scathing about the Bush and Clinton administrations," Kakutani wrote. "He notes that terrorism was a low priority for the Bush White House when it took over in January 2001" and "argues that the Clinton administration’s reaction to the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa - launching cruise missiles at an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan in a failed effort to kill bin Laden - helped turn the terrorist into a global celebrity."
From Publishers Weekly: "Wright, a New Yorker writer, brings exhaustive research and delightful prose to one of the best books yet on the history of terrorism. He begins with the observation that, despite an impressive record of terror and assassination, post–WWarII, Islamic militants failed to establish theocracies in any Arab country. Many helped Afghanistan resist the Russian invasion of 1979 before their unemployed warriors stepped up efforts at home. Al-Qaeda, formed in Afghanistan in 1988 and led by Osama bin Laden, pursued a different agenda, blaming America for Islam's problems. Less wealthy than believed, bin Laden's talents lay in organization and PR, Wright asserts. Ten years later, bin Laden blew up U.S. embassies in Africa and the destroyer Cole, opening the floodgates of money and recruits. Wright's step-by-step description of these attacks reveals that planning terror is a sloppy business, leaving a trail of clues that, in the case of 9/11, raised many suspicions among individuals in the FBI, CIA and NSA. Wright shows that 9/11 could have been prevented if those agencies had worked together. As a fugitive, bin Ladin's days as a terror mastermind may be past, but his success has spawned swarms of imitators. This is an important, gripping and profoundly disheartening book." 
Related SourceWatch Resources
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- Dennis Prager, "The Looming Tower," Townhall.com (TalkRadio), September 6, 2006. (35-second segment).[[category:war on terrorism