The Last Refuge

The Last Refuge

Yemen, Al-Qaeda, and America's War in Arabia

Book - 2013
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Far from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States and al-Qaeda are fighting a clandestine war of drones and suicide bombers in an unforgiving corner of Arabia.

The Last Refuge charts the rise, fall, and resurrection of al-Qaeda in Yemen over the last thirty years, detailing how a group that the United States once defeated has now become one of the world's most dangerous threats. An expert on Yemen who has spent years on the ground there, Gregory D. Johnsen uses al-Qaeda's Arabic battle notes to reconstruct their world as they take aim at the United States and its allies. Johnsen brings readers in-side al-Qaeda's training camps and safe houses as the terrorists plot poison attacks and debate how to bring down an airliner on Christmas Day. The Last Refuge is an eye-opening look at the successes and failures of fighting a new type of war in one of the most turbulent countries in the world.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2013.
ISBN: 9780393082425
Characteristics: 352 p. ; 24 cm.


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Feb 05, 2013

This is an outstanding book that is well-researched and well-written. Johnsen offers a comprehensive look at the role that Yemen has played in terrorism since the 1980s, focusing most particularly on terrorist acts by Al-Qaeda. He discusses the history of Osama bin Laden and how the decisions of the U.S. and various countries in the Middle East affected Al-Qaeda's (and subsequently AQAP's) successes and failures. He also looks at corruption in Yemen and actions by its longtime president, Ali Abdullah Salih, the shrewd-but-fickle politician who always had his hand out for money but whose support for U.S. policies ran hot and cold. I highly recommend this book.


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