Books

The New Threat From Islamic Militancy

Jason Burke

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE 2016

In The New Threat renowned expert and prize-winning reporter Jason Burke provides the clearest and most comprehensive guide to Islamic militancy today.

From Syria to Somalia, from Libya to Indonesia, from Yemen to the capitals of Europe, Islamic militancy appears stronger, more widespread and more threatening than ever. ISIS and other groups, such as Boko Haram, together command significant military power, rule millions and control extensive territories. Elsewhere Al-Qaeda remains potent and is rapidly evolving. Factions and subsidiaries proliferate worldwide, and a new generation of Western Jihadists are emerging, joining conflicts abroad and attacking at home. Who are these groups and what do they actually want? What connects them and how do they differ? How are we to understand their tactics of online activism and grotesque violence?

Drawing on almost two decades of frontline reporting as well as a vast range of sources, from intelligence officials to the militants themselves, renowned expert Jason Burke cuts through the mass of opinion and misinformation to explain dispassionately and with total clarity the nature of the threat we now face. He shows that Islamic militancy has changed dramatically in recent years. Far from being a ‘medieval’ throwback, it is modern, dynamic and resilient. Despite everything, it is entirely comprehensible.

The New Threat is essential reading if we are to understand our fears rather than succumb to them, to act rationally and effectively, and to address successfully one of the most urgent problems of our time.

The 9/11 Wars

Jason Burke

From the author of Al-Qaeda, Jason Burke's The 9/11 Wars is an essential book for understanding the dangerous and unstable world of the twenty-first century.

On September 11th 2001, in a series of coordinated suicide attacks, terrorists destroyed New York's World Trade Center and a substantial portion of the Pentagon. Since the Twin Towers fell, the world has seen the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the downfall of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, bombings, battles and riots. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the 'war on terror'.

Whether reporting on the riots in France or the attack on Mumbai, suicide bombers in Iraq or British troops fighting in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, Jason Burke's The 9/11 Wars, named 2011 Book of the Year by the Daily Telegraph, Economist and Independent, tells the story of a world that changed forever when the hijacked planes flew out of the brilliant blue sky above Manhattan on September 11th.

'The best overview of the 9/11 decade so far in print'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Economist

'A magisterial history of the last decade'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Pankaj Mishra, Guardian

'At a time when there are more books out on terrorism than ever before ... this is likely to be among the best'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Sunday Telegraph

'Potent ... journalism of a high order ... essential for understanding the past decade'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Sherard Cowper-Coles, Sunday Times

Jason Burke is the South Asia correspondent for the Guardian. He has reported around the world for both the Guardian and the Observer. He is the author of two other widely praised books, both published by Penguin: Al-Qaeda and On the Road to Kandahar. He lives in New Delhi.

Al-Qaeda

Jason Burke

To most in the West, 'al-Qaeda' is seen as a byword for terror: a deadly, highly organised fanatical group masterminded by Osama bin Laden. But does this tell the whole truth?

Prize-winning journalist Jason Burke has spent a decade reporting from the heart of the Middle East and gaining unprecedented access to the world of radical Islam. Now, drawing on his frontline experience of recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan, on secret documents and astonishing interviews with intelligence officers, militants, mujahideen commanders and bin Laden's associates, he reveals the full story of al-Qaeda - and demolishes the myths that underpin the 'war on terror'.

Burke demonstrates that in fact 'al-Qaeda' is merely a convenient label applied by the West to a far broader - and thus more dangerous - phenomenon of Islamic militancy, and shows how eradicating a single figure or group will do nothing to combat terrorism. Only by understanding the true, complex nature of al-Qaeda, he argues, can we address the real issues surrounding our security today.

On the Road to Kandahar

Jason Burke

From the bestselling author of Al-Qaeda, Jason Burke's On the Road to Kandahar reveals the true face of Islam in an age of global conflict.

In the summer of 1991 Jason Burke set off to join Kurdish guerillas fighting in Iraq. It was the start of a remarkable journey that would take him from the sands of the Sahara to the highest peaks of the Himalayas, revealing the true complexity and variety of the 'Islamic world'.

Describing encounters with hundreds of people ranging from destitute refugees to senior government ministers, from American snipers to hardened 'mujahideen', this extraordinary work of reportage is a vivid account of life and death, war and peace, bigotry and ignorance, hate and tolerance.

'Fast-paced ... fascinating'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Sunday Times

'A personal odyssey shot through with vivid description and human sympathy'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;New Statesman

'A beautifully written account of a decade spent in Muslim societies ... intensely personal ... absorbing and illuminating'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Daily Mail

'Makes mainstream coverage seem like a caricature ... by refusing to generalize, this illuminating first-hand exploration ... makes it clear the subject is far more complex than most Western commentators like to make out'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Metro

Jason Burke is the South Asia correspondent for the Guardian. He has reported around the world for both the Guardian and the Observer. He is the author of two other widely praised books, both published by Penguin: Al-Qaeda and The 9/11 Wars. He lives in New Delhi.

Biography

Jason Burke has been one of the foremost front-line reporters on Islamic militancy for almost two decades, reporting from throughout the Middle East and South Asia. His bestselling book Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam overturned a multitude of misconceptions about Islamic extremism and rapidly established itself as the most accurate, readable and expert account of the phenomenon. His most recent book, The 9/11 Wars, was described as ‘the best overview of the 9/11 decade in print’ (Economist). His books have been translated into twelve languages. He is currently south Asia correspondent for the Guardian.