After bin Laden

After bin Laden

Al-Qa‘ida, The Next Generation

9780863564192 September 2012 Paperback 300pp

About the Book

Osama bin Laden is dead but al-Qa‘ida remains the CIA’s ‘number one threat’.

With branches in strategic hotspots from Yemen and Somalia to North Africa and an increasing influence among ‘home grown jihadis’ in the West, journalist and al-Qa‘ida expert Abdel Bari Atwan investigates how the organisation has survived all attempts to destroy it.

Al-Qa‘ida after bin Laden has expanded its reach by cementing new alliances and exploiting the opportunities regional turmoil affords. The Arab Spring has opened new battlegrounds for jihadists, particularly in Libya, the Sahel, Syria and Egypt.

As the extremist zeal for a global caliphate shows no sign of abating, Atwan profiles the next generation of foot soldiers and leaders and explores the new methods they embrace in the pursuit of jihad in a digital age.

About the Author

Abdel Bari Atwan is a Palestinian writer and journalist. The former editor-in-chief of the London-based daily al-Quds al-Arabi for twenty-five years, he now edits the Rai al-Youm news website – the Arab world’s first Huffington Post-style outlet. He is a regular contributor to a number of publications, including the Guardian and Scottish Herald, and is a frequent guest on radio and television, including regular stints on the BBC’s Dateline London. Atwan interviewed Osama bin Laden twice in the late 1990s and has cultivated uniquely well-placed sources from within the various branches of al-Qa‘ida and other jihadi groups, including IS, over the last twenty years. His books include Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate, The Secret History of al-Qa'ida and After bin Laden: al-Qa'ida, the Next Generation, as well as a memoir, A Country of Words: A Palestinian Journey from the Refugee Camp to the Front Page.

→ Author Website


‘One of the sharpest commentators about al-Qa‘ida and the Middle East … Atwan’s sobering assessment deserves a wide audience.’
Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: from 9/11 to Abbottabad, The Ten-Year Search for Osama bin Laden

‘Thank heavens that we have Arab writers such as Abdel Bari Atwan – who knew the real bin Laden better than any other journalist – with his volume After Bin Laden: Al-Qa'ida, the Next Generation.’
Robert Fisk, Independent

‘The book we have been waiting for since Abbotabad. Here is painstaking research by a thoughtful investigator; intelligent, readable analysis that cuts through the DC rhetoric. Despite all those drone attacks, Al-Qaeda is on the comeback.’
Paul McGeough, author of Killing Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas

‘Atwan captures the essence of Osama bin Laden, the man, his leadership, and why we will never be free of the legacy he left behind. Intelligent and fascinatingly readable’
Middle East Magazine

‘This absorbing survey does much to disentangle the many strands of the group that exist today … After bin Laden is a useful primer for anyone in need of a non-technical and readable introduction to most of those al-Qaeda-affiliated groups at work in the world today, as well as a valuable aide mémoire for those more familiar with the material that lies beyond these pages … Atwan is a journalist with a proven track record in covering al-Qaeda (he interviewed bin Laden twice), and his work in this field remains important. In After Bin Laden, he has produced a solid, book-length piece of journalism that is a compelling read from first to last.’
Eamonn Gearon, Middle East Policy