A gripping blend of historical research and contemporary investigative reporting, ‘The Fatal Frontier’ sets the War on Terror in the context of its epicentre – the Afghan-Pakistani border.
At the end of 2001, having survived a bombardment of earth-shattering severity from American B-52s, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Mohammed Omar and their closest cohorts in al-Qaeda and the Taliban fled the Tora Bora caves of Afghanistan and crossed the border into the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. They were given safe haven immediately, and almost seven years later, despite the best efforts of several intelligence agencies, their whereabouts remain unknown.
The border they crossed was the Durand Line. Negotiated in just four weeks and agreed to by treaty in 1893, it has long been a source of instability. It was from the Northwest Frontier that the greatest challenge to British military force in India emerged – the revolt of 1897, a nineteenth-century jihad.
In ‘The Fatal Frontier’, David Rose explores the peculiar significance of the border crossed by the world's most dangerous terrorists – how it came to be drawn and why it has had huge unintended consequences.
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David Rose has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 2002. He has also worked at the Guardian, the Observer and the BBC, where he was an on-screen reporter for Panorama. He is the winner of the One World award for human rights journalism, the Bar Council legal reporter of the year, and the David Watt Prize, Britain’s most prestigious journalism award.
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