Perfect Soldiers: The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It

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9780060584696: Perfect Soldiers: The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It

The attacks of September 11, 2001, were a calamity on a scale few had imagined possible. In their aftermath, we exaggerated the men who perpetrated the attacks, shaping hasty and often mistaken reporting into caricatures we could comprehend -- monsters and master criminals equal to the enormity of their crime. In reality, the 9/11 hijackers were unexceptional men, not much different from countless others. It is this ordinary enemy, not the caricature, that we must understand if we are to have a legitimate hope of defeating terrorism.

Using research undertaken in twenty countries on four continents, Los Angeles Times correspondent Terry McDermott provides gripping, authoritative portraits of the main players in the 9/11 plot. With brilliant reporting and thoughtful analysis, McDermott brings us a clearer, more nuanced, and in some ways more frightening, understanding of the landmark event of our time.

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Synopsis:

The first full-scale investigation into the men and motives behind the September 11 attacks The men behind the September 11 attacks have been caricatured in various ways by the media - as evil geniuses on one end of the scale, to deluded fanatics on the other. There is a tendency to assume that because these men were responsible for such a monstrous act, then they themselves must be monsters, born killers and fanatics. Terry McDermott's investigation reveals that in reality, most of the nineteen hijackers came from apolitical and only moderately religious backgrounds. He traces the historical and political events and circumstances that led to the evolution of these men into devout, pious Muslims. In fundamentalist Islam, religion and politics are inseparable; the young men who gathered in Hamburg saw themselves as soldiers of God. Matching unrivalled research with a narrative that is by turns shocking, wry and thought-provoking, McDermott reaches a better understanding of who these people were and what moved them to such terrorism.

Published to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the September 11 attacks An eye-opening account from an award-winning investigative reporter Comprehensively researched, this is the first full-scale investigation into the motives and psychology of the men responsible for the 9/11 attacks

About the Author:

Terry McDermott has been a reporter at eight newspapers for twenty-five years, the last seven at the Los Angeles Times, where he is a national correspondent. He has won prizes for his journalism in a number of fields, including foreign affairs, economics, and science.

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