Osama bin Laden's words carry a great deal of weight in the West. When he speaks, or allegedly speaks, we listen. But what about the words of other key leaders in the Al-Qa'ida terrorist network? We can learn how to conduct the war on terrorism more successfully when we study their own manuals, written for their followers. But few Americans, despite their expertise in intelligence or security, kw Arabic. Fortunately Norman Cigar is fluent, and here he presents the first English translation of Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin's A Practical Course for Guerrilla War. Saudi security forces killed Al-Muqrin, Al-Qa'ida's leader in the Arabian Peninsula, in June 2004. Published posthumously, his Arabic-language manual provides a window into Al-Qaida's strategic thinking and into how these terrorists operate. Accompanying the text's translation is material on al-Muqrin's life and Cigar's cogent and detailed analysis of the key ideas in the jihadist's doctrine and the results of Al-Qa'ida's insurgency efforts on the Arabian Peninsula. This important work provides a primary source for students in the professional military education system who want to read a variety of military thinkers and develop insights into all war fighting philosophies, especially those emanating from n-Western sources. Academics, think tank analysts, and government officials in the United States and abroad will also find the work relevant to their own work on Al-Qa'ida and insurgency theory. With a foreword by Julian Lewis, MP, the Shadow Defence Minister for Great Britain.
NORMAN CIGAR is a research fellow at the Marine Corps University (Quantico, Virginia). Before retiring, he was professor of strategic studies at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and also taught at the Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting and at the National Defense Intelligence College. The author of numerous works on politics and security issues dealing with the Middle East and the Balkans, he has a strong academic background in Arabic. He has studied and traveled widely in the Middle East for the last forty years. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.