WRIGHT: "The Terror Years" tracks rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS

WRIGHT: "The Terror Years" tracks rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS

Postby Oscar » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:53 am

LISTEN: America now 'security state': Lawrence Wright's [b]The Terror Years (2016) tracks rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS - ( Listen 23:45 min.)[/b]

[ http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the- ... -1.3786243 ]

Monday October 03, 2016

America now 'security state': Lawrence Wright's The Terror Years tracks rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS

When journalist Lawrence Wright was a teenager in Texas, he took a date to the airport and walked right onto an international jetliner. They both sat down in first-class seats and a flight attendant offered snacks. The memory serves as a reminder of how much security has changed our world — in particular the U.S. after 9/11.

"That America is so dead," Wright tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

"Terrorism killed it. But I hope it's not forgotten."

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author has travelled extensively looking into the effects of terrorism on the world. In his new book, The Terror Years: From Al-Qaeda To The Islamic State, he chronicles the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s to the rise of ISIS today.

Wright says after 9/11, so much changed for Americans.

"We became a different country, and I'm not saying that we didn't need the protection but America is now very much a security state," says Wright.

When the U.S. went into Iraq, Wright was in Saudi Arabia teaching journalism and tells Tremonti that the invasion looked very different from there.

"Every Saudi I talked to was saying, 'Are you nuts? Iraq, of all Arab countries that you could go into, this is the worst.'"

Wright travelled through the Middle East and South Asia with the assumption that his role as a reporter would protect him. But things changed when five young Americans, many of them journalists, were kidnapped by ISIS. Many have questioned what these freelance journalists were doing on their own in a dangerous area.

But Wright points out that this risk was new and unknown.

"These kidnappings were for the most part secret," Wright tells Tremonti. "People were ordered not to talk about it. So there were young reporters on the border of Syria who didn't know that other reporters had been kidnapped."

In terms of al-Qaeda's relevance today, Wright believes "people are mistaken in thinking that it's extinct."

"Core al-Qaeda certainly has shrunk, and has been overshadowed by the kind of egregious barbarity of ISIS, but affiliates of al-Qaeda in Yemen and North Africa and now in India and Pakistan, they're doing very well."
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This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley.

= = = =

The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State by Lawrence Wright

[ http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2800 ... rror-years ]

Ten powerful pieces first published in The New Yorker recall the path terror in the Middle East has taken from the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s to the recent beheadings of reporters and aid workers by ISIS.

With the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright became generally acknowledged as one of our major journalists writing on terrorism in the Middle East. This collection draws on several articles he wrote while researching that book as well as many that he's written since, following where and how al-Qaeda and its core cultlike beliefs have morphed and spread. They include an indelible impression of Saudi Arabia, a kingdom of silence under the control of the religious police; the Syrian film industry, then compliant at the edges but already exuding a feeling of the barely masked fury that erupted into civil war; the 2006-11 Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, a study in disparate values of human lives. Others continue to look into al-Qaeda as it forms a master plan for its future, experiences a rebellion from within the organization, and spins off a growing web of terror in the world. The American response is covered in profiles of two FBI agents and a chief of the CIA. It ends with the recent devastating piece about the capture and beheading by ISIS of four American journalists and aid workers, and how our government failed to handle the situation.

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Lawrence Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, screenwriter, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and fellow at the Center for Law and Security at the New York University School of Law. He is a graduate of Tulane University, and for two years taught at the American University in Cairo in Egypt.

Wright graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School (Dallas, Texas) in 1965 and, in 2009, was inducted into Woodrow's Hall of Fame.

Wright is the author of six books, but is best known for his 2006 book, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. A quick bestseller, The Looming Tower was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, and is frequently referenced by media pundits as an excellent source of background information on Al Qaeda and the September 11 attacks. The book's title is a phrase from the Quran: "Wherever you are, death will find you, even in the looming tower," which Osama bin Laden quoted three times in a videotaped speech seen as directed to the 9/11 hijackers.

Among Wright's other books is Remembering Satan: A Tragic Case of Recovered Memory (1994), about the Paul Ingram false memory case. On June 7, 1996, Wright testified at Ingram's pardon hearing.

Wright also co-wrote the screenplay for the film The Siege (1998), which told the story of a terrorist attack in New York City that led to curtailed civil liberties and rounding up of Arab-Americans.

A script that Wright originally wrote for Oliver Stone was turned instead into a well-regarded Showtime movie, Noriega: God's Favorite (2000).

A documentary featuring Wright, My Trip to Al-Qaeda, premiered on HBO in September 2010. Based on his journeys and experience in the Middle East during his research for The Looming Tower, My Trip to Al-Qaeda covers topics ranging from the current state of the regime in Saudi Arabia to the historic underpinnings of 9/11. (less)

More about Lawrence Wright...
[ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/42 ... nce_Wright ]
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