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The Diffusion of Military Power by Michael C. Horowitz

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Chapter 6

SUICIDE TERRORISM

IN THE MID-1990s, after the first World Trade Center attack, Osama Bin Laden apparently made an important decision with major repercussions for U.S. strategy. Up until then, the burgeoning terrorist group now known as Al Qaeda had played a major role in Salafijihadi terrorist operations around the world, but its involvement was mostly behind the scenes. Al Qaeda provided financing for operations, trained fighters from affiliated groups, and smuggled weapons to sympathetic parties. Yet Bin Laden, Al Qaeda’s leader, determined that it was time for Al Qaeda itself to engage in a major attack and step out of the shadows. When planning began for the operation that was to become the East African embassy bombings of 1998, ...

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