Messages to the World
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Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden is a 225-page, year 2005 book, published by Verso on November 28 which documents 24 newly translated public statements by Osama bin Laden from December 29, 1994 through December 16, 2004.
On the dust jacket Michael Scheuer, a former senior CIA analyst and chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (aka "Alec Station"), the Osama bin Laden tracking unit at the Counterterrorist Center from 1996 to 1999, stated that:
- "Western media have made no consistent effort to publish Bin Laden's statements, thereby failing to give their audience the words that put his thoughts and actions in cultural and historical context ... Bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us. None of the reasons has anything to do with our freedom, liberty and democracy but everything to do with US policies and actions in the Muslim world." 
Despite the saturation of global media coverage, Osama bin Laden's own writings have been curiously absent from analysis of the "war on terror." Over the last ten years, bin Laden has issued a series of carefully tailored public statements, from interviews with Western and Arabic journalists to faxes and video recordings. These texts supply evidence crucial to an understanding of the bizarre mix of Quranic scholarship, CIA training, punctual interventions in Gulf politics and messianic anti-imperialism that has formed the programmatic core of al-Qaeda.
In bringing together the various statements issued under bin Laden's name since 1994, this volume forms part of a growing discourse that seeks to demythologize the terrorist network. Newly translated from the Arabic, annotated with a critical introduction by Islamic scholar Bruce Lawrence, this collection places the statements in their religious, historical and political context. It shows how bin Laden's views draw on and differ from other strands of radical Islamic thought; it also demonstrates how his arguments vary in degrees of consistency, and how his evasions concerning the true nature and extent of his own group, and over his own role in terrorist attacks, have contributed to the perpetuation of his personal mythology.
- ISBN 1-84467-045-7
- Book cover
- Evil yes, mad no - reviewed by Peter Preston of The Observer newspaper, November 13, 2005
- Will the real al-Qaida please stand up? - reviewed by Jason Burke of The Guardian newspaper, March 11, 2006