But why was its sanctuary not attacked before September 2001, in particular after the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998? Abou Zahab and Roy argue that this was because the Taliban was only part of a much wider radical Islamic network in the region, whose true centre was Pakistan, not Afghanistan. Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Pakistani Deobandis, the IMU of Uzbekistan -- all these groups are based in Pakistan, which served, and serves, as the regional hub for Islamist movements and their terrorist offshoots. What is the history of this phenomenon? Above all, given their divergent histories and doctrinal rifts, how were these disparate Islamist movements slowly coordinated with the aim of attacking what became their common adversary, the United States? This book investigates and explains the almost 25-year gestation of these interlinked radical Islamist networks of Pakistan, Central Asia and Afghanistan, including the support they have received from Pakistan's Inter-Services-Intelligence agency (ISI).
Mariam Abou Zahab, a specialist on Pakistan, is director of studies at INALCO, Paris. Olivier Roy, a researcher at CERI in Paris, is a world authority on Islam and politics. His books include The Failure of Political Islam (Harvard University Press, 1996) and The New Central Asia (New York University Press, 2000).
1. The Islamist Movements of Pakistan, Central Asia and Afghanistan Islamic Movement of Tajikistan Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan The Hizb-ut-Tehrir (Party of Liberation) Afghanistan: From the Islamists to the Taliban 2. The neo-fundamentalist wave From religious conservatism to political radicalism -- Sunni sectarian movements of the Deobandi school implicated in violence -- The anti-Shi'te movement -- The 'jihadi' struggle in Kashmir and Afghanistan -- Harkat ul-Ansar to Jaish-e-Mohammed --Sunni sectarian movements of the Barelvi school -- The Markaz-e-Tawatul Irshad Seminary and Lashkar-e-Toiba -- The other radical Sunni movements -- The Shia sectarian groups 3. Links and dynamics between the movements Al Qaeda and the Afghans -- The first generation of Afghans -- The recovery of the initiative by Bin Laden and the new generation of Afghans -- The fusion between the Taliban and Al Qaeda -- The role of Pakistan -- The Pakistani secret service (Inter-Services-Intelligence/ISI) and the radical Islamist movement -- The Pakistani religious movements -- The mixture of strategic and ideological alliances -- The consequences for Pakistan of the defeat of the Taliban
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