Review Essay

The Myth of Grass-Roots Terrorism

Why Osama bin Laden Still Matters

In This Review

Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-first Century

Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-first Century
By Marc Sageman
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008, 208 pp. $24.95 Purchase

Since Rudy Giuliani's early exit from the Republican presidential primary, the issue of terrorism has barely been mentioned by any of the candidates in either party. Given its absence from this year's U.S. presidential campaign, it is easy to forget how prominent a role terrorism played in 2004. Many observers believe that Osama bin Laden's dramatically choreographed videotaped appearance on October 29, 2004, may have tipped the vote in President George W. Bush's favor by reminding Americans of the horrors of 9/11 and instilling a fear of future attacks. And although terrorism has largely been ignored as a campaign issue thus far, bin Laden and al Qaeda may deliberately raise its visibility once again.

The publication of Leaderless Jihad is therefore timely. Its author, Marc Sageman, brings unique credentials to the study of terrorism. European-born but American-educated, Sageman holds a doctorate in political sociology and is a practicing psychiatrist. He served in the

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