Lawrence Wright's The Terror Years: From Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State is a collection of Wright's essays from The New Yorker and other venues about radical Islamic terror in the 2000s.
Terrorist activities are shaped by the experiences, ideology, and choices of terrorist leaders. The wave of international terrorism in the 1990s and 2000s came about in part because of the partnership of Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi, and Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon. Al-Qaeda's increased brutality and its escalating attacks on Muslims were the result of the rise in influence of convicted Jordanian criminal Musab al-Zarqawi, who gained control of al-Qaeda operations in Iraq. Conversely, when Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif, also known as Dr. Fadl, an important Egyptian theorist of violent terrorism, renounced indiscriminate violence in 2007, it had a splintering effect on the Islamic terrorist movement and reduced the threat of violence, especially in Egypt.
Please note: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and not the original book.