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Al Qaeda Declares War

The African Embassy Bombings and America’s Search for Justice

Tod Hoffman

Three years before the events of 9/11, Osama bin Laden sent al Qaeda suicide bombers on a coordinated attack to destroy the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. That day, August 7, 1998, more than two hundred people were killed and thousands were wounded. Responding immediately, the FBI launched the largest international investigation in its history. Within months, suspects were arrested in six countries. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York indicted twenty-two individuals, including the elusive bin Laden. In February 2001 a landmark trial of four of the accused was held in Manhattan in the shadow of the World Trade Center. Al Qaeda Declares War: The African Embassy Bombings and America’s Search for Justice explores the step-by-step procedures the United States employed in analyzing these attacks, identifying the suspects, tracking down and apprehending them, building a case, and prosecuting them. It is this case that established the legal basis for hunting down bin Laden, and the trial makes for a gripping courtroom drama, in which the robust principles of American justice confront the fanaticism of true believers. Tod Hoffman argues forcefully that the process after the 1998 incident stands in marked contrast to the illegal detention, torture, and abrogation of rights that followed 9/11. Indeed, reverberations from the African embassy bombings continue in the ongoing hunt for perpetrators still at large, and in targeted killings by drones. Al Qaeda Declares War dramatically recounts the terror and bloodshed of that day in Africa and shows that America’s search for justice afterward offers important lessons for today.

Cover Image of Al Qaeda Declares War: The African Embassy Bombings and America’s Search for Justice
E-book: $24.99
ISBN-13: 9781611685657
Pages: 268 | Size: 6 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: June 3, 2014
Imprint: 
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Hoffman possesses a solid command of his material and conveys the secretive nature of espionage agencies with a novelist’s panache.

Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

  • Hoffman... presents a successful, suggestive, and significantly overlooked operation in the U.S. war on terrorism... Hoffman focuses on the motives of the accused and the nature of their organization... More significant, however, is Hoffman’s assertion that America’s legal system was adaptable and effective while maintaining respect for the defendants’ dignity and rights, which the author repeatedly contrasts with politicians’ post-9/11 fear-driven abandonment of "their moral obligation to the Constitution."

    Publishers Weekly
  • Hoffman possesses a solid command of his material and conveys the secretive nature of espionage agencies with a novelist’s panache.

    Kirkus Reviews
  • Hoffman is a skilled writer... [and] allows you to experience the isolation, the fear, the adrenaline, the disappointment, and the huge responsibility weighing on the shoulders of all of his characters.

    McGill Daily
  • [Hoffman] does a great service to historians by collecting and distilling personal interviews with individuals who were there, depositions, and court transcripts. Al Qaeda Declares War is a book from which to launch research projects and productive discussions.

    H-FedHist

About the Author

TOD HOFFMAN was an officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service for eight years. He is the author, most recently, of The Spy Within: Larry Chin and China’s Penetration of the CIA.

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