Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Walking Dead

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The Walking Dead

By Gerald Seymour

The Walking Dead
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  • Hardcover: May 2008,
    320 pages.

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Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book

A Short History of al-Qaeda

The history of the Sunni-Muslim organization al-Qaeda ("The Base") can be traced to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Osama bin Laden, a young, wealthy Islamic idealist from Saudi Arabia, felt compelled to assist his fellow Muslims in their struggle against these "infidels." He moved his factories to Afghanistan, and joined the resistance group Maktab al-Khadamat (MAK), led by Abdullah Yusuf Azzam. Together they organized a world-wide recruiting program which advertised for young Muslims to fight against the Soviets. The Afghan government donated land for training bases, while bin Laden paid for the volunteers' transportation, facilities and training. He brought in experts from all over the world on guerilla warfare, sabotage and covert operations. The United States government, wishing to limit any further expansion of the Soviet Union, began a $500 million-per-year program to support the Afghan guerillas, providing...

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