A gripping account of how al-Qaeda in Yemen rebounded from an initial defeat to once again threaten the United States
Far from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States and al-Qaeda are fighting a clandestine war of drones and suicide bombers in an unforgiving corner of Arabia.
The Last Refuge charts the rise, fall, and resurrection of al-Qaeda in Yemen over the last 30 years, detailing how a group that the United States once defeated has now become one of the world’s most dangerous threats. An expert on Yemen who has spent years on the ground there, Gregory Johnsen uses al-Qaeda’s Arabic battle notes to reconstruct their world as they take aim at the United States and its allies. Johnsen brings readers inside al-Qaeda’s training camps and safe houses as the terrorists plot poison attacks and debate how to bring down an airliner on Christmas Day.
The Last Refuge is an eye-opening look at the successes and failures of fighting a new type of war in one of the most turbulent countries in the world.
'Gregory Johnsen has written the best new book on al Qaeda in 2012 and the best book on Yemen in years. The Last Refuge: Yemen, Al Qaeda and America’s War in Arabia is a detailed narrative account of the development of AQAP. It is also a great read; Johnsen is a very good storyteller ... Johnsen has written an excellent guide to the scary conundrum that we face.'
Bruce Riedel, Daily Beast
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‘A breakthrough book on one of the most under-reported and misunderstood stories of the post-9/11 era. Years from now, Johnsen will be seen as one of the few who got it right.’
‘A valuable look at al-Qaeda’s operational history in Yemen. Johnsen has done us all a service by explaining the country, the threats, and why we should pay attention.’
Ali H. Soufan
‘A wonderfully well written and deeply reported account of the only al-Qaeda affiliate that continues to pose a real threat to the West.’
Peter L. Bergen