The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 - Prologue-Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Lawrence Wright
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Summary

The prologue presents events in 1996 that foreshadow the eventual failure of U.S. intelligence agencies to stop the 9/11 attacks. Daniel Coleman was a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent charged with foreign intelligence cases. Coleman reviewed evidence, both from wiretaps and interviews of an informant, related to Osama bin Laden, a Saudi Islamist. With that information, Coleman discovered al-Qaeda, a group founded by bin Laden with an intense desire to commit violence against the United States. Though Coleman was alarmed by this possible threat, his superiors refused to investigate further. They, like many Americans in the post-Cold War era, were convinced that the country’s superior technology and ideals would protect it from such a bizarre and exotic menace.

Chapter 1 shifts to 1948 and the experiences of Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian teacher and bureaucrat who travelled to the United States to attend college. Although he...

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This section contains 857 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Study Guide
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