The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 - Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Lawrence Wright
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Summary

Chapter 2 describes the early life and ideological development of Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor who would later become one of al-Qaeda’s early leaders. The chapter focuses significantly on Zawahiri’s time spent in prison in connection to his attempts to overthrow the Egyptian government.

Zawahiri, born in 1951, grew up in Maadi, a cosmopolitan suburb of Cairo. Maadi was home to a large number of European and American expatriates, along with some Egyptians. The community centered around the Maadi Sporting Club, an exclusive social society, and many middle class Egyptian residents focused on achieving the status necessary to gain admittance. By contrast, Zawahiri’s family was more traditional and had little interest in the sporting club. Ayman was noted for defiance of authority and admiration for Sayyid Qutb. At the age of 15, angered by the execution of Qutb and his followers, Zawahiri formed an...

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This section contains 734 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Study Guide
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