Cover image for Murders on the Nile : the World Trade Center and global terror
Murders on the Nile : the World Trade Center and global terror
Bell, J. Bowyer, 1931-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Encounter Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 206 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6431 .B425 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In "Murder on the Nile, the World Trade Center and Global Terror," J. Bowyer Bell takes us back to the cradle of Islamic discontent, showing how Islamic terror arose along the banks of the Nile a century ago amidst the grievances of an Egypt held in bondage by foreign imperialists and local despots. Two generations of clerics, sheiks and imams, became obsessed with the luminous appeal of the absolute. And the most zealous of these lethal idealists found in righteous murder -- a holy war -- a proper means to shape an ideal Islamic society free from the contaminating influence of Westernization. Believing that they possess the absolute truth, they were willing to deploy terror to bring this truth to pass. They murdered British soldiers and local politicians, eventually tried to murder Nasser and murdered Sadat. Bell shows how this movement which originated in Egypt spread to the rest of the Islamic world which also became converted to the notion of redemption through jihad. Egyptian exiles, dispossessed Palestinians, Afghan Arabs created an underground world filled with dreams of violence, freedom, and vengeance as a way of returning to the paradise of an imagined past. By the end of the century, these zealots had filled their ranks with idealists and bigots, hijackers and holy men, charismatic leaders and men on the street. In describing this genealogy of terror, Bell shows how what began almost one hundred years ago along the Nile gradually became a global conspiracy found not only along the Nile but ultimately along the Hudson as well. After reading "Murder on the Nile" we understand that the righteous terrorists whose movement began a century ago in Egypt are the voice of the past, powerful and evocative, but not necessarily the sound of the future if we force ourselves to understand and cope with their world and worldview.

Author Notes

J. Bowyer Bell has written extensively on terrorism and its origins He is adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The timeless maxim admonishes readers not to judge a book by its cover. In the case of Murders on the Nile, the reader must discard this warning. The vivid images of pyramids and the World Trade Center towers on the dust jacket reflect Bell's central theme: the jihad waged by the Islamic terrorists who brought down the WTC had its birth almost a century before on the banks of the Nile. In a carefully crafted and often riveting narrative, Bell (Columbia Univ.) convincingly makes his point by painstakingly tracing the history of Islamic fundamentalism from the villages of Egypt to the banks of the Hudson. He also assesses American naivete about Islamic terrorism prior to September 11, 2001, and the lack of organization and preparedness to prevent such terrorism. Bell correctly concludes that the jihadi are using violence not as a forum to negotiate grievances but as a tool to assure the triumph of Islam over the "decadent West." The book includes a list of sources but no footnotes. The glossary is too limited; for example, it does not list or define "jihad." There are some historical errors, such as citing 1976 as the year Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readership and lower- and upper-division undergraduate collections. J. R. Hedtke Cabrini College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Part 1 Prologuep. 1
1 Righteous Murder: Egypt of the Nilep. 8
2 Zion on the Nile: The Murder of Lord Moynep. 28
3 The New Pharaoh: Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, 1945-1982p. 39
4 The Global Jihad, 1982-1993: Emigres, Exiles and the Great Satanp. 66
5 The Jihad in New York, 1992-1993p. 96
Part 2
6 The War against Terror, 1993-2001p. 133
Epiloguep. 177
Glossaryp. 180
Sourcesp. 184
Indexp. 197