The Grand Mosque Siege of 1979

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The Grand Mosque Siege of 1979
World Affairs Council: Nor Cal - World Affairs Council of Northern California
Yaroslav Trofimov on Mecca's Forgotten Uprising.On November 20, 1979, hundreds of gunmen stunned the world by seizing Islam's holiest shrine, the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Armed with rifles that they had smuggled inside coffins, these men came from more than a dozen countries, launching the first operation of global jihad in modern times. With nearly 100,000 worshipers trapped inside the holy compound, Mecca's bloody siege lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths. This dramatic and consequential story was barely covered in the press in these pre-CNN days, as Saudi Arabia imposed an information blackout and kept foreign correspondents away.In his new book The Siege of Mecca, Yaroslav Trofimov reveals the roots of today's Islamic extremism and how the Saudi reaction to the uprising set free the forces that later produced the attacks of 9/11 - World Affairs Council of Northern California

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