Book ReviewLifestyleVolume 13 Issue # 16

The Siege of Mecca

November 20, 1979: as morning prayers began, hundreds of hard-line Islamist gunmen, armed with rifles smuggled in coffins, stormed the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
With thousands of terrified wor-shippers trapped inside, the re-sult was a bloody siege that lasted two weeks, caused hun-dreds of deaths, prompted an in-ternational diplomatic crisis and unleashed forces that would eventually lead to the rise of al Qaeda.
Journalist Yaroslav Trofimov takes us day-by-day through one of the most momentous – and heavily censored – events in recent history, interviewing many direct par-ticipants in the siege and drawing on secret documents to reveal the truth about the first operation of modern global jihad.