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Osama bin Laden, the iconic orator


This essay precedes a selection of bin Laden's statements in Kepel and Milelli's edited collection of key texts of al Qaeda. A short and accessible account, the author tracks the significant events in bin Laden's life and accompanies this with thoughts on the role of bin Laden as media icon and as a focal point for many Muslim's grievances. Arguing that there will not be another bin Laden, the author highlights the role of the media and the hyper-realism of the al Qaeda brand of attacks and suggests that instead local issues and grievances will begin to reassert themselves within the Middle East.

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