by Paul D. Colford
New York Daily News
IT’S COMING TO A bookstore near you – the radical views of Osama Bin Laden and his second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
New York publisher Doubleday said yesterday that next year it will release “The Al Qaeda Reader,” a history of the terror network in its leaders’ own words, but it insisted none will be paid for the writings.
“We would never pay royalties to Osama Bin Laden or any other international terrorist,” Doubleday spokeswoman Suzanne Herz said.
Instead, Herz said, Doubleday worked out its deal for the book with the translator from the Arabic – Raymond Ibrahim, a library technician at the Library of Congress.
“We expect a broad readership – anyone who wants to understand the mind of our greatest enemy,” Herz said.
On hearing some of the material dates to 1991, Monica Gabrielle, whose husband, Richard, perished on 9/11, said, “It’s a little late, don’t you think? . . . I can only ask, what took so long?”
Others who lost loved ones on 9/11 had a range of reactions.
“People who promote terrorism are an evil and a cancer in our society,” said Jack Lynch, whose firefighter son, Michael, died at Ground Zero. “Therefore, anything that promotes their agenda shouldn’t be distributed in this country.”
But Lee Ielpi, whose son Jonathan also was among the firefighters lost on 9/11, said he welcomed the book.
“Anything the general public can read to emphasize how severe these terrorists are in their threats to destroy us would be beneficial,” Ielpi added. “We’re becoming complacent as it is.”
The Doubleday volume will be drawn mainly from two books that were published in the Mideast in the 1990s and have been studied in U.S. government circles since 9/11.
The older text is “The Battles of the Lion’s Den of the Arab Partisans in Afghanistan,” a collection of interviews with Bin Laden and his top associates about the origins of Al Qaeda.
The other primary source will be “Bitter Harvest,” one of several books by al-Zawahiri, who criticizes Egypt’s moderate Muslim Brotherhood and tries to justify jihad.
Ibrahim’sNew York literary agent, Glen Hartley, likened the Al Qaeda volume to former Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse Tung’s “Little Red Book,” which was sold widely years ago. [email protected]