From Act II, Chapter 3
In a northwest suburb of the city is a two-story house with a nondescript white façade, two doors leading into a residence and an office, where you can find a man wanted by the United Nations, the Saudi government, and the U.S. Treasury Department. He's a doctor, a surgeon from Saudi Arabia named Saad al-Faqih, who came to the UK in 1994.
When, in December 2004, the United States placed al-Faqih on its list of those having provided "financial and material support to al Qaeda," it alleged that he paid for a satellite phone bin Laden used in carrying out the 1998 African embassy attacks. It said that since the mid-1990s, al-Faqih had "maintained associations" with members of the al Qaeda network, including bin Laden and a key ideologist of violent jihad, abu Musab al-Suri.
Al-Suri--who was picked up in 2005 in a sting operation in Quetta, the Taliban refuge in western Pakistan--in many ways helped form the foundations of the era's ideological activism. In the mid-'90s, it was al-Suri, then living in London, who first mapped concepts and tactics for undermining despotic Arab governments and attacking their Western sponsors. Many of bin Laden's ideas were shaped by the forceful, intelligent al-Suri, who shaped broad ideological inclinations within the wealthy Saudi that would eventually be honed into a strategy by Zawahiri.
After escaping from Afghanistan to Iran in early 2002, al-Suri--always a bit condescending toward bin laden, having known the terrorist leader when he was green and confused--began writing a strategic treatise that he hoped would survive him and the other al Qaeda leaders: the "Call for Worldwide Islamic resistance." The treatise, a sixteen-hundred-page manifesto published on the Internet in December 2004, identifies bringing "about the largest number of human and material casualties possible for America and its allies" as one of the movement's major goals on the path to creating a necklace of regimes across the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and South Asia linked by the principles of Salafism, the most puritanical strain of Islam.
Al-Suri's manifesto--downloaded relentlessly--has since become something of a planning guide for Islamic radicalism, carrying key concepts from the time preceding bin laden to some unseen future, when individuals or small groups may have to spread "a leaderless resistance," that will nettle and exhaust the many enemies of Islam in preparation for a head-on battle for the territories that fall under the flag of Sharia. While al-Suri's ideas, which have been widely adopted, map the movement's long-term twilight strategy, bin Laden, since 1998, has been focused ardently on the United States.
"Much of that was Zawahiri's doing," Saad says as we settle on the couches in his study, as was "the very formation" of the bin Laden the world has come to know. . . .
Saad al-Faqih is a Saudi dissident who has been living in Britain since 1994. Saad is an alleged associate of al Qaeda and is wanted by the Saudi regime and the U.S. government. In The Way of the World, Saad lays out the history and three-stage master plan of al Qaeda's leadership as he's heard it from firsthand sources. Saad probes the operative mentalities in the American and Muslim imaginations in order to explain the conditions that underlie today's cross-cultural conflict.