Fouad Hussein is a Jordanian journalist and author of the 2005 Arabic language book Al-Zarqawi: The Second Generation of Al Qaeda. It is based on interviews with senior Islamic militants, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the late leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and Saif al-Adel, a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad. Hussein first met Zarqawi and Zarqawi's mentor Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi in 1996 in a Jordanian jail. At the time Hussein was being held as a political prisoner. Since its release Hussein's book has garnered heavy press coverage and analysis in Iran.
In the book Hussein describes what he says is al-Qaeda's grand strategy, a sequence of events that spreads over nearly 20 years. The first phase, "The Awakening", began with the September 11th attacks, which were meant to lure the United States into military conflict in the Middle East. This stage, Hussein says, ended with the American capture of Baghdad in early April 2003. In the second phase, "Eye-Opening", al-Qaeda will become more than just an organization but a popular trend fueled by the American occupation of Iraq and the Arab media through mediums like the internet. This will last through 2006. During the third stage, which he calls "Arising and Standing Up", al-Qaeda will begin focusing its energies on attacking the secular governments in Syria and Turkey and also against Israel. When this ends in 2010, the fourth stage will work to continue weakening American strength in the Middle East while also causing the capitulation of governments across the Arab world. From 2013 to 2016, Hussein says the Islamic movement will have shifted the balance of power in the Middle East away from the West and Israel, and the Islamists will be supported by new allies such as China. In this environment a new caliphate will be established. The sixth phase, lasting until 2020, is that of "Total Confrontation", when an Islamic army and newly formed caliphate will defeat the non-believers in a global conflict. Following this, a final phase will be that of the caliphate's "definitive victory".
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“Theres no telling what might have happened to our defense budget if Saddam Hussein hadnt invaded Kuwait that August and set everyone gearing up for World War II½. Can we count on Saddam Hussein to come along every year and resolve our defense-policy debates? Given the history of the Middle East, its possible.”
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