THE CARAVAN is a biography of Abdallah Azzam (1941-1989), one of the most influential jihadi ideologues of all time. Azzam was a Palestinian cleric who led the mobilization of Arab fighters to the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, becoming the mentor of Osama bin Laden and laying the groundwork for the rise of the global jihadi movement.
It is an extraordinary tale of a farmer’s son who came to know all the leading Islamists of his time and frequented princes, CIA agents, and Cat Stevens the pop star. It takes us to unexpected places such as California, Southern Italy, and Venezuela, and it bring us to underground apartments, lavish palaces, and dark mountain caves. It ends with a bomb assassination that remains the greatest murder mystery in the history of jihadism.
Written by Thomas Hegghammer, a leading historian of jihadism, The Caravan is based on over a decade of research and draws on a wealth of new primary sources as well as fieldwork on four continents.
In 2021 the book was named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Reviews.