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February 1-15 , 2005 Edition
Doubleday to Publish
bin Laden WritingsNEW YORK, NY/01/24/05Doubleday/Random House, which has acquired a highly controversial collection of writings by Al-Qaeda leaders, says it will donate net income from sales of the book to a yet-to-be-announced charity. News of the donation followed concerns among publishing professionals at the negative impact of publishing what Publishers Weekly called, the “Mein Kampf of the Al-Qaeda Movement”
The book reportedly will include the oral teachings of Osama Bin Laden and the writings of Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s chief strategist. The publisher said it would put money back into publishing other books that provide a perspective on al-Qaeda, and that it will name a charity for proceeds from sales.
The book, to be released in 2006, is tentatively titled the Al Qaeda Reader, and will offer a guide to the ideology of the jihadist movement.
Doubleday publisher Stephen Rubin said the title, for which the publisher paid in the low six figures, is expected to be “a major book.”
The book is based on works originally published in Arabic, which were accidentally spotted by Raymond Ibrahim, a worker in Near Eastern Studies at the Library of Congress, when the documents came through for registration. Ibrahim will translate and annotate the work, which is being called scholarly.
Ibrahim, also a graduate student at Johns Hopkins Middle Eastern studies program, showed the material to his professor, current-affairs author Victor Davis Hanson, who sent Ibrahim to his agent, Glen Hartley at Writers Rep. Harltey has called the project a “portrait of the mind of our enemy,” and said its important for us to know what our enemy is thinking.