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The World’s Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia

Although the war in Afghanistan is now in its endgame, the West’s struggle to eliminate the threat from Al Qaeda is far from over. A decade after 9/11, the war on terror has entered a new phase and, it would seem, a new territory. In early 2010, Al Qaeda operatives were reportedly “streaming” out of central Asia toward Somalia and the surrounding region.

Somalia, now home to some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, was already the world’s most failed state. Two decades of anarchy have spawned not just Islamic extremism but piracy, famine, and a seemingly endless clan-based civil war that has killed an estimated 500,000, turned millions into refugees, and caused hundreds of thousands more to flee and settle in Europe and North America.

What is now happening in Somalia directly threatens the security of the world, possibly more than any other region on earth. James Fergusson’s book is the first accessible account of how Somalia became the world’s most dangerous place and what we can—and should—do about it.

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Justin Oldham says:

Somalia Revealed The World’s Most Dangerous Place; Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia, by James Fergusson (Da Capo Press, June 2013) is a first-hand journalistic examination of present-day Somalia as it now stands on the brink of potential redemption or continued ruin.[For those who don’t know, Somalia’s government collapsed in November of 1994 after the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. The population has been in turmoil ever since as succession of warlords have tried to carve out their…

C. Cleal says:

Clan Warfare in the 20th Century. Somalia is a dangerous place. But the author trudges through the turmoil and the bullets, managing to talk with individuals on all sides(there are more than two), and discovering strange traces of the colonial occupation.Spaghetti Bolognese is an unlikely candidate for a national dish in Africa. And the Ugandan colonel seems a bit British. Exploring the various revolutionary movements, he discovers that al-Shabaab is in no way monolithic, its many splinter groups having clashing ideas about…

jack greene says:

Good but not Great This is a good book on a tough subject, but suffers from the author not knowing the local language. His discussion on Suicide bombers misses one important point. Suicide bombers have a secondary fuze that can be triggered by a handler if the bomber decides to back-out at the last moment and not detonate his or her vest. Currently(2013)probably a majority of suicide bombers are having their vests triggered by their handler. Also, a discussion of the charcoal trade could have been greater and go…

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