By Philip Sherwell
The book will contain new translations of hate-filled polemics by Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, his al-Qa'eda deputy, including material not previously seen outside the Arab world and which pre-dates the terror campaign.
When news of the deal first broke in the American publishing press last week, the company said that it had not decided how to use the expected profits from the book. After angry protests that it stood to cash in on the 9/11 attacks, however, Doubleday announced that all the proceeds from the book, which has the working title Al Qaeda Reader, would be given to charity.
Herz, a spokesman for Doubleday, said there was no
question of making payments to anyone connected with al-Qa'eda.
Instead the company is paying just over $100,000 (£53,000) for the rights to a
decision to publish the book has provoked mixed reactions from those who lost
family members in the 2001 attacks carried out by bin Laden's
followers. "This can only give publicity to their terrible views and
glorify what they did," said Tracy Larkey, a
British mother-of-three whose husband, Robin, died in the attack on the
Jack Lynch, who lost his son Michael, a firefighter, said: "People who promote terrorism are an evil and a cancer in our society. Anything that promotes their agenda shouldn't be distributed in this country."
Yet Lee Ielpi, whose son Jonathan, also a firefighter, died in the attack, welcomed the book. "Anything the general public can read to emphasise how severe these terrorists are in their threats to destroy us would be beneficial," he said. "We are becoming complacent as it is."
the publishers, Ms Herz said that the book would be
an "important insight into the mind of
debate over the Al Qaeda Reader has drawn comparisons with that over Hitler's Mein Kampf. The book is published
Rubin, the president and publisher of the Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group,
which is owned by the German company, Bertelsmann, told The Wall Street
Journal: "We firmly believe we're doing a great service to
al-Qa'eda volume will be based largely on two books
published in Arabic during the 1990s. The
material was discovered in the Library of Congress in
The publisher is confident that the terrorist leaders will be unable to claim remuneration for use of their material, since their writings are in the public domain and have been published in Arab countries which have not signed international copyright treaties. "You're not going to see Osama bin Laden coming out of his cave for a cheque," said Ms Herz.
has bought only the American rights, but Lynn Chu, Mr Ibrahim's agent, said she had
received interest from publishers in several other countries, including
The book will contain no startling revelations for Western intelligence agencies, however: all the original source material was scrutinised by the CIA and their British counterparts after World Trade Centre attack.
of Congress in
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