LIGHTNING OUT OF LEBANON: Hezbollah Terrorists on American Soil

Tom Diaz, Author, Barbara Newman, Author . Presidio $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-345-47568-8

In a compact and cogent addition to the literature on terrorism, two expert journalists join forces for a portrait of how a Hezbollah cell in Charlotte, N.C., was broken up a little more than a year before September 11. In clear prose with a minimum of political ax-grinding, Newman (The Covenant ) and Diaz (Making a Killing ) provide biographies of cell leader Mohammed Youssef Hammoud (from his origins in the Shiite slums of Beirut) and member Said Harb; the FBI agents and federal prosecutors (who overcame bureaucratic inertia and civil libertarian–fostered barriers to accumulate the evidence that led to Hammoud's prosecution); and many incidental players along the way. They also provide clear historical summaries of the religious and ethnic divides in the Middle East, and portraits of lesser-known phenomena such as the role of Paraguay (and its borders with Argentina and Brazil) in providing havens for international terrorists. The authors' skill at characterization of friends and foes puts a great many thriller writers in the shade, and at no point do they fall into stereotyping. Embedded in the book is an argument for the kind of interagency intelligence sharing that is still in its infancy. (Mar. 1)

Reviewed on: 01/03/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Paperback - 250 pages - 978-0-89141-870-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 166 pages - 978-0-345-48185-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7393-1836-2
Show other formats
Discover what to read next