Based on new information gathered from extensive fieldwork in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, this account sheds light on the story and legacy of Juhayman al-‘Utaybi, the militant who led the 1979 takeover of Islam’s holiest site: the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Detailing the events that would set in motion numerous attacks on the U.S. embassy in Pakistan and Shia uprisings in oil-rich areas of Saudi Arabia, this record offers insight into the religious inspiration behind the rebel leader’s message and acknowledges many unanswered questions: Who were the rebels and what did they want? Why and how did Juhayman’s group come into existence? What was Juhayman al-‘Utaybi’s ideological legacy and how have his writings influenced contemporary Islamist strains?
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