The Meccan Rebellion: The Story of Juhayman al-'Utaybi Revisited

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9780955235993: The Meccan Rebellion: The Story of Juhayman al-'Utaybi Revisited

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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About the Author:

Thomas Hegghammer is an academic specializing in the study of violent Islamism. He is a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment in Norway and a nonresident fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security. He is the author of Jihad in Saudi Arabia and the coauthor of al-Qaida in Its Own Words. Stéphane Lacroix is an assistant professor of political science at L’Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris. He is the author of Awakening Islam: The Politics of Religious Dissent in Contemporary Saudi Arabia.


Hegghammer and Lacroix have done a remarkable job at describing the dynamics of an often overlooked yet crucial event in the early history of modern Islamism. Sophisticated yet easy to read, this is an essential primer for anybody interested in the subject.”  Lorenzo Vidino, author, The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West

Hegghammer and Lacroix write with clarity and authority . . . . A stimulating and original work of scholarship in its own right."  Azeem Ibrahim, Research Fellow, International Security Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

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