The Nature of the War Against Us

Love death. This is the improbable instruction that the founder of an Egyptian sect called the Muslim Brotherhood imparted to his followers in the 1920s. A disciple named Mohammed Atta copied this instruction into his journal just before leading the attack on the World Trade Center three days before my biopsy. Was it a coincidence that this dark creed took root in a country of monuments to the human quest for life beyond the grave? The sentence Mohammed Atta actually jotted down was this: “Prepare for holy war and be lovers of death.”

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