Before Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. troops in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, the shadowy leader of al-Qaeda had all but disappeared from public consciousness. Largely depicted as a historical figure, he was viewed by the media, government, and public as the mastermind behind 9/11, but no longer relevant to the world it created. Yet to view the man through this lens, Michael Scheuer argues, only contributes to a widespread denial of his ultimate significance and power. In this newly updated paperback edition, Scheuer, the first head of the CIA's bin Laden Unit, draws from a wealth of interviews, speeches, and previously un-translated documents to challenge the complacency of the West's perception of Osama bin Laden. Exploring bin Laden's evolution from a peaceful Saudi dissident to America's Most Wanted and shedding light on his development as a theologian, media manipulator, and military commander, Scheuer produces a closely reasoned, authoritative portrait of America's most determined enemy. Discrediting prevailing claims that depict bin Laden as irrelevant or unimportant, Scheuer's much-needed corrective shows a figure of remarkable leadership skills, strategic genius, and considerable rhetorical abilities who was significantly underestimated by the West. In light of the success of the U.S. Special Forces mission that brought down bin Laden in Pakistan, Scheuer expands his argument to consider the political landscape that bin Laden left behind and the dark legacy that survives him. Despite the reactions of the media and American public to bin Laden's death and the renewed depictions of him as a simplistic, one-dimensional foe, Scheuer argues that the jihadist leader was truly a complex and formidable enemy of the West, and that his influence and ideology take on a heightened relevance in the wake of his death. "Steeped in detailed knowledge of the Saudi jihadist. It is a needed corrective to most of the airy generalizations about bin Laden and his followers." -The Financial Times "A highly readable and jargon-free book...a serious and non-ideological treatment and analysis of bin Laden's thinking.... One of the most detailed biographical sketches of bin Laden available in the West." -Library Journal "Scheuer was long the dean of U.S. government analysts of Osama bin Laden.... In this volume he has distilled his decade and half of thinkingto produce a portrait of bin Laden that is authoritative." -Peter Bergen, author of The Longest War and Holy War, Inc.