Beginning with an examination of medieval Islamic fundamentalist movements such as Kharjism, Ibadism, Hanbalism, and Wahhabism, this book looks at the similarities and differences between them and present organizations such as al-Qa'ida. It may be surprising that many of the radical narratives embraced by modern groups have not emerged recently. Identifying these roots can lead to a better understanding of al-Qa'ida's theological and intellectual narratives, and how they effectively indoctrinate youths and attract many of them to violent acts of terrorism. The book then focuses on al-Qa'ida's theology, ideology, and tactics; the geographic contours and implications of al-Qa'ida's political strategy in relation to the western and eastern countries that are considered enemy states; the impending clash of cultures; and the ideological war within al-Qa'ida. Examining political Islamic thought from a historical to a contemporary perspective, it generates new understanding of the many complexities of political Islam, and the role of violence and terrorism.