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1 Hawthorne Military- Terrorism Mercenaries and Guerrillas

The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al-Qaeda


The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al-Qaeda Cover

ISBN13: 9780393079425
ISBN10: 0393079422
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On September 11, 2001, FBI Special Agent Ali H. Soufan was handed a secret file. Had he received it months earlier--when it was requested--the attacks on New York and Washington could have been prevented. During his time on the front lines, Soufan helped thwart plots around the world and elicited some of the most important confessions from terrorists in the war against al-Qaeda--without laying so much as a hand on them. Most of these stories have never been reported before, and never by anyone with such intimate firsthand knowledge. This narrative account of America's successes and failures against al-Qaeda is essential to an understanding of the terrorist group. We are taken into hideouts and interrogation rooms. We have a ringside seat at bin Laden's personal celebration of the 9/11 bombings. Such riveting details show us not only how terrorists think and operate but also how they can be beaten and brought to justice.

Book News Annotation:

Soufan worked as a former special agent for the FBI, and this book is a first-person chronicle of his work in the war against al-Qaeda, especially after the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. He starts before those attacks though, with the formation of the organization itself in the 1990s and the attack on the USS Cole. He spends the chapters after this preliminary account on the 9/11 attacks themselves, high valued detainees, the final missions leading up to Osama bin Laden's capture, and what he calls successes and failures. In particular, he notes the inefficacy of torture and aggressive approaches. Throughout the book he maintains allegiance to the FBI and USA, and opens with a note disclosing that this is an FBI and CIA approved story, which he "would have submitted .... for review even if [he] had no legal obligation to do so." To that end, names and sections of text are occasionally blacked out. There is a co-author, Daniel Freedman, but he is only briefly mentioned in the acknowledgements. There is no index, but there is a glossary of "principal characters" and a basic bibliography. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


A book that will change the way we think about al-Qaeda, intelligence, and the events that forever changed America.

About the Author

Ali H. Soufan, a former FBI special agent, served on the front lines against al-Qaeda and gained an international reputation as a top counterterrorism operative and interrogator. He has been profiled in The New Yorker and featured in books, newspaper articles, and documentaries around the globe.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

3Kcats, November 1, 2012 (view all comments by 3Kcats)
Interesting read by a former FBI special agent. Tells the good and bad in the war against al-Qaeda.
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Michael O'Brien, January 25, 2012 (view all comments by Michael O'Brien)
Ali Soufan was an agent for the FBI, whose fluency in Arabic and familiarity with Islamic teachings became useful when the agency began piecing together information about al-Quaeda in the 1990s. This book provides an insider's view of the investigations into bin Laden's network and terrorist attacks like the Nairobi and Khartoum embassy bombings and the attack on the USS Cole. It's a real-life glimpse into a secretive hidden world. Ali's efforts to track the 9/11 bombers are frustrated by bureaucratic snafus, leaving me wondering if that tragic attack could have been prevented.
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Shannon Geiger, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Shannon Geiger)
This book was written by an Arabic-speaking FBI agent and it is his story of trying to prevent 9/11 and catch Osama bin Laden. The book reads like the best spy fiction you can think of but it's all fact. The CIA even made him redact information, which I hope will appear in future editions. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand not only the terrorists, but the bureaucratic roadblocks that helped 9/11 happen.
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Product Details

Soufan, Ali H
W. W. Norton & Company
Freedman, Daniel
Soufan, Ali H.
World History-General
Politics - General
Publication Date:
16 pages of black-and-white illustration
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Military » Espionage
History and Social Science » Military » Terrorism Mercenaries and Guerrillas
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al-Qaeda Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 608 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393079425 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A book that will change the way we think about al-Qaeda, intelligence, and the events that forever changed America.
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