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1 Burnside Military- Terrorism Mercenaries and Guerrillas

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How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq


How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Finding Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, had long been the U.S. military's top priority — trumping even the search for Osama bin Laden. No brutality was spared in trying to squeeze intelligence from Zarqawi's suspected associates. But these "force on force" techniques yielded exactly nothing, and, in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, the military rushed a new breed of interrogator to Iraq. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Matthew Alexander, a former criminal investigator and head of a handpicked interrogation team, gives us the first inside look at the U.S. military's attempt at more civilized interrogation techniques — and their astounding success. The intelligence coup that enabled the June 7, 2006, air strike onZarqawi's rural safe house was the result of several keenly strategized interrogations, none of which involved torture or even "control" tactics. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Matthew and his team decided instead to get to know their opponents. Who were these monsters? Who were they working for? What were they trying to protect? Every day the "'gators" matched wits with a rogues' gallery of suspects brought in by Special Forces ("door kickers"): egomaniacs, bloodthirsty adolescents, opportunistic stereo repairmen, Sunni clerics horrified by the sectarian bloodbath, Al Qaeda fanatics, and good people in the wrong place at the wrong time. With most prisoners, negotiation was possible and psychological manipulation stunningly effective. But Matthew's commitment to cracking the case with these methods sometimes isolated his superiors and put his own career at risk. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; This account is an unputdownable thriller — more of a psychological suspense story than a war memoir. And indeed, the story reaches far past the current conflict in Iraq with a reminder that we don't have to become our enemy to defeat him. Matthew Alexander and his ilk, subtle enough and flexible enough to adapt to the challenges of modern, asymmetrical warfare, have proved to be our best weapons against terrorists all over the world.

About the Author

Matthew Alexander served for fourteen years in the U.S. Air Force. As the leader of an elite interrogations team in Iraq, he conducted more than 300 interrogations and supervised more than 1,000. He is a veteran of three wars and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal in 2006.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Mark Bowden

Part I€‚Prologue
The Golden Dome
1. The 'Gator Pit
2. The Skeleton
3. The Jovial Imam
4. Love of Family
5. The Convenient Car Bomb
6. The Burning House

Part II€‚Coming into Focus
7. Fractures
8. The Other Side of the House
9. The Group of Five
10. The Second Wife
11. A Life for Redemption
12. Preacher of Hate
13. The Blue BMW
14. The Devil's Choice 160

Part III Going in Circles
15. Cat and Mouse
16. The Leader
17. Fault Lines
18. The Eyes of Fatima
19. The Return to the Other Side of the House
20. Terrorist Follies
21. The Media Man
22. A Visit from the Boss
23. A Slip

Part IV Dice Roll
24. A Single, Empty Hand
25. Six Hours
26. The Duel
27. A Chance for Unity
28. Treason
29. The Secret Deal
30. Stasis
31. The Unknown Imam
32. The Seventh of June

Epilogue: Killing the Hydra

Product Details

The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq
Alexander, Matthew
Bruning, John
Bruning, John R.
Bruning, John
Matthew, Dr
Free Press
Military interrogation
Political Freedom & Security - Intelligence
Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Middle East - General
Military - Iraq War (2003-)
General Political Science
Qaida (Organization)
Politics - General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
index; 8pp b+w photos; 4 illust t-o
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Espionage
History and Social Science » Military » Iraq War (2003-)
History and Social Science » Military » Terrorism Mercenaries and Guerrillas
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
History and Social Science » Politics » Terrorism

How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq Used Hardcover
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