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

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.

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The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda
Average rating
4 / 5
March 8th, 2014
Great read if you are interested in gaining an inside perspective from the front lines of counter-terrorism leading up to 9/11 and shortly afterward. The firsthand accounts by Mr.Soufan from interrogations, inter-agency frustrations, and the changed nature of counter-terrorism after 9/11 are fascinating and compelling. Accounts from the law enforcement approach and insight on members of al-Qaeda from one on one encounters are also highlights.
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2 reviews
March 8th, 2014
Great read on the counter-terrorism efforts of the FBI and wider community in the lead up and shortly after 9/11 from a veteran and who was on the front lines investigating al-Qaeda. The firsthand details and accounts provide for a fascinating and compelling read. Of special interest are the descriptions of interrogations Mr. Soufan was a part of and the regretful change after 9/11 to more "enhanced" techniques. If you want insight into al-Qaeda pre-9/11 and shortly after, in addition to how counter-terrorism approaches changed after 9/11 this is a recommended read.
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2 reviews

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