The Black Banners

The Black Banners

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

Book - 2011
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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.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780393079425
Branch Call Number: 973. 931 SOU
Characteristics: xxvi, 572 p. : map
Additional Contributors: Freedman, Daniel 1982-


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Jul 06, 2018

Good book! The Looming Tower series on Hulu definitely based a lot of the show on this book too for their portrayal on Ali Soufan. He was definitely the FBI's greatest weapon against terrorism and one of their most intelligent agents. I recommend this book.

Dec 30, 2014

Excellent book. Unfortunately, the CIA had the publisher black out several parts of the book. At one point they had words such as "I", "me", "my", "mine", "we", "our", "ours", etc. blacked out. The CIA has nothing better to do apparently.
Hopefully, the unredacted version gets released one day.
Even as is, I highly recommend this book.

Dec 09, 2014

Now that US Senator Diane Feinstein has on 12/9/2014 issued the report on the CIA torture program, you can use this book as a companion guide. Soufan was an Arabian-American who was an interrogator of some of the Al Qaeda suspects. He used non-coercive interrogation techniques. He withdrew from the interrogations, when the CIA took over and started using their experimental torture techniques. Read this book. It will help you to decide if torture is better or worse than non-coercive interrogation techniques.

Nov 05, 2014

This is a pretty good book, but here's the situation: the DIA's Julie Sirrs tried to enlighten the DIA as to what was coming, bringing the data with her from Afghanistan, and that brave and stalwart DIA agent was forced out by traitorous sleazoids. FBI agents Coleen Rowley, Harry Samit and Ken Williams similarly attempted to interdict the terrorists, but were prevented at every turn by the traitorous sleazoids in the FBI. These various government agents were either forced out, or trivialized, and their incompetent, colluding superiors were promoted and promoted again, by the likes of Robert Mueller III. That's the real story! The FBI knew what was coming; the DIA knew what was coming and certainly the CIA knew what was coming.

Jun 19, 2012

In delivering this detailed operational history of Al-Qaeda, the author gives much insight into the workings of the terrorist network. Soufan has the unique perspective as a Lebanese-American FBI agent. Major investigations he describes are the east Africa embassy bombings, USS Cole bombing, and of course the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. He explains proper FBI interrogation and contrasts that to the CIA led psychological torture sessions that were implemented by former Attorney General Ashcroft post 9/11. We also get an insider's account of how the CIA failed to share intelligence with the FBI. This is a must read for anyone interested in 9/11 and Mid-East geopolitics. There are many sections of text that have been redacted because the CIA still has some information classified.

May 20, 2012

a power struggle at the very top between the CIA and the FBI is exposed convincingly at the level of the interrogators in the field by an agent at the very centre of the Al-Qaeda investigation, the CIA wins the power match, decisively, with the help of their bigger stick, the Bush Administration, but later lose, or at least significantly prolong, the still ongoing war for the sake of their outsized arrogance, the FBI gets the moral highground later but little else; the author is apparently one of only a handful of American agents who could speak Arabic in this global conflict, this seems awfully organizationally incompetent to me from a purportedly responsible government, even superpower, he also suggests he could have, and within the strictures of our moral standards and the ideals of their Constittution, prevented 9/11, wow - blurred only by wholesale CIA redactions

Jan 07, 2012

I am sure there were some bias in the book showing the CIA as very incompetent in the "War on Terror" - coming from someone who works for the FBI.

However, I also believe that the actual CIA is not as competent as what is shown on TV and movies either.

As the years go by, we get more info about how the Bush White House trying to manufacture "facts" to justify their actions.

Overall, a good read about the people on the front lines hamper by the Bush White House and their cronies.

Nov 28, 2011

Great read tells a lot about the inside of interrogations and how to and how not to best handle them. al-Qaeda is a lot more sophisticated than though. Great read

CBS 60 minutes video

Nov 22, 2011

eonomist worked for fbi . angry that fbi and cia did not share infor pre 9.11
Strong case against torture. . Apparently the cia has censored some of this "redacted"

voisjoe1 Oct 31, 2011

A great account by an American-Arabian FBI agent who interrogated Al Qaeda members involved in the African Embassy bombings, the Cole Bombing and 9/11.

Contrasts the FBI's interrogations per the Geneva Accords and per US Criminal Court requirements and the CIA interrogations that used torture and occasional death; methods that cannot be used in court.

The CIA methods were being used to induce false testimony that Al Qaeda was linked to Sadaam Hussein, so the Bush administration could use it as a pretext to invade Iraq.

The book is hated by neo-con's because it exposes their duplicity.

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