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Publisher's Summary

A book that will change the way we think about alQaeda, intelligence, and the events that forever changed America.
On September 12, 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 alQaeda—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 alQaeda 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.
©2011 Ali H. Soufan (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

“Superb. An education. And the best book on alQaeda out there, bar none.” (Robert Baer, former CIA official and New York Times best-selling author)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By michael on 10-31-13

Terrorism, torture and the CIA

Where does The Black Banners rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the top five

What other book might you compare The Black Banners to and why?

A Legacy of Ashes/Enemies A History of the FBI both by Tim Weiner. Both books give you an look into the cultures of the Intelligence Agencies. I know many of the men and women of the CIA risked their lives daily but the CIA bureaucrats cannot continue to lie and coverup their incompetence. As the FBI Agent warned the CIA pre 9/11 that by not providing photos and information on known AQ terrorist in American they will be responsible for the attack. Outrageous behavior by the CIA. Add to that the CIA's torture of terror suspects was the "wrong thing to do" as recently stated by CIA Deputy Director on 60 minutes. Bravo!
Ali was vindicated......

Which scene was your favorite?

Ali's battle of wits with the terrorist suspects....also when the FBI stuck to their guns that there was no evidence/link between Saddam and AQ....even when pressured by the White House....

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The CIA's failure to provide information to the FBI on the 9/11 terrorist traveling to the US pre 9/11, their use of torture and their subsequent cover up. Very upsetting .

Any additional comments?

This is a book about those in the trenches including FBI, and CIA and the military who put their lives at risk in the most dangerous places. Ali stated his case clearly and I hope lessons are learned.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Richard T on 06-02-15

Great book if you are interested in terrorism

What made the experience of listening to The Black Banners the most enjoyable?

If you have any interest in the details of 9/11, buy this book now. Very well written. The only thing that was sub par was all the stuff the CIA forced him to remove from the book. The audio book has a lot of redactions, and depending on the part there can be quite a few of them back to back. This is not Ali Soufan's fault, blame the CIA/FBI if this bothers you.

What did you like best about this story?

Very well written. Lots of inside information that you will never get by reading the 9/11 commission report (which i have read twice)..

Which scene was your favorite?

Memories of Ali working with John O'Neil..

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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