The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War against al-Qaeda
Ali H. Soufan
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A New York Times Bestseller
A book that will change the way we think about al-Qaeda, 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 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.
lives at stake. At another point during the forty-eight hours, at Boris’s instruction, a piece of paper and a crayon were put in front of Abu Zubaydah in the hope that he would write down “intelligence.” He didn’t. [1 word redacted] couldn’t believe that those responsible for running the program believed that this would work, and would be so careless with an important intelligence asset. During this whole time, [1 word redacted] were detailing the situation on the ground and registering [1 word
“What do you mean?” the prosecutor asked. “The Malaysian meeting isn’t a secret. It’s in The 9/11 Commission Report.” “Just because the commission revealed the information doesn’t mean it isn’t still classified.” “But your former director, George Tenet, also references it in his book.” “He’s not the director anymore.” “But it had to be declassified for him to write about it.” “You can’t use it.” The prosecutors were shocked by how far the CIA would go to limit any public mention of the Malaysia
construction company, for example, built a highway from Khartoum to Port Sudan. At the same time, operatives used the businesses as a means of traveling around the world to purchase weapons, explosives, and equipment and to aid foreign fighters. The businesses were the perfect cover to avoid attracting attention from intelligence services. Bin Laden began to create a worldwide network for helping fellow jihadist groups, establishing an Islamic Army shura to coordinate efforts. On the council were
interpreter who spoke Italian and Arabic. She translated from Italian to Arabic, and I then translated from Arabic to English for my colleagues. During one conversation, in broken English, Petronzi kept referring to “Louis.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “Louis, Louis,” he said, pointing at the suspect. The suspect wasn’t named Louis, so I thought perhaps there was someone else involved whom we didn’t know about. If not that, I jokingly speculated, he might be talking about Louis Freeh, the
in Khartoum, he failed to make any contact with the Western intelligence agency. “That’s where we come in,” Debbie concluded. “We need to go and find out about him, and then see if we can do a better job recruiting him. If he did live with the Nairobi cell members and was with al-Qaeda from the start, he could be an important source.” I traveled with Debbie to the country whose intelligence agency had been working with Kherchtou, and at first the agency denied knowing anything about him. However,