Length: 608 Pages
'If you see the Black Banners coming from Khurasan, join that army, even if you have to crawl over ice; no power will be able to stop them'
Hadith attributed to the Prophet Muhammad
The Black Banners is the ultimate insider's account of the realities of counter-terrorism. During a decade on the front lines, as the FBI's lead investigator into Al Qaeda, Ali Soufan thwarted plots around the world and won some of the most important confessions from terrorists - 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. Soufan takes us into the interrogation rooms, into the hideouts. He even gives us a ringside seat at bin Laden's personal celebration of the 9/11 bombings. This is a gripping blow-by-blow account of the ten-year hunt for the most dangerous and well-connected Islamist terrorists - some of whom are still at large.
In The Black Banners Soufan also explains why the pervasive use of torture is not helping in the 'War on Terror', and how a more enlightened approach to intelligence is not only possible, but essential. This is a story not just of intrigue and bravery, but of empathy. He shows us how terrorists think and operate. And he shows that through this understanding, they can be stopped and finally brought to justice.
Ali Soufan knows the truth about the successes and failures of countering terrorism. His knowledge is essential to us all.
Length: 608 Pages
This is an absorbing account of America's fightback after 9/11, full of revealing or amusing details ... So ultimately this book is cheering as well as fascinating, because it reveals the dedication of those who defend us, as well as the weird frailties of those who try to kill us
Although many have claimed to tell the inside story of the hunt for al-Qaeda, Ali Soufan has a better claim than most ... this is one of the most valuable and detailed accounts of its subject to appear in the past decade
In a new memoir, a former F.B.I. agent who tracked Al Qaeda before and after the Sept. 11 attacks paints a devastating picture of rivalry and dysfunction inside the government's counterterrorism agencies. The book describes missed opportunities to defuse the 2001 plot, and argues that other attacks overseas might have been prevented, and Osama bin Laden found earlier, if interrogations had not been mismanaged
He's the special agent who came in from the cold...the most successful U.S. interrogator of Al-Qaeda operatives...Soufan was involved in a string of crucial investigations and interrogations, from the Millennium Bombing plot in Jordan to the U.S.S. Cole bombing in Yemen and a number of Gitmo interrogations. His greatest success was the interrogation of Abu Jandal, bin Laden's former bodyguard
After the 1998 embassy bombings,Soufan helped assemble the initial evidence linking them to Bin Laden. Soufan's language skills, his relentlessness, and his roots in the Middle East made him invaluable in helping the FBI understand Al Qaeda, an organization that few Americans were even aware of before the embassy bombings
To those inside the U.S. government Soufan has long been something of a legend. He conducted the most effective and fruitful interrogations of Al Qaeda suspects during the war on terrorism, and save for some inexplicable failures by the CIA, he and his team might well have prevented 9/11. Soufan has since left the FBI and written a gripping account of his experiences, brimming with details about Al Qaeda and its historical development
Most Americans first heard of FBI agent Ali H. Soufan in the spring of 2009. That's when he testified from behind a black curtain in the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing room ...The testimony was explosive.
Now Soufan has fired another salvo ... detailed descriptions of what unfolded behind the closed doors of the world's interrogation rooms. We learn that terrorists smirk when they think they have the upper hand. They quarrel over interpretations of the Koran. One burst into tears after he was allowed to telephone his family.Soufan describes the tension between two men sizing each other up on either side of a table. In those moments, which make up the bulk of the book, the narrative soars, as Soufanallows readers to experience the high-stakes intellectual dance between foes.
Soufan's story provides a new and important window on America's battle with al-Qaeda.