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The Black Banners Audiobook

The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War against alQaeda

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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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (133 )
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Performance
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  •  
    michael poway, Ca, United States 10-31-13
    michael poway, Ca, United States 10-31-13 Member Since 2007
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard T 06-02-15
    Richard T 06-02-15

    Richard J Troiano

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    "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..


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony B 08-16-16
    Tony B 08-16-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing Story. "

    So much I didn't know about Al Qaeda and our war on terrorism... Ali Soufan tells a great story from an amazing position on the inside that touched just about every part of our war on terror.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul F. Carbone 05-01-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent accounts"

    What I dislikes most near the end of the book there were way too many "blanks" where the government wouldn't allow certain names to be mentioned. Also, too many "redacted passages". It ruined the flow of the book, and as we understand from the author, unnecessary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 01-05-16
    Andrew 01-05-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Trails off"

    Good story, good writing and everything but after the first 2/3 or so it seems to turn into a I was right, EIT supporters were wrong, while I agree with the author I thought he went through to much trouble to get that point across. Still, I would recommend the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher W. Sloan santa rosa, ca 08-02-15
    Christopher W. Sloan santa rosa, ca 08-02-15 Member Since 2013

    sloan

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    "Solid Read"

    Ali is an American hero. This book provides great perspective on the war on terror and it's dark and bright spots.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Van Wagenen 08-01-15 Member Since 2016
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    "loved it."

    too bad about the redactions though. Sounds like the cia won't clear it anytime too soon

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 07-01-15
    Eric 07-01-15 Member Since 2015

    Eric

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    "great book !"
    What did you love best about The Black Banners?

    The interesting way Ali was able to keep track of so many detainees and their aliases. Also showing how interrogations would be more effective when treating detainees respectfully, and then just plain outsmarting them . Ali's knowledge of the Koran , and ability to speak Arabic was invaluable . If not for Ali, would there have been anyone able to figure out how the networks were intertwined? Certainly not from the CIA.


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

    How the EIT retarded progress and in general setback a lot of the operation.


    Any additional comments?

    A very complicated story which was brilliantly told .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken 03-25-15
    Ken 03-25-15 Member Since 2014

    Skeptic

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    "Fascinating story!"
    Would you listen to The Black Banners again? Why?

    Yes!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Agent Soufan, of course!


    Have you listened to any of Neil Shah’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    FBI's part in the USS Cole investigation.


    Any additional comments?

    After you've read "Decision Points", read this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PerryMartinBookReviews 11-24-14 Member Since 2010
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    "The true story of interrogation and agency war"

    Narrated by Neil Shah this book is a true account of FBI Special Agent Ali Soufan. Soufan started investigating the USS Cole bombing and was still doing so on 9/11/2001. He was soon involved in the search for Bin Laden. Ali's story tells of the conflict between the FBI and the CIA. According to this book the CIA kept information from the FBI that could have captured Bin Laden years earlier than he was. 

    Soufan was an investigator and after several successful interrogations he became the FBI's most successful agent at outsmarting those alQaeda operatives who were captured. Then the CIA moved in with their Advanced Interrogation Techniques. Although they never worked, the CIA continued to use techniques that were close to torture.
    And when Ali got information from high level terrorist the CIA took credit and claimed success due to their techniques. 

    This is a long audiobook but it goes into great detail on the FBI's fight to stop terrorist attacks in the US. It has blank and redacted sections that the CIA didn't want released. This book tells the history and reasoning behind AlQaeda's actions. Be prepared for a version of events that you haven't heard from the news or government.

    This is a must listen for anyone who wants the truth about the US's investigation of AlQaeda. You may be surprised at how dysfunctional it really was or is.

    I bought this book for my own pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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