We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War against alQaeda | [Ali H. Soufan, Freedman Daniel]

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

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.
Regular Price:$31.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (106 )
5 star
 (63)
4 star
 (29)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.6 (95 )
5 star
 (68)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.5 (93 )
5 star
 (58)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    michael poway, Ca, United States 10-31-13
    michael poway, Ca, United States 10-31-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    101
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Keydet 09-22-14
    Keydet 09-22-14

    The Sloop JohnB

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story; too bad author didn't just tell it"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The censored deletes were annoying ; almost like the author was asking the reader to fill in the blanks with their favored torture or scoundrel from the Bush administration. Author obviously used his book to assert his own political views and lay on the "Bush bashing".and compare the CIA to the Three Stooges.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's a great insight to the inner workings of the CIA and FBI during the worst crisis they have had to deal with. There was plenty of blame to go around during 9/11


    Did The Black Banners inspire you to do anything?

    Hopefully 9/11 inspired our government to do things differently.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BryinSiam 07-27-14
    BryinSiam 07-27-14

    Listen while I work, ride, drive & run.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story behind 'the story'"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Black Banners to be better than the print version?

    Yes, because whenever something is redacted or 'blanked', the narrator just reads over it and one still gets the gist of who and what is being talked about.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The inescapable culpability of the administration to trump truth with its own needs. The constitution of the USA is of no account to men/women in power.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were many points where the authors tip their hat and we know that despite logic and reason the wrong decision would be made: it became comical and yet was tragic.


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

    I was deeply disturbed by the willingness and ease with which government and agency personnel would see themselves as above the law and above morality. They lie.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't be put off by the redactions or the blacked out bits. If you saw the film Zero Dark Thirty, you'll put it together.

    1 of 1 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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "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

    Eric

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Richie086 06-02-15
    Richie086 06-02-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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..


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Mount Vernon, WA USA 03-25-15
    Ken Mount Vernon, WA USA 03-25-15 Member Since 2014

    Skeptic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    165
    100
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Mike Godfrey, IL, United States 03-02-14
    Mike Godfrey, IL, United States 03-02-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "They better give us an unredacted version for free"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Great story and a lot of terrific information. However, several chapters were so decimated with "Blank" in place of names and redacted passages that it makes it unbearable to listen to. I think there should be a free update when the CIA finally clears all the information and this finally becomes a complete book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.