- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 52 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 26 Mar. 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007OWDFWW
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
- #60 in Books > Audible Audiobooks > Nonfiction > Politics & Current Affairs > Terrorism
- #256 in Books > Audible Audiobooks > Nonfiction > Politics & Current Affairs > Freedom & Security
- #1663 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Civil Liberties & Political Activism > Political Violence
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The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9-11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Audiobook – Unabridged
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KSM himself comes across as a extremely dangerous, calculating Islamic militant and extremist. The authors imply that he was the real force behind Bin Laden, in terms of being an extremely capable and formidable operator, planner, and an individual who had his own terrorist network, which was in many ways independent of Al Qaeda. From the information in this book that appears to be a fairly accurate portrayal of KSM's role and status. The brutal and horrendous murder of Daniel Pearl, and KSM's leading role in the 9/11 attacks mark him out as an person with no or very little humanity. Perhaps one of the flaws of the book is that KSM's personality is not really brought into focus much. The reasons why he became a terrorist and extremist are not really explored in much depth, and appears to remain opaque.
The reason I did not give this book five stars is that there is an apparently confusing and contradictory account given of KSM, in relation to his nickname Mukhtar. The authors say on Page 17 that after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Bin Laden praised Mukhtar as being the mastermind for the attacks in a video. The American government are portrayed as not having any idea who this is.
However, this is completely contradicted on Page 154. It says here that in August 2001, a month before 9/11, the CIA learned that KSM's nickname was Mukhtar (this is in the 9/11 Commission Report)! In addition, the authors appear to suggest that it was only the identification of Mukhtar as being KSM, by an Al Qaeda member in an FBI interrogation in 2002, that the American state found out that KSM was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. The authors fail to explain why the American government did not know about Mukhtar being KSM before the attacks in September 2001, given that the CIA apparently found out about his nickname. Also, when Bin laden praised Mukhtar's role in the World Trade Centre/Pentagon attacks, why did the CIA not inform the wider American government that this meant it was KSM that was behind the attacks? This is very confusing. I am not American, so it may well be that there are valid reasons why this occurred, in terms of bureaucracy etc.
Otherwise, this is a very good account of the long effort to bring KSM to justice for his extensive involvement in terrorism.