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Manhunt: From 9/11 to Abbottabad - the Ten-Year Search for Osama bin Laden Hardcover – 3 May 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847922007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847922007
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A very good, well-sourced account, as good on the White House, the military and the CIA as on what happened in Abbottabad, and as good as we're likely to get, short of an official version" (Alan Judd Spectator)

"Tells the story of the search with considerable authority and conviction" (Max Hastings Sunday Times)

"The book makes for a rattling and thoroughly researched read on the last days of the world's most notorious terrorist" (Daily Telegraph)

"Meticulously reported, pacy and authoritative" (Jason Burke Observer)

"The battle of wits between the man and the superpower is grippingly narrated by Peter Bergen" (Julian Borger Guardian)

Book Description

The definitive account of the decade-long manhunt that killed the world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Security analyst Peter Bergen has done an excellent job at recounting the 10 year search for Osama Bin-laden and his killing in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Told in a terse tone, with little sensationalism, Bergin writes for about the first third of the book on the hunt for Bin-Laden and the last two thirds on the planning for the raid on the compound, the raid itself, and the aftermath. Not only was the raid, conducted by the amazing Seal team, dangerous from an operational standpoint, it was also tricky from a political standpoint. "Political" here in the US and also in the world, where a failed raid would be devastating.

Bergen, who published the book close to the first anniversary of the raid, draws the characters with a deft hand. He had written a couple of previous books on Bin-Laden and he had met him in the late 1990's. He also writes about US government officials - from Obama on down - who discussed the prospective raid over and over again since a possible intelligence break placed Bin-Laden in the compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. Months of surveillance, mainly from the air but a little on the ground, could not give a 100% certainty that the figure pacing in the enclosed compound was Bin-Laden, but after much discussion, the raid went forward. Peter Bergen writes with the same deliberateness with which the government officials - both clandestine and non-clandestine - went to work, weighing the odds of both the figure being Osama Bin-Laden and the raid being successful. (And "successful" meant, of course, the Seals getting into Abbottabad, landing in the compound and carrying out their mission, and then getting out again, with no lives lost.
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Format: Hardcover
Five INVESTIGATIVE Stars! In "Manhunt: The Ten Year Search For Bil Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad", author and national security expert Peter Bergen promises the full story on the tracking down and killing of the Al-Qaeda terrorist leader, Osama bin Laden, and the book is full of detail on the manhunt, the raid, and the aftermath. He actually met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in March 1997 conducting an interview for CNN with two fellow journalists. While bin Laden came off as a mild-mannered person during the interview, his rhetoric spewed "a raw hatred of the United States" and he effectively declared war on the USA. Four years later on 9/11, bin Laden sent Al-Qaeda personnel into the USA to launch his attack on the American people at famous landmarks, killing over 3000 people who also represented citizens of over 90 countries. He also planned numerous other attacks around the world before and after 9/11. Author Bergen was the first outside observer to have access to bin Laden's now-destroyed Abbottabad compound in Pakistan and even standing in the bedroom where bin Laden met his demise. Based on high ranking sources, some of whom are named, he was able to trace the CIA's tracking of bin Laden's movements, his familial relationships, and to recreate how the CIA sifted through the haystack of possibilities: finding the key courier that led the US to the compound, and the circumstances of the raid.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Three books were released in 2012 detailing the hunt and killing of Al-Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden: Mark Bowden's The Finish, Mark Owen's No Easy Day and this, Manhunt by Peter Bergen. Of all of them, this seems like the most well-researched and thorough (that said, Owen's No Easy Day was the only book to be written by a participant in these events, whereas the other two were written by spectators, with much depending on their level of access to insiders).

Coming in at almost the exact same number of pages as Bowden's The Finish, Bergen's book seems very much like the weightier affair. While Bowden secured access to President Barack Obama, Bergen's book seems more definitive, in that it is more wide-ranging, covering the implications of what Bin Laden's murder may mean for the Al-Qaeda brand of radical Islam, as well as focusing on the intelligence-driven search. Bergen, for example, looks at Bin Laden's refuge in the mountains of Tora Bora and how, despite those best-placed to know assessing Bin Laden's position with a very high degree of certainty (and being proved right after the event), somewhere higher up the food chain the decision was made not to proceed with an attack to take him out.

Bergen also details other facets of the Abbottabad raid: how it affected U.S - Pakistani relations, clearly articulating that political factors had a role to play in the affair; that Obamas closest advisors were arguing against the raid, remembering their experiences in the President Jimmy Carter Operation Eagle Claw fiasco and why Obama ultimately decided to proceed with a course of action that some of his most experienced members of staff advised against.
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