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64 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRACKING THE WORLD'S MOST WANTED TERRORIST
Five INVESTIGATIVE Stars! In "Manhunt: The Ten Year Search For Bin 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...
Published on May 2, 2012 by RSProds

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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than I hoped
This book fulfilled some of my desire to know more. The main strength is in further demystifying UBL and conveying how weak and further self absorbed he became with his isolation. The main weaknesses of this book is there is a great deal of repetition (where was the editor?; also this appeared rushed to press?) throughout the book, and much of the "inside" story has...
Published on May 6, 2012 by No Name Texan


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64 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRACKING THE WORLD'S MOST WANTED TERRORIST, May 2, 2012
By 
RSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas) - See all my reviews
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Five INVESTIGATIVE Stars! In "Manhunt: The Ten Year Search For Bin 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. 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. Indeed, the pursuits of fugitives such as Adolph Eichmann and Mir Aimal Kansi provided the CIA some methodology in the bin Laden chase. Along the way, the author addresses many interesting persons and circumstances: the bin Laden compound's purchase and functional architecture, the most dangerous job in Al-Qaeda, the truth about bin Laden's kidney disease, what really happened at Tora Bora, Al-Qaeda's Operational Security techniques, bin Laden's tangled polygamous familial relationships, internal disagreements within Al-Qaeda, the intelligence windfall of bodyguard Abu Jandal, the 4 key parameters of the 'Rebecca' analyst's "Inroads" paper, KSM and Qahtani, the Jordanian doctor, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, the "Holy Toledo" moment, the "Red Team", multiple raid options, "The Decision", the complexity of the raid, bin Laden's last words, the true reaction vs the official reaction in Pakistan, and the aftermath. This is an impressive feat of investigative journalism, building up to and going beyond a crucial historical moment bringing to justice the greatest mass murderer in US history. My Highest Recommendation! Five COMPELLING Stars. (384 total pages~3708 KB, with 3 maps, and over 40 photographs and documents, with bibliography and notes. This review is based on a Kindle download, reviewed in text and text-to-speech modes.)
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Account, May 4, 2012
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Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad by Peter L. Bergen

"Manhunt" is the riveting and insightful ten-year pursuit of America's most wanted man. Best-selling author and acclaimed security analyst Peter L. Bergen provides the most thorough and discerning account of what actually went down and the people behind the manhunt of Bin Laden. This well-researched book reads like a good spy novel and offers keen insight that only a person as well-connected and methodical as Bergen can provide. A page-turner of a book that unfortunately was rushed to meet the one year anniversary and in doing so left out some important intelligence that is becoming available now to the media. Be that as it may, this book was a treat to read and the author closes out the book with a great synopsis of the state of Al-Qaeda and the Middle East in general. This mesmerizing 384-page book is composed of the following fourteen chapters: 1. 9/11 and After, 2.Tora Bora, 3. Al-Qaeda in the Wilderness, 4. The Resurgence of Al-Qaeda, 5. A Working Theory of the Case, 6. Closing In on the Courier, 7. Obama at War, 8. Anatomy of a Lead, 9. The Last Years of Osama bin Laden, 10. The Secret Warriors, 11. Courses of Action, 12. The Decision, 13. Don't Turn On the Light, and 14. Aftermath.

Positives:
1. Peter Bergen is a fantastic author who has an excellent track record.
2. A fascinating topic in the talented hands of a master. Bergen is well-connected and it shows. This is as well-researched a book as you will find.
3. Excellent writer, his prose is engaging and some parts reads like a James Bond film. A page turner indeed.
4. Great insight on how intelligence is collected and the characters involved. Also how decisions get made and the philosophy behind those decisions. Interesting.
5. A great look back at similar covert actions and lessons learned. War strategy.
6. Fascinating insights throughout the book. The interrogation techniques, plots that were thankfully thwarted, the failures and successes.
7. A look at some of the technology...The Predator drones and their use.
8. The Agency's four "pillars" of the hunt.
9. A very interesting look at President Obama's foreign policy.
10. Interesting look at the dynamics between bin Laden and his cohorts.
11. A look into the mind of bin Laden. His views, plans, observations...
12. The creation of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the reasoning behind it. The leadership of Major General Stanley McChrystal and why he succeeded.
13. The Navy Seals...enough said.
14. The key role of Admiral William McRaven. His strategy.
15. The four possible Courses of Action (COAs) for Abbottabad. and what the key players favored and why. Great stuff.
16. All the details of Operation Neptune Spear. Like a great spy novel.
17. An inside look at the logistics involved with such an operation and the politics involved.
18. What went right and what went wrong with the mission and the aftermath. Lessons learned.
19. An excellent synopsis of the current state of affairs in the Middle East.
20. Photo inserts always welcomed.
21. An impressive bibliography and notes sections.
22. One of the best acknowledgements section I've ever seen. Really gives you an idea at all the people involved with this book including Anderson Cooper and key government contacts.

Negatives:
1. The book was clearly rushed to meet a most likely publisher-induced deadline. As a result some information pertaining to the "treasure trove" retrieved by the SEALS from the bin Laden compound is now being released and such details were obviously missed by this book.
2. It's hard to be too critical, the book is insightful but I was hoping to know more about bin Laden's finances. Where did all his money go? Bergen does provide insight about bin Laden's thriftiness but not really much on where all his millions went.
3. A book warranted a list of cast of characters.
4. No kindle links to notes.
5. Not as impressive or as detailed technically as his previous books but excellent nonetheless.

In summary, some of the shortcomings aside I really enjoyed this book. Peter Bergen is a treat to read for many reasons: he is an authority on the topic, has a great reputation, is well-connected and writes with an engaging prose. This book is a fascinating story of the ten-year hunt for bin Laden and it does the topic justice. I highly recommend it!

Further suggestions: "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror" by Richard A. Clarke, "SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper" by Howard E. Wasdin & Stephen Templin, "Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice" by William McRaven, "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War" by Mark Bowden, "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10" by Marcus Lattrell, and "WAR" by Sebastian Junger.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best written book on hunt for UBL, December 27, 2012
By 
Amy McCormick (Austin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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I've read Mark Bowden's book and No Easy Day and this was by far the best written, and most informative of the three.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than I hoped, May 6, 2012
This book fulfilled some of my desire to know more. The main strength is in further demystifying UBL and conveying how weak and further self absorbed he became with his isolation. The main weaknesses of this book is there is a great deal of repetition (where was the editor?; also this appeared rushed to press?) throughout the book, and much of the "inside" story has already recently been released to the press. Thus, anyone who has been following news and cable channel shows closely on this topic will find less new material than they might have hoped. For anyone who has been less informed, you will likely find this book interesting and insightful, and I so I offer a general recommendation.
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23 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Summary, but Underwelming, May 2, 2012
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As a person who has a deep interest in this subject and great admiration for Peter Bergen, I anxiously awaited the release of "Manhunt," hoping it could shed some light on aspects of the life of Osama bin Laden, the intelligence that led to his capture and the life on the run between 2001 and 2006 in several Pakistanian cities. Bergen is precise, cognient, organized precise. He provides previously undiclosed information about the intelligence cache collected and bin Laden's thoughts, from the waning years of his life. It added to the record. This, however, will not be the ultimately chapter or the great book on bin Laden. Bergen's "The Longest War" offers much more insight into American policy considerations. Lawrence Wright's "The Looming Tower" paints a better picture of bin Laden and al Qaeda. Ali Soufan's "Black Banners" provides a more insightful look at U.S. Interrogations. Bergen's book seeks to tell the story of bin Laden from 2001 to 2011, and what it does is adds new detail to the time between 2001 and 2005. There is little insight into the Pakistani manhunt, how bin Laden's family members in Iran were able to avoid detection on their return to him in Abbottabad, the foreign powers that helped the U.S. Make the case with the courier and bin Laden, the role bin Laden's daughter's death in a drone strike played in his thought process and tracking (his orphaned grandchildren were taken to him during the time of U.S. Survelliance). Bergen has excellent acess to people and data and provides great insight on the Obama team's anayltical process and the redteaming of the case for bin Laden being in that location. But the book seems rushed. Perhaps it was the need to publish by the anniversary date. But the lack of information about the period of time that is crucial to the resurregence of al Qaeda is disaapointing. Bergen clearly had official access and perhaps it distracted him from some of those details and the elements of the hunt for bin Laden that are not yet public (the roles of the Special Collection Service, the Intelligence Support Activity and the National Security Agency). Where Bergen does not have official access, it seems his narrative is light. I know he can do it better and I hope he comes back at some other issues in the rewrite for the paperback, which I would gladly give another read. Among the loose ends of 9/11, such as the death of Jamal Khalif, Osama bin Laden, remains one
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't make this stuff up!, June 7, 2012
By 
Izzy Myers (St. Louis, MO United States) - See all my reviews
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This account is an "edge of your seat" recounting of the story behind the bin Laden raid. It is very well written and astounding in its twists and turns. It makes you realize how a few accidental events here and there can impact the lives of so many. It also causes you to swell with pride at the capability and courage of our special forces.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read!, June 4, 2012
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This book is well written, factual in its content, and will certainly 'open the eyes' for doubters of the Bin Laden threat and the responses of the present USA President.
A good non-baised summary of the 9-11 follow-up events.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read., June 3, 2012
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Fascinating read. This is a book that should be read by all voters who wish be informed on what the Obama administration has accomplished. I was amazed to learn how successful we have been at dismantling al-Qaeda. Having a world atlas handy as you read is helpful to really "see" the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mass murderer gets his justice., June 2, 2012
By 
Kevin M Quigg (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania United States) - See all my reviews
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Bergen writes about our favorite villian Osama Bin Laden and his death at the hands of the U.S. Seals.

I think this is a needed initial book. More books will come out in the near future detailing the life Bin Laden lived on the lam. Bergen portrays Bin Laden as a cheap skate, who only dished out money when needed. Obviously, Bush's attempts to keep cash from Bin Laden was successful. It also portrays Obama as taking a gutsy decision in the going after the shadowy figure in Abottabad. Lots of bad could have happened, but Obama made a great decision and eliminated a theat to the United States. Bin Laden was still plotting lots of death and destruction on America, he just didn't have the resources to pull it off. America's War on Terror had eliminated a lot of the evil elements of Al Qaeda. It portrays the Number 3 job of the terrorist group as a death sentence after the drone strikes eliminated three of these criminals.

This is a good timely read about the death of an evil man. Hopefully, we will read about Ayman al-Zawahiri's death in the near future. A good detailed analysis of the following the trail of an evil man.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the details..., May 29, 2012
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If you are already familiar with the hunt for bin laden from other readings, the main events described here will not be news to you. Where this book differentiates itself is in some of the details it provides of the events that took place behind the scenes among the main players. That alone made it a worthwhile read.
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Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden--from 9/11 to Abbottabad
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