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Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 38 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Based on sworn testimony, interrogation reports, and official sources from the United States, India, Pakistan, France, Britain, Australia, and Israel, Sebastian Rotella and the ProPublica newsroom present a compelling new look at the people, relationships, and events that led to the gruesome 2008 terror attack on Mumbai. If you've never heard of Lashkar-i-Taiba, chances are, you will. The organization behind the attacks was long treated as "merely" a threat to India, though the case for the group's international ambitions and its relationship to Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have become nearly impossible to ignore. For shear cloak-and-dagger value alone, this extended piece of journalism offers a gripping read (no less so due to the part played by one particularly surprising conspirator, an American named David Coleman Headley), but its being regrettably true only raises the stakes. So what? In the words of Charles Faddis, a retired CIA chief of regional counterterrorism operations, "It's a classic problem in the U.S. intelligence community: failing to anticipate new threats and focusing completely on the one that already hit us." --Jason Kirk

Product Details

  • File Size: 154 KB
  • Print Length: 38 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: ProPublica; 1 edition (January 18, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 18, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JU0QIS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,247 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sebastian Rotella is an award-winning author, foreign correspondent and investigative journalist. His first novel, Triple Crossing, was named favorite debut crime novel and favorite action thriller of 2011 by the New York Times Sunday Book Review. His second novel, The Convert's Song, was published in December, 2014. He is also the author of Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (1998), which was named a New York Times Notable book. He has written two e-books: Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala (2012) and Pakistan and the Mumbai Attacks: The Untold Story (2011.) Since 2010, he has been a senior reporter based in Washington, D.C. for ProPublica, an investigative newsroom dedicated to journalism in the public interest. He previously worked at the Los Angeles Times, serving as bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires and as correspondent at the Mexican border. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 2006. His work from Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia has won honors including a Peabody Award; Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Award and Dart award for coverage of Latin America; the German Marshall Fund's Weitz Prize for excellence on reporting on European affairs; five awards from the Overseas Press Club and five awards from the Inter American Press Association; and the Urbino Press Award of Italy. He was correspondent and narrator for "A Perfect Terrorist," a television documentary on Frontline PBS that received an Emmy nomination. His reporting from the Mexican border inspired two songs on Bruce Springsteen's album The Ghost of Tom Joad in 1995. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and studied at the University of Barcelona. He speaks Spanish, French and Italian. He was born in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just recently purchased a Kindle 3 and was eager to jump in and read a good story. I came across this and after getting hooked on the free sample, I downloaded the full text. At 99 cents and 38 pages, it's a no brainer. I really enjoyed how much detail the author went into and the way he presented his facts.

Before reading this, I had no idea the attackers were on cell phones getting orders the entire time. Nor did I know anything about the terrorist group called Lashkar. I also learned a thing or two more about Pakistan and our relationship with India.

It's was nice to see the author's attempt at keeping bias to a minimum, by highlighting and comparing the new reports from Europe, USA, and India. I'll be keeping an eye on this author because i truly enjoyed his writing style and I hope to read more works by him in the near future. :)
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Like Lifted (Kindle Single), this is a wonderful piece of journalistic storytelling that's a perfect use of the Kindle Singles format. If you're interested in investigative journalism and the light it can shed on stories you think you know something about, this is a must-buy.

It's a particularly fascinating read against today's situation in Pakistan with the CIA operative under arrest for killing two men.

We live in frightening and interesting times.
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For a short report this does pack a lot of punch and understandably this sticks to facts and very little in terms of either any significant historical backdrop as well as any inferences. The report retraces the planning and execution of the audacious Mumbai attacks on 26/11/2008 by a Lashkar e Tayyiba unit. Thanks to the arrest of David Headley who was a part of the planning team as well as the capture of an attacker, a lot of characters step out of the shadows. The kingpin behind all of this was Sajid Mir who planned and executed the entire mission with dollops of help from the Pakistani Intelligence. Ten gunmen attacked and held hostage the city of Mumbai for 3 days with the world attention riveted on a shocked Indian governments response. The attack largely put paid to years of rapprochement between the Indian and Pakistani government. The report covers the duplicity that the ISI engages in while dealing with the US government, modalities of training that the gunmen used and sketches of the personalities that were key to the planning. Its a sobering tale of an ideology shaped by hate that has the potential of triggering a nuclear war in the near future
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This is a good, informative narrative of the Mumbai attacks, except for one glaring omission, the Indian angle. But for a single reference to the number of Indian victims, the narrative is totally silent on that aspect, leading one to mistakenly conclude that American Jewish Rabbis were the only victims. Granted that this is targeted at American audience but even then the omission makes it incomplete. Imagine a book on 9-11 attacks, focusing entirely on, let us say, the 4 Uruguayan victims (I`m making it up). If you set aside that, then this is certainly well-compiled, informative, gripping short-read.
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I feel like I got most of what I wanted to get out of this long article: some basic understanding of the Mumbai attacks beyond the superficial reports and horror stories from the mainstream media, which are pretty much designed to entertain instead of inform. Overall, it presents a chronological account of the attacks, and points to the deficiencies in various US and other intelligence agencies.

However, I feel that the piece is lacking in both its demonstration of reputability and the depth in which it covers certain topics.

[reputability]

With an article of this length, I'd expect to at least see some footnote references: certainly, not all of the source information could be classified.

While the claim that the ISI was involved in the attacks sounds reasonable, it seems like the report didn't make the most disinterested attempt to establish this appearance. The writer more exposits instances where ISI individuals aided Lashkar, than analyzing how widespread the assistance is. It feels like a list of incitements -- and surely it's helpful that the author put it in chronological order for better reading -- but doesn't try to answer bigger questions. Of course it would be in Lashkar's interest to place agents inside the ISI. What I'm ultimately unconvinced of is that the entire organization is guilty of conspiracy: I'm not at all closed to that being a possibility, but this story hasn't provided the necessary analysis to lessen the skepticism I try to read with.

The general style also feels somewhat non-academic. With any situation of high secrecy like this, there are bound to be multiple versions of events, not just conflicting opinions like "the ISI instrumented the attacks" versus "the ISI was uninvolved and unaware".
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By KS on December 7, 2012
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I had a chance to watch Mr. Rotella's documentary, The Perfect Terrorist, directed by Tom Jennings, funded by ProPublica and aired on Frontline (gotta give credit to them all), and I was blown away at how amazingly networked this entire event was. I then looked online for other sources and found this and it amazed me how incredibly great Mr. Rotella is at what he does. His work (namely, this Single) speaks volumes for his value of investigative journalism.

The best part is, unlike most popular and overly sensationalistic investigative journalism, Mr. Rotella's work (both the book and the documentary) has none of the hype, special effects, millions of dollars in media budget, or a ten day foreplay on the channel sponsoring the event to build up hype on a program that could've been summarized in two minutes. No, Mr. Rotella's work is the entire opposite. It's independent, donor-funded and directed towards public interest. It requires all the resources the former has, but the latter outdoes the former in terms of quality, importance and with the intent of informing everyone.

While this book reads like a sewn together set of stories that were written independently, for $0.99, it's a great price for the entire collection of his work on the subject. Also, as another reviewer here mentioned, it doesn't fully go into the background of all the players involved, it does give you just the right amount of information needed to understand how these things started, developed and manifested into what they ultimately became. Nonetheless, it's a great book. I loved every minute of reading it.
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