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Countdown to Terror: The Top-Secret Information that Could Prevent the Next Terrorist Attack on America--and How the CIA Has Ignored It Hardcover – May 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Could the next September 11 be nuclear? This is no theory, says Congressman Curt Weldon, in his shocking new book Countdown to Terror. It is a fact as real as the arrest of Muslim terrorists who planned to crash a plane into the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire in 2004. What’s even more stunning, Congressman Weldon tried to warn American intelligence about the attack—but no one in America’s intelligence community would listen. How did Congressman Weldon know about it? Because of a secret source, an intelligence contact code-named Ali who has been a treasure trove of reliable intelligence—intelligence that, despite Congressman Weldon’s strenuous efforts, has been routinely ignored by the CIA and the rest of America’s intelligence services. But in Countdown to Terror, Congressman Weldon lets you know what the CIA doesn’t want to know. You’ll learn, straight from Ali’s actual reports: · Why Iran will decide the next terror strike on America · How a major planned terror strike was called off because the terrorists thought it would help President Bush politically · Why Iran, not al Qaeda, is the command post of radical Islamic terror · Who is undercutting American efforts to create a peaceful, stable Iraq · Why Iran is like the Soviet Union in the 1980s: extremely dangerous, the iron glove behind all our enemies—yet on the verge of internal collapse · The Iranian nuclear program: red-hot and more advanced than you think Congressman Weldon’s sharing of vital intelligence with you, the reading public, is unprecedented. But it is necessary so that the American people can be informed and pressure our government to do what needs to be done to protect our country, fix our still broken intelligence services, and win the war on terrorism. Countdown to Terror is a frightening book—but it is all true. And if we act now, we can avoid its grimmest scenarios.

About the Author

Congressman Curt Weldon is a senior member of the US Congress's House Armed Services Committee. He served for six years as the Chairman of the Military Research and Development Subcommittee, overseeing the development and testing of key military systems, weapons programmes and technologies.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; First Edition edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895260050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895260055
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,471,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bernard Chapin on June 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In "Countdown to Terror" we have a first person account of our failings in The War on Terror which are specifically described in light of the 12th Iman plot. It comes straight from the mouth of Curt Weldon, Congressman, and vice chairman of the House Armed Service Committee. He immediately states that a "politically correct" attitude towards intelligence has eroded our national security. I should state ahead of time that it is a partisan account (which doesn't bother me) as the Republican representative blames the Clinton Administration for much of what is wrong with our intelligence apparatus today. Also, Weldon provides documents revealing that the Iranian government actively desired a Democrat in the White House in 2004, and that they had businessmen channeling funds for this purpose.

Weldon is introduced to an Iranian revolutionary, counter-revolutionary as the case may be, to whom he gives the name "Ali." He goes to Paris to meet with him, and then forwards the information to the CIA who allegedly send a member of the French Interior Ministry to threaten Ali and demand that he keep quiet. Ali has well-developed sources in Iran who have told him all kinds of things which would shock the American public--and everybody else. Most important are:

1. At the present time, Osama bin Laden is being hidden and sheltered in Iran by the Iranian government.

2. Iran is sponsoring and planning an assassination attempt on the first President Bush.

3. The Iranian government's attempt to build a nuclear bomb is far more advanced than we know.

4. Iran is actively trying to purchase a nuclear weapon from North Korea.

5. Ayatollah Khameni put out a contract (so to speak) on Yassir Arafat due to his wish to derail "an American peace.
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Format: Hardcover
I have now completed a majority of this book. However, I have also read the article at the American Prospect website which other reviewers and the magazine itself claim totally discredits Congressman Weldon on the subject of this book. After reading this article, I am far from prepared to dismiss the congressman's claims. The writers of the American Prospect claim that a man named Mahdavi is actually the intelligence source named Ali in Weldon's book. They give nothing to back this up except the claims of an elderly man from Iran who claims that Weldon stole the story from him. Also, the article says that the reporters spoke to the CIA official who Weldon says disregarded the information from Ali. It is well known that there exists a defensive and protective culture in the CIA. It is natural that a retired official of the CIA would desire retaliation after receiving such a scathing condemnation against himself as well as the CIA. I see no reason to believe these individuals over the word of Congressman Weldon. The American Prospect clearly seeks to give a sinister portrayal of a Republican congressman. Keep in mind that this is a liberal/progressive magazine. However, I would encourage you to take some initiative and read the article yourself at prospect.org. It is titled "Curt Weldon's Deep Throat."

As far as the content of the book goes, I must say that if Congressman Weldon is right, we all have reason to be aware of a possible impending nuclear terrorist attack. If the book is true, we have all been disgustingly unaware of the danger facing our country. I would recommend atleast reading the book through once to judge its credibility for yourself.
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Format: Hardcover
I can't decide whether Congressman Weldon is a lousy writer or a devilishly clever one. Given the conversations that I have heard about the book, perhaps it is the latter.

The point of this book is not the intelligence that Weldon received from "Ali." It cannot be. The intelligence is -- at the time of the book's release -- either common knowledge or common suspicion. Apparently "Ali" was (is?) a pretty good source, since most of his predictions about Iranian moves against the U.S. proved accurate after the predictions were passed to Weldon. In fact, one of "Ali's" predictions has been fulfilled in the weeks AFTER the book's release ... namely that the Iranian election would be rigged to elect as president not only an extreme hard-liner but one who is non-clerical.

The issue of "Ali" and the treatment of his intelligence -- in particular by the CIA -- is the hook on which the Congressman chooses to hang his continuing justifiable outrage over the bungling bureaucratic structure of U.S. intelligence. It is Weldon's contention (probably a sound one!) that the "feel-good" reforms of the four years since 9/11 have skirted around dealing with the real problem. The real problem, he says, is a set of precepts and ways of doing business that protect the least competent and penalize enterprising agents and analysts at lower levels. The worst of these practices is "groupthink" that dumbs intelligence down to something that even the lead-heads will agree with and does not allow competing views to filter up to policy-makers. The solution, he says, is to fire some folks. OK, Congressman. It works for me!

So what are the problems with the book?

First, "Ali" brings up all the perennial problems of HUMINT.
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