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Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Hardcover – May 3, 2011
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"Mastermind is a heart-pounding read that not only reveals the never before told story of KSM and his terrorist plots, but also the politics surrounding his capture and possible trial. Miniter has it all. If you want the real story behind KSM from beginning to end you must read this book."
-Richard Perle, former assistant secretary of defense
"In telling the full story of KSM, Richard Miniter also reveals the conditions that bred so many other dangerous terrorists-conditions that persist today as much as ever. This is a fascinating book and a must read for those who want to understand the greatest threat to our nation's security."
-General Richard B. Myers, ret., former chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
"An absolutely captivating biography of the wheelhorse of Islamist terror. Learn, for example, how the FBI's insistence on unnecessary formalities in 1996 left Khalid Shaikh Mohammed free to plot and direct 9/11. Impossible to put down. Stunning."
-R. James Woolsey, director of Central Intelligence
"Richard Miniter has written a lively book that raises and offers answers to fascinating questions about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, one of the world's most murderous and significant terrorists."
-Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy; author of War and Decision --Various
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
It is refreshing to find someone like Miniter who takes the time and has the work ethic to investigate the subject, educate himself, and give appropriate weight and context to what's he's discovered. I've read some praise his technical reporting skills, but I consider him a very engaging writer. It is as information-rich as a CIA memo and reads like a novel.
While our fellow citizens are in harm's way, at the very least we all have the obligation to educate ourselves about who exactly is trying to kill them, and us. This book is an excellent place to start, and reveals new and connections to those who are already engaged deeply in the subject.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (`KSM') was captured in Rawalpindi in a combined US-Pakistani sting operation on 1st March 2003 and at the time of writing (July 2011), languishes in Guantanamo Bay posing serious problems for the US administration. As jihadis crave the global publicity resulting from high-profile execution the author details why, in his assessment, political consideration of the repercussions of KSM's martyrdom now make trial by a civilian court all but impossible.
Observing the classic journalistic truism `If you don't go, then you don't know' Miniter's thoroughness took him to Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, several EU countries including Germany and Spain, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, The Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen to interview members of KSM's extensive family of contacts face-to-face. In addition terror-cell insiders, police and soldiers from several nations, analysts, diplomats, intelligence agents, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, Prime Ministers and Presidential appointees in four continents involved over 30 years as witnesses, investigators and prosecutors of jihadist terror have been tracked down by the author and interviewed on the record. The result is a thoroughly researched book crammed with facts and compelling evidence.Read more ›
He was born in rural Pakistan in a region that seems to me to be something like the Basque region of Spain. It is part of Spain but it isn't. His father moved to Kuwait to work and finally gained some status there, but KSM grew up as an outsider in Kuwait after being an outsider in Pakistan. He came to the United States to study chemical engineering. And he hated America. He put his education to work right away in making explosives. He and his nephew, Ramzi Yousef, were fast friends all their lives and became the center of a terrorist wrecking crew. They were largely independent of organizations like Al Qaeda for a long time and raised their own funds from backers to carry out their attacks.
While be bombed nightclubs and tested bombs on airplanes his early dreams were to kill President Clinton, then the Pope, then his famous Bojinka plot: bring down eleven planes in one day. In one version of the plot, he was to personally land one of the hijacked planes, let the passengers go, make a big speech, and then fly out of America to safety.
The blurbs on the back call the book heart pounding, fascinating, captivating, and lively. It is all that and more.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mastermind by Richard Miniter is far more than the story of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSH). This book is a concise history of terrorism from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing... Read morePublished on November 6, 2013 by James D. Best
This story is crazy! I can't believe this guy got away with what he did. I really hope they catch him some day!Published on February 13, 2013 by Hello
This book is easy to read and set out in clear chronological order. It is a useful reference to a historian seeking to unravel the activities of terrorists towards the end of the... Read morePublished on June 13, 2012 by MandyF
Richard Miniter is a great writer and the reader can appreciate all the details he gives us. A great insight to how innocent America is/was, as well.Published on February 18, 2012 by JudyJudy
Very interesting and informative. A bit of a hard read more like a textbook than a novel, but extremely factual.Published on October 31, 2011 by Robert J. Feller
If everything the author tells in his fascinating narration is accurate, the story will give novices to the subject a thorough introduction to the world of extremism. Read morePublished on October 24, 2011 by Facha
Though the broad historical information is interesting, there is not enough depth to call this anything more than a primer for more significant study of Islamic extremist history... Read morePublished on September 25, 2011 by Billy Faust
Miniter takes us inside the devious mind of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), reputedly the architect and mastermind of 9/11 (among a host of other al Qaeda operations). Read morePublished on September 5, 2011 by Herbert L Calhoun
I guess this explains why the book has performed poorly. The views on tortue are not in keeping with what is known but he continues to call Obama the great orator- like all he can... Read morePublished on June 30, 2011 by T-Bone Tommy