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Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 3, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 3, 2011
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Editorial Reviews


Advance Praise for Mastermind

"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

About the Author

Richard Miniter, an award-winning investigative journalist, has written two New York Times bestsellers on terrorism. He has written for The Atlantic Monthly, Reader's Digest, National Review, and the New Republic as well as for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He frequently appears on CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230726
  • ASIN: B005K5EXQM
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,561,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When it comes to important national security issues, I'm tired of reading book-length C.Y.A. or 'I told ya so' memos from former government officials leaked to sympathetic 'reporters'. Even worse are radio and television talking heads who pontificate about 'extraordinary rendition', 'enhanced interrogation', and 'waterboarding' five minutes after they themselves hear the term for the first time.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
In a sea of mainly shallow media coverage populated by small islands of ignorant delusional conspiracy theories about the origin of the 9/11 attacks and other acts of jihadi terrorism over the past 30 years, Richard Miniter's book `Mastermind' is a breath of fresh air: a researcher/writer who has the diligence to do the leg-work and burrow to the heart of the matter.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the story of a monster. To hundreds of millions of Muslims who hate the West, he is, of course, a hero. But for us who remember the shock and loss of 9/11 this man is the focus of our anger. But he was involved in so much more. He and his nephew, Ramzi Yousef - yes, the guy involved in the first bombing of the World Trade Centers in 1993 - were at the center of many attacks and bombings. And they had tried to do so much more damage that I think you will find this story horrifying not only for what happened, but what might have happened, and that we weren't aware of him earlier.

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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After listening to an interview with Richard Minitar, I decided to get this book on my Kindle. What a timely book in light of the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Most of us will rejoice in that we "finally got a big fish". The fact is, we had a huge fish all along. KSM was a career terrorist with roots that go back to his early days and prior to the 1993 bombing of the WTC, which he was also responsible for. He has the blood of hundreds of people on his hands.. The story was fascinating and as someone said in a previous review, this book reads like a novel. It starts with his early years, gives us a historical over view of the politics and religion that shaped him and follows him up to the present. He alone was responsible for the high death count of Al Qaeda. OBL may have been "inspirational" but this guy was "operational". What is amazing to me is the support and attention that he received from the left and the impression that some saw him as a victim of the Bush policies. Nothing could be further from the truth. I hope he never steps foot on the Continental USA...not even for his well deserved execution.
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