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Masterminds of Terror: The Truth Behind the Most Devastating Terrorist Attack the World Has Ever Seen Paperback – August 17, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Yosri Fouda is a leading reporter with the Arab al Jazeera TV channel. He spent almost 48 hours with September 11th Masterminds Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Karachi. Nick Fielding is a senior reporter with THE SUNDAY TIMES and has written a number of high-profile exclusives, including the first article about al-Qaeda's 'Manual of Terror' and Bin Laden's satphone calls. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing (August 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559707178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559707176
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,889,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By John Morgan on July 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Having read much of the literature in English pertaining to the nature and activities of Al Qaeda, I can say that this is one of the few books on the subject worth reading, not only because of the exclusive information available to its authors but also as a result of the unique perspective from which it is written. The book's primary author is Yosri Fouda, a journalist with the Arabic Al Jazeera TV network who was given a unique invitation in April 2002 to spend a weekend interviewing the two men who plotted the September 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh. The two had decided that the time had come for them to take credit for what they had done in order to clear up any remaining doubts about their capabilities (the Western world being largely convinced of their responsibility by this point anyway), and in the hope of inspiring others in the Muslim world to follow their example.
The book consists of two elements. The first is the story of how Fouda secretly arranged to meet with the two men in Pakistan, the meeting itself, and his subsequent struggles to acquire the recordings of his interviews, having been forced to leave them in the hands of Al Qaeda for several months to allow them to edit the tapes for security purposes. The second is the details about some of the lesser-known figures of Al Qaeda, including background on the two men Fouda interviewed, and others such as Omar Sheikh, who was responsible for the kidnapping and death of Daniel Pearl. There is also new information on the activities of the Sept. 11 hijackers in the years leading up to the attacks, and an interesting look at the complex connections between Al Qaeda and the Pakistani intelligence service. Most of this is based on many exclusive interviews conducted by Fouda himself.
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Format: Hardcover
"Masterminds of Terror" is a compelling account of the planning and execution of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is written by Al-Jazeera journalist Yosri Fouda with the help of British journalist Nick Fielding. What makes this an interesting work is that it is written by an Arab Muslim, and it essentially supports the "official" version of events espoused by the US government. With so many conspiracy theories surrounding the attacks-mostly accusing our own government of being involved-this book enforces the view that al-qaeda, and al-qaeda alone carried out the attacks. What makes this work even more interesting is the fact that Mr. Fouda met and interviewed the principal planners of the attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Ramzi Binalshibh.

Working in London in April 2002, Yosri Fouda was contacted by an al-qaeda representative requesting a meeting. With the first anniversary of the attacks approaching, al-qaeda wanted to air it's justifications of the "Holy Tuesday Operation." With all the conspiracy theories floating around, it seems that al-qaeda was concerned about "attempts to strip the brothers of their credit." This led to a meeting in Karachi, Pakistan between Fouda and none other than Mohammed and Binalshibh. Not only did they admit their role in the attacks, but they provided detailed information of how and why they did it. The book also goes into detail about the 19 hijackers, Osama Bin Laden, and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's extensive career in the terrorism business. While much of the information in this book has been published elsewhere, Fouda's up-close and personal acquaintance with these "Masterminds of Terror" make this an original and valuable contribution to the works about 9/11.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fine piece of journalism. There is more here than the "scoop" of Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed taking credit for 9/11. There is a lot of fascinating stuff about ISI (Pakistani intelligence) playing both sides of the street. In particular, the book spells out the relationship between ISI and Omar Sheikh, who spilled the beans on ISI's funding of an al-Qaeda satellite group. This is the story Daniel Pearl was working on. The editor of Karachi's leading paper was forced to flee the country after he published Omar Sheikh's story.

And, do not forget to read the second appendix - a statement by al Qaeda, dating from somewhere between mid-September 2001 and April 2002. A diatribe against the U.S. ends with an appeal to Allah: "We ask Him to chastise their state, make the earth quake under their feet, defeat them, and..."

Though we have suffered devastating hurricanes (gleefully welcomed by Pat Robertson) and tornadoes roaring across Christian County, Kentucky, the earth really quaked under their feet in northern Pakistan. The Tsunami, of course, chastised the Islamic fundamentalists in Aceh. Perhaps God is trying to tell us he wants a secular world? After all, he sent Jesus to us with an appeal for a separation between Church and State. Remember, "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, render unto God that which is God's."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Superb insight into the mechanics of the 9-11 attack from the perpetrators' point of view. Flows nicely. Easy to read.
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