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Manhunt

The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden--from 9/11 to Abbottabad
Published:   May 2012
ISBN: 0307955575 | 384 pages
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The gripping account of the decade-long hunt for the world's most wanted man.

It was only a week before 9/11 that Peter Bergen turned in the manuscript of Holy War, Inc., the story of Osama bin Laden--whom Bergen had once interviewed in a mud hut in Afghanistan--and his declaration of war on America. The book became a New York Times bestseller and the essential portrait of the most formidable terrorist enterprise of our time. Now, in Manhunt, Bergen picks up the thread with this taut yet panoramic account of the pursuit and killing of bin Laden.

Here are riveting new details of bin Laden’s flight after the crushing defeat of the Taliban to Tora Bora, where American forces came startlingly close to capturing him, and of the fugitive leader’s attempts to find a secure hiding place. As the only journalist to gain access to bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound before the Pakistani government demolished it, Bergen paints a vivid picture of bin Laden’s grim, Spartan life in hiding and his struggle to maintain control of al-Qaeda even as American drones systematically picked off his key lieutenants.

Half a world away, CIA analysts haunted by the intelligence failures that led to 9/11 and the WMD fiasco pored over the tiniest of clues before homing in on the man they called "the Kuwaiti"--who led them to a peculiar building with twelve-foot-high walls and security cameras less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy. This was the courier who would unwittingly steer them to bin Laden, now a prisoner of his own making but still plotting to devastate the United States.

Bergen takes us inside the Situation Room, where President Obama considers the COAs (courses of action) presented by his war council and receives conflicting advice from his top advisors before deciding to risk the raid that would change history--and then inside the Joint Special Operations Command, whose "secret warriors," the SEALs, would execute Operation Neptune Spear. From the moment two Black Hawks take off from Afghanistan until bin Laden utters his last words, Manhunt reads like a thriller.

Based on exhaustive research and unprecedented access to White House officials, CIA analysts, Pakistani intelligence, and the military, this is the definitive account of ten years in pursuit of bin Laden and of the twilight of al-Qaeda.

Review

"In Manhunt, Peter Bergen has produced a page-turner rich with new information and insight into the search for Bin Laden and his killing. Only Bergen, America's foremost counterterrorism writer, could have produced a book of such energy and authority--a triumph."
--STEVE COLL, author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

"Ten years of grit, intelligent hard work, and daring led to Operation Neptune Spear, and Bergen captures it all in a story that is both a riveting page turner and a definitive history. Revealing details of bin Laden's last years in self-imposed prison, the debates of the CIA analysts who tracked him, and the training of the SEALs who killed him, Manhunt is essential reading for anyone who wants to know the real story of how the world's most wanted terrorist was finally brought to justice."
--ERIC GREITENS, author of The Heart and The Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL    
 
"With masterly reporting, Peter Bergen takes us where we've never been: behind the high walls of Osama bin Laden's last hideout and behind the scenes of the heroic and painstaking hunt for the Al Qaeda mastermind. Manhunt is a thrilling read."
--ANDERSON COOPER, CNN anchor