This week, I’m interested in the release of a new book chronicling the pursuit of the operational planner for the September, 11, 2001 attacks: Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM). I met one of the authors, Josh Meyer, many years ago in Los Angeles and he has been persistently providing excellent reporting in the fields of terrorism and counterterrorism. Today, Meyer’s new book, The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, hits bookstores and I’m certain will be an excellent read.
I’ve been particularly harsh in my posts with regards to the media and CT punditry focusing excessively on AQ talkers rather than AQ operators.
My take: worry more about the terrorists you can’t see than the terrorists you can see.
With this new book, Josh and his co-author, Terry McDermott, focus on a serious terrorist that we could not/did not see for many years. KSM’s role in AQ’s external operations led to the group striking the U.S. homeland. I believe this book will provide an invaluable resource to those trying to make sense of how AQ operates internally and seeking to understand the distinctions between external operators and AQ’s military commanders running more conventional insurgency campaigns in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. I am also curious for understanding KSM’s ideological commitments to AQ and jihad globally. I’ve always wondered if KSM was truly that motivated by AQ’s ideology or was just predisposed to violence. Hopefully, Josh and Terry’s book will shed some insight.
Lastly, I think this book will provide even more insight to our nation’s counterterrorism challenges immediately following the September 11, 2011 attacks. For more on the book’s focus, see the website: “The Hunt for KSM.” Here’s the link to the book excerpt which already sparked my interest.
Here’s the book’s trailer: