The explosive, New York Times bestselling first-hand account of America’s secret history in Afghanistan
Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll has spent years reporting from the Middle East, accessed previously classified government files and interviewed senior US officials and foreign spymasters. Here he gives the full inside story of the CIA’s covert funding of an Islamic jihad against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, explores how this sowed the seeds of bn Laden’s rise, traces how he built his global network and brings to life the dramatic battles within the US government over national security. Above all, he lays bare American intelligence’s continual failure to grasp the rising threat of terrrorism in the years leading to 9/11 – and its devastating consequences.
‘Riveting … the finest historical narrative so far on the origins of al Qaeda in the post-Soviet rubble of Afghanistan … provides fresh details and helps explain the motivations behind many crucial decisions’ The New York Times Book Review
‘A remarkable book … the CIA itself would be hard put to beat his grasp of global events’ New York Review of Books