Review The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight

AWP

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#1
The Exile

Fuck Pakistan.

My thoughts on that toilet of a country are well known, but that's how this review should start. The book covers Al Qaeda from pre-9/11 through the end of 2016. Simply amazing. The ties AlQ has to Iran are new to me and staggering. The complicit nature of the ISI in protecting Al Qaeda and the TB (especially the TB) is well known, but on display in the book. Did I mention the Al Q/ Iran ties? Unreal. The book alleges that Iran was going to work with the US post-9/111 until the Axis Evil speech, going so far as to discussing meetings Ryan Crocker* had with Iran's leadership.

The book also discusses our "enhanced interrogation" techniques and is openly opposed to those, citing the lack of intelligence gained, so just a heads up if your thoughts on that run counter to the book's.

It goes into great detail about AL Q in Iran and UBL's family. It also states a number of bin Laden relatives and friends blame one of his wives for leaking his location to Iran who in turn informed the US....but Iran continues to harbor many members of the Al Q shura**.

All-in-all I think it is a great book you should pick up. I bought mine via Amazon for my Kindle.

* - Ryan Crocker - Wikipedia
He has served as United States Ambassador to Afghanistan (2011–2012), Iraq (2007–2009), Pakistan (2004–2007), Syria (1998–2001), Kuwait (1994– 1997), and Lebanon (1990–1993).

** - Curiously, the book says the shura opposed the 9/11 attacks and those members are largely the ones still in exile. I don't know if I can buy that story or not, but they make a plausible case for the opposition.
 

Ocoka

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#2
All of the above^^^

I highly recommend it. Iran gave sanctuary for years to UBLs extended family and many of those being hunted by the US and its allies, albeit with varying degrees of comfort and freedom, something that stunned me as well.

Lots of revelations in this book, on almost every page, about UBL and his henchmen and their movements as fugitives after Tora Bora, Pakistan's double dealing, the formation of the TTP and the beginnings of ISIS.

A litany of treacherous murderous bastards, a dark and dirty world.

Fuck Pakistan and Iran.
 

Ocoka

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#4
What was the sanctuary about? Leverage to stop attacks against Shia?
Partly.

As @AWP mentioned, according to the book the "Axis of Evil" speech essentially slammed the door on any cooperation by Iran with the US regarding AQ. The radical Quds Force particularly--in opposition to the Iranian reformers--helped facilitate the migration of these people--men, women and children--across the border. Over the years they were held in various states of confinement, from actual prisons to much more comfortable accommodations depending upon their behavior. They were, for all intents and purposes, prisoners...but at certain times were allowed supervised shopping trips, meals in 5-star restaurants, TVs, modern appliances. Nevertheless, they resented being held against their will and occasionally rioted.

Osama's mentally-challenged son, Saad, escaped one night in his desire to be reunited with his father. He meandered around Pakistan and the tribal areas for months, openly telling people who he was. His Dad got wind of this and ordered his contacts to shut the kid up and keep him away from the Abbottabad compound, which they did. But, alas...all that blabbing caught up with the kid and he was obliterated in a drone strike. 8-):thumbsup:
 

AWP

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#5
What was the sanctuary about? Leverage to stop attacks against Shia?
A variety of reasons. Iran was astute enough to acquire them in part offset attacks against the Shia, but a good chunk of the gov't was willing to sell out alQ until the AoE speech. They went from bargaining chips to "oh, shit, if we let these guys out the West will think we support alQ!" in a few months. I think it was a power play that backfired. They were kept for so long in part because no one knew what to do with them.
 
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