The acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling military thriller writer and coauthor of the bestselling Rogue Warrior series goes beyond the headlines and worldwide speculation in this pulse-pounding fictional account of the breathtaking hunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist, Usama Bin Laden
Some truths are better told in fiction. In this riveting novel drawn from actual events and based on real-life heroes whose identities remain classified—including soldiers, sailors, intelligence operatives, technocrats, analysts, and policymakers—John Weisman fills in the blanks of what may have happened during the hunt and capture of Usama Bin Laden.
Moving from the political battlefields of Washington, D.C., and the secure, seventh-floor suite of the CIA director in Langley, Virginia, to the dusty streets of Peshawar, Lahore, and Abbottabad, Pakistan, to the rough Afghan interior, to the Middle East and western Europe, this fictional narrative brings to life the drama behind SEAL Team 6’s breathtaking raid in which Bin Laden—a.k.a. Crankshaft, a.k.a. al Mas (the Diamond), the ghost, the wraith, the grail for counterterrorists for more than a decade—met his fate.
In the Oval Office, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department, Washington’s power brokers, the president, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Secretary of Defense conduct secret meetings, battle for political supremacy, and make life-and-death choices. Meanwhile, at an anonymous naval installation just south of Virginia Beach, Virginia, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group trains in secret for the mission of a lifetime. And at Vallhalla Base, the CIA’s safe house in Abbottabad, dedicated intelligence officers gather intel critical to locating and capturing the elusive Bin Laden.
KBL: Kill Bin Laden probes the hearts and minds of America’s secret warriors, revealing what the job means to them and the toll it takes. Here are the Navy SEALs who can never admit what unit they work for; the CIA paramilitary operators who risk their lives among the enemy, putting themselves in harm’s way knowing their existence will be denied if they are killed or captured; and the elite cadre of gritty leaders who bravely put country and security above politics.
Filled with pulse-pounding excitement and the tactics, intelligence tradecraft, and operational sources and methods used in real-world CIA and special-operations missions, KBL: Kill Bin Laden is a thrill-a-minute dramatization that sets the standard for adventure novels as it brilliantly imagines the action, intrigue, and suspense of this real-life event and offers a glimpse of the new face of warfare.
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“Weisman is perhaps wired more tightly into the reclusive special operations community than any other writer, and his knowledge of weaponry and field techniques is staggering.”
“A pro who knows his stuff.”
John Weisman, whose expertise in the field of covert military operations is unsurpassed, delivers a stunning fictional account of the most extraordinary mission of the century: the hunting down and assassination of Osama Bin Laden, the most reviled killer of the twenty-first century, by US Navy SEALs. With KBL: Kill Bin Laden the critically acclaimed author of SOAR and Jack in the Box goes behind the headlines, carrying readers along on a breakneck, breathtakingly realistic chase—from planning to training to execution—as the evil mastermind behind the horror of 9/11 is finally brought to justice.
A Look Inside Kill Bin Laden
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|2011 DOD diagram of the Bin Laden hideout compound. Although surveillance on its exterior was thorough, the SEAL assault force did not know what the inside layout looked like.|
Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Author John Weisman
Q: You've said that the truth about Operation Neptune Spear can best be told in fiction. Why is that?
Weisman: Because the people who put Neptune Spear together and carried it out aren’t talking, and won’t be, for some time. And all the factual accounts so far have been colored by who sourced them. There’s a lot of political spin about Neptune Spear: the White House has its own version. So do the operators, and so does the CIA. There were so many contradictory accounts that after talking to sources both in the military, the intelligence community, and political operatives, I decided that the best way to go was fiction. The gist of what they all told me was that I’d get closer to the truth by doing fiction—and equally important, get a lot more help that way.
Q: In writing KBL as a novel, you were able to create characters that really touch the reader, for example, your retired Ranger Master Sergeant, Charlie Becker. Did giving a voice to soldiers like Charlie play a part in your wanting to write KBL as fiction?
Weisman: Of course. To me, Charlie Becker represents the best we have in our armed services. He is a patriotic, mission-driven individual who has seen it all, has been horribly wounded, and yet still wants to contribute, to give something back to the nation. What I really respect is the fact that his most deadly weapon isn’t a gun—it’s his mind. Like so many Tier One operators, he will outthink you, and then he will kill you. I know dozens of soldiers like Charlie Becker, maybe even scores. Some are wounded warriors who have returned to action. Some work the covert side for CIA’s Ground Branch, or make the jump to case officer. Others work at the Asymmetric Warfare Group, or the CAG, or are SEALs or Rangers. I am in awe of what they do, and the sacrifices that they are willing to make so that we can sleep safe in our beds at night. And I hope I do them justice in KBL.
Q: There are other accounts of this mission, why should readers choose to buy KBL?
Weisman: Well, if I were being frank, I’d say first of all it’s a better read than any of the others. It’s also the first holistic book about Neptune Spear, by which I mean it deals not just with the SEAL portion, but also the political tussles, the yearlong CIA operation, and all the internal debates that took place before the president finally gave the go-ahead. And I also believe—and I’ve been told by friends in Tier One units who saw the manuscript—that I got things pretty much spot on.
Q: Why do you feel it was important to write the book? Why do you think people should know “the truth” about what happened?
Weisman: It was important because this was the culmination of a ten-year hunt that has cosmic significance for us as a nation. And since it is going to take some years for people to know “the truth” about what actually happened, I felt I could get a pretty good picture out sooner than that.
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