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1000 Years of Revenge Book Review

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1000 Years of Revenge: International Terrorism and FBI--The Untold Story
Michael Wallace
Many Americans remain in the dark concerning truth behind the September 11th attacks. The day’s events and the staggering reactions make previous efforts by the US against terrorism fade in comparison. Yet the fact remains that the country has been fighting Islamic terrorism long before the appalling yet audacious attacks.
September 11th 2001 saw the deadliest, most daring attacks on the US soil since Pearl Harbor. To many ordinary Americans, that day’s tragic events were definitely not preordained. Well, not according to Lance as apparently, there is more to 9/11 than catches the eye. On such a note begins an intriguing and disastrous narrative that spins back to the late 1980s to link the long gone events to the contemporary world affairs (Lance, 2004).
In an intriguing and formidable manner the author, an award winning investigative reporter, unveils details; links acts and reveals a form of behavior that in them paved the way for the tragic September 11th by showing the reader prior intelligence mishaps. Narrated from the point of view of news-making individuals; the world’s most formidable terrorist and two counter terrorists, the book sheds light into the 12 year long covert terrorist confrontation and provides information that was previously unknown to many Americans. Lance brings into the spotlight a shattering and thrilling investigation of the FBI’s misinformed, under sighted and futile search for Osama bin Laden in New York City.
The book recounts the long battle against terror since the 1980s, the previous fruitless terrorist attempts on the World Trade Centre in the 1990s, the terrorist events transpiring in between and the final successful attempt on the fateful September 11th 2001. Lance illustrates how the FBI, since the 1980s failed to put an end to terrorist events that preceded the September 11th attacks. In a compelling narration, the book introduces us to Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and Ramzi Yousef, and reveals their progressive operations in New York City in the 1990s. In his evidence on the FBI’s incompetence, the author proposes that the intelligence agency back then had adequate evidence needed to arrest Yousef, the bomb maker and Al Qaeda mastermind on various occasions but it failed to do so until it was too late. Lance demonstrates how even with a mole in the terror cell, leads and tips on the terror operations; the FBI negligence sanctioned its failure and the consequent loss of lives and damages to property. With these revelations, the book dashes the belief that the FBI is all-mighty as it unveils astounding proof of the agency’s oversight that even a joint congressional committee failed to see (Lance, 2004).
Backed by newly revealed overwhelming proof, such as the unique privileged evidence of an Al Qaeda spy in a very sensitive government place in New York City, conversations with various critical figures relevant to the narrative and unrestricted documents, the book possesses knowledge that is guaranteed to catch international headlines. The footnotes add to the appeal as they ease the burden of complexities and confusion during reading making it easier to understand. The book’s brilliantly paged time schedule indicates an accomplished manner of differentiating all the characters in the story by distinguishing them with their pictures alongside their names. This makes is much easier for those not very conversant with Arabic names to catch up with persons and events.
While Lance manages to have a few fortuitous opportunities in his attempts to illustrate the theoretical conspiracies, the book nevertheless has its own weaknesses. The author misses several chances to assure the reader on how to hope for a better future and mostly fails to explain other reasons why the FBI made these indiscretions. Honestly, after reading this endless narrative and the chance that individual whims could very easily cost a nation that much, one would not feel any safer at all. Besides, the book is also very disappointing in its perception of the realities and dwells a lot on FBI failures as if it were the only law enforcement agency involved in the fight against terror. These are some of the book’s weaknesses given the time that has elapsed since it was written; I hope they have been addressed.
However, unlike others, Lance also criticizes the administration for not paying the correct attention to things as they were. It is inconceivable that such a country that boasts of brilliant, unparalleled intelligence services as the United States could fall prey to its own failures.
Well, the book may be too long, too complex for some, with too much heroics and too theoretical as opposed to offering enough concrete evidence but it nevertheless manages to clearly bring out the astounding evil of one individual who somewhat succeeded in making a fool of the American security system. This incomparable presentation of report work coupled with proficient storytelling is surely guaranteed to forever alter how we perceive the FBI and the fight against terror in the contemporary world. While the story could be tiresome at some points, the book is nevertheless well researched and a definite must read for anyone interested in the deficiencies of the US internal law enforcement in dealing with terror threats (Lance, 2004).

Reference
Lance, P. (2004). 1000 years of revenge: international terrorism and FBI--the untold story. New
York City, NY: HarperCollins.

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