The Threat Matrix

Action-filled, richly detailed portrait of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in its new guise-charged not just with solving crimes already committed, but now with preventing at least some of them…. There’s solid storytelling at work here-and quite a story to tell, too.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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The Threat Matrix tells the inside story of the FBI’s war against terrorism, a story that begins a generation ago with the death of J. Edgar Hoover and winds its way through the mafia in Sicily, the bombing of Pan Am 103, the rise of al Qaeda, 9/11, the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the myriad of threats facing the country today, including Russian organized crime. The Threat Matrix is the story of a small group of FBI agents who believed that they could confront a new generation of international terrorists like al Qaeda without sacrificing America’s moral high ground. At the heart of this classic good versus evil battle are decades of tensions between the FBI and the CIA, which repeatedly fell short as America’s eyes overseas.

Granted access to never-before-seen task forces and FBI bases from Budapest, Hungary, to Quantico, Virginia, this book profiles the visionary agents who risked their lives to bring down criminals and terrorists both here in the U.S. and thousands of miles away long before the rest of the country was paying attention to terrorism. Given unprecedented access, thousands of pages of once secret documents, and hundreds of interviews, Garrett M. Graff takes us inside the FBI and its attempt to protect America from the Munich Olympics in 1972 to the attempted Times Square bombing in 2010. It also tells the inside story of the FBI’s behind-the-scenes fights with the CIA, the Department of Justice and five White Houses over how to combat terrorism, balance civil liberties, and preserve security. The book also offers a never-before-seen intimate look at FBI Director Robert Mueller, the only U.S. national security leader still in office from 9/11, and the most important director since Hoover himself.

Covering more than 30 years of history and coming right up until the present day of the Obama administration’s response to terrorist attacks like that on Christmas Day 2009 in Detroit, the book explores the transformation of the FBI from a domestic law enforcement agency, handling bank robberies and local crimes, into an international intelligence agency—with more than 500 agents operating in more than 60 countries overseas today—fighting extremist terrorism, cyber crimes, and, for the first time, American suicide bombers.

Brilliantly reported and suspensefully told, The Threat Matrix peers into the darkest corners of this secret war and will change your view of the FBI forever.

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