POSTED ON September 11, 2021

The Road to 9/11 and the Dangers Ahead

Twenty years ago, in the fall of 2001, having already spent years chasing Osama bin Laden, I found myself near Kabul, standing in one of the al-Qaeda leader’s safehouses—or what remained of it. Intense coalition bombardment had reduced the building to rubble. Together with my fellow investigators, I sifted through the remains, looking for evidence that might lead us to the al-Qaeda leader or his lieutenants. Toward the end of our search, I picked up one of the many bricks lying around and turned it over in my hands. If this brick could talk, I wondered, what could it tell us about how an atrocity on the scale of 9/11 was conceived, planned, and carried out?


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