SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden

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On May 2, 2011, at 1:03 a.m. in Pakistan, a satellite uplink was sent from the town of Abbottabad crackling into the situation room of the White House in Washington, D.C.: “Geronimo, Echo, KIA.” These words, spoken by a Navy SEAL, put paid to Osama bin Laden’s three-decade-long career of terror.

For ten years following 9/11, Bin Laden was the object of the most intense manhunt in modern history. This reclusive Saudi millionaire bankrolled a handpicked gang of jihadists who were ...

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SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden

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Overview

On May 2, 2011, at 1:03 a.m. in Pakistan, a satellite uplink was sent from the town of Abbottabad crackling into the situation room of the White House in Washington, D.C.: “Geronimo, Echo, KIA.” These words, spoken by a Navy SEAL, put paid to Osama bin Laden’s three-decade-long career of terror.

For ten years following 9/11, Bin Laden was the object of the most intense manhunt in modern history. This reclusive Saudi millionaire bankrolled a handpicked gang of jihadists who were determined to replace the governments of the world with a centralized Islamic regime. He ruled over a multifaceted empire of terror whose fanatics truck-bombed, hijacked, and murdered a bloody swath across four continents, killing men, women, and children. Three U.S. presidents vowed to bring him to justice. Intelligence organizations from a dozen nations sent agents after him. Finally, Osama bin Laden, the man who would have remade the world, was brought to bay—shot down as he cowered behind one of his own family members—by special warfare operators from the U.S. Navy’s ultrasecret SEAL Team Six.

SEAL Target Geronimo is the story of Bin Laden’s relentless hunters and how they took down the terrorist mastermind, told by Chuck Pfarrer, a former assault element commander of SEAL Team Six and author of the bestselling Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL. After talking to members of the SEAL team involved in the raid, Pfarrer shares never-before-revealed details of the historic raid and the men who planned and conducted it in an exclusive boots-on-the-ground account of what happened during each minute of the mission— both inside the building and outside.

Pfarrer takes readers inside the operation as the SEALs flew over the wall of Bin Laden’s shabby, litter-strewn compound and then penetrated deeper and deeper into the terrorist’s lair, telling us just what it looked, sounded, and smelled like in that sweltering Pakistani suburb. He takes us out to the courtyard to witness the near-disaster of the malfunctioning helicopter and brings us to the exact spot where the al-Qaeda leader was cowering when the bullet entered his head. SEAL Target Geronimo is an explosive story of unparalleled valor, clockwork military precision, and deadly accuracy carried out by the most elite fighting force in the world—the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

For days and days, the media seemed to dwell on nothing else, repeating the same scant details again and again and again. The May predawn raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden ended an intense ten-year effort by three U.S. presidents and the intelligence agencies of a dozen countries. How this desperate, methodical hunt finally succeeded is the subject of this extraordinary account by the author of Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL. Author Chuck Pfarrer draws on his hard-won experience as SEAL Team Six element commander to draw out the minute-by-minute account of the raid itself and the details of its painstaking preparations.

Sallye Leventha

Kirkus Reviews
A marvelously engrossing account of the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, from associate editor of The Counter Terrorist Pfarrer (Warrior Soul, 2004, etc.). The author is a former assault commander of SEAL Team Six, which gave him a decided upper hand when collecting material for his story: As a brother in arms, he was able to talk to team members. It is a decidedly different picture than other high-profile accounts, such as the recent New Yorker article. Before he gets to northern Pakistan, however, Pfarrer has a number of other stories to tell. First is a history of the Navy SEALs, with emphasis on Team Six, "the smallest and most elite special operations unit in the world." He covers their training, equipment and operations they have led in Beirut, Grenada, Libya, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia and, perhaps the most fleshed-out operational description included here, the rescue of an American sea captain from Somali pirates. Seeking a broader context, Pfarrer delves into the roots of Islamic fundamentalism and produces a pocket biography of bin Laden, which in turn informs his history of al-Qaeda and Ayman al-Zawahiri, who played bin Laden like a puppet to get at his money. "Zawahiri needed capital," writes the author, "and Osama needed intellectual and religious justification for a global campaign of violence." Pfarrer points to Zawahiri as the likely source who ratted out bin Laden, and many others, to gain control of the organization's treasure box. Though the author's line of thought on al-Qaeda's access and deployment of weaponry is not always easy to follow, his writing is consistently informed, with a crunchy texture that belies its sub-surface polish. Richly told in broad, cinematic strokes, this is catnip for readers who enjoy special-ops tales.
Publishers Weekly
Drawing upon personal experience, extensive research, and interviews with military personnel, former Navy SEAL Pfarrer charts the events that led SEAL Team Six to assassinate Osama Bin Laden in 2011, traces the origin of the Navy SEALs, and details the training and leadership that ultimately gave SEAL Team Six the skills needed to end a decade-long manhunt.Erik Bergman provides solid narration, reading in a voice that is deep, determined, and slightly raspy—all of which captures the tone of the author’s prose and spirit of his subject matter.Bergman’s delivery also contains a much-needed note of cordiality, which works to balance the author’s assertion that he and other SEALs are a world apart from average Americans. A St. Martin’s hardcover. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"A marvelously engrossing account of the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden...Richly told in broad, cinematic strokes, this is catnip for readers who enjoy special-ops tales." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The book is more than just a high-adventure black ops thriller. It is a work of historical importance that sets the record straight about our struggle against forces dedicated to rebuilding an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East... It is a book you will read as you walk on the sidewalk because you do not want the action to stop." — Neil W. McCabe, Human Events

"Pfarrer certainly had access. A SEAL Team Six assault-element commander in the 1980s, he is known inside the intelligence community for his well-regarded first book, Warrior Soul...He clearly had detailed conversations with senior officers in the SEALs’ chain of command (especially Adm. William McRaven and then–SEAL Team Six commander Scott Kerr) and understands the vocabulary and the culture very well...SEAL Target Geronimo explodes a number of media myths about the raid to kill bin Laden...There was no “45-minute” running gun battle. The SEAL team fired only 12 bullets, and the whole operation lasted only 38 minutes...The most provocative part of the book is pure speculation: by killing bin Laden, did the SEALs accidentally do Zawahiri’s dirty work?... As the British Foreign Office used to famously say: 'Interesting, if true.' " — Richard Miniter, The Daily Beast

“Chuck Pfarrer writes with the brilliant eye of a novelist, and the real-world authority of a soldier who has fought in the world's most mysterious corners.  He’s not a only poet and soldier, but a deeply read historian who brings to light the convoluted world of hatred that gave birth to the terrorists of Al Qaeda and their elusive leader, Osama Bin Laden.  Pfarrer has written a true page-turner about the inside story of Operation Neptune's Spear — the daring raid by SEAL Team Six that killed Osama bin Laden, the most nefarious terrorist in history. There is enough action here, enough human drama, enough fascinating history, to keep you reading until dawn— you simply have to know what happens next.   SEAL Target Geronimo is first-rate storytelling.  It’s an amazing story, written about a world no one knows better than Chuck Pfarrer himself.”— Doug Stanton, author of In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors

Human Events Neil W. McCabe

The book is more than just a high-adventure black ops thriller. It is a work of historical importance that sets the record straight about our struggle against forces dedicated to rebuilding an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East... It is a book you will read as you walk on the sidewalk because you do not want the action to stop.
The Daily Beast Richard Miniter

Pfarrer certainly had access. A SEAL Team Six assault-element commander in the 1980s, he is known inside the intelligence community for his well-regarded first book, Warrior Soul...He clearly had detailed conversations with senior officers in the SEALs' chain of command (especially Adm. William McRaven and then-SEAL Team Six commander Scott Kerr) and understands the vocabulary and the culture very well...SEAL Target Geronimo explodes a number of media myths about the raid to kill bin Laden...There was no "45-minute" running gun battle. The SEAL team fired only 12 bullets, and the whole operation lasted only 38 minutes...The most provocative part of the book is pure speculation: by killing bin Laden, did the SEALs accidentally do Zawahiri's dirty work?... As the British Foreign Office used to famously say: 'Interesting, if true.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250006356
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Chuck Pfarrer is a former assault element commander of SEAL Team Six. He has written op-eds for The New York Times and the Knight Ridder syndicate, and appeared as an author and counterterrorism expert on C-SPAN2, NPR, Alhurra, IPR, Voice of America, Fox News, and America Tonight. Pfarrer serves presently as an associate editor of The Counter Terrorist, the American Journal of Counterterrorism. Pfarrer is the author of the bestseller Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL. His Hollywood credits include writing and producing work for Navy Seals, Darkman, Hard Target, The Jackal, Virus, and Red Planet. He lives in Michigan.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition: An Inconvenient Bit of History xi

Neptune's Spear: The Bigger Picture 1

Abbottabad: May 1, 2011-Late That Night 5

The Seal Road to Abbottabad

Men with Green Faces 11

An Invisible Empire: The Birth of the Joint Special Operations Command 29

Team Jedi 35

Going Solo 43

Maersk Alabama 49

Bin Laden's Road to Abbottabad

The Day the World Changed-September 11, 2001 69

Rich Kid 75

Learning to Hate 79

The Making of a Jihadi 95

Hero of the Lion's Den 101

The Emir 123

Weapons of Mass Denial 135

Neptune's Spear

Continue to Plan, Plan to Continue 147

Vanishing Act 159

Pointing a Finger 177

Neptune's Spear 187

Thirty-eight Minutes 205

What Came After 219

How This Book Was Written 237

Acknowledgments 241

Glossary 245

Selected Bibliography 255

Index 263

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 81 )
Rating Distribution

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(43)

4 Star

(15)

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(9)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 30, 2011

    WOW! What a war story.

    Excellent! A really good narrative of the operation that did in Osama bin Laden. And more than that, it¿s a cogent summary of the trajectories of SEAL Team 6 and bin Laden toward their fatal convergence in Abbottabad the night of 1 May 2011. I think I finally understand what is going on in the Muddle East,
    The tone of the narrative is conversational, like face-to-face over coffee. Easy reading. Fast paced. Minute-to-minute you¿re a fly on the wall of the planning cell, rehearsal, mounting out for the mission, in the assault helo and action at the objective. Fine grained enough for a military man doing his professional reading yet presented so well that we all can understand it.
    The author explains how, in this kind of warfare, equally as important as winning each engagement is winning the battle of the narrative. With this book USA won this one both ways.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    Its Crap

    Not enough about the actual raid - onlt about 30 pages. Too much bin laden history.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2011

    Amazing!!!

    Truly one of the most exciting books I've ever read. Great work by the author. God Bless our Military and God Bless Seal Team SIX!!!! Gotta love our Jedis

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    A great Historical Documentary

    Way more than just the raid to get Osama bin Laden. For a relatively short book it is an excellent history of middle east problems and how our great Navy SEALS have met many challanges. I highly recommend this book. You will be very proud of our military and it's dedicated men and women.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    I love this book

    I lovd this book becuase it is really discribtive about tje war and things so i really love this book.

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Worth your time

    I felt this book was an excellent read. It provided significant insight into the events leading up to and the actual raid which killed Bin Laden. Definitely worth a reread as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I am a Navy brat and wife and actually live in a house that face

    I am a Navy brat and wife and actually live in a house that faces Seal Beach in California, so this book hit home for me. I was so eager and enthralled to receive this book for review and am absolutely glad I did. We all know our government is never honest with us – from monetary to militia – they have their own agenda and we the people are to blindly follow and without question. I give much kudos to Chuck Pfarrer for having the courage to write about the Bin Laden mission and with so much detail. He has a natural flair for writing and easily takes military lingo and puts it into laymen terms for civilians (non-military folk) to understand. Lets face it, after 34 years, I still get baffled by all of the abbreviations.

    “The SEAL Teams were created with another mission in mind— direct action against the enemy.”

    Chuck takes readers through the entire Bin Laden raid and killing mission, what went wrong, what was altered, what information seems sketchy or missing, and meshes it with information from those people who were actually there on the ground (people from the community), as well as from tech sources (documents, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and puts together a case that is far more convincing than what our own government would have us believe. While it is always important to be free thinkers and come to our conclusions, Pfarrer, enables us to better come to our own decision.

    *You can view the original review at City Book Review

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Great

    Great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Book!! The title should actually be changed to The Th

    Excellent Book!! The title should actually be changed to The Things You Thought You Knew The Truth About, But Were Wrong". This does cover in detail Operation Neptune Spear that ultimately killed Osama Bin Laden, in addition it covers other acts of terrorism from the past & the reality of who was really behind it. i.e.: the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beruit was really assembled/planned by the Iranians & the bomb was transported by the Syrians through the Bekka Valley, there are WMD's in Iraq & they have been used against our troops by Bin Laden's crew.

    This book details the training involved to become a Navy Seal & how only the very best of the best are invited to join Seal Team 6. There's no doubt about it that American's should rest easier at night knowing that there are teams such as the Seals out there, doing the really tough, not so glamorous, dirty work that really keeps this country safe! To all the unsung true heros out there - Thanks!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Too Much "backstory"?

    Lots of background about the middle east and its history, which seemed to drag on a bit too long. Interesting information about SEAL training and Bin Laden's life history, though. Interesting read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Awesome!

    Great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    It's ok

    I'm usually skeptical about books that are published shortly after an event. I'm glad there's the preview option.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Nothing but an exceptional, informative look at history. This b

    Nothing but an exceptional, informative look at history.

    This book was excellent and may have been the best nonfiction book I have ever read regarding the military.  The background of the SEALs and first-hand knowledge about their mental and physical truing was wonderful.  It gave you a feeling of how elite these warriors were and how important they are to the military.  I was extremely surprised to get the description of the struggles in the Middle East.  Most news outlets give you information, but compared to this book, it was nothing.  It talked of how the media only tells you what they want you to know, like the government, or whatever increases their numbers.  The history of the struggle in the Middle East from both perspectives significantly increased my understanding of the conflict.  It was an easy read and not confusing with all the military lingo of some other books while reading like a fiction thriller.  A wonderful insight into history and a wonderful read.  Highly recommended!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Fascinating

    Liked it a lot! Could have been a little less background on SEAL training. Get to the target sooner...

    JTV...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Awesome

    Awesome booooooook

    Recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Awesome book

    I really liked this book :D

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Excellent book about our SEAL teams

    I highly recommend reading this book if you are interested in the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden. Also includes the TRUTH about WMD's in Iraq and in the hands of Al Quida.

    Some reviewers complain there is not enough details about the raid. The author explains WHY. Some things must remain unsaid for OPSEC purposes. I think the author did a great job of telling us what we wanted to know without giving away non-essential details.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    Interesting read

    Gives a good brief history of Bin Laden and Navy SEAL. Discussion of SEAL training is interesting. Actual discussion of raid on Bin Laden's compound very brief. Book is not does not portray politicians in best light.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    amazing!

    what a great book! i couldnt put it down! great background on the navy SEALS and all they have to go through...definately a must read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Not enough about the actual raid

    This book was good and worth reading but contained too much history on Osama's life and the history of Al Qaeda vs. the actual raid itself. I was looking for more information on the raid and maybe even some interviews with the seals themselves (identities concealed of course). If you're looking for a book about the raid, there are maybe 30 pages dedicated to just that. If you're looking for a book that contains some history in terms of how Osama rose to power, then this book is for you.

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