Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi

Overview

The New York Times bestselling inside account of the attack against the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence outposts in Benghazi, Libya

 

On the night of September 11, 2012, the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, came under ferocious attack by a heavily armed group of Islamic terrorists. The prolonged firefight, and the attack hours later on a nearby CIA outpost, resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher...

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Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi

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Overview

The New York Times bestselling inside account of the attack against the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence outposts in Benghazi, Libya

 

On the night of September 11, 2012, the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, came under ferocious attack by a heavily armed group of Islamic terrorists. The prolonged firefight, and the attack hours later on a nearby CIA outpost, resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, the Information Officer, Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, working for the Central Intelligence Agency.

After the fall of Qaddafi, Benghazi was transformed into a hotbed of fundamentalist fervor and a den of spies for the northern half of the African continent. Moreover, it became the center of gravity for terrorist groups strategically situated in the violent whirlwinds of the Arab Spring. On the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States, a group of heavily armed Islamic terrorists had their sights set on the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence presence in the city.

Based on the exclusive cooperation of eyewitnesses and confidential sources within the intelligence, diplomatic, and military communities, Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz reveal for the first time the terrifying twelve-hour ordeal confronted by Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, his Diplomatic Security (DS) contingent, and the CIA security specialists who raced to rescue them.

More than just the minute-by-minute narrative of a desperate last stand in the midst of an anarchic rebellion, Under Fire is an inspiring testament to the bravery and selflessness of the men and women who put their country first while serving in one of the most dangerous regions in the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The storming of the U.S. diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, on September 11th, 2012, has been the subject of tense congressional inquiries and fierce partisan accusations, but for most of us, the fuller context of the assault that took four American lives still remains missing. This new book by former State Department counterterrorism deputy chief Fred Burton (Ghost) and Middle East security expert Samuel M. Katz (Relentless Pursuit) documents the troubling evolution of Benghazi into a throbbing center of Islamic extremism, a radicalization that eventually led to the tragic death of heroic men. The most detailed account yet of a significant event on several levels.

From the Publisher
"AMAZING READ." —Politico

"A gripping first-hand narrative of the night of the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, pieced together from intelligence reports and eyewitness accounts . . . [The authors] keep the politics out of it and let the events of that night speak for themselves."

Huffington Post

"Heart-stopping, minute-by-minute detail . . . Much more a tale of valor on the ground than a story about the overshadowing grandstanding we've witnessed from those in Washington's bleachers." 

—Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair

"A wealth of information that paints a night-long war . . . The harrowing story of the firefight faced by those who escaped the compound and the two terrorist attacks that night on the CIA's annex in Benghazi."

Washington Examiner

"A compelling read." —The Atlantic Wire

"Readers will come away with a vivid picture of the rented diplomatic compound where Ambassador Stevens died and the long, bloody fight to defend him." —San Diego Union-Tribune

"Compelling. . . The more we learn about Benghazi, the more we need to know. The story is far from over." —New York Post

“This is a gripping, authoritative account of a tragedy that’s not going away. What happened in Benghazi on that fateful night counts, because it’s the moment when the Arab Spring took a wrong turn and drove into the abyss. It tells the story of a Washington too blinded by politics to see the facts. A wonderful book.”

—Robert Baer, former CIA operative and New York Times bestselling author of See No Evil

“A stunning reconstruction of events surrounding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi. It will be particularly instructive to those who have a limited knowledge of the processes for providing security for our diplomats serving abroad.”

—Admiral B. R. Inman, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

"A gripping chronological account of the attack. Readers will clearly comprehend how the DS agents were put into an impossible, life-threatening situation with few of the ready assets associated with American power . . . Authoritative account of a still-controversial spasm of anti-American violence." 

Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-15
Clearly written--and clearly angry--chronicle of the 2012 terrorist assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Co-authors Burton (Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent, 2008) and Katz (Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the Manhunt for the Al-Qaeda Terrorists, 2002, etc.) bring their insiders' perspectives to bear on this disturbing incident, clarifying the facts for lay readers. They focus on the State Department's little-known Diplomatic Security Service (DS), whose agents wound up in the cross hairs of a jihadist attack in the post-revolutionary chaos of Libya's second-largest city. The authors suggest that DS attracts both SEAL-style operators and idealistic would-be diplomats, yet the light footprint required by "expeditionary diplomacy" limits the agents' abilities to respond to threats, despite their training and resolve. The narrative presents a gripping chronological account of the attack. Readers will clearly comprehend how the DS agents were put into an impossible, life-threatening situation with few of the ready assets associated with American power. As the vicious attack intensified, the ambassador and a staffer were killed; the agents found themselves "having a terrible time digesting the fact that those they were charged to protect were now dead and missing." Meanwhile, an elite CIA paramilitary team mounted a rescue attempt from their own not-so-secret base, which itself then came under siege. "The CIA never seemed to think through the geopolitical ramifications of its Benghazi outpost being discovered," write the authors. Despite occasional vitriol, the authors do not blame Benghazi on the Obama administration: "The true story of the Benghazi attack is not one of failure or cover-up." Instead, they contrast the DS agents' skill and valor against a bureaucratic culture of confused timidity and the sense that America's crisis-management resources are spread dangerously thin, especially in the Arab world. Authoritative account of a still-controversial spasm of anti-American violence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250055279
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/9/2014
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 822,649
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Burton

FRED BURTON is Vice President of Intelligence and Counterterrorism at Stratfor, a leading geopolitical intelligence firm, and is one of the world’s foremost experts on security, terrorists and terrorist organizations. He is a former State Department counter-terrorism deputy chief and DSS Agent and the author of a bestselling memoir, Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent and Chasing Shadows.

SAMUEL M. KATZ is an internationally recognized author and expert on Middle East security issues, international terrorism, counter-terrorism, and special operations. His books include Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the Manhunt for the Al-Qaeda Terrorists, and The Hunt for the Engineer: How Israeli Agents Tracked the Hamas Master Bomber.

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Table of Contents

Dedication

From the Director’s Desk

Author’s Note

Clarifications

Preface  - The Oncoming Storm

Book One - Fires Before Benghazi

 Chapter One – The Libyan

 Chapter Two - The Global Protectors in a World at War

 Chapter Three - 9.11.12 – A Fiery Morning in the Arab Spring

 Chapter Four – Libya

 Chapter Five – Special Mission Benghazi

 Chapter Six – The Special Agents

 Chapter Seven – Life in Critical Threat

 Chapter Eight - From Wheels Down to Lights Out

Book Two – Attack

 Chapter One – The Cool of Night Chapter Two – Attack! Attack!

 Chapter Three – The Annex

 Chapter Four – Overrun

 Chapter Five – Notifications

 Chapter Six – The Fires of the Martyrs

Book Three – Rescue

 Chapter One – End of Siege

 Chapter Two – Diplomatic Pouch

 Chapter Three – Link-Up

 Chapter Four – Departures

 Chapter Five – Contact

 Chapter Six – Breakout

 Chapter Seven – The Cavalry

Book Four – Fire Before Dawn

 Chapter One – The Anonymous Target

 Chapter Two – The Looters

 Chapter Three – The Terminal

 Chapter Four – Benghazi Medical Center

 Chapter Five – Incoming

 Chapter Six – Aftermath

 Chapter Seven – Home

Postscript

Glossary

Acknowledgements

Endnotes

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