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Kill or Capture: How a Special Operations Task Force Took Down a Notorious Al Qaeda Terrorist

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"The electrifying true story of the pursuit for the man behind al Qaeda's suicide bombing campaign in Iraq Kill or Capture "is a true-life thriller that tells the story of senior military interrogator Matthew Alexander's adrenalinefilled, "outside the wire" pursuit of a notorious Syrian mass murderer named Zafar--the leader of al Qaeda in northern Iraq--a killer with the b "The electrifying true story of the pursuit for the man behind al Qaeda's suicide bombing campaign in Iraq Kill or Capture "is a true-life thriller that tells the story of senior military interrogator Matthew Alexander's adrenalinefilled, "outside the wire" pursuit of a notorious Syrian mass murderer named Zafar--the leader of al Qaeda in northern Iraq--a killer with the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands. In a breathless thirty-day period, Alexander and a small Special Operations task force brave the hazards of the Iraqi insurgency to conduct dangerous kill-or-capture missions and hunt down a murderer. "Kill or Capture "immerses readers in the dangerous world of battlefield interrogations as the author and his team climb the ladder of al Qaeda leadership in a series of raids, braving roadside bombs, near death by electrocution and circles within circles of lies.


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"The electrifying true story of the pursuit for the man behind al Qaeda's suicide bombing campaign in Iraq Kill or Capture "is a true-life thriller that tells the story of senior military interrogator Matthew Alexander's adrenalinefilled, "outside the wire" pursuit of a notorious Syrian mass murderer named Zafar--the leader of al Qaeda in northern Iraq--a killer with the b "The electrifying true story of the pursuit for the man behind al Qaeda's suicide bombing campaign in Iraq Kill or Capture "is a true-life thriller that tells the story of senior military interrogator Matthew Alexander's adrenalinefilled, "outside the wire" pursuit of a notorious Syrian mass murderer named Zafar--the leader of al Qaeda in northern Iraq--a killer with the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands. In a breathless thirty-day period, Alexander and a small Special Operations task force brave the hazards of the Iraqi insurgency to conduct dangerous kill-or-capture missions and hunt down a murderer. "Kill or Capture "immerses readers in the dangerous world of battlefield interrogations as the author and his team climb the ladder of al Qaeda leadership in a series of raids, braving roadside bombs, near death by electrocution and circles within circles of lies.

30 review for Kill or Capture: How a Special Operations Task Force Took Down a Notorious Al Qaeda Terrorist

  1. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Loved it. Not a difficult read. Short and nearly, if fiction and font smaller, could be classed as a novella I suppose..I don't know what they call short non fiction?? Fast paced. A great insight into placid interrogation methods as opposed to the more controversial aggressive interrogation/torture methods that has caused the U.S much trouble of late. I would read his other terrorist hunt book as this one was simple and enjoyable. I'd assume his other book would be too. Loved it. Not a difficult read. Short and nearly, if fiction and font smaller, could be classed as a novella I suppose..I don't know what they call short non fiction?? Fast paced. A great insight into placid interrogation methods as opposed to the more controversial aggressive interrogation/torture methods that has caused the U.S much trouble of late. I would read his other terrorist hunt book as this one was simple and enjoyable. I'd assume his other book would be too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John

    An experienced military interrogator describes his work in Iraq in 2006, and makes his case that torture and violent approaches are tragically destructive and ineffective--unlike softer, more respectful methods of questioning. Despite my conviction that it's one of the most poorly written books I've ever read--repetitive, wooden, self-righteous in tone and, wow, TWICE something "peaks" his interest (COPY EDITORS, WHERE WERE YOU?), the main point is one that really needs to be made, and heard. Her An experienced military interrogator describes his work in Iraq in 2006, and makes his case that torture and violent approaches are tragically destructive and ineffective--unlike softer, more respectful methods of questioning. Despite my conviction that it's one of the most poorly written books I've ever read--repetitive, wooden, self-righteous in tone and, wow, TWICE something "peaks" his interest (COPY EDITORS, WHERE WERE YOU?), the main point is one that really needs to be made, and heard. Here's the money quote: "The argument that the supporters of torture make is that torture and abuse are necessary to save lives. That is a lie. There is no evidence that torture and abuse are more effective or efficient than the techniques I discuss in this book. In fact, there's plenty of evidence to show that it slows the progress of the interrogation or results in bad information. Those are just the short-term problems that are created. The more significant issue is the long-term negative consequences of using torture and abuse, which are undeniable. First, it recruits fighters for the enemy. Second, it makes future detainees less likely to cooperate because they view us as torturers. Third, it makes American soldiers captured in future conflicts vulnerable to the same techniques. Fourth, it makes opponents less wiling to surrender. Finally, it lowers us to the level of our enemies." [273]

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rick Westenkirchner

    Excellent book showing how skilled interagators gleam information from captured terrorists, to help prevent further attacks, and then leads them to other terror suspects.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tarah

    Those of us fortunate enough not to experience war can only really get a sense of war from the stories told by those who do. Without these voices, we might easily forget the real costs of these “conflicts”—conflicts that are so sanitized in our national rhetoric that we can easily forget that the war is real, that it is complicated and dangerous, and that it is fought by real people. This seems particularly true of Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that have gone on for so long, and that have required Those of us fortunate enough not to experience war can only really get a sense of war from the stories told by those who do. Without these voices, we might easily forget the real costs of these “conflicts”—conflicts that are so sanitized in our national rhetoric that we can easily forget that the war is real, that it is complicated and dangerous, and that it is fought by real people. This seems particularly true of Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that have gone on for so long, and that have required so comparatively little from the American people, that they have become mundane. We begin to measure them in weeks, then months, and then years, when the realities of war for those who experience it can be measured in seconds. What’s equally as troubling about Iraq and Afghanistan is not only the ethical implications of glossing over the sacrifices of war in a two-minute news blurb (or in a publicity stunt on an aircraft carrier deck), but the way in which the fears that fuel these wars have been used to convince us that the violations of international law, human rights standards, and even our own constitution are justifiable. Moreover, our own leaders have told us, torture is not simply justified, but necessary as we fight for our cause. These realities about our national character are what make Matthew Alexander so important. Alexander’s first book How to Break a Terrorist chronicled the hunt and capture of Abu al-Zarqawi, and the war as it is, arguably, most precisely and effectively fought: in the interrogation room. It was fast, and thrilling. And it was immense in its courage to publish despite governmental censure and pressures against showing the ways in which torture works against us, and not for us. Kill or Capture, Alexander’s second book, builds on Terrorist not only in the continued search for high-level targets, but also in its storytelling. While Kill or Capture is, like its predecessor, a fast and thrilling story, it also seems like a more mature book with a more developed and more thoughtful narrative voice. It makes real the pressures—physical, mental, emotional—that work on the most human level during war. The book balances the full scope of war: the personal story, the larger conflict, the even larger philosophical issues at stake in both the personal and political. And it does so in a way that is both convincing and compelling. Not that this is why my grandfather likes the book. He likes it for the trill of the chase and the victories we can celebrate in a war. And the book is thrilling and victorious. But this book is most compelling not in the fast and breathless moments of action (and they are breathless), but in those still moments where we are reminded of the humanness of war: that the soldier next to you cheers for a different soccer team, that the interpreter risks his life and stills his prejudices so that you can be understood, and that the person who is your enemy is, in fact, a person. Above all it is a book that shows us that our character—personal and national—is defined in our moments of greatest fear and stress. It is a book about the hearts and minds not of our enemies, but of ourselves.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Garcia

    I would recommend this book to a friend who likes the army or likes to know who the army would be like. This book showed good imagery, interrogation skills, and motif of fast working in dangerous conditions. At the beginning this book takes you to Iraq where you follow the author Matthew Alexander as he interrogate terrorist that have information about the leaders of the terrorist group. As Matthew Alexander gets moved up the ranks his interrogation skill are put to the test as he not has to mak I would recommend this book to a friend who likes the army or likes to know who the army would be like. This book showed good imagery, interrogation skills, and motif of fast working in dangerous conditions. At the beginning this book takes you to Iraq where you follow the author Matthew Alexander as he interrogate terrorist that have information about the leaders of the terrorist group. As Matthew Alexander gets moved up the ranks his interrogation skill are put to the test as he not has to make the decision to kill an enemy or to capture him to get information. I have learned some cool interrogation skills too as Alexander is truly skilled in interrogation as he thinks to him self as he studies these to other man interrogates a man for information as he say “It’s a classic good cop/ bad cop approach, but the bad cop should be outside the room so that the detainee feels comfortable confiding in the nice guy”. As by this quote tells me that Alexander as a higher level of interrogations then the two other men in the room interrogating the detainee. There is also a motif of working fast in a dangerous environments as Alexander has invaded a terrorist members house with the army to get fast information out of him but Alexander’s team only has a few minutes before more terrorist come. As Alexander knows before his job he only has limited time as he says “In my new role I won’t have hours or days to get information I would only have minutes”. This quote suggests that he id getting put in a new position where he would have to work even harder then before to get the job complete. The theme I concluded with is that his line of duty he must be e faster and his job would be harder even for a very skilled man like him.

  6. 5 out of 5

    A. Paul Myers

    This was a fun, quick read. Matthew did a great job of dropping us into the middle of the day-to-day life of an in-the-field interrogator. When the call comes in "Stryker in ten minutes," you feel like you're along for the ride. Matthew avoids becoming overly political by book-ending what he feels are extremes by both administrations. The traditional cultural-relational approach to interrogation yields better results in Matthew's opinion than the water-boarding of one administration and the inab This was a fun, quick read. Matthew did a great job of dropping us into the middle of the day-to-day life of an in-the-field interrogator. When the call comes in "Stryker in ten minutes," you feel like you're along for the ride. Matthew avoids becoming overly political by book-ending what he feels are extremes by both administrations. The traditional cultural-relational approach to interrogation yields better results in Matthew's opinion than the water-boarding of one administration and the inability to even raise a voice at a detainee of the other. I found it most interesting that soldiers were ordered to shave their beards in an effort to appear "more professional" even though the beards actually demonstrated cultural sensitivity and gave the 'gators (as the interrogators are called) added credibility. Matthew doesn't care for either swing of the pendulum and he makes a good case. Make no mistake... there is nothing deep here. But if you want to read a four-week journal about how one task force took down an Al-Qaeda leader in Northern Iraqi thanks to interrogators, this is a fun romp. Matthew's editor could have helped him more a couple of times. For instance, there is a moment when something "peaks" Matthew's interest rather than "piques." I was saddened to read that Matthew's interest will never again be as high as it was at that moment. Matthew is a decorated soldier, not an English major. His editor should have helped him out there. All in all, though, a fun and interesting read. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Atan

    The book was really interesting. I liked it a lot, it made you feel like you were apart of the task force. The gators taught you a few tricks on how to get information out of people without even having to touch them, it might help in the near future. In addition the author, Matthew Alexander had tons of details to vividly play the movie in your head. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in non-fictional war books. Particularly the war on terror in Iraq. You get to learn a few things The book was really interesting. I liked it a lot, it made you feel like you were apart of the task force. The gators taught you a few tricks on how to get information out of people without even having to touch them, it might help in the near future. In addition the author, Matthew Alexander had tons of details to vividly play the movie in your head. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in non-fictional war books. Particularly the war on terror in Iraq. You get to learn a few things from the Iraqi culture as well. I'm sure anyone who read this book has enjoyed it. In addition this book is filled with character strengths such as, hope, bravery, social intelligence, justice, and persistence.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    Although this book was very repetitive and simple to read it was still interesting and suspenseful. Ultimately the author is talking about his job and it was very repetitive. So if you are interested in learning about this interrogators job during the war in Iraq then don't hesitate to give it a read. I do find it interesting though that an organization run by George Soros helped the author with this book which does in my opinion give the book more of a political bias or motivation. But ultimate Although this book was very repetitive and simple to read it was still interesting and suspenseful. Ultimately the author is talking about his job and it was very repetitive. So if you are interested in learning about this interrogators job during the war in Iraq then don't hesitate to give it a read. I do find it interesting though that an organization run by George Soros helped the author with this book which does in my opinion give the book more of a political bias or motivation. But ultimately if that is what the author solely believes then you have to take it at face value.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jason Lopez

    Really enjoyed this book. It was a great insight to the many ways that interrogations can go. Some, if done correctly, can really add to the perception and image of American military and intelligence forces. Others, greatly damage the (what may already be) fragile relationship to the point of complete break down and only aiding the enemy more. An overall easy read. Many of the missions the author describes feel redundant. But the outcome of each one is completely different and leaves you wonderi Really enjoyed this book. It was a great insight to the many ways that interrogations can go. Some, if done correctly, can really add to the perception and image of American military and intelligence forces. Others, greatly damage the (what may already be) fragile relationship to the point of complete break down and only aiding the enemy more. An overall easy read. Many of the missions the author describes feel redundant. But the outcome of each one is completely different and leaves you wondering if he will have gained enough information to aid the efforts of military forces.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    A solid, though somewhat plodding recount of an interrogator's experiences in Iraq. I found the book somewhat repetitious: "... the sound of broken glass under my boot...", the introductory question sequence, the comments about the failed use of torture, and the calls to expand the interrogator's repertoire to include techniques from police questioning. The writing was functional - Matthew Alexander got the job done. A solid, though somewhat plodding recount of an interrogator's experiences in Iraq. I found the book somewhat repetitious: "... the sound of broken glass under my boot...", the introductory question sequence, the comments about the failed use of torture, and the calls to expand the interrogator's repertoire to include techniques from police questioning. The writing was functional - Matthew Alexander got the job done.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Richard Fly

    I think its well written and shows both sides oc your soldier those crazy fucks that just want to strangle a "towel head" and the people that are there because they are being the change they want to see in the world. I couldn't give it a 4 or 5 due to the way he talks himself up at times and seems to degrade some tactics in a less than what I would find open way. I think its well written and shows both sides oc your soldier those crazy fucks that just want to strangle a "towel head" and the people that are there because they are being the change they want to see in the world. I couldn't give it a 4 or 5 due to the way he talks himself up at times and seems to degrade some tactics in a less than what I would find open way.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark Monsma

    This is one incredible book. It doesn't read like the classic military history nonfiction, as it follows an interrogator and not a soldier. Matthew Alexander has another, similar book called "How to Break a Terrorist". I recommend this book to military history buffs, law enforcement personnel, or anyone interested in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is one incredible book. It doesn't read like the classic military history nonfiction, as it follows an interrogator and not a soldier. Matthew Alexander has another, similar book called "How to Break a Terrorist". I recommend this book to military history buffs, law enforcement personnel, or anyone interested in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    The author, an experienced interrogator who served in Iraq, debunks the idea that torture is an effective method of getting information. It is heartening to have someone of Alexander's caliber refute a concept I personally find abhorrent, ineffective, counter productive and a violation of principles on which America was founded. The author, an experienced interrogator who served in Iraq, debunks the idea that torture is an effective method of getting information. It is heartening to have someone of Alexander's caliber refute a concept I personally find abhorrent, ineffective, counter productive and a violation of principles on which America was founded.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Mcnamara

    Overall not bad. The topic is interesting and the writing was solid, but I don't think it was as good as "How to Break a Terrorist". The other book had more tension and this one came off a bit preachy at times. That said the author is solid, and I flew through this book. Overall not bad. The topic is interesting and the writing was solid, but I don't think it was as good as "How to Break a Terrorist". The other book had more tension and this one came off a bit preachy at times. That said the author is solid, and I flew through this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Art

    Interesting account from Irag by an Air Force interrogator. Excellent portrayal of conducting this hellish and dangerous job in a humane fashion. - noticed this on the new book shelf in the library.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Blubaugh

    Great, interesting read. The author takes you behind the scenes of the war in Iraq and reveals humanity in the midst of war. A realistic view of war and the complexity of human relationships.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tampines House

    B23825955F

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nick Swanson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jake Moore

  20. 4 out of 5

    Otis Sinnette

  21. 5 out of 5

    Grayson Adams

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anders

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bobby McDonell

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  26. 4 out of 5

    Quinn

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abbas Fardil

  28. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nick

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