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Based on 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 p Based on 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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Based on 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 p Based on 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.

30 review for The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brian Meadows

    This was a fascinating history of the FBI and the massive changes it has gone through especially following 9/11. It is long, but it is worth it is well-written and keeps your interest. It was sometimes difficult for me to keep track of the people, places and organizations involved along with the acronyms, but that is to be expected with material this complex and exhaustive. The book's index is a good tool to go back and refresh items for better perspective. The book centers on the FBI and its cu This was a fascinating history of the FBI and the massive changes it has gone through especially following 9/11. It is long, but it is worth it is well-written and keeps your interest. It was sometimes difficult for me to keep track of the people, places and organizations involved along with the acronyms, but that is to be expected with material this complex and exhaustive. The book's index is a good tool to go back and refresh items for better perspective. The book centers on the FBI and its culture. Throughout their history, the FBI has been in a somewhat adversarial role with the CIA along with a different methodology. It would be interesting to get the CIA perspective for balance. The FBI was the domestic investigative arm and the CIA focused on international investigations. By their nature, the FBI operates with the rule of law, being focused on building a properly documented case, while not violating constitutional rights, that would be successful in an American court of law. They would sometimes deliberately allow criminal activity to proceed under their surveillance in order to gain the maximum amount of information possible to apprehend as many key players in a crime ring and shut the illegal operation network down for good. The CIA was far less concerned with the rule of law and proper legal procedure since they operated on an international stage where there was no one set of laws - each country had their own. They tended to be more secretive and key operatives would sometimes disappear. However, when they would do that, it was the end of the flow of information about the organization. When transportation and communication made major quantum leaps due to the internet and other technological advances, it became more difficult to separate domestic and international crime networks as it was much easier for foreign networks to operate inside the United States. That blurred the lines on which investigative agency should pursue or take the lead and forced them to work together. It also forced the FBI out of its domestic role of being the nation's federal police force working on cases and onto the world stage, connecting the dots with what was going on in order to predict what would happen and to be ready for it or, preferably, stop it before it happened. The event that made the major changes happen and caused a paradigm shift was 9/11. Before 9/11, the FBI was woefully behind current technology on their computer networks. They still tended to do their business on paper and used massive paper files, which made it hard and slow to pull together information. The FBI director Louis Freeh and President Clinton had not talked to each other for years and the FBI was operating pretty much on their own and the president was getting fed very little information. When George Bush came into office, very little of substance changed. Prior to 9/11, the CIA was tracking two of the men who would become the hi-jackers. However, they kept it secret (as was typical for them) until only a few days prior to the attack when they finally shared the information with the FBI. Neither had any idea of the magnitude of what they were going to do. The FBI agent assigned to the new information was just beginning to track phone calls through their antiquated system that had been made and e-mail communication was still in various FBI individuals' inbox when the hijacked airliners hit the twin towers, the Pentagon and was forced down by American heroes in Pennsylvania. Because our leaders were blind-sided, major changes were made rapidly in the intelligence community. It went from next to no communication (only sanitized summaries) with the president to extreme communication. The FBI, with CIA input, put together a spreadsheet consisting of hundreds of entries daily reporting all potential terrorist activity, Every morning without fail, the FBI director (who was then Bob Mueller - just sworn in before the 9/11 attack), the CIA director, the Attorney General, and (when appointed) the new Homeland Security Secretary met with the President to go over the whole spreadsheet in detail. The spreadsheet was called the Threat Matrix - hence the book title. This diligence continued throughout the Bush administration. Only when Obama came in, did it change to more of a summary with subordinates in the intelligence community deciding what was important to be covered. There is a lot of coverage in the book of the importance of the role that Bob Mueller filled to transform the FBI from what it was to what it is today. The dinosaur of a computer system was upgraded to state-of-the-art and there was a tremendous effort in changing FBI employees' methodology from paper forms and filing to cell phones and computers. Thanks to Bob Mueller, the FBI today is a much more effective today, although the roles of the intelligence community continues to evolve as the threats we are facing change. Another interesting difference between the FBI and the CIA became evident after 9/11. At President Bush's insistence, the CIA was given the lead role when the war on terror took us to Afghanistan and Iraq. The suspects were rounded up and sent to Guantanamo. Many of these were victims of a system where turning in a suspect in Afghanistan was rewarded monetarily. Many were turned in just to profit the one turning them in, although they were innocent. Exhaustive interrogations were needed to separate the wheat from the chaff. The methodology of the CIA was high-handed, often involving torture. They wanted to force confessions out of the suspects. Many times these confessions were dubious because they were saying things to gt the torture turned off. The FBI was present, but mostly over-ruled. Their preference was to use a more positive approach to get suspects to willingly divulge information when they found out that the interrogator was more human than they had thought. In some cases, this approach would turn the suspect into a willing informant that would lead to more useful information to break up the network and apprehend the key players. There is a trade off here where the author takes the FBI view of it. Pros and cons could be argued ad infinitum. There is a real wealth of information here on how the FBI works. These were some highlights that I pulled out that impressed me. There is much more. If you have the interest and the perseverance, this book would be worth your reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Shipman

    I've made it a point to detach from current events as much as possible over the last couple years--but Robert Mueller's behavior during this 2017-? Russia investigation (honestly I had never heard of him before. I never knew who the director of the FBI was or took much interest) penetrated my filters and piqued my interest. To me he appears to be someone worth learning more about. "The Threat Matrix" is the only book my searches turned up and looked promising--"the gripping story of FBI director I've made it a point to detach from current events as much as possible over the last couple years--but Robert Mueller's behavior during this 2017-? Russia investigation (honestly I had never heard of him before. I never knew who the director of the FBI was or took much interest) penetrated my filters and piqued my interest. To me he appears to be someone worth learning more about. "The Threat Matrix" is the only book my searches turned up and looked promising--"the gripping story of FBI director Robert Mueller and a small group of his agents who believed that they could confront a new generation of terrorists groups without sacrificing America's moral high ground." Having read the book, you could certainly extrapolate the above but I think it is somewhat misleading. I got a bit of what I was looking for, but Robert Mueller is hardly the focus. The book's greatest strength is its weakness. Its very comprehensive and rich with stories in it's examination of the US's struggle to balance the safety--preemptive action concerning terror threats vs. civil liberties. But outside that core idea, a "gripping" narrative thread is what the book lacks. I would have rated this book 3 stars for the lack of editing and connective tissue but subject matter is inherently dramatic...and sometimes mortifying. I do appreciate that the book was published in 2011. I didn't want to read anything with current political bias or spin. The book does shine in this way it reads like good journalism. Overall, despite the lack of a central story, I am very glad to have read it. It has certainly expanded and changed my perspective on the tough choices and circumstances our nation's leaders and law enforcement agencies face. It is an ever evolving ever changing landscape--the balance point ever elusive. Like a fugitive the FBI can't catch. I do not envy anyone faced with this reality.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Beginning in 1972, this detailed account of the FBI is fascinating. I learned many new things about world events from the Munich Olympics to 9-11 and many more. I understand much more about how and why the FBI has been, at times, a controversial force. Research appears thorough and I felt the writing was unbiased. If you read it, know this: it is long. I did skim some portions--there are many details to wade through and I decided to focus on certain events and specific people. I found I could do Beginning in 1972, this detailed account of the FBI is fascinating. I learned many new things about world events from the Munich Olympics to 9-11 and many more. I understand much more about how and why the FBI has been, at times, a controversial force. Research appears thorough and I felt the writing was unbiased. If you read it, know this: it is long. I did skim some portions--there are many details to wade through and I decided to focus on certain events and specific people. I found I could do that pretty easily without getting lost. I chose the book initially because I heard the author on Fresh Air--the content sounded intriguing. And, I was curious to know more about Robert Mueller. Now, I do.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    In addition to being a compelling history of interesting FBI anecdotes, this book is a must-have for any serious student of (or practitioner in) the counter-terrorism field. As a secondary source documenting the failures and successes of counter-terrorism, its insights should not be overlooked. Anyone looking for a serious, non-political review of interrogations and intelligence-gathering in the post-9/11 world finds a trove of information and lessons within the pages. The lessons and warnings of In addition to being a compelling history of interesting FBI anecdotes, this book is a must-have for any serious student of (or practitioner in) the counter-terrorism field. As a secondary source documenting the failures and successes of counter-terrorism, its insights should not be overlooked. Anyone looking for a serious, non-political review of interrogations and intelligence-gathering in the post-9/11 world finds a trove of information and lessons within the pages. The lessons and warnings of the FBI's rapid expanse can also be found. As the FBI rapidly expanded its mission in the post-9/11 world, the risk of overreach as well as overlap with the CIA and various DOD agencies was evident. At the same time, the FBI's reputation for professionalism and adherence to the rule of law -- its investigations, unlike those of various other government agencies, are designed to withstand courtroom scrutiny -- made it uniquely equipped to advance U.S. interests in other countries. As both a gripping narrative and an invaluable secondary source of counter-terrorism efforts, this book is highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sassan

    Author Garrett Graff in The Threat Matrix takes us on a journey of the history of the FBI to the present day circa 2013 near the end of Robert Mueller's extraordinary 12-year term as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In it, he takes us through this journey starting with the foundation of the bureau and the historically controversial tenure of J. Edgar Hoover to the decades following through to the various threats our country has faced and the responsibilities and actions that Author Garrett Graff in The Threat Matrix takes us on a journey of the history of the FBI to the present day circa 2013 near the end of Robert Mueller's extraordinary 12-year term as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In it, he takes us through this journey starting with the foundation of the bureau and the historically controversial tenure of J. Edgar Hoover to the decades following through to the various threats our country has faced and the responsibilities and actions that the bureau took or failed to take. In doing so, Mr. Graff assists the reader in having a more full and thorough understanding of the bureau through its ups and downs, its successes and failures, and the consequential tenure of Robert S. Mueller III. The Threat Matrix is given its title by the actual threat matrix that accompanied the PDB or the President's Daily Brief in the years after the terrorist attacks that shook our nation on that fateful September Tuesday morning in 2001. At first it was chaotic filled with streams of raw intelligence that contained very little actionable intelligence. Robert Mueller himself had become director of the FBI just a week before 9/11 and the changes that Mueller would have to implement at the bureau were drastic and significant. No longer would the FBI serve as simply an investigative agency that solved crimes but rather and most importantly became a counterintelligence domestic organization that sought to prevent terrorist attacks before they happened. As Mueller has said in the past, this shook his foundations as he had become accustomed to dealing with criminal matters as a prosecutor. Nevertheless, Mueller the lifelong Marine that he is hunkered down and implemented drastic changes within the bureau that shook some feathers among the bureau rank and file but when he finally left in 2013, the bureau had become much more efficient and better because of it. In one of the most important missions of his life, Robert Mueller supervised the terrorist attack that brought down Pan Am Flight 103. For Robert Mueller, walking through Lockerbie where this terrorist attack took place was the equivalent for him of what walking through the rubble of 9/11 would be. As Graff notes, "it was the moment when he rededicated himself to the pursuit of justice" in a very personal way (Graff, 152). In fact, he walked not only the mostly barren landscape but a small wooden warehouse where the items of the victims of this terrorist attack were stored impacted him greatly. He would carry this same zeal and determination for truth and justice for the decades to follow. He had this same drive and determination after 9/11 and there is no doubt that he has this same drive and determination now as Special Counsel in his quest to revealing to the American public the possible treachery of those Americans who may have sold our country out to Vladimir Putin's Russia. I highly recommend this book for various reasons. The first is the most obvious that it helps the reader learn and understand the historic nature of the development of the bureau from the very beginning of the bureau's existence traveling to the bureau that Robert Mueller left in 2013. There were failures and successes but the determination of those in the bureau to help protect and persevere against our nation's enemies have never been in question. Additionally, the reader is able to better understand the trajectory of the bureau with the various crime elements involved whether it has been the Italian mafia, domestic terrorists, international terrorism, the Russian mafia or a whole host of other nefarious actors. And most importantly it helps the reader learn and come to understand the tidbits that reveal the true character and nature of the lifelong Marine, public servant and patriot that is Robert Swan Mueller, III. Garrett Graff in "The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror" through his interviews with Robert Mueller and those that were close to him helps one understand the meticulous, thorough nature of Mueller in his pursuit for truth and justice. As I have always said, history and our grandchildren will judge all of us accordingly.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I heard Graff's interview with Terry Gross and was intrigued, especially given the bashing that the FBI, Jim Comey, and Robert Mueller are taking from Trump and company. However, I have read a book (this one), which I suspect makes me slightly more informed about the FBI than our current president. Even if I play devil's advocate with myself, I cannot see that Comey and Mueller would be anything less than standup guys, determined to follow the Constitution. The people who are making suggestions I heard Graff's interview with Terry Gross and was intrigued, especially given the bashing that the FBI, Jim Comey, and Robert Mueller are taking from Trump and company. However, I have read a book (this one), which I suspect makes me slightly more informed about the FBI than our current president. Even if I play devil's advocate with myself, I cannot see that Comey and Mueller would be anything less than standup guys, determined to follow the Constitution. The people who are making suggestions as to these mens' trustworthiness are not trustworthy themselves. I noted this from the text: "Mueller should not have been involved, except that Comey knew him to be honest and trustworthy to a fault; his personal integrity was beyond reproach, his sense of values and the primacy of the Constitution second to none." (p.491) As I was reading this book, especially the details around 9/11, it also made me skeptical of the whole "deep state" idea, particularly when I read on page 398 about the Philippine email that made it into the Threat Matrix. I don't mean to suggest that the FBI is without fault, although I am more concerned, personally, with the actions of the CIA. It seems given the work that the FBI does, and our country's need for its work, we have to take the occasional missteps with the good.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Richardson

    “The only constant in our nation’s battle against terrorism, in fact, has been the FBI, whose powers, skills, and capabilities have evolved across generations to meet new threats in new places.” This book is much more than just about Robert Mueller and the FBI. It is a comprehensive history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover and all of his successors. What I found most engrossing was the different histories of the players in the Russian Investigation going on now. Chris “The only constant in our nation’s battle against terrorism, in fact, has been the FBI, whose powers, skills, and capabilities have evolved across generations to meet new threats in new places.” This book is much more than just about Robert Mueller and the FBI. It is a comprehensive history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover and all of his successors. What I found most engrossing was the different histories of the players in the Russian Investigation going on now. Christopher Wray, James Comey, and Robert Mueller are fleshed out and you realize how important they have been to the FBI. What I learned? When Mueller's 10 year tenure was almost done as Chief, Obama asked Congress to give him another 2 years to finish his job and the Senate voted 100 to none to do so. That shows you how both parties believed in him and his integrity. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in our nation's history and competence in seeking to end terror. I borrowed this book from my local library.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maj

    Have to confess I skipped the chapters preceding Mueller's tenure. The book focuses on his era and some of the relevant work he did before becoming the FBI director, but also gives info on post-Hoover, pre-Mueller FBI, which puts it at 650+ pages. I do intend to read the rest at some point - but my main goal was to gain some info on this silent, enigmatic guy in the middle of the Trump storm, and 650 pages is a lot of pages for me. But the book is informative, relatively easy to read, and well re Have to confess I skipped the chapters preceding Mueller's tenure. The book focuses on his era and some of the relevant work he did before becoming the FBI director, but also gives info on post-Hoover, pre-Mueller FBI, which puts it at 650+ pages. I do intend to read the rest at some point - but my main goal was to gain some info on this silent, enigmatic guy in the middle of the Trump storm, and 650 pages is a lot of pages for me. But the book is informative, relatively easy to read, and well researched - using a lot of primary sources, incl. interviews w/ Mueller himself - who "enjoyed very little of this process [...] yet spoke (mostly) freely with [the author] over a period of two years over dozens of hours.". Btw, the same author also wrote this (also quite long) article on Mueller's time in Vietnam, which is a great read and also the reason I eventually decided to (mostly) commit to this brick of a book (mind you, I read the ebook ed.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Antonio De Vido

    This was an excellent book and should be read by everyone. It discusses the FBI from pre-9/11 to modern spygate. It goes light on the post 9/11 institutional issues but discusses Ali Soufan and the falling out with the CIA. Followed by as we all know the treasonous spygate scandal which the author reserves his criticism because he doesn't want to be arkancided. Oh btw, FBI director Louis Freeh detested Bill Clinton who did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING DURING HIS ENTIRE PRESIDENCY and didn't meet with his F This was an excellent book and should be read by everyone. It discusses the FBI from pre-9/11 to modern spygate. It goes light on the post 9/11 institutional issues but discusses Ali Soufan and the falling out with the CIA. Followed by as we all know the treasonous spygate scandal which the author reserves his criticism because he doesn't want to be arkancided. Oh btw, FBI director Louis Freeh detested Bill Clinton who did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING DURING HIS ENTIRE PRESIDENCY and didn't meet with his FBI director: NOT EVEN ONE TIME !!! The Age of Terror grew from 1993 to 2001 under the nose of Bill J. Clinton who did nothing but fondle cigars for 8 years.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Don

    Graff both humanizes and elevates the FBI in this history of their counter-terrorism response post-9/11 (and really, since the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988.) The book paints a full picture of Robert Mueller and the impact of his leadership on the FBI. At the same time, Graff takes us to the front lines of the battle against terrorism and the very real decisions these dedicated public servants make in a fast-changing world of threats. Well written and well-researched, Graff does a phen Graff both humanizes and elevates the FBI in this history of their counter-terrorism response post-9/11 (and really, since the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988.) The book paints a full picture of Robert Mueller and the impact of his leadership on the FBI. At the same time, Graff takes us to the front lines of the battle against terrorism and the very real decisions these dedicated public servants make in a fast-changing world of threats. Well written and well-researched, Graff does a phenomenal job of putting the reader in the middle of many of the key terrorist events of the past 30 years. Highly recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Troy James Foley

    Time capsule Was pretty funny reading parts where Bob and Jim Comey had to join forces and dissuade the president's less-than-legal practices. If anything, this book is a quick cure for Fox News' attempt to poison Mueller's reputation. Like, Sean Hannity would have this book burned in public square if he could. Trump, if he knew how to read (which I'm not convinced he does... Ever seen him do it?) would know he's done and already locked up for life if he understood what's in this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Engaging history of how the FBI evolved to what it is and does today. Like streets in a city, one is sometimes inclined to attribute the current state to planning and foresight. The roles of the FBI and CIA evolved over time and the influences that shaped their current state can be due to happenstance and politics and not efficiencies and logic.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Great book! Interesting history and genesis of the FBI in the context of global terrorism and domestic security. Interesting learning more about Director Mueller, whose name I would not have recognized prior to current events. It's a long book, but flows very nicely and kept my interest the whole way through. Great work Garrett!

  14. 4 out of 5

    C. Parent

    Very informative This author writes about events of interest to many people around the globe, since it encompasses plots and characters from numerous continents. An attention grabbing time that is riveting throughout. Great book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Read this over the course of the year in three parts - it's deep and riveting and, at times, reads like a thriller. I'd be keen to read all of Graff's work after this.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    Terrific book. Gives a thorough history of the FBI since J. Edgar Hoover, with much devoted to the Bureau under Robert Mueller. Fascinating!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    Very informative history of the FBI. A page turner.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sue Campbell

    Compelling narrative of the FBI's war against terrorism over the course of the last fifty years. Interesting and informative.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Kwok

    This book is basically a biography of former FBI Director Robert Mueller. It recently gained attention in light of his appointment as Special Counsel to investigate Russia's interference with the 2016 elections. One finishes this book with a great respect for Bob Mueller and a feeling that the current investigation will be completed in a timely and honest manner. Highly recommended for anyone who follows the current Russian investigation or politics in general.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hinton

    If you're interested in the post-9/11 history of the FBI, this is the book for you. The author touches on many different aspects of the Agency's past, but focuses mainly on its new top mission after the September 11th attacks - the War on Terror. A detailed and informative look at the FBI under Robert Mueller and the Administrations of Presidents Bush and Obama. An eye-opening read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meg - A Bookish Affair

    With the advent of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 drawing near, I've been thinking a lot of how much has changed in the past 10 years with regard to the way that our world is. I very vividly remember where I was on 9/11 and everything on that day has totally changed the way that our Intelligence Community works. The FBI has been at the forefront of many of these changes and the way that the agency works and what it does has come into the spotlight. This book covers more of the history of the FBI b With the advent of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 drawing near, I've been thinking a lot of how much has changed in the past 10 years with regard to the way that our world is. I very vividly remember where I was on 9/11 and everything on that day has totally changed the way that our Intelligence Community works. The FBI has been at the forefront of many of these changes and the way that the agency works and what it does has come into the spotlight. This book covers more of the history of the FBI but a great majority of the book covers just prior to 9/11 and the ten years after 9/11. I took this book with me on vacation and it was a good pick (okay, maybe not so great to read on the airplane because of the subject matter but on the ground it was wonderful). I'm deeply interested in all things history and politics. The FBI has gone from a mostly domestic agency to an agency that has a presence in many parts of the world. This book is definitely engaging and is really accessible for those who don't really like non-fiction all that much. One of the best things about this book is to read about the back stories of the different investigations that the FBI has conducted. The lead up to 9/11 was also interested to read about. There were so many mistakes leading up to the event and I really hope that the FBI has learned something since then. Graff did a wonderful job making this book really readable and enjoyable for the most part. There were some parts that were a little more drawn out than they really needed to be. Bottom line: This book should definitely be read by anyone that has an interest in the Intelligence Community.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Afua

    This is a long book. A very, very long book that seems even longer when reading it on the Kindle. That said, it's rather well researched and informative. The Threat Matrix is two books combined into one: a shortened biography of current FBI Director Bob Mueller and the transformation history of the FBI. Both stories are engaging, but I would have preferred for the author to have divided them into two (shorter) books. Of course, given the director's insistence on privacy and his tendency to avoid This is a long book. A very, very long book that seems even longer when reading it on the Kindle. That said, it's rather well researched and informative. The Threat Matrix is two books combined into one: a shortened biography of current FBI Director Bob Mueller and the transformation history of the FBI. Both stories are engaging, but I would have preferred for the author to have divided them into two (shorter) books. Of course, given the director's insistence on privacy and his tendency to avoid the media unless necessary, perhaps few people would have voluntarily read Mueller's biography. I learned a great deal about how the FBI began and even more about major cases that shaped -- for better and for worse -- how the FBI subsequently investigated cases and to what extent it shared information internally and externally. Not knowing much about Director Mueller prior to starting this book, after reading the several vignettes revealing his character traits and leadership styles, I now have a great deal of respect for him. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the FBI. If you're a fan of its work and support its mission, this book is for you. If you think the FBI has had several screw-ups leaving it less effective, this book is for you. At the end of the book, you will be able to render your own judgement on the future of the FBI.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Very, very interesting look at the behind the scenes of the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, the Intelligence community in its fight against terrorists. There was much information about 911 that was not acted upon in a timely fashion due to non-cooperation between governmental agencies. The book also looks at post-911 security measures, the torture of detainees, etc. A good read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    I totally enjoyed this book. If you ever wondered how our government tries to stay on top of the numerous threats against our country and way of life. This is an FBI centric book but if your interest are of this agency and the safety and stability of this country, this book is for you. It will add to your understanding of contemporary history.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark Kirby

    Having read just about every book written on the FBI, I can tell you that this is absolutelyl among the best. Graff had unprecedented access to the Bureau and did an excellent job of presenting an unbiased assessment of the organization. I highly recommend it. Very enjoyable and informative read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jwduke

    The Threat Matrix is a very well researched book. The insight of what the FBI was prior to 9/11 and what it would transition into is very in-depth and I appreciated it. I think former director Mueller is an outstanding individual, however, I think the author should have simply called the book "Why Mueller is the best FBI director ever!" Overall a great read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I found this to be a long slog....at times intensely interesting, at times so dry I could hardly bear it. All the while, you learn insights into some of the most well known terrorism events and the FBI's triumphs and failures. It is a worth a read, just be sure to be aware that you may find sections to be tedious.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Craig

    This is a great companion book to Weiner's Enemies. It goes deeper into the years after 9/11 and the author interviewed a number of the major players for this book. You leave with a balanced approach to the crazy times of the post-9/11 counter-terrorism world.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Sandell

    The book gives a good background of the FBI, its directors, and how the FBI is prepped for the next terrorist attack. There's a lot of names to remember throughout the book, and it focuses a lot on current director, Bob Mueller; but overall, a decent read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    In-depth overview of the Bureau. Very well done!

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