This is the real story of the Battle of Tora Bora, and the first book to detail just how close Delta Force came to capturing bin Laden, how close U.S. bombers and fighter aircraft came to killing him, and exactly why he slipped through our fingers. It is an extremely rare inside look at the shadowy world of Delta Force and a detailed account of these warriors in battle.
"Mr. President if you had let these guys run this war it would have been over by now. Read this book now, all of you. [Kill Bin Laden is] the best book ever written by a special operations insider. This guy Fury’s men are the real-deal Delta Force operators. You need to know what happened at Tora Bora, and this great book will tell you." --Colonel David Hunt, U.S. Army (Ret.), New York Times bestselling author of They Just Don’t Get It and On The Hunt, and FOX News Special Ops and Counterterrorism Analyst
"Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta is without doubt one of the most fearsome military units ever assembled, with many camp followers seeking with only limited success to record its deeds. There is only one way to know what really happened in any Delta mission, and that is to be there. Delta officer Dalton Fury didn't just take part in the battle of Tora Bora, he commanded all the special operations troops, both U.S. and British, who were there. Kill Bin Laden is a proud, riveting, warts-and-all account of that battle, one of the most important special operations missions of all time." --Michael Smith, author of KILLER ELITE: The Inside Story of America’s Most Secret Special Operations Team
“An important, must-read book about real warriors. A story that so positively reflects what on-the-ground decision making, professional acceptance of risk, and maximizing interagency cooperation can do. Dalton Fury shows us with amazing detail and insight what highly trained and motivated special operators can accomplish successfully in combat out of all proportion to their numbers.” --Cofer Black, former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's Counter Terrorist Center
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dalton Fury was the senior ranking military officer at the Battle of Tora Bora. As a Delta troop commander he commanded ninety-one other Western special operations commandos and support personnel and helped author, along with some of Delta’s most talented sergeants, the tactical concept of operation to hunt and kill bin Laden.
In February 2002, just six weeks after returning from a rewarding but frustrating combat tour in Afghanistan, my mates and I in Delta had refitted, reblued, and recocked and were anxiously awaiting our next mission in America’s war on terror. While also juggling the responsibilities of being husbands and fathers, we anticipated the proverbial “word” and speculated about our future, whether orders might send us to Yemen, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia, or any of a dozen other countries infested with Islamic fanatics.
By then, some two months had passed since the Battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, and news stories had begun permeating the world’s press claiming that America had squandered the opportunity to kill Usama bin Laden inside Afghanistan. Stories describing a failure by American special operations forces to accomplish their mission surfaced in newspapers and magazines and on Internet Web pages. Soon followed the usual flurry of books, feeding news-hungry and curious readers and intended to make a buck. It was hard to sit there and read that stuff and listen to what was spilling out of the television sets.
The mission, of course, had been to kill bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world. It was a mission so important that it couldn’t be assigned to just any American military or intelligence force. No, only two months after the terrible attacks of 9/11, this truly was a mission of national, maybe even of international, significance. The best commandos America had to offer were needed.
The task ended up in the hands of about forty eager and very willing members of America’s supersecret counterterrorist unit, formally known as the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta. More informally, the elite and mysterious organization is more popularly referred to as Delta Force. Inside our building, we refer to the organization simply as “the Unit.”
The American generals not only wanted bin Laden killed, but they also wanted proof. A cloudy photograph would do, or a smudged fingerprint. A clump of hair or even a drop of blood. Or perhaps a severed finger wrapped in plastic. Basically, we were told to go into harm’s way and prove to the world that bin Laden had been neutralized, as in “terminated with extreme prejudice.” In plain English: stone-cold dead.
In fact, the only inflexibility of the decision makers surrounded the eventual disposition of the terrorist mastermind’s remains. On this they were absolutely firm. We were to leave the body with our newfound friends in Afghanistan—the mujahideen, or as we called them, the “muhj.”
The Delta warriors got some help with the job, helpers who were as good as you could get. A dozen commandos from the famed British SBS and another dozen or so U.S. Army Green Berets stepped up. And, as usual, the Central Intelligence Agency was there first. Six CIA intelligence operatives and technicians provided umbrella leadership, cold hard cash, and guns and bullets for the effort. The Agency would link their intelligence collecting, interrogation, and a multitude of other skills to this clandestine military force.
A few talented U.S. Air Force special tactics commandos and several top-secret tactical signal interceptors rounded out the eclectic group of brave souls who ventured into Afghanistan as that cold winter closed in, far from home, far from help. We all would join to lay a modern siege of epic proportions. Inside one big-ass mountain range called Tora Bora we went up against bin Laden and his seemingly impenetrable cave sanctuary burrowed deep inside the Spin Ghar Mountains.