Did John O'Neill, the former head of the FBI's New York counterterrorism unit, figure out the Sept. 11 plot before it happened? That possibility underlies this compelling chronicle of his career.
O'Neill was perhaps America's foremost Al Qaeda expert, but his intensity and flamboyance bothered many Bureau bureaucrats, including ex-director Louis Freeh, and he was forced out in August 2001. Filmmaker Michael Kirk pieces together O'Neill's story from interviews with his allies (critics declined interview requests). “We're due for something big,” one recalls him saying on Sept. 10, 2001. The next day, O'Neill died on the job as security chief at the World Trade Center.
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