Disruption: Inside the Largest Counterterrorism Investigation in History

Al Qaeda did not stop after 9/11. Its reign of terror continued with bombings and mayhem across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. But its frustration grew as the group failed to fundamentally undermine America and its allies. 

Five years later the time was ripe for another spectacular mega-plot. Fresh from masterminding the London Underground carnage, one veteran operative set in motion a new operation to destroy passenger aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean—and kill thousands of people in the process.  

Disruption tells the story of that conspiracy and the heroic efforts by the intelligence services of the United States, Great Britain, and Pakistan to uncover and crush it. From the streets of London to the training camps of Pakistan to the corridors of power in Washington DC, the story unfolds with murders, double-crosses, probes, jailbreaks, and explosions.

Former counterterrorism analyst Aki J. Peritz brings the story to life with vivid imagery, interviews with top intelligence officials, and never-before-seen declassified documents. Disruption is the not-to-be-missed account of the race to stop a terrorist conspiracy that would have remade our world—forever.


"An outstanding contribution to the literature of terrorism and counterterrorism."

Kirkus, Starred Review!

"Peritz gets deep into the weeds of the various terrorist cells involved, but paints a detailed portrait of a tragedy narrowly averted. Readers will gain new appreciation for what it takes to stop the next terrorist attack."

Publishers Weekly

"Some of the mea­sures put in place since 9/11, as in­con­ve­nient as they may be, have un­doubt­edly saved lives. We might still de­bate their use­ful­ness and le­gal­ity, but we should do so with a full un­der­stand-ing of their re­sults. “Dis­rup­tion” is a valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to that un­der­stand­ing."

The Wall Street Journal

"[A] gripping account of a complex and ultimately successful counterterrorism investigation"

Foreign Affairs

"Disruption is a deeply researched and reported examination of a plot by largely Britain-based al Qa’ida supporters [...] full of hard to believe (but true) stories"

The Cipher Brief

"Peritz’s step-by-step account of the planning of Overt and the painstaking police work by which Scotland Yard learned what was afoot reads almost like a le Carré novel. “Disruption” is utterly gripping."

The Christian Science Monitor

“A fascinating read. There are secrets in this book even I didn’t know.”

Gen. Michael V. Hayden, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency

“This operation remains the gold standard for how America and Great Britain came together to crush the greatest conspiracy since 9/11. Disruption knocks it out of the park.”

Fran Townsend, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism