Book Review: Uncovering a Terrorist by Bryan Denson

Title: FBI Files: Uncovering a Terrorist
By: Bryan Denson
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 176
Release Date: June 23rd, 2020
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

 In Uncovering a Terrorist, Bryan Denson presents the story of the FBI's investigation of Mohamed Mohamud led by Agent Ryan Dwyer, the agent who helped bring him to justice, creating room for the conversation surrounding religious terrorism and its effects around the world.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud was an American citizen, a college student at Oregon State University, and a wannabe terrorist. His dream was to go to Yemen, train with al-Qaeda, and travel to Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers. But first, he plotted to detonate a massive bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in downtown Portland.

Agent Ryan Dwyer ran the sting operation to see how serious Mohamed was. He and an Arabic-speaking partner, joined by FBI personnel—including two undercover operatives posing as al-Qaeda terrorists—worked month after month to get to know him and keep the people of Portland safe.

The FBI Files is a true crime series for young readers following FBI agents behind the scenes as they work to keep Americans safe. Each book includes photographs, a glossary of spy terms, and a note from the author on the subject of the investigation.


I know this story well. I live in the Portland area, and to know that something sinister was going on behind closed doors is terrifying. This book really walks you through the events that lead up to the Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon and how the bombing was thwarted. It sends a shiver up my spine to think that I could have lost someone I loved that night if the bombing had gone forward as planned. I enjoyed this read. It helped me to understand the stakes and the mind set behind the bomber himself. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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