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05.02.11

Special Edition: The Decade's Must-Read Journalism About the Hunt for Osama bin Laden

An Army of One

Chris Heath, GQ

A 50-year-old ex-con named Gary Faulkner is on an endlessly recurring quest to Pakistan—armed with a sword, night-vision goggles and a mission: to capture Osama bin Laden and hand him over to Pakistani authorities.

My Father, the Terrorist

Omar bin Laden, Vanity Fair

One of Osama bin Laden's many sons writes on life growing up in the house of bin Laden—a father who never missed prayers, spent days secluded in a bedroom with his wife, and could recite the Koran, word-for-word.

The Search for Osama

Jane Mayer, The New Yorker

Published just two years after the 9/11 attacks, The New Yorker wonders if Osama's trail has gone cold, as U.S. intelligence operatives struggle with the "continuing, nagging question, and huge political embarrassment"—the fruitless hunt for Osama bin Laden.

The Battle for Tora Bora

Peter Bergen, The New Republic

In "The Battle for Tora Bora," Peter Bergen tells the definitive account of one of "the greatest military blunders in recent U.S. history," when Osama bin Laden slipped out of the grasp of U.S. forces and into the mountains of Pakistan.

Greetings, America. My Name is Osama bin Laden.

John Miller, Esquire

The author takes a trip deep into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan for a mountain-top meeting with Osama bin Laden—"some asshole with radical views and a lot of money"—and dozens of his closest followers.

The Most Wanted Face of Terrorism

Kate Zernike and Michael T. Kaufman, The New York Times

An obituary of the man who fought the Soviets out of Afghanistan, orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, and became the face of all evil for much of the western world in the years that followed.

PLUS: Into Thin Air

Evan Thomas, Newsweek

In September, 2007, Newsweek recounts the agonizing tale of the search for high-value targets No. 1 and No. 2—Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri.

This special edition of Must-Reads is brought to you in part by Longform and Longreads. To read these on the web, simply click on each feature’s headline. To take these stories on the go, click “Read Later.” We recommend using smartphone applications such as Instapaper or Read It Later for mobile viewing. You can download either at your mobile phone's application store. To send us additional Must-Read journalism suggestions, tweet the story to @ thedailybeast on Twitter with the hashtag # longreads. To read previous editions, visit our Longreads archive.

Brian Ries is tech and social media editor at The Daily Beast. He lives in Brooklyn.