The Real-Life Analysts Who Led The ‘Manhunt’ For bin Laden

Apr 29, 2013

Two years ago, when members of an elite Navy SEAL team stormed Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and took out the leader of al-Qaeda, they ended one of the biggest manhunts in American history.

But for a small group of analysts at the CIA, bin Laden's capture was the culmination of a two-decade search that began long before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In this show, guest host Phoebe Judge speaks with Cindy Storer and Susan Hasler, two of the women who were part of the “sisterhood” of CIA analysts who tracked bin Laden and tried to alert defense officials that al-Qaeda was plotting an attack in 2001. But their warnings, they say, fell on deaf ears.

“When 9/11 happened, everyone’s reaction was, ‘This is it. This is the thing that fits into everything,’” Hasler says.  “We knew the planes they’d been thinking about. There were plots we’d known about for 15 years. No one had any doubt in terms of who did that - at least in our office.”

Storer and Hasler are featured in the HBO documentary “Manhunt,” which premieres May 1, and they join Phoebe Judge in our studio with the film’s director, Greg Barker.

Hear the full conversation at The Story's website. Also in this show: GQ's Michael Hainey on his obsession with his father's secret life and mysterious death.