A stunning narrative account of the mysterious Jordanian who penetrated both the inner circle of al-Qaeda and the highest reaches of the CIA, with a devastating impact on the war on terror.
In December 2009, a group of the CIA’s top terrorist hunters gathered at a base in Khost, Afghanistan, to greet a rising superspy: Khalil al-Balawi, a Jordanian double agent who had infiltrated the inner circle of al-Qaeda. For months, he had sent solid intelligence on Osama bin Laden’s operations center and now promised to help the CIA destroy the terrorist network. Instead, as he stepped from his car, he detonated a thirty-pound bomb strapped to his chest, instantly killing seven CIA operatives, the agency’s worst loss of life in decades.
In The Triple Agent, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Joby Warrick takes us deep inside the CIA’s war against al-Qaeda. His account of the Khost attack exposes dangerous weaknesses in an intelligence agency that has become overly reliant on remote-controlled drones, and he reveals the mysterious al-Balawi to be a formidable, multilayered opponent. Combining the powerful momentum of Black Hawk Down with the institutional insight of Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side, Warrick leads us to top levels of the Obama administration, where desperation to capture bin Laden led to tragic mistakes, and into the CIA, where the stinging defeat set off new clashes over spycraft and ignited a thirst for revenge.
- Political Science
- Political Freedom + Security / Terrorism
- July 19, 2011
- July 19, 2011
- Joby Warrick