The Triple Agent

[PDF / Epub] ☂ The Triple Agent Author Joby Warrick – A stunning narrative account of the mysterious Jordanian who penetrated both the inner circle of al aeda and the highest reaches of the CIA with a devastating impact on the war on terror   In Decembe A stunning narrative account of the mysterious Jordanian who penetrated both the inner circle of al aeda and the highest reaches of the CIA with a devastating impact on the war on terror   In December a group of the CIA’s top terrorist hunters gathered at a secret base in Khost Afghanistan to greet a rising superspy Humam Khalil al Balawi a Jordanian double agent who The Triple Kindle - infiltrated the upper ranks of al aeda For months he had sent shocking revelations from inside the terrorist network and now promised to help the CIA assassinate Osama bin Laden’s top deputy 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 secret war against al aeda a war that pits robotic planes and laser guided missiles against a cunning enemy intent on unleashing carnage in American cities Flitting precariously between the two sides was Balawi a young man with extraordinary gifts who managed to win the confidence of hardened terrorists as well as veteran spymasters With his breathtaking accounts from inside al aeda’s lair Balawi appeared poised to become America’s greatest double agent in half a century—but he was not at all what he seemed Combining the powerful momentum of Black Hawk Down with the institutional insight of Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side Warrick takes the readers on a harrowing journey from the slums of Amman to the inner chambers of the White House in an untold true story of miscalculation deception and revenge.The Triple Agent

Joby Warrick born August is an American journalist who has won multiple Pulitzer Prizes He began working for The Washington Post in writing about the Middle East diplomacy and national security He has also covered the intelligence community Weapons of Mass Destruction WMD proliferation and the environment and served as a member of the Post’s investigative unit.

The Triple Agent MOBI Ò The Triple  Kindle -
  • Hardcover
  • 272 pages
  • The Triple Agent
  • Joby Warrick
  • English
  • 21 July 2016
  • 9780385534185

10 thoughts on “The Triple Agent

  1. says:

    Reading this was pretty much like watching Zero Dark Thirty It's about the man who blew himself up in 2009 at the CIA base Camp Chapman at Khost in eastern Afghanistan Seven American CIA officers and contractors an officer of Jordan's intelligence service and an Afghan working for the CIA were killed when al Balawi detonated a bomb sewn into a vest he was wearing Six other American CIA officers were wounded The bombing was the most lethal attack against the CIA in than 25 years WikipediaAl Balawi refers to Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al Balawi a doctor who spent much of his free time using an alias to write fanatical diatribes for fundamentalist Islamic sites online Jordanian agents got ahold of him thought they'd converted him into a mole and sent him off to supposedly infiltrate al aeda leadership It appeared he had Appearances deceived Balawi went to al aeda and they turned him into one of their most successful weapons A video surfaced of Balawi with the radical Islamist group's number three man Ayman al Zawahiri It appeared Balawi was treating the ailing Zawahiri Balawi's intimate knowledge of these ailments which were known in detail by the CIA and Jordanian agents seemed to lend credibility to his claims of infiltration Relating such details gave the pro western forces hope that they had themselves a reliable mole Not all were convinced However US pressure for results rashly hastened a face to face meeting with their relatively new supposed double agent And then the shit hit the fan The title The Triple Agent might be technically correct but its validity is tenuous at best I believe it's used to titillate and entice When thinking of a triple agent one imagines an intelligence officer of brilliant cunning and possessing the wherewithal to lie convincing while maintaining the appearance of cooperation Balawi may have been smart but it seems he had little need to display cunning After he was sent off to join al aeda as a double agent the CIAJordanians had very little contact with him It doesn't take a hardened veteran of spycraft to keep up the sort of cover Balawi had to keep He just didn't make himself available and said next to nothing until the CIA literally opened their gates and gave him free entry into their base without the usual checks and precautions The book mostly stays on topic veering off only to give background to an event idea or person in order to infuse the whole with a greater understanding The Triple Agent is only as long as it ought to be and that's a big plus Don't let the 3 stars fool you This was uite good imo and I really enjoyed it Perhaps I'm unfairly docking it a star for its subject matter I already knew the basics of the story a story without much depth Man hates western ideals man blows self up and takes western agents with him It's fascinating emotional and horrible and it's over uite uick

  2. says:

    This is a spectacular book a sad and important true story that flows like a novel The subject is one of the undercover battles between the CIA and al aeda heroic efforts undone by tragic mistakes that ended with multiple deaths in December 2009 It is hard to believe that experienced CIA agents made the misjudgments that cost many of them their lives; people wanted to believe so much that the skepticism some of them expressed was ignored What I was left with in the end was a greater understanding of the plague unleashed on the world by the lies and stupidity of George W Bush a plague which will be with us for a long time to come GWB does not deserve to sit uietly on his ranch painting pictures of his dogs

  3. says:

    For being an addictive read I nearly gave this book 5 stars Right up until marking it as 'read' I was still going to give it 5 stars On contemplation however the flaws that pother during the read persisted after it and I decided to stew on my rating for a day or twoThat's when I resolved my thoughts to 4 stars The military non fiction genre is peppered with books that serve no clear purpose other than to either make the author a uick buck or to give them something to boast about This book The Triple Agent is not one of those books Or should I say that even if the author wanted some fame or a uick buck it doesn't really matter in this case because the story needed to be told and it was told in a way that made it accessible to every kind of readerIt is not one of those dry or intensely serious military non fiction books It is told in a flowery manner As if it were a novel To its credit this made it an addictive easy read To its debit it made it a little for lack of a better description cornyI liked and disliked it at the same time I suppose what won me was that this flowery corny novel like style did help to make the book a page turner I would wince and frown a lot when it got too flowery but for me it worked than it didn'tThe other thing may be a tad controversial to express The author is a journalist and he had that obvious leaning towards sensationalism that many journalists have when they write non fiction This is the reason why I am usually cautious about reading military non fiction written by journalists They need a 'hook' and they then play to it Sometimes overmuch Milking the story to give the reader a contrived emotional experience I don't like feeling like I am being worked I don't respond to people trying to pull heart strings by sensationalisingI'd say 7 out of 10 times I do not like military non fiction written by journalists and prefer autobiographical accounts If it feels over done it repels meIn this book the author's hook was the young CIA agent Elizabeth Hanson One of seven field officers killed in the attack at KhostThe author focused in too much on how pretty she was How young she looked at thirty How all men adored her and all women wanted to be her friendI have no doubt that it is true but it was over done I believe the author went through the real life victims of the event and chose the one he thought would win the hearts of the readers The pretty blonde haired blue eyed funny witty American girl next door who was admired in all departments as an exceptional agent with a bright future aheadA journalist's dream hookThat's not to say that the author didn't give all the characters their due He most certainly did and it was one of the great things about this book The way Joby Warrick presented all the characters and made them real people that the reader could relate toYet in the vein of my likedisike with this book it was also a place where he happened to fall down in my opinionHe wrote in thought bubbles for the characters In an effort to get inside the head of what each character was thinking throughout the timeline including the Taliban terrorists and family of the terrorist Balawi he made it too contrived He couldn't possibly know or understand what was going through their heads without asking them And since they are all dead he probably shouldn't be putting thoughts in headsDespite these annoyances the book is an addictive read and chronicles the events that led up to the terrorist Balawi exploding himself in the CIA base of Khost where he managed to kill ten people including seven CIA field officersIf you are unaware of this event but have seen the movie Zero Dark Thirty then this is the event covered in the movie The doubletriple agent who arranged to be picked up in a vehicle and delivered to one of the CIA's covert bases in Afghanistan where he then flicked his detonator and blew himself upIf you are a hardened reader of military non fiction then this book may be a bit too much candy floss for you Or you may be able to suppress your aversion to the candy coated style of this journalists story telling and find yourself addicted to the read like I wasIt is an accessible read though and I highly recommend it to all Most especially those who rarely read military non fiction because they find it too dry Anyone who watched the movie Zero Dark Thirty and wants to know about that event at Khost could easily pick this book up and get into it Even if you never read non fictionThat's the biggest plus with this book It's accessibility I can appreciate it for that despite its flaws

  4. says:

    Someone had said there are mistakes only a PhD can make I feel there are blunders only the CIA is capable of making Isn't there a name for it? I guess it is what they call failure of imagination In this case the CIA failed to imagine and act proactively against a mole they planted in Al aeda from killing its operatives The CIA and Jordanian intelligence operatives cultivated what they thought was a mole in Al aeda—a doctor by the name Humam Khalil al Balawi whom the Jordanians caught posting vile material to a jihadist web site Their mole sent back tantalizing material suggesting that he had penetrated Al aeda’s inner core thereby dangling before the highest levels of the Obama administration and the CIA the possibility of locating and nailing Ayman Al Zawahiri the deputy of Osama bin Laden The supposed mole however turned out to be not just a double agent but a triple agent; the material he sent back was all bait And when the CIA fell for it and a meeting was finally arranged at the base at Khowst he came with a suicide vest detonated it and thereby inflicted one of the Agency worst loss of life in its modern historyThe CIA misjudged Al Balawi and the skepticism expressed by some were ignored

  5. says:

    I found this book to be very informative and compelling The uality of the reporting reminded me of Bob Woodward's accounts informed by multiple interviews and extensive research Here there were some gaps that I attribute to the nature of the intelligence business For instance the lives and backgrounds of each of those who died in the bombing at the Khost CIA base were presented in remarkable detail yet those who were also present but survived are not described at allTwo of the main CIA agents involved in the incident were women which really opened my eyes to the true nature of our meritocracy in militaryintelligence matters in the USThe depiction of the Triple Agent Balawi was balanced and empathic which I appreciated since trying to understand such a person is critical if there is hope to divertprevent future such occurrences Once again a horrific terrorist emerges from an otherwise well educated M D person living in relatively modern society and comfortAnother really intriguing takeaway was the depiction of life in the tribal regions of Pakistan almost medieval culturally yet with sophisticated technological tools Then there are the Predator drones flying remote controlled killer robots that are depicted as ever present in the skies throughout the region every account of life or activity in that region included the always heard buzzing of these machines circling at 23000 feet and with the capacity to place a missile within a suare foot target in seconds Truly scary Not even special effects dominated cinematic fiction presents such a jarring context

  6. says:

    The book's title would have you believe that its primary focus is that of the triple agent Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al Balawi who successfully exploded a suicide vest on a CIA base in Afghanistan in 2009 The book does delve into this man's life but the majority of the book consists of multiple portraits of many of the CIA employees and the Jordanian intelligence officer who were killed in the attack The main reason for this backstory is to explain how exactly the CIA exposed itself to such an attack The most fascinating part of the book for me was the high level of detail documenting CIA drone attacks throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan These are the remotely controlled flying robots operated by CIA pilots zeroing in on declared terrorists and bombing them It's difficult to experience this book without thinking that it sounds like something out of a science fiction novel

  7. says:

    This was very interesting but I did not love the writing He tried too hard to make it sound literary and could not uite pull it off The physical descriptions of people particularly the women involved were excessive I also think he took a lot of liberties in detailing what people were thinking when that's something he really could not know

  8. says:

    February 22 of this year United States soldiers burned Korans at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in an effort to purge the base’s library of tools they believed jihadists were using to pass messages to one another Then on March 11 US Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales a decorated soldier on his fourth tour of duty killed sixteen civilians in southern Afghanistan The Koran burnings brought a string of deadly protests to the streets of Afghan villages and cities and threatened to further turn the tide of public opinion against the US occupation The civilian massacre on the other hand brought a wealth of warnings from Afghan President Hamid Karzai who demanded US troops withdraw from their smaller outposts in the villages into their larger military bases The Republican candidates for US president used Obama’s uick apology for the Koran burnings to claim he was not standing behind the troops on the ground Mitt Romney said not long ago on the campaign trail he would never apologize for anything America does A deluge of vitriol poured forth from the US public about Bales’s senseless slaughter of innocent men women and children in two small villages The pain confusion and anguish a soldier might feel on his fourth tour of duty in one of the hottest warzones in the world was the last thing on most people’s mindsIt’s easy to forget why the US led coalition occupied Afghanistan in the first place and why it has maintained that occupation for over ten years Joby Warrick’s new book The Triple Agent The al aeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA brings the true issues of the War on Terror which has concentrated on Afghanistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas FATA of Pakistan into sharp focus for a public wearied by the complications of the occupation If it were not for the Taliban’s harboring of al aeda the US would not have sent troops to this part of the world and the peace keeping and democracy building mission the coalition forces find themselves embroiled in would immediately cease to be imperative if al aeda and a further emboldened Taliban and its associated insurgent groups were not still threatening to inflict harm on Americans in America Karzai’s government which is accused of widespread corruption would not merit a second glance from an overly extended US foreign presence if he weren’t harboring US forces particularly bases for drone missions over the FATA The US would immediately install a different government or find another base of operations in the region if the current troop presence were necessary to fulfill its true missionThat mission the disruption and destruction of al aeda and other groups using the FATA as a home base for training and recruitment is largely conducted by CIA forces based in eastern Afghanistan While the operation may need some troop presence and certainly reuire secure bases the 2009 surge in hindsight seems ill advisedHumam Khalil al Balawi a young Jordanian doctor so community minded he forsook high paying job opportunities to work in a clinic serving women and children in one of Amman’s slums and often gave people on the street free rides in his car if they were going in the same direction killed himself and ten others in a heavily guarded CIA base in Khost Afghanistan in December 2009 This is where Warrick’s narrative starts though he leaves the death toll tenuously obscure throughout The Triple Agent We assume though that anyone who is written about only in the past tense in such a narrative has lost his or her lifeThe two uestions which Warrick seeks to answer are as follows How could such an otherwise normal young man with a family and plenty of prospects turn himself into a weapon of mass destruction? And how could the CIA allow it to happen right under their noses?At first Balawi is almost instantly sympathetic The young humble clinic doctor who helps the least fortunate in his community is obviously confused and angry about the world around him His marriage to a conservative Turkish journalist seems to have radicalized his personal politics and confirmed an already strong faith He starts blogging under a pseudonym and his contributions to radical jihadist sites are so full of passion and perspective they instantly garner him recognition in both terrorist circles and intelligence agencies But the reader is left to wonder whether Balawi could ever have turned his vitriol into violence if it weren’t for the Mukhabarat Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate Ali bin Zeid a pudgy cousin of Jordan’s king and other Mukhabarat officers interrogate Balawi when he is apprehended after the blog posts are tracked to his computer Bin Zeid along with a CIA officer and the blessings of both the Mukhabarat and Washington adopts Balawi as an agent to infiltrate al aeda in Pakistan Bin Zeid a westernized agent who is obsessed with flight simulators and road trips in expensive vehicles serves as Warrick’s moral center and the only person to follow Balawi from this beginning to his unexpected end But bin Zeid threatens Balawi’s reputation and the safety of his family to make him cooperate Balawi may never have met a terrorist in his life other than in online chat rooms if it weren’t for his adoption as an agent of the Mukhabarat and CIAFrom Michael Hayden to Leon Panetta to Jennifer Matthews a veteran targeter in the CIA you get the feeling the CIA fears its own ineptitude being revealed than anything else The tone for much of the book is elegiac as if all of its subjects are doomed to an early death not only the CIA operatives but also the intelligence community’s fight against extremism The CIA’s eagerness to obtain information on the whereabouts of the most wanted men in the world even those who are only symbolically leading al aeda and have lost their ability to command allows the agency to forgo its time tested protocol in favor of extraordinary risk Dane Paresi a former Green Beret employed by a private military contractor along with the other well seasoned security staff at the base argues for a traditional approach to Balawi’s interview But in the end Balawi is allowed to enter the heart of the CIA base at Khost without being stopped and frisked or even visually examined before coming into the presence of fourteen operatives a mix of civilian and military personnel CIA Mukhabarat and private contractorsBalawi’s immediate success or ability to fake immediate success and string along the whole CIA is impressive given his meek pedigree It’s almost inconceivable that Balawi does not at some point consider turning his back on al aeda and aborting his suicide mission This is the destructive force of faith at the heart of radical fundamentalismThe cast of characters in Warrick’s book reads like fiction than fact from bin Zeid to Elizabeth Hanson the precocious young CIA targeter who wears flip flops to work to Jennifer Matthews the veteran who wants to make up for her tarnished reputation to Leon Panetta the reluctant boss who never wants to pull the trigger But the entertaining nature of this modern war story and the grisly detail of the explosion and the CIA’s determination to respond and retaliate shed light on our fascination with stories of violence and justice

  9. says:

    I was a fan of Black Flags The Rise of ISIS Warrick's gripping description of the birth of ISIS which led me to seek out his sole other book The Triple Agent is a retelling of The Camp Chapman Attack of 2009 with a focus on the role of Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al Balawi Warrick has a knack for narrative nonfiction as displayed in Black Flags and this book is consistently engaging The author does a good job in introducing the fairly wide cast of characters and the various locations Jordan Afghanistan etc that fill the book As good as Warrick is at narrative nonfiction I do think he can struggle a bit with structure and organization I thought this was a problem that affected Black Flags as well although to a lesser degree This book doesn’t seem to know exactly what it wants to be Is it the story of Balawi? The story of the Americans that lost their lives in Balawi’s attack? A description of the CIA’s role in the War on Terror? The answer of course is all of the above but while it is largely successful in spinning a number of threads at once this somewhat schizophrenic approach did make it feel a bit disorganized at least to meStill the strengths easily outweigh the weaknesses here Overall this was a good engaging comprehensive description of a sad incident in the War on Terror 40 stars recommended

  10. says:

    I have never read a book like this before I have read so many books of fiction and Non Fiction about the CIA but never one on the current decade It starts off with the Bomb blasting of the Khost CIA outpost in Afghanistan As mentioned in the book several times it was the darkest day for the CIA because so many CIA officers were killed and it could have been prevented had they taken the proper steps to protect themselves instead of worrying about protecting an asset they had never met The CIA station chief was Jennifer Matthews and the only reason she took the job was because she wanted to move up in the CIA By taking the post in Afghanistan for one year it was compared to working for the CIA state side for four years She had no proper training was unprepared and she just wanted a promotion which is never a good reason to do anything my personal feelings on the subjectThe author writes with such passion about the topic and in so much detail that I never once felt lost in the story He explains everything in terms that if you follow the news you will completely understandHe writes about each of the different men and woman who were killed by interviewing family and coworker and I feel that gives the reader a real connection to the individuals who were murdered for no reason In the middle of the book there are several pictures putting a face to those who lost their lives that dayThe author also interviewed the family of the Al aeda mole and you feel how much they didn't know about their son and husband He was a doctor healing people in a free clinic and one day he entered an Al aeda chat room and became famous by calling all those who read his words to war At one point he mentions in his chats how the American Barbie dolls will one day wear burka'sThe author explains how the police are able to properly identify the suicide bomber at the blast site He also write in detail about what happened after the bombing and the doctors who attended to the men and woman You can almost feel the pains a doctor felt seeing the young woman Elizabeth Hanson enter his operating table with hopes of survival only for her to die minutes laterI still do not realize why the Al aeda hates what Americans stand for and how a man who was trained to save lives could takes lives instead By reading this book I have found myself interested in learning about Islam without the extremes and what separates them from Al aedaReview by Guest Blogger Heidithanks Heidi for you imput

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