The Jericho Sanction

( 10 )

Overview

When his cover is blown and his wife is kidnapped in Jerusalem, Lt Col Peter Newman realises he may have to pay a catastrophic price for his participation in a secret government mission to uncover Iraqi nuclear weapons.

Newman has always been willing to put his life on the line for his country. As concern that Iraq may already possess nuclear weapons grows, he once again puts America first and agrees to undertake a clandestine mission to uncover the weapons. But when his cover ...

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The Jericho Sanction: A Novel

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Overview

When his cover is blown and his wife is kidnapped in Jerusalem, Lt Col Peter Newman realises he may have to pay a catastrophic price for his participation in a secret government mission to uncover Iraqi nuclear weapons.

Newman has always been willing to put his life on the line for his country. As concern that Iraq may already possess nuclear weapons grows, he once again puts America first and agrees to undertake a clandestine mission to uncover the weapons. But when his cover is blown and his wife is kidnapped in Jerusalem, Newman discovers that his courage has put more than just his own life at risk.

Matters become even more complicated when Israel discovers that Iraq has nukes, and plans a pre–emptive strike on Baghdad with Jericho missiles – an event that could have unprecedented consequences. Newman is the only man who knows all of the pieces to the puzzle, and the only one experienced and brave enough to prevent full–scale nuclear war. But as time ticks away, will he be able to both save his wife and prevent Armageddon, or will he have to make a terrible choice?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060599805
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/31/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 389,032
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Oliver North

Oliver North is a New York Times bestselling author, the host of "War Stories" on the FOX News Channel, and a war correspondent for the FOX News Network. His novels are stories of international intrigue, political espionage, and military adventure drawn from his own experiences as a combat-decorated Marine and the Counter-Terrorism Coordinator for the United States from 1983-1986.

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Read an Excerpt

THE JERICHO SANCTION

A NOVEL
By Oliver North and Joe Musser

Broadman & Holman Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Oliver L. North All right reserved. ISBN: 0-8054-2551-9

Prologue



Betrayed

and abandoned

J. Edgar Hoover Building Washington, D.C. Monday, 26 January 1998 1050 Hours, Local

Captain Mitch Vecchio sat in the reception area of the FBI headquarters looking at his watch. He had worn his TWA pilot's uniform to the meeting both to impress the people he was about to meet and to save time. Vecchio had to be at Dulles for a listed flight and was hoping he hadn't scheduled his time too tightly. His appointment with FBI Special Agent Glenn Wallace wasn't until eleven o'clock, but Vecchio had hoped that by coming in a few minutes early he might get it pushed up.

"Did you tell Agent Wallace I was here?" Vecchio asked for the second time.

The receptionist nodded but offered no further information.

He had called the FBI earlier that morning after thinking it over for several months. He knew that they'd be asking why it took him so long to come forward, but he wasn't entirely sure himself.

It had begun on one of his TWA flights overseas with a layover in London. When he was changing out of his uniform in the pilots' lounge, he noticed a poster on the bulletin board near the lockers. It was an international BOLO notice, distributed by the FBI, Interpol, and various other lawenforcement agencies alerting one another, all border checkpoints, transportation authorities, and local law enforcement to "be on the lookout" for fugitives wanted because of their involvement in serious crimes. In his years as an airline pilot, Mitch Vecchio had seen dozens of these bulletins hanging in briefing rooms and airport offices-and had never given them more than a cursory glance. But this time Vecchio was stunned to recognize the picture on the poster. The "criminal" being sought was someone he knew.

The caption beneath the photograph stated that the fugitive's name was Gilbert Duncan, an Irish terrorist wanted by Interpol for placing a bomb on a UN airplane in March of 1995, causing it to explode over Iraq, killing all aboard. Mitch vaguely remembered something in the news about an incident in Iraq involving the loss of a UN plane. But that wasn't what had caught his attention. Mitch Vecchio knew for certain that the "terrorist" in the photo was not Gilbert Duncan. He was Pete Newman, the husband of a former TWA flight attendant. And the reason he knew it was her husband was because he had seen the photo in her wallet-the wallet she left on the dresser on the occasions when they shared a hotel room.

Vecchio recalled when Rachel Newman came to him to break off their yearlong affair. It was right after she "got religion." He had thought she'd get over the religion thing and come back to him-at least he'd hoped she would. But Rachel disappeared shortly after that, and Vecchio hadn't seen Rachel or her husband since-almost three years now.

Mitch remembered driving by the Newmans' Falls Church, Virginia, home one Sunday, a month or two after he'd seen Rachel for the last time. He was surprised that there was a For Sale sign out front and that a realtor was holding an open house. Vecchio stopped, went in and met the realtor, and asked discreetly about the reason the couple was selling their house. The real estate agent shrugged and said, "I'm not sure what happened. I'm told that there was a death in the family and a sister from out of town is selling the house."

As he drove away from the Newman's home, Vecchio's imagination played that information over and over. At first he wondered if Pete Newman had discovered his affair with Rachel, maybe even killed his wife in a jealous rage. But no, Mitch would have read about such a thing in the papers. Then he thought maybe Rachel had killed herself because she felt such guilt and remorse about dumping him. His ego liked that theory, but even he had to admit that it wasn't anymore likely than the first idea. Mitch was troubled to think that, in either case, Rachel might be the one who was dead. He had wondered about the Newmans, off and on, for many months.

It wasn't until he saw that poster that he began to put things together.

An FBI agent interrupted the pilot's reverie. "Captain Vecchio? I'm Special Agent Glenn Wallace. Would you like to come with me into a conference room where we can talk?"

"Hi ... Mitch Vecchio ... glad to meet you." He stood and shook Agent Wallace's hand. Mitch followed him into a nearby room where the two chose adjoining seats at the end of a long, oval table.

"You said when you called that you had some information regarding an international fugitive who's wanted for murder and terrorist acts?"

Vecchio nodded. "But you've got the wrong name on the wanted poster. He's not Irish, he's American," he said. "And I don't believe he's a terrorist."

Agent Wallace looked up from his legal pad. "Just who are we talking about?"

"The guy you're calling Gilbert Duncan. He's not Irish-I know him. He's a U.S. Marine officer. His name is Peter Newman. He lived in Falls Church until a couple years ago. I-I was ... uh ... a close friend, I mean ... a coworker, with his wife. I think her husband was a Marine major or colonel-something like that-and he worked at the White House. I do remember that. She told me a little about him but not all that much. I got the idea that her husband's work was secret or classified or whatever."

The FBI agent was giving the pilot his full attention now. "Go on."

"Well, no ... that's it. That's all I know. Gilbert Duncan is Peter Newman. I mean Pete Newman is Duncan. Duncan's not his real name, and he's not an Irish national. I just thought you ought to know."

Agent Wallace was not content with such sketchy information. And he was savvy enough to recognize in the pilot's stammer that there was likely a good bit more to this story. When Mitch stood to leave, Wallace tugged at his uniform sleeve and pulled him back into the chair. "Just a minute, Captain Vecchio. I have a few more questions about this matter, but I need to check on something first. Can you give me a few minutes?"

"Uh, well, I've got a flight at three o'clock this afternoon out of Dulles. How long will this take?" Vecchio was beginning to regret having come.

"Not long at all. Wait here. I'll be right back." Agent Wallace spoke the words like an order and not a request; then he rose and left the conference room by a back door.


* * *

Special Agent Glenn Wallace hated walk-in duty. Every junior and midgrade agent assigned to the Hoover Building had to stand a shift of this duty a couple of times a year. In addition to doing their regular jobs, the younger agents were required to spend a day responding to inquiries and taking down information brought to them by any citizen who strolled through the front door. It made for great breakroom chatter: people talking about receiving covert messages through fillings in their molars, reports of alien abductions ... you name it, and you were likely to hear it on walk-in duty.

Outside the back door of the conference room, Agent Wallace went to a computer terminal reserved for the duty officer's use and typed the names Peter Newman and Gilbert Duncan into the Search field. There was a brief pause while the computer crunched information from a server located far off in the mountains of West Virginia. Suddenly, the borders of the display on the monitor turned red, and a box appeared in the center of the screen:


RESTRICTED DATA

ACCESS DENIED

An instant later, a phone next to the computer terminal rang.

"Special Agent Glenn Wallace."

He listened.

"No sir, it was in response to information from a walk-in."

He listened some more.

"Yes, sir."

Wallace hung up the phone, clicked Exit on the computer screen, and grimaced. Just my luck. This nut case Vecchio has to show up on my watch. You'd think he was coming in here claiming to know the identity of the shooter on the grassy knoll. Whatever he said, the FBI head shed went nuts. Sounds like I'll be writing this one up for weeks.

Agent Wallace walked back into the room where Mitch Vecchio sat with a sheen of sweat on his forehead. He looked as if he hadn't moved.

"Mr. Vecchio, I think you'd better make a call to whoever it is you report to because it's quite likely you aren't going to make your flight this afternoon."

"Wh-why is that?"

"We need some more information on this Peter Newman or, rather, Gilbert Duncan character. You can use the phone at the reception desk. I'll be right here, waiting."

The airline captain had a sick look on his face. He got up out of the chair and walked slowly toward the reception area. A minute or so later, he came back into the conference room. This time, he put the width of the conference table between himself and Agent Wallace.

"Why don't we start at the beginning and you tell me how it is you know this person?" Wallace turned to a fresh sheet of paper and leaned forward, staring in anticipation of Vecchio's answer.

Almost two hours and nine pages of legal tablet later, Special Agent Glenn Wallace leaned back in his chair and looked Vecchio squarely in the eye.

"Now ... what I want to know is for how long you and Newman's wife were having this affair."

Vecchio slumped back in the chair, and his mouth dropped open. Wallace knew he had him; Mitch Vecchio was ready to tell the FBI anything they wanted to know.

Office of Foreign Missions FBI Liaison Office U.S. Department of State Washington, D.C. Thursday, 29 January 1998 1935 Hours, Local

Three days after Agent Glenn Wallace in D.C. started the file on Peter Newman following his interview with Mitch Vecchio, FBI Agent Robert Hallstrom, a twenty-one-year veteran, was surfing the computer files in the FBI data bank. Most of the other people in his section had left for the day.

The Newman file had been forwarded to the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Office in New York and on to the FBI Counter-Terrorism Liaison Office at the State Department. Wallace had poked around some more, trying to learn about Gilbert Duncan, aka Peter Newman. The young agent had done a little more digging in the Bureau's main Criminal Index files and in LexisNexis, but after running into various firewalls he gave up and submitted what he considered to be a rather cursory report to his superiors. Within a day, Wallace was busy again with his regular cases; the so-called terrorist with dual identities was forgotten.

The file languished in an overflowing electronic in-box for only twenty-four hours before an FBI computer analyst entered it, without comment, into the FBI's Counter-Terrorism database.

And now, only eighty-one hours after Mitch Vecchio had walked into the Hoover Building, FBI Senior Special Agent Robert Hallstrom was reading the file.

The reason Hallstrom was working late had nothing to do with his conscientious nature; FBI Agent Hallstrom was a Russian mole. He'd started spying for the Soviet Committee on State Security-the KGB-in 1979, when Russia was still part of the Soviet Union. At the time, Hallstrom had some serious financial problems and decided selling secrets might prove both financially lucrative and intellectually challenging. The KGB recruited Bob Hallstrom only four years after he joined the Bureau in '75.

The fledgling spy had begun his espionage career audaciously. Because he was familiar with U.S. counter-espionage techniques, Hallstrom refused to identify himself to the Russians, other than the fact that he worked for an American intelligence organization. Using the alias Julio Morales, Hallstrom had written to the home address of a Russian GRU agent operating undercover as a UN diplomat in New York. He told the Russian to deliver a sealed envelope personally to the KGB. The GRU agent's home address was covered by diplomatic immunity; his mail wouldn't be intercepted and read by FBI "flaps and seals" technicians. Also, by keeping the Russians in the dark about who he really was and where he worked, Hallstrom was confident he could effectively eliminate any risk of getting caught by his Bureau colleagues.

The KGB officer who opened Hallstrom's letter was Major Dimitri Komulakov. Hallstrom had found his name on a list of Russian diplomats that the FBI suspected of spying for the KGB. Komulakov was indeed a rising star in the Soviet intelligence apparat, having been awarded the Order of Lenin for his spycraft and overseas work, especially in the United States. In 1979, when Hallstrom first wrote to him, Komulakov was assigned to the Russian Embassy in Washington as a cultural and trade attaché.

The first package of secrets that Hallstrom delivered to Komulakov immediately caught the eye of the KGB hierarchy at Moscow Center. And over time, Komulakov earned ever-higher accolades from his Moscow superiors for the quality of intelligence that Hallstrom was sending them. Komulakov's career had spiraled ever upward after that.

Hallstrom's first package, to prove his capability and sincerity, contained volatile information. He gave the Russians the names of Soviet military officers who were double agents for the United States. Eventually, he also betrayed other American spies overseas, and the Russians, thoroughly impressed, left huge sums of U.S. currency at his designated dead drops.

In the ensuing years, Hallstrom sent the KGB hundreds of packages of national security secrets, including reams of classified documents and countless computer disks with volumes of data about U.S. weapons, military equipment, covert military plans, and details about intelligence operations including the names of the U.S. and foreign national personnel involved. From time to time, Hallstrom would hear about agents who were killed or captured-agents he had betrayed-but the KGB's mole never accepted personal responsibility for their deaths. "It's a mean business," he would tell himself. "They knew the risk. People are bound to get hurt."

Hallstrom was promoted several times, not so much for his proficient FBI work but simply due to his seniority with the Bureau or because some superior in his then-current position grew tired or irritated at Hallstrom's odd personality and habits and had him "promoted" to a new assignment just to get rid of him; ironically, each time the spy was moved, it was to another sensitive area. This gave Hallstrom access and opportunities to compromise more and more of his nation's most sensitive secrets-secrets ranging ever wider in scope and intelligence value.

by 1997, Hallstrom was one of the FBI's most senior counter-terrorism agents, with access to information and materials from other U.S. intelligence agencies as well.

Continues...


Excerpted from THE JERICHO SANCTION by Oliver North and Joe Musser
Copyright © 2003 by Oliver L. North
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

The Jericho Sanction

Chapter One

Tracked Down!

Café Al-Rabat Bayram
63 Al-Wad Street
Old City of Jerusalem
Saturday, 7 March 1998
0730 Hours, Local

"How did you find me?" the startled, bearded man asked. He had just stepped out of the little Arab coffee shop onto the narrow, cobblestoned street called Al-Wad when the athletic black man emerged from the long, gray, early morning shadows. The bearded man was clearly wary and, for just an instant, the fight-or-flight reaction of his adrenal cortex was evident in his eyes.

Sensing the man's alarm, the younger black man replied in a voice barely more than a whisper, "I came here to find you and was told where to look, sir." Though a Chicago Cubs baseball cap covered his completely shaved head and shadowed his eyes in the colorless dawn, it couldn't hide his wide, white smile. He wore a black T-shirt, khaki slacks, Nike sneakers, and a lightweight gray-green jacket with no insignia of any kind on it. Now that he was closer, the bearded man could see it was a U.S. Marine-issue windbreaker.

For an awkward moment, the two men stood in the open doorway of the shop, just out of earshot of the two Arab men inside. Above their heads, Rabat Bayram was printed in Arabic, Hebrew, and English on a battered Coca-Cola sign. In the bearded man's right hand was a brass tray with two glasses of boiling-hot, rich, black Turkish coffee and two glasses of water, in the custom of the region. In his left hand he had hot rolls, wrapped in paper and smelling of yeast, almond paste, and anise. The coffee and bread were steaming in the early morning chill, and the aroma of both surrounded the two men.

When the man made no reply, the black man reached out with his left hand, took the coffee tray out of the bearded man's right hand, and then gripped it firmly in his own right hand, leaned forward and whispered, "It's good to see you again, Lieutenant Colonel Newman."

Newman smiled for the first time and just as quietly responded, "It's good to see you again, too, Staff Sergeant Skillings."

"Yes, sir ... except now it's Gunnery Sergeant Skillings. You've been gone a long time, Colonel."

At this reminder, Newman stepped back as if suddenly remembering where he was, that there were photos of his clean-shaven face on Interpol BOLO posters all over the world. He quickly scanned the street, inspecting not just the sidewalk level but the windows and tiny balconies above as well; they were decorated with clothing, bed sheets, and carpets of every color and description -- and he saw the ubiquitous surveillance cameras of the Israeli security service.

Had it not been the Jewish Sabbath, the narrow avenue would have been crowded with pedestrians, even at this hour. As it was, the two men were alone on the shaded byway, and Newman could see a video camera in its protective casing, mounted on an electric utility pole, pointed directly at the intersection where they stood. He suspected that somewhere within an Israeli police station a digital record was being made of this unusual meeting between two men who were obviously neither Israeli nor Arab.

"Come on, we can't talk here. I live just a block away," he whispered to Skillings, pointing up the street Arabs call Al-Wad and Jews refer to as Haggai.

"I know."

Shin Bet Sector HQ
44 Patriarchate Street
Armenian Quarter, Old City of Jerusalem
Saturday, 7 March 1998
0735 Hours, Local

Police Sergeant Ephraim Lev was bored. He had been on duty since midnight, staring at the three banks of television monitors mounted on racks above the duty officer's console. The screen of each monitor carried four different images, transmitted by security cameras mounted on buildings, utility poles, and rooftops throughout this sector of the Old City -- all part of the most sophisticated integrated law enforcement, security, and intelligence system in the world.

As Sergeant Lev drank his fifth cup of coffee on this watch, more than a hundred cameras fed images into this command center. The digital signals had been multiplexed into video distribution amplifiers and sorted by subsectors within the fifteen city blocks that were his area of responsibility. With the use of a device that looked much like a TV remote, he could transfer any of the images to a thirty-six-inch Sony flat screen monitor and zoom in on any scene that he deemed in need of closer scrutiny. A few strokes on the computer keyboard in front of him would instantly record any of the images onto a DVD disc, information then sent to the Shin Bet headquarters on Helini Hamalka Street, about a kilometer outside the ancient walls of the Old City.

Sergeant Lev stood up, stretched, and glanced at the digital clock mounted on the console. The twenty-six-year-old Israeli Defense Forces veteran was looking forward to going off duty in less than half an hour. It had been a quiet night, one of the most tranquil since the Intifada had started again in February. Ever since the rock throwing, looting, and tire burning had begun, he had been wondering about his decision two years ago to join the police after six years in the IDF. He had considered making a career in the army, but his wife had convinced him that the Shin Bet offered less danger to the father of two young children.

Perhaps she was right about this job's safety, he mused. At 0700 he had made an entry in the duty officer's computerized log that the Israeli government curfew was working -- at least in his sector, the Arab quarter ...

The Jericho Sanction. Copyright © by Oliver North. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2011

    great suspence thriller! #2 of trilegy

    must first read Mission Compromised. Great series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2005

    Insulting to your intelegence

    This book has a great premise and written by a man who has been there. The plot: Somewhere in Iraq are hidden nuclear weapons and the race is on to find them. However, the story is riddled with plot flaws and inconsistencies. It's like a John Woo film without the action! For example, the bad guy finds the weapons. He is extremely careful about hiding them. the authors go into detail about how careful he is to keep the location secret. Yet our hero catches up to them almost immediately! I found myself putting the book down in frustration often. The other thing that I didn't like was the religious banter. Not that religion was brought up so often. However, the way it was presented seemed like something to fill pages with it didn't add to the story at all. Overall, the author is not a story teller and didn't connect to me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2004

    above average techno-thriller with engaging characters

    Oliver North and Joe Musser have created an above average techno-thriller with a great cast of characters. The story revolves around Marine Lt. Colonel Peter Newman. There are three nuclear artillery shells hidden in Iraq, sold to one of Saddam Hussein's henchmen (long dead) by the traitorous Soviet general, Komulakov. American and Israeli intelligence are made aware of the weapons existence by the frantic search of the Iraqis to find the hidden weapons. Newman must go into Iraq and find the weapons before Israel unleashes a preemptive nuclear strike. Meanwhile, Newman's wife Rachael and friend Dyan are kidnapped and held hostage by Komulakov. Komulakov wants Newman to uncover a mole in the American intelligence service that can expose his treachery and ruin his chance of disrupting the election of Putin so he can grab the Russian presidency for himself. There are some great sequences of small unit covert actions and interesting information about satellite reconnaissance and electronic intercept capabilities.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Fact or Fiction.....Or Both (names changed to protect the innocent)

    Oliver hits home with this one. He really captures 'slick Willie' and his cohorts as they very well might have been during the 90's. He weaves fact into fiction and back again. Semper Fi Col. North...Good Job

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2003

    5 Stars it needs 10 Stars

    I absolutly love this book I could'nt put it down. I love it because it has action and tactics. I think it needs 10 Stars this is also my favorite book. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time from the first chapter to the last. I can't wait to read the next. I hope there is a next. Way to Go Ollie! This book inspired me to join the armed forces when I can in 2 yrs. I am already thinking it would be cool if Peter Newman became CinC of CENTCOM. ( Commander in Cheif of Central Command) USMC

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2003

    A refreshing current 'fiction' with a more realtime feel than most current 'non fictions' on similar topics!

    Though at a recent book signing for this novel Col. North stressed the fact that it is 'Fiction', you may tend to forget this many times during the reading. It feels as though you are privy to 'secret' info on current affairs which makes it hard to put down! I find myself turning off the 'real' news which never actually has an ending to their stories and open this book to get to the 'end' of its story. If you are into and find youself sometimes overloading on current affairs, its a refreshing escape from reality that makes you ponder reality at the same time! A rare combo in a book!

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    Posted February 26, 2009

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