Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent

Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent

by Fred Burton
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Overview

Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent by Fred Burton

In this hard-hitting memoir, Fred Burton, a key figure in international counterterrorism and domestic spycraft, emerges from the shadows to reveal who he is, what he has accomplished, and the threats that lurk unseen except by an experienced, worldly-wise few. Plunging readers into the murky world of violent religious extremism that spans the streets of Middle Eastern cities and the informant-filled alleys of American slums, Burton takes us behind the scenes to reveal how the United States tracked Libya-linked master terrorist Abu Nidal; captured Ramzi Yusef, architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and pursued the assassins of major figures including Yitzhak Rabin, Meir Kahane, and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the president of Pakistan-classic cases that have sobering new meaning in the treacherous years since 9/11. Here, too, is Burton's advice on personal safety for today's most powerful CEOs, gleaned from his experience at Stratfor, the private firm Barron's calls "the shadow CIA."

Told in a no-holds-barred, gripping, nuanced style that illuminates a complex and driven man, Ghost is both a riveting read and an illuminating look into the shadows of the most important struggle of our time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400065691
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/03/2008
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

Fred Burton is one of the world’s foremost experts on security, terrorists, and terrorist organizations. He is vice president for counterterrorism and corporate security at Stratfor, an influential private intelligence company. He is the former deputy chief of the Diplomatic Security Service, the Department of State’s counterterrorism division.

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Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Twenty years ago, the idea of defending the United States against terrorism was relatively new. So new, in fact, that only a three-man Defense Security Service 'DSS' team situated in a windowless, smoke-filled office in the basement of the Harry S. Truman Building in our nation¿s capital was responsible for keeping tabs on the most violent religious extremists in the world.******* Fred Burton, a key figure in international counterterrorism and one of the original three agents, has taken off his Barbour Beaufort spy jacket to give a deeply personal account of the terroristic threats and acts America faced during his years as a DSS agent in ¿GHOST: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent.¿******* Burton, currently vice president for counterterrorism at Stratfor, a private intelligence company, recounts riveting, real world cases of espionage that detail how the U.S. tracked Libya-linked master terrorist Abu Nidal captured Ramzi Yousef, architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and pursued the assassins of major political figures including Yitzhak Rabin, Meir Kahane, and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the president of Pakistan.******* ¿Ghost¿ is a fascinating read, written in a solemn, heartfelt tone that conveys the angst and strife Burton felt as he tried to rid ¿The Dark World¿ of terrorists, while bringing home American hostages safely.******* ¿I carry a list of names with me at all times. It is written in the black ink of a fountain pen in a hardback black Italian moleskin journal, and it travels with me in my weathered Ghurka shoulder bag or, when I¿m on the road, in my small Zero Halliburton aluminum case, right next to my Smith & Wesson Model 637 five shot revolver¿Each name on my list has eluded pursuit and is still out there¿Most of the names have long been forgotten by the public, but not by me.¿****** In a telephone interview during a nationwide book tour in Washington, D.C., Burton provides additional insight into his years with the DSS, and his thoughts on the Texas border serving as a portal for terrorists entering the U.S. ******* Q. Given your former job and current occupation, isn¿t it dangerous to come out with a book and tour that exposes you to people who still reside in ¿The Dark World?¿ A. Having been in this business for as many years as I have, going back to my days as a police officer as well as a special agent, it comes with the territory. I would venture to guess that street cops in San Antonio, and the border agents in Texas, are at more risk than I am. I have no fears of retribution, but I still take safety measures.******* Q. How is ¿The Dark World¿ doing? A. It¿s getting harder for them. The U.S. government has a much more robust capability to analyze threats and to make sense of the puzzle than we ever did. There are now thousands of analysts and thousands of agents assigned to this issue around globe, so they have a much better capability to oversee things. The technology has greatly increased from the days when I first started with 3x5 index cards, so their ability to connect the dots is much better.******* Q. How effective is al-Qaida today? A. al-Qaida is under a tremendous amount of pressure. The Federal Government has done a very good job of hunting down, capturing and killing high valued targets as evident with the recent military tribunal of Khalid Sheilkh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.**** The real concern from a domestic terror prospective is the ¿Lone Wolf Threat.¿ When you start game-boarding possible scenarios, one of the most worrisome is the individual who is inspired by al-Qaida and doesn¿t tell anybody what he¿s doing. Therefore, you don¿t have the capability to have an informant close to him to report on his actions.****** Q. How does religion reach the level of violent extremism in other countries? A. We have extremists in all walks of religion. When you start looking at Islamic fundamentalists, you have indiv
HotelGolfer More than 1 year ago
I hope there are more Fred Burton's out there! Burton's story is unique in that he was a kid raised in DC and grew up to be a key figure in defending our countries assets overseas while working for the State Department's DSS Counterterrorsim Unit. To work diligently from a grassroots efforts in the 1980's to build a top performing organization capable of identifying, tracking, and eliminating threats from the Dark World, Burton does a great job in detailing some of his biggests successes and failures. I recognized his desire to share what information he can about the greater dangers in our world and anyone wanting to gain knowledge of Burton's terrifying perspective on the world should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting and detailed biography of how one agent dealt with the terrorist activities he was faced with.
cez819 More than 1 year ago
highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fred Burton spent his career keeping Americans safe around the world. In this memior he takes you into the realm of counterterrorism and the spook world, as he calls it. He became an agent in the DSS, diplomatic secret service,and he reveals the intelligent, motivated and formidable enemy we face. If you ever doubted the premise that these evil people are out there trading in death and violence this book makes it quite clear. Fred Burtons dedication, integrity, and humanity will give you hope for the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fred Burton, a member of the counter terrorism unit, has written this book about his experience in that group. He writes about what he has previously done in his job and information about the group. From Hezbollah to Al Queda this book depicts the many threats and challenges Burton had to go through and the accomplishes as well. Great thrilling book to read. Didn't want to put it down.
Drijien More than 1 year ago
If you find you are sleeping too much and need to lose sleep may I recommend this book. I found it a captivating read giving an insightful awakening, if you are of an open mind, to an otherwise oblivious word view many people have towards the evils out there. Ghost is a no flash and awe, fairly frightening book, on the history of our realization and progress combatting terrorism written by a counterterrorism specialist, it serves as a wakeup call to those that take it for granted what men and women do on a daily basis to keep us safe. What is a basic look at the life of one agent who started out in an underfunded under manned agency that was the DSS holds none of the flamboyance of a Fleming novel but more than its fair share of suspense and real life worries. The author, while not a professional writer, does a superb job of relaying the story of a real agency doing their best to keep Americans out of harm’s way. The only frustrating aspect of reading this book is the knowledge that there are those that still feel there is no terrorism and seeks to ridicule those that fight for us. I am taking this out of the book and context but it is not missing the point: "Maybe this country needs to get hit every few years. We're a complacent people with a short memory. Pearl Harbor. September 11th - they were reality checks for the country. They made us wake up and realize the dangers we really face." That was from a WWII Pearl Harbor Survivor
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