The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House

The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, February 1


A CIA analyst's "revealing and utterly engrossing account" of the world of high-stakes foreign intelligence and her role within the campaign to stop top-tier targets inside Al-Qaida (Joby Warrick).

In 1999, 30-year-old Nada Bakos moved from her lifelong home in Montana to Washington, D.C., to join the CIA. Quickly realizing her affinity for intelligence work, Nada was determined to rise through the ranks of the agency first as an analyst and then as a Targeting Officer, eventually finding herself on the frontline of America's war against Islamic extremists.

In this role, Nada was charged with determining if Iraq had a relationship with 9/11 and Al-Qaida, and finding the mastermind behind this terrorist activity: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Her team's analysis stood the test of time, but it was not satisfactory for some members of the Administration.

In a tight, tension-packed narrative that takes the reader from Langley deep into Iraq, Bakos reveals the inner workings of the Agency and the largely hidden world of intelligence gathering post 9/11. Entrenched in the world of the CIA, Bakos, along with her colleagues, focused on leading U.S. Special Operations Forces to the doorstep of one of the world's most wanted terrorists.

Filled with on-the-ground insights and poignant personal anecdotes, The Targeter shows us the great personal sacrifice that comes with intelligence work. This is Nada's story, but it is also an intimate chronicle of how a group of determined, ambitious men and women worked tirelessly in the heart of the CIA to ensure our nation's safety at home and abroad.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316260473
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,146,303
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Nada Bakos is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst on the team charged with analyzing the relationship between Iraq, al Qaida, and 9/11, and was the Chief Targeting officer following Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Bakos writes, speaks and appears on broadcast media to discuss national security and foreign policy.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Chapter 1 Murder Boards 7

Chapter 2 The Farm 24

Chapter 3 Career Analyst Program X 46

Chapter 4 No Room for Ambiguity 69

Chapter 5 Looking for Unicorns 90

Chapter 6 Long Guns to Be Placed Here 108

Chapter 7 Strategy, What Strategy? 128

Chapter 8 Special Friends 151

Chapter 9 The Real CIA Must Be in the Basement-We're Just the Cover 170

Chapter 10 It's All Sunshine and Rainbows Until… 185

Chapter 11 We Asked Him Nicely 203

Chapter 12 A Bucket of Turtles 223

Chapter 13 Shift in Momentum 245

Chapter 14 Perpetual End of the Road 264

Epilogue 286

Acknowledgments 307

Notes 309

What People are Saying About This

Chief International Correspondent for CNN International - Clarissa Ward

“Bakos writes with authority and searing honesty about the demands of her work as a targeter and the dangers and dysfunction of post-invasion Iraq. The result is a gripping behind-the-scenes account of the hunt for one of the world’s most brutal terrorists. The combination of a sharp, analytical mind and a genuine humility and humanity underscores why women make some of the best CIA analysts.”

author of Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, winner of 2016 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction - Joby Warrick

"A revealing and utterly engrossing account of the campaign to stop the terrorist mastermind behind the rise of ISIS. Former intelligence officer Nada Bakos takes the reader deep inside the CIA's secret war in Iraq with a fast-paced narrative that is at turns thrilling, funny, maddening and remarkably candid."

Customer Reviews