272 pages, 9.64 × 6.53 × 1.17 in
April 3, 2013
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385534183
ISBN - 13: 9780385534185
Read from the Book
PROLOGUE Khost, Afghanistan—December 30, 2009 For ten days the CIA team waited for the mysterious Jordanian to show up. From gloomy mid-December through the miserable holidays the ofﬁcers shivered under blankets, retold stale jokes, drank gallons of bad coffee, and sipped booze from Styrofoam cups. They counted distant mortar strikes, studied bomb damage reports, and listened for the thrum of Black Hawk helicopters ferrying wounded. And they waited. Christmas morning arrived on a raw wind, and still they sat. They picked at gingerbread crumbs in the packages sent from home and stared at the ceramic Nativity ﬁgurines one of the ofﬁ cers had set up in lieu of a tree. Then it was December 30, the last dregs of the old year and the tenth day of the vigil, and ﬁnally came word that the Jordanian agent was on the move. He was heading west by car through the mountains of Pakistan’s jagged northwestern fringe, wearing tribal dress and dark sunglasses and skirting Taliban patrols along the treacherous highway leading to the Afghan frontier. Until now no American ofﬁcer had ever seen the man, this spectral informant called “Wolf,” whose real name was said to be known to fewer than a dozen people; this wily double agent who had penetrated al-Qaeda, sending back coded messages that lit up CIA headquarters like ball lightning. But at about 3:00 p.m. Afghanistan time, Humam Khalil al-Balawi would step out of the murk and onto the fortiﬁed concrete of the secret CIA base know
From the Publisher
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 secret base in Khost, Afghanistan, to greet a rising superspy: Humam Khalil al-Balawi, a Jordanian double-agent who infiltrated the upper ranks of al-Qaeda. 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-Qaeda, 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-Qaeda’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.
About the Author
JOBY WARRICK covers intelligence for the Washington Post, where he has been a reporter since 1996. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and has appeared on CNN, Fox, and PBS.
Praise for The Triple Agent"Mr. Warrick has reconstructed, in vivid and telling detail, the sequence of events that led Humam al-Balawi to kill seven CIA operatives in a suicide attack in Afghanistan in December 2009....It is a chilling tale, told with skill and verve."—The Economist"The Triple Agent is a page turner....It's a must-read for counterterrorism and spy junkies."—Associated Press"Warrick is a brilliant reporter and a fine writer.... This is as gripping a true-life spy saga as I've read in years."—Bob Drogin, LA Times"A riveting, heart-wrenching tale."—The Washington Post"[An] accessible and fast-paced debut....[Warrick] gives this story a cinematic feel with suspensful foreshadowing, rich character development...and a remarkable amount of heart."—Publishers Weekly"Warrick has pieced together a fast-paced and compelling narrative that reads like a Hollywood screenplay. He provides a rare look at the careers and personal lives of CIA officers, including the courageous women who played key roles....Spellbinding."—The Philadelphia Inquirer"Insightful and riveting.... Mr. Warrick adds a wealth of new detail to a narrative that reads like the best spy fiction."—The Washington Times"The Triple Agent is a spy thriller like no other. Never has such a giant intelligence debacle been chronicled this vividly, this intimately. Riveting and harrowing, laden with deception and duplicity, it is a remarkable, behind-the-curtain account of the CIA’s darkest day in Afghanistan."—Raj