With an epilogue on recent Russian spying, a “page-turner of a memoir” (Publishers Weekly) about an American civilian with a dream, who worked as a double agent with the FBI in the early 2000s to bring down a Russian intelligence agent in New York City. For three nerve-wracking years, from 2005 to 2008, Naveed Jamali spied on America for the Russians, trading thumb drives of sensitive technical data for envelopes of cash, selling out his beloved country across noisy restaurant tables and in quiet parking lots. Or so the Russians believed. In fact, Jamali was a covert double agent working with the FBI. The Cold War wasn’t really over. It had just gone high-tech. “A classic case of American counterespionage from the inside…a never-ending game of cat and mouse” (The Wall Street Journal), How to Catch a Russian Spy is the story of how one young man’s post-college-adventure became a real-life intelligence coup. Incredibly, Jamali had no previous counterespionage experience. Everything he knew about undercover work he’d picked up from TV cop shows and movies, yet he convinced the FBI and the Russians they could trust him. With charm, cunning, and bold naiveté, he matched wits with a veteran Russian military-intelligence officer, out-maneuvering him and his superiors. Along the way, Jamali and his FBI handlers exposed espionage activities at the Russian Mission to the United Nations. Jamali now reveals the full riveting story behind his double-agent adventure—from coded signals on Craigslist to clandestine meetings at Hooter’s to veiled explanations to his worried family. He also brings the story up to date with an epilogue showing how the very same playbook the Russians used on him was used with spectacularly more success around the 2016 election. Cinematic, news-breaking, and “an entertaining and breezy read” (The Washington Post), How to Catch a Russian Spy is an armchair spy fantasy brought to life.
In 2008, almost two decades after the Cold War was officially consigned to the history books, an average American guy helped to bring down a top Russian spy based at the United Nations. He had no formal espionage training. Everything he knew about spying he'd learned from books, films, video games and TV. And yet, with the help of an initially reluctant FBI duo, he ended up at the centre of a highly successful counterintelligence operation that targetted Russian espionage in America. For four nerve-wracking years, he worked as a double agent, spying on America for the Russians, trading cash for sensitive US military secrets, handing over thumb-drives of valuable technical data, pretending to sell out his country across noisy restaurant tables and in quiet parking lots. Now, for the first time, he will reveal the fascinating mechanics behind his double-agent operation that helped disrupt Russia's New York-based espionage apparatus and forced Moscow to reassign its top operatives
In 2008, almost two decades after the Cold War was officially consigned to the history books, an average American guy helped to bring down a top Russian spy based at the United Nations. He had no formal espionage training. Everything he knew about spying he'd learned from books, films, video games and TV. And yet, with the help of an initially reluctant FBI duo, he ended up at the centre of a highly successful counterintelligence operation that targetted Russian espionage in America. For four nerve-wracking years, he worked as a double agent, spying on America for the Russians, trading cash for sensitive US military secrets, handing over thumb-drives of valuable technical data, pretending to sell out his country across noisy restaurant tables and in quiet parking lots. Now, for the first time, he will reveal the fascinating mechanics behind his double-agent operation that helped disrupt Russia's New York-based espionage apparatus and forced Moscow to reassign its top operatives.
"In 2008, almost two decades after the Cold War was officially consigned to the history books, an average American guy in his twenties helped to bring down a top Russian spy based at the United Nations. This American had no formal espionage training. Everything he knew about spying he'd learned from books, movies, video games, and TV. And yet, with the help of an initially reluctant FBI duo, he ended up at the center of a highly successful counterintelligence operation that targeted Russian espionage in America"--
An ex-Soviet KGB agent details his primary mission to work undercover in the United States for over a decade and discusses his change of allegiance and defection from the KGB. --Publisher's description.
"While getting into his car on the evening of February 16, 1978, the chief of the CIA's Moscow station was handed an envelope by an unknown Russian. Its contents stunned the Americans: details of top-secret Soviet research and development in military technology that was totally unknown to the United States. From 1979 to 1985, Adolf Tolkachev, an engineer at a military research center, cracked open the secret Soviet military research establishment, using his access to hand over tens of thousands of pages of material about the latest advances in aviation technology, alerting the Americans to possible developments years in the future. He was one of the most productive and valuable spies ever to work for the United States in the four decades of global confrontation with the Soviet Union. Tolkachev took enormous personal risks, but so did his CIA handlers. Moscow station was a dangerous posting to the KGB's backyard. The CIA had long struggled to recruit and run agents in Moscow, and Tolkachev became a singular breakthrough. With hidden cameras and secret codes, and in face-to-face meetings with CIA case officers in parks and on street corners, Tolkachev and the CIA worked to elude the feared KGB. Drawing on previously secret documents obtained from the CIA, as well as interviews with participants, Hoffman reveals how the depredations of the Soviet state motivated one man to master the craft of spying against his own nation until he was betrayed to the KGB by a disgruntled former CIA trainee. No one has ever told this story before in such detail, and Hoffman's deep knowledge of spycraft, the Cold War, and military technology makes him uniquely qualified to bring readers this real-life espionage thriller"--Provided by publisher.
The bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and The 37th Parallel tells the fascinating Jurassic Park-like story of the genetic restoration of an extinct species—the woolly mammoth. “Paced like a thriller…Woolly reanimates history and breathes new life into the narrative of nature” (NPR). With his “unparalleled” (Booklist, starred review) writing, Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating and true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of scientists work to make fantasy reality by splicing DNA from frozen woolly mammoth into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and potentially bring the extinct creatures to our modern world? Along with this team of brilliant scientists, a millionaire plans to build the world’s first Pleistocene Park and populate a huge tract of the Siberian tundra with ancient herbivores as a hedge against an environmental ticking time bomb that is hidden deep within the permafrost. More than a story of genetics, this is a thriller illuminating the real-life race against global warming, of the incredible power of modern technology, of the brave fossil hunters who battle polar bears and extreme weather conditions, and the ethical quandary of cloning extinct animals. This “rollercoaster quest for the past and future” (Christian Science Monitor) asks us if we can right the wrongs of our ancestors who hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction and at what cost?
Traces the efforts of Cold War scientists to revolutionize American airplane designs, spying capabilities, and defense technologies, citing how their inventions made possible the systems and processes of current military campaigns.
Remote Viewers is a tale of the Pentagon's attempts to develop the perfect tool for espionage: psychic spies. These psychic spies, or "remote viewers," were able to infiltrate any target, elude any form of security, and never risk scratch. For twenty years, the government selected civilian and military personnel for psychic ability, trained them, and put them to work, full-time, at taxpayers' expense, against real intelligence targets. The results were so astonishing that the program soon involved more than a dozen separate agencies, including the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Secret Service, the Navy, the Army, the Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the US Customs Service, the US Special Forces Command, and at least one Pentagon drug-interaction task force. Most of this material is still officially classified. After three years of research, with access to numerous sources in the intelligence community--including the remote viewers themselves--science writer Jim Schnabel reveals the secret details of the strangest chapter in the history of espionage.
“A delightful read for anyone tantalized by the prospect of disappearing without a trace.” —Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake “Delivers all the lo-fi spy shenanigans and caught-red-handed schadenfreude you’re hoping for.” —NPR “A lively romp.” —The Boston Globe “Grim fun.” —The New York Times “Brilliant topic, absorbing book.” —The Seattle Times “The most literally escapist summer read you could hope for.” —The Paris Review Is it still possible to fake your own death in the twenty-first century? With six figures of student loan debt, Elizabeth Greenwood was tempted to find out. So off she sets on a darkly comic foray into the world of death fraud, where for $30,000 a consultant can make you disappear—but your suspicious insurance company might hire a private detective to dig up your coffin...only to find it filled with rocks. Greenwood tracks down a British man who staged a kayaking accident and then returned to live in his own house while all his neighbors thought he was dead. She takes a call from Michael Jackson (no, he’s not dead—or so her new acquaintances would have her believe), stalks message boards for people contemplating pseudocide, and gathers intel on black market morgues in the Philippines, where she may or may not obtain some fraudulent goodies of her own. Along the way, she learns that love is a much less common motive than money, and that making your death look like a drowning virtually guarantees that you’ll be caught. (Disappearing while hiking, however, is a way great to go.) Playing Dead is a charmingly bizarre investigation in the vein of Jon Ronson and Mary Roach into our all-too-human desire to escape from the lives we lead, and the men and women desperate enough to give up their lives—and their families—to start again.
"Oppenheimer tells the stories of six major political figures whose journeys away from the Left reshaped the contours of American politics in the twentieth century. By going deep into the minds of six apostates--Whittaker Chambers, James Burnham, Ronald Reagan, Norman Podhoretz, David Horowitz, and Christopher Hitchens--Oppenheimer offers an ... intimate history of the American Left, and the Right's reaction"--
The dramatic events behind the film Bridge of Spies. Bridge of Spies is a gripping, entertaining, hair-raising and comical story, which moves effortlessly from the hardware of high-flying planes and new missiles to the geopolitics of the nuclear stand-off and through the poignant personal stories of its central protagonists: Powers, the all-American hero, blacklisted for not having killed himself on his descent to earth; a KGB spy who has spent aimless and lonely years achieving nothing in the US; and the opposing leaders Khrushchev and Eisenhower, both trapped in a spiral of confrontation neither wants. Telling the true story that inspired Le Carré's famous scene, Bridge of Spies is a brilliant take on the absurdity and heroism of the Cold War days that will appeal to a new generation of readers unfamiliar with the history but drawn in by the compelling and vividly recreated narrative.
"The Mirzayanov case is an immediate legal litmus test of emerging Russian democracy. He is an individual in the true tradition of Andrei Sakharov, a man persecuted under the former regime for telling the truth, but now, rightfully, universally honored."--Dan Ellsberg, author.
How does our government eavesdrop? Whom do they eavesdrop on? And is the interception of communication an effective means of predicting and preventing future attacks? These are some of the questions at the heart of Patrick Radden Keefe’s brilliant new book, Chatter. In the late 1990s, when Keefe was a graduate student in England, he heard stories about an eavesdropping network led by the United States that spanned the planet. The system, known as Echelon, allowed America and its allies to intercept the private phone calls and e-mails of civilians and governments around the world. Taking the mystery of Echelon as his point of departure, Keefe explores the nature and context of communications interception, drawing together fascinating strands of history, fresh investigative reporting, and riveting, eye-opening anecdotes. The result is a bold and distinctive book, part detective story, part travel-writing, part essay on paranoia and secrecy in a digital age. Chatter starts out at Menwith Hill, a secret eavesdropping station covered in mysterious, gargantuan golf balls, in England’s Yorkshire moors. From there, the narrative moves quickly to another American spy station hidden in the Australian outback; from the intelligence bureaucracy in Washington to the European Parliament in Brussels; from an abandoned National Security Agency base in the mountains of North Carolina to the remote Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. As Keefe chases down the truth of contemporary surveillance by intelligence agencies, he unearths reams of little-known information and introduces us to a rogue’s gallery of unforgettable characters. We meet a former British eavesdropper who now listens in on the United States Air Force for sport; an intelligence translator who risked prison to reveal an American operation to spy on the United Nations Security Council; a former member of the Senate committee on intelligence who says that oversight is so bad, a lot of senators only sit on the committee for the travel. Provocative, often funny, and alarming without being alarmist, Chatter is a journey through a bizarre and shadowy world with vast implications for our security as well as our privacy. It is also the debut of a major new voice in nonfiction. From the Hardcover edition.
Pham Xuan An was a brilliant journalist and an even better spy. A friend to all the legendary reporters who covered the Vietnam War, he was an invaluable source of news and a font of wisdom on all things Vietnamese. At the same time, he was a masterful double agent. An inspired shape-shifter who kept his cover in place until the day he died, Pham Xuan An ranks as one of the preeminent spies of the twentieth century. When Thomas A. Bass set out to write the story of An’s remarkable career for The New Yorker, fresh revelations arrived daily during their freewheeling conversations, which began in 1992. But a good spy is always at work, and it was not until An’s death in 2006 that Bass was able to lift the veil from his carefully guarded story to offer up this fascinating portrait of a hidden life. A masterful history that reads like a John le Carré thriller, The Spy Who Loved Us offers a vivid portrait of journalists and spies at war.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston. John le Carré’s memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life, is now available. The man he knew as "Control" is dead, and the young Turks who forced him out now run the Circus. But George Smiley isn't quite ready for retirement—especially when a pretty, would-be defector surfaces with a shocking accusation: a Soviet mole has penetrated the highest level of British Intelligence. Relying only on his wits and a small, loyal cadre, Smiley recognizes the hand of Karla—his Moscow Centre nemesis—and sets a trap to catch the traitor. The Oscar-nominated feature film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) and features Gary Oldman as Smiley, Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King's Speech), and Tom Hardy (Inception). With an introduction by the author. John le Carré's Our Kind of Traitor is now a major motion picture starring Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Stellan Skarsgård and Damian Lewis.
Robert Baer was known inside the CIA as perhaps the best operative working the Middle East. Over several decades he served everywhere from Iraq to New Delhi and racked up such an impressive list of accomplishments that he was eventually awarded the Career Intelligence Medal. But if his career was everything a spy might aspire to, his personal life was a brutal illustration of everything a spy is asked to sacrifice. Bob had few enduring non-work friendships, only contacts and acquaintances. His prolonged absences destroyed his marriage, and he felt intense guilt at spending so little time with his children. Sworn to secrecy and constantly driven by ulterior motives, he was a man apart wherever he went. Dayna Williamson thought of herself as just an ordinary California girl -- admittedly one born into a comfortable lifestyle. But she was always looking to get closer to the edge. When she joined the CIA, she was initially tasked with Agency background checks, but the attractive Berkeley graduate quickly distinguished herself as someone who could thrive in the field, and she was eventually assigned to “Protective Operations” training where she learned to handle weapons and explosives and conduct high-speed escape and evasion. Tapped to serve in some of the world's most dangerous places, she discovered an inner strength and resourcefulness she'd never known -- but she also came to see that the spy life exacts a heavy toll. Her marriage crumbled, her parents grew distant, and she lost touch with friends who'd once meant everything to her. When Bob and Dayna met on a mission in Sarajevo, it wasn't love at first sight. They were both too jaded for that. But there was something there, a spark. And as the danger escalated and their affection for each other grew, they realized it was time to leave “the Company,” to somehow rediscover the people they’d once been. As worldly as both were, the couple didn’t realize at first that turning in their Agency I.D. cards would not be enough to put their covert past behind. The fact was, their clandestine relationships remained. Living as “civilians” in conflict-ridden Beirut, they fielded assassination proposals, met with Arab sheiks, wily oil tycoons, terrorists, and assorted outlaws – and came perilously close to dying. But even then they couldn’t know that their most formidable challenge lay ahead. Simultaneously a trip deep down the intelligence rabbit hole – one that shows how the “game” actually works, including the compromises it asks of those who play by its rules -- and a portrait of two people trying to regain a normal life, The Company We Keep is a masterly depiction of the real world of shadows. From the Hardcover edition.
More than a high-stakes espionage thriller, Fallout painstakingly examines the huge costs of the CIA’s errors and the lost opportunities to halt the spread of nuclear weapons technology long before it was made available to some of the most dangerous and reckless adversaries of the United States and its allies. For more than a quarter of a century, while the Central Intelligence Agency turned a dismissive eye, a globe-straddling network run by Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan sold the equipment and expertise to make nuclear weapons to a rogues’ gallery of nations. Among its known customers were Iran, Libya, and North Korea. When the United States finally took action to stop the network in late 2003, President George W. Bush declared the end of the global enterprise to be a major intelligence victory that had made the world safer. But, as investigative journalists Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz document masterfully, the claim that Khan’s operation had been dismantled was a classic case of too little, too late. Khan’s ring had, by then, sold Iran the technology to bring Tehran to the brink of building a nuclear weapon. It had also set loose on the world the most dangerous nuclear secrets imaginable—sophisticated weapons designs, blueprints for uranium enrichment plants, plans for warheads—all for sale to the highest bidder. Relying on explosive new information gathered in exclusive interviews with key participants and previously undisclosed, highly confidential documents, the authors expose the truth behind the elaborate efforts by the CIA to conceal the full extent of the damage done by Khan’s network and to cover up how the profound failure to stop the atomic bazaar much earlier jeopardizes our national security today.
Cassidy's Run is the riveting story of one of the best-kept secrets of the Cold War—an espionage operation mounted by Washington against the Soviet Union that ran for twenty-three years. At the highest levels of the government, its code name was Operation shocker. Lured by a double agent working for the United States, ten Russian spies, including a professor at the University of Minnesota, his wife, and a classic "sleeper" spy in New York City, were sent by Moscow to penetrate America's secrets. Two FBI agents were killed, and secret formulas were passed to the Russians in a dangerous ploy that could have spurred Moscow to create the world's most powerful nerve gas. Cassidy's Run tells this extraordinary true story for the first time, following a trail that leads from Washington to Moscow, with detours to Florida, Minnesota, and Mexico. Based on documents secret until now and scores of interviews in the United States and Russia, the book reveals that: ¸ more than 4,500 pages of classified documents, including U.S. nerve gas formulas, were passed to the Soviet Union in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars ¸ an "Armageddon code," a telephone call to a number in New York City, was to alert the sleeper spy to an impending nuclear attack—a warning he would transmit to the Soviets by radio signal from atop a rock in Central Park ¸ two FBI agents were killed when their plane crashed during surveillance of one of the Soviet spies as he headed for the Canadian border ¸ secret "drops" for microdots were set up by Moscow from New York to Florida to Washington More than a cloak-and-dagger tale, Cassidy's Run is the spellbinding story of one ordinary man, Sergeant Joe Cassidy, not trained as a spy, who suddenly found himself the FBI's secret weapon in a dangerous clandestine war. ADVANCE PRAISE FOR CASSIDY'S RUN "Cassidy's Run shows, once again, that few writers know the ins and outs of the spy game like David Wise. . . his research is meticulous in this true story of espionage that reads like a thriller." —Dan Rather "The Master hsa done it again. David Wise, the best observer and chronicler of spies there is, has told another gripping story. This one comes from the cold war combat over nerve gas and is spookier than ever because it's all true." —Jim Lehrer
Explores whether the measures taken and suggested by the executive branch of the United States government to prevent and punish public disclosure of classified information are consistent with the First Amendment of the Constitution.