Written by one of the founding agents of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service’s (DSS) Counter-terrorism Division, this memoir reveals the shadowy contours of global terrorism and its shift from state sponsored attacks to the more decentralized activities of the Al-Qaeda network. Fred Burton provides a window into the working life of a professional field agent attempting to navigate these turbulent waters from their success taking down the first World Trade Centre bomber, or the frustration he felt as the division tried to locate the Beirut hostages that would eventually culminate in the Iran-contra affair. However more revealing were his allegations that the airplane crash which killed Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1988 was a parting gift from the KGB as the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, and just how close Pakistan and India came to a nuclear exchange believing the assassination a precursor to an Indian invasion. Along the way Ghost shows how the DSS has had to evolve their counter-terrorism tactics as they themselves learned to appreciate just how sophisticated their enemies really are, and the types of tradecraft they’ve had to adopt as a result.
Burton proves an engaging author whose anecdotes provide an honest account of the many duties he and the other agents of the DSS perform protecting not only visiting international dignitaries, but America’s embassies and staff in the trenches of the some of the world’s most violent regions. Reads almost like a spy novel at points, certainly worth picking up.