Joby Warrick 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 30-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.
Joby Warrick Pulitzer Prize, General nonfiction, 2016
In a thrilling dramatic narrative, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Joby Warrick traces how the strain of militant Islam behind ISIS first arose in a remote Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American presidents.
When Jordan granted amnesty to a group of political prisoners in 1999, it little realized that among them was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a terrorist mastermind and soon the architect of an Islamist movement bent on dominating the Middle East. In Black Flags, an unprecedented account of the rise of ISIS, Joby Warrick shows how the zeal of this one man and the strategic mistakes of Presidents Bush and Obama led to the banner of ISIS being raised over huge swaths of Syria and Iraq.
Zarqawi began by directing terror attacks from a base in Northern Iraq, but it was the American invasion in 2003 that catapulted him to the head of a vast insurgency. By falsely identifying him as the link between Saddam and bin Laden, US officials spurred like-minded radicals to rally to his cause. Their wave of brutal beheadings and suicide bombings persisted until American and Jordanian intelligence discovered clues that led to a lethal airstrike on Zarqawi's hideout in 2006.
His movement, however, endured. First calling themselves al-Qaeda in Iraq then Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, his followers sought refuge in ungoverned pockets on the Iraq-Syria border. When the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, and as the US largely stood by, ISIS seized its chance to pursue Zarqawi's dream of an ultraconservative Islamic caliphate.
Drawing on high-level access to CIA and Jordanian sources, Warrick weaves moment-by-moment operational details with the perspectives of diplomats and spies, generals and heads of state, many of whom foresaw a menace worse than al Qaeda and tried desperately to stop it. Black Flags is a definitive history that reveals the long arc of today's most dangerous extremist threat.
Joby Warrick I en dramatisk fortælling optrevler Pulitzerpris-vinder Joby Warrick, hvordan den militante gruppe bag Islamisk Stat (IS) opstod i et fjernt jordansk fængsel og blev til den største ekstremistiske trussel mod verden i dag. Den jordanske regering gav i 1999 amnesti til en gruppe politiske fanger. Blandt dem var Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, den fremtidige arkitekt bag en islamisk bevægelse opsat på at erobre Mellemøsten.
Joby Warrick viser, hvordan en enkelt mands ildhu sammen med strategiske misforståelser foretaget af vestlige regeringer førte til, at IS' sorte flag blev hejst over store dele af Syrien og Irak. Ved at trække på højtstående efterretningskilder fra hele verden væver Warrick gribende detaljer fra konkrete operationer sammen med udtalelser fra diplomater, spioner, generaler og statsoverhoveder. Mange af dem forudså faktisk, at en trussel værre end al-Qaeda var på vej, og prøvede desperat at standse den.
"Sort flag" er den ultimative historie om, hvordan IS blev født, fortalt gennem nøglepersoner og centrale begivenheder. Den amerikanske journalist Joby Warrick (f. 1960) har vundet flere Pulitzer priser for sine artikler om Mellemøsten, diplomati og efterretningstjenester. I 2016 vandt han endnu en Pulitzer for sin bog om terrorbevægelsen Islamisk Stat, "Sort flag".