The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole Who Infiltrated the CIA
Joby Warrick. New York: Doubleday, 2011. 272 pp. Prologue. Photos. Maps. Notes. $26.95.
Reviewed by J. Furman Daniel III
On 30 December 2009, an unassuming Jordanian doctor limped out of a car inside the heavily guarded forward-operating base in Khost, Afghanistan. The man, Humam Khalil al-Balawi, was believed to have information regarding the location of al Qaeda’s top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Instead, al-Balawi detonated a suicide bomb, killing seven CIA personnel.
That attack represented one of the largest losses of life and worst intelligence failures in the history of the agency, yet the details of the tragedy remain largely unknown. In his new book, Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole Who Infiltrated the CIA, veteran reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner Joby Warrick recounts the story in a gripping style worthy of the best fiction.