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In this riveting undercover spy drama, Bradley Steyn tells the story of his journey from a boy caught in the middle of the Strijdom Square massacre, to acting out his PTSD working for the apartheid security branch. Finally he ends up being recruited by MK and used to infiltrate the crazed right-wing whose mission is to destabilise a South Africa on the brink of peace.
With these forces pushing the nation towards a bloody race war, will his time run out before they discover he is working for Mandela's spies?
This astonishing true-life thriller reveals for the first time some of the dirty secrets of a dirty war.
What does it take to deceive those closest to you? How do you lead a double life and not lose yourself? Is there ever a point of return? Jonathan Ancer explores these questions in the tales of SA’s spies: from the navy superspy on the Russian payroll to the party girl who fell in love with Cuba and the idealistic students used and abused in apartheid’s intelligence war.
Ancer gets under the skin of what it takes to betray those closest to you – and what it is means to be betrayed.
It was in 1972 when the seemingly ordinary Craig Williamson registered at Wits University and joined the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS). Williamson was elected NUSAS’s vice president and in January 1977, when his career in student politics came to an abrupt end, he fled the country and from Europe continued his anti-apartheid ‘work’. But Williamson was not the activist his friends and comrades thought he was. In January 1980, Captain Williamson was unmasked as a South African spy.
Williamson returned to South Africa and during the turbulent 1980s worked for the foreign section of the South African Police’s notorious Security Branch and South Africa’s ‘super-spy’ transformed into a parcel-bomb assassin.
Through a series of interviews with the many people Williamson interacted with while he was undercover and after his secret identity was eventually exposed, Jonathan Ancer details Williamson’s double life, the stories of a generation of courageous activists, and the book eventually culminates with Ancer interviewing South Africa’s ‘super-spy’ face-to-face. It deals with crucial issues of justice, reconciliation, forgiveness, betrayal and the consequences of apartheid that South Africans are still grappling with.
When Johan Booysen hears that the new Provincial Police Chief takes backhanders from a Durban businessman, he decides to give her the benefit of the doubt. But the evidence becomes impossible to ignore and he soon gets dragged down the corridors of power and politics into a web of intrigue, deceit and betrayal that, at times, he has trouble making sense of.
Only when he is arrested, handcuffed and tossed into a cell does Booysen realise just how ruthless those opposed to him are – an opposition he comes to call the ‘cabal’ – and whom he believes have more blood on their hands than the so-called Cato Manor Death Squad with which he is closely associated.
Blood On Their Hands traces Johan Booysen’s life and career – from patrolling the streets of Amanzimtoti in the 1970s to his rise in 2010 to major general and head of KZN’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation unit, the Hawks. But his tenure is short-lived. When Booysen decides to take on those so determined to be rid of him, each legal battle he wins is met by hostility and further efforts to shut him out of the of the criminal justice system. But capitulating is not in his DNA…
In the world of espionage, truth is the first victim and nothing is as it seems. Here, for the first time, South Africa’s most notorious apartheid spy, Olivia Forsyth, lays bare the story of her remarkable life. With remarkable courage and brutal honesty she attempts to set the record straight.
Olivia Forsyth was a romantic young woman in search of adventure when she joined the Security Police with visions of international derring-do. But Craig Williamson, her unit head, had other ideas. Olivia was trained to spy on students before being dispatched to Rhodes University, a supposed ‘hotbed’ of anti-apartheid radicalism. It wasn’t long before Olivia had infiltrated various student organisations, feeding vital information back to her handler.
She came to hold prominent positions on campus and, as reward, was promoted to Lieutenant. Having reached the end of her studies, Olivia set her sights on a much more ambitious – and dangerous – target: the ANC in exile. But what should have been her greatest triumph as a spy turned into disaster when the ANC threw her into Quatro, the notorious internment camp in Angola. This is a riveting story set in the final years of apartheid.
The Spymaster of Baghdad is the gripping story of the top-secret Iraqi intelligence unit that infiltrated the Islamic State. More so than that of any foreign power, the information they gathered turned the tide against the insurgency, paving the way to the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2019.
Against the backdrop of the most brutal conflict of recent decades, we chart the spymaster's struggle to develop the unit from scratch in challenging circumstances after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, we follow the fraught relationship of two of his agents, the al-Sudani brothers - one undercover in ISIS for sixteen long months, the other his handler - and we track a disillusioned scientist as she turns bomb-maker, threatening the lives of thousands.
With unprecedented access to characters on all sides, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Margaret Coker challenges the conventional view that Western coalition forces defeated ISIS and reveals a page-turning story of unlikely heroes, unbelievable courage and good old-fashioned spycraft.
The incredible story of the greatest female spy in history, from one of Britain's most acclaimed historians - available for pre-order now In a quiet English village in 1942, an elegant housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted wife and mother-of-three, the woman known to her neighbours as Mrs Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity. However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, she was racing through the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific intelligence from one of the country's most brilliant nuclear physicists. Secrets that she would transmit to Soviet intelligence headquarters via the radio transmitter she was hiding in her outdoor privy. Far from a British housewife, 'Mrs Burton' - born Ursula Kuczynski, and codenamed 'Sonya' - was a German Jew, a dedicated communist, a colonel in Russia's Red Army, and a highly-trained spy. From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, and helping the Soviet Union build the atom bomb, Sonya conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Her story has never been told - until now. Agent Sonya is the exhilarating account of one woman's life; a life that encompasses the rise and fall of communism itself, and altered the course of history. 'Macintyre does true-life espionage better than anyone else' John Preston
A fascinating and action-packed account of a little-known part of South African history. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the German government secretly reached out to the leadership of the Ossewabrandwag, an anti-war and anti-British cultural movement in South Africa. The Nazis' aim was to spread sedition in the country to undermine the Allied war effort. To this end they offered weapons to the Ossewabrandwag and even sent a South African spy who had received sabotage training in Germany to the country. The Germans were also after naval intelligence about the route around the Cape where they would soon send their deadly U-boats. A network of spies was established by the Ossewabrandwag, who had members at the major ports and on the South African railways. Another anti-war group also managed to set up a radio transmitter to send coded messages to the Germans. This gripping account of the intelligence war in South Africa is filled with honey traps, sly diplomats, police hunts, dangerous escapes over rough country and the dramatics of the post-war hunt in Europe for witnesses who could help bring traitors to book.
The Personnel Security Clearance System-the process by which the federal government incorporates individuals into secret national-security work-is flawed. After twenty-three years of federal service, Martha Louise Deutscher explores the current system and the amount of power afforded to the state in contrast to that afforded to those who serve it. Deutscher's timely examination of the U.S. screening system shows how security clearance practices, including everything from background checks and fingerprinting to urinalysis and the polygraph, shape and transform those individuals who are subject to them. By bringing participants' testimonies to light, Deutscher looks at the efficacy of various practices while extracting revealing cultural insights into the way we think about privacy, national security, patriotism, and the state. In addition to exposing the stark realities of a system that is in critical need of rethinking, Screening the System provides recommendations for a more effective method that will be of interest to military and government professionals as well as policymakers and planners who work in support of U.S. national security.
INSPIRATION FOR THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE OFFICIAL SECRETS FEATURING A NEW INTRODUCTION In January 2003, 28-year-old GCHQ translator Katharine Gun received an email from the US National Security Agency that would turn her world upside down. The message requested Katharine's assistance in co-ordinating an illegal US-UK spy operation which would secure UN authorisation for the Iraq invasion. Horrified, she decided to leak the information to the British press. Katharine's decision would change her life forever, as she was arrested under the Official Secrets Act whilst becoming a cause celebre for political activists. The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War is the definitive account of a whistleblower case that reads like a thriller, and will ask you the same question that was asked of Katharine that cold January day - where do your true loyalties lie?
The remarkable story of Fred Mayer, a German-born Jew who escaped Nazi Germany only to return as an American commando on a secret mission behind enemy lines Growing up in Germany, Freddy Mayer witnessed the Nazis' rise to power. When he was sixteen, his family made the decision to flee to the United States--they were among the last German Jews to escape, in 1938. In America, Freddy tried enlisting the day after Pearl Harbor, only to be rejected as an "enemy alien" because he was German. He was soon recruited to the OSS, the country's first spy outfit before the CIA. Freddy, joined by Dutch Jewish refugee Hans Wynberg and Nazi defector Franz Weber, parachuted into Austria as the leader of Operation Greenup, meant to deter Hitler's last stand. He posed as a Nazi officer and a French POW for months, dispatching reports to the OSS via Hans, holed up with a radio in a nearby attic. The reports contained a gold mine of information, provided key intelligence about the Battle of the Bulge, and allowed the Allies to bomb twenty Nazi trains. On the verge of the Allied victory, Freddy was captured by the Gestapo and tortured and waterboarded for days. Remarkably, he persuaded the region's Nazi commander to surrender, completing one of the most successful OSS missions of the war. Based on years of research and interviews with Mayer himself, whom the author was able to meet only months before his death at the age of ninety-four, Return to the Reich is an eye-opening, unforgettable narrative of World War II heroism.
Learn about Virginia Hall, the "most dangerous of all Allied spies", in this exciting narrative biography! Virginia never thought she'd be a spy. The young American had been working for the State Department overseas when she was involved in a serious accident. Despite this setback, Hall was eager to do something to help the Allies win World War II. She made her way to France where she helped coordinate underground resistance movements, sabotaging the Nazis at every turn. Her covert operations, including capturing 500 Germans, greatly contributed to the Allies' eventual win. In The Lady is a Spy, award-winning author Don Mitchell (The Freedom Summer Murders) explores the fascinating life of America's greatest female spy. Thoroughly researched and full of rarely seen photographs from Virginia Hall's family, this is an extraordinary, in-depth look at a true hero.
A TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER The incredible story of the greatest female spy in history, from one of Britain's most acclaimed historians In a quiet English village in 1942, an elegant housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted wife and mother-of-three, the woman known to her neighbours as Mrs Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity. However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, she was racing through the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific intelligence from one of the country's most brilliant nuclear physicists. Secrets that she would transmit to Soviet intelligence headquarters via the radio transmitter she was hiding in her outdoor privy. Far from a British housewife, 'Mrs Burton' - born Ursula Kuczynski, and codenamed 'Sonya' - was a German Jew, a dedicated communist, a colonel in Russia's Red Army, and a highly-trained spy. From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, and helping the Soviet Union build the atom bomb, Sonya conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Her story has never been told - until now. Agent Sonya is the exhilarating account of one woman's life; a life that encompasses the rise and fall of communism itself, and altered the course of history. 'Macintyre does true-life espionage better than anyone else' John Preston 'His best book yet' The Times
`As gripping as any spy thriller, Hastings's achievement is especially impressive, for he has produced the best single volume yet written on the subject' Sunday Times `Authoritative, exciting and notably well written' Daily Telegraph `A serious work of rigourous and comprehensive history ... royally entertaining and readable' Mail on Sunday In The Secret War, Max Hastings presents a worldwide cast of characters and extraordinary sagas of intelligence and Resistance to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history. The book links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant `boffins' battling the enemy's technology. Here are not only the unheralded codebreaking geniuses of Bletchley Park, but also their German counterparts who achieved their own triumphs and the fabulous espionage networks created, and so often spurned, by the Soviet Union. With its stories of high policy and human drama, the book has been acclaimed as the best history of the secret war ever written.
A Raid on the Red Sea is a thrilling, real-life tale of illegal gun-running in the Middle East. Recounting the most successful Israeli intelligence operation since the legendary Entebbe hostage rescue, Gen. Amos Gilboa gives the harrowing details for the first time of the secret, close working relations between Israeli and American intelligence in the seizure of the Karine A ship. At 0400 hours, Thursday, January 3, two fast boats of Israel's naval commando unit close in on the stern of the Palestinian Authority's Karine A and board the ship. The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Corps clandestinely loaded its cargo: fifty-six tons of high-grade, long-range weapons destined for the Gaza Strip. The Israelis' plan to seize it goes awry when they find nothing but a confused group of Egyptians, Jordanians, and Palestinians. Have they boarded the wrong ship? Is there going to be an international incident disgracing Israel? The incident was the first time that Iran tried to alter the balance of power in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by providing the Palestinian Authority with rockets far more destructive than the ones they already possessed--an escalation of the Middle East conflict that is still continuing today.
The urgent, explosive story of Russia's espionage efforts against the West from the Cold War to the present - including their interference in the 2016 presidential election. Like a scene from a le Carre novel or the TV drama The Americans, in the summer of 2010 a group of Russian deep cover sleeper agents were arrested. It was the culmination of a decade-long investigation, and ten people, including Anna Chapman, were swapped for four people held in Russia. At the time it was seen simply as a throwback to the Cold War. But that would prove to be a costly mistake. It was a sign that the Russian threat had never gone away and more importantly, it was shifting into a much more disruptive new phase. Today, the danger is clearer than ever following the poisoning in the UK of one of the spies who was swapped, Sergei Skripal, and the growing evidence of Russian interference in American life. In this meticulously researched and gripping, novelistic narrative, Gordon Corera uncovers the story of how Cold War spying has evolved - and indeed, is still very much with us. Russians Among Us describes for the first time the story of deep cover spies in America and the FBI agents who tracked them. In intimate and riveting detail, it reveals new information about today's spies-as well as those trying to catch them and those trying to kill them.
On 7 March 2004, former SAS soldier and mercenary Simon Mann prepared to take off from Harare International Airport with a plane full of heavy weaponry and guns for hire. Their destination: Equatorial Guinea. Their intention: to remove one of the most brutal dictators in Africa in a privately organised coup d’etat. The plot had the tacit approval of Western intelligence agencies. It had the backing of a European government, and the endorsement of a former Prime Minister. Simon Mann had personally planned, overseen and won two wars in Angola and Sierra Leone. Everything should have gone right. Why, then, did it go so wrong?
When Simon Mann was released from five years’ incarceration in some of Africa’s toughest prisons, he made worldwide headlines. Since then, he has spoken to nobody about his experiences.
Now he is telling everything, including:
'A remarkable, authentic and chilling expose of a global conspiracy that reads like a first-rate conspiracy thriller: a book of gripping, compulsive and disturbing impact' William Boyd Dark Mirror is the ultimate inside account of the vast, global surveillance network that now pervades all our lives. Barton Gellman's informant called himself 'Verax' - the truth-teller. It was only later that Verax unmasked himself as Edward Snowden. But Gellman's primary role in bringing Snowden's revelations to light, for which he shared the Pulitzer prize, is only the beginning of this gripping real-life spy story. Snowden unlocked the door: here Gellman describes what he found on the other side over the course of a years-long journey of investigation. It is also the story of his own escalating battle against unknown digital adversaries after he discovered his own name on a file in the NSA document trove and realised that he himself was under attack. Through a gripping narrative of paranoia, clandestine operations and jaw-dropping revelations, Dark Mirror delineates in full for the first time the hidden superstructure that connects government espionage with Silicon Valley and the most powerful corporation whose name you've never heard. Who is spying on us and why? Here are the answers.
It always starts with a small lie. That's how you stop noticing the bigger ones. After his friend suspects something strange going on at the launch facility where they both work - and then goes missing - Martin Hepton doesn't believe the official line of "long-term sick leave"... Refusing to stop asking questions, he leaves his old life behind, aware that someone is shadowing his every move. The only hope he has is his ex-girlfriend Jill Watson - the only journalist who will believe his story. But neither of them can believe the puzzle they're piecing together - or just how shocking the secret is that everybody wants to stay hidden... A gripping, page-turning suspense masterclass - experience the brilliance of the iconic Ian Rankin.
In the Great Terror of 1937 38 more than a million Soviet citizens were arrested or killed for political crimes they didn't commit. What kind of people carried out this violent purge, and what motivated them? This book opens up the world of the Soviet perpetrator for the first time. Focusing on Kuntsevo, the Moscow suburb where Stalin had a dacha, Alexander Vatlin shows how Stalinism rewarded local officials for inventing enemies. Agents of Terror reveals stunning, detailed evidence from archives available for a limited time in the 1990s. Going beyond the central figures of the terror, Vatlin takes readers into the offices and interrogation rooms of secret police at the district level. Spurred at times by ambition, and at times by fear for their own lives, agents rushed to fulfill quotas for arresting ""enemies of the people"" even when it meant fabricating the evidence. Vatlin pulls back the curtain on a Kafkaesque system, forcing readers to reassess notions of historical agency and moral responsibility in Stalin-era crimes.
The new book by the winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize and author of the Sunday Times bestseller EAST WEST STREET - a historical detective story that sets out to uncover the truth behind what happened to leading Nazi Otto von Wachter
As Governor of Galicia, SS Brigadefuhrer Otto Freiherr von Wachter presided over an authority on whose territory hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed, including the family of the author's grandfather. By the time the war ended in May 1945, he was indicted for 'mass murder'. Hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the Poles and the British, as well as groups of Jews, Wachter went on the run. He spent three years hiding in the Austrian Alps, assisted by his wife Charlotte, before making his way to Rome where he was helped by a Vatican bishop. He remained there for three months. While preparing to travel to Argentina on the 'ratline' he died unexpectedly, in July 1949, a few days after spending a weekend with an 'old comrade'.
In The Ratline Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a senior Nazi and fugitive, and of his wife. Drawing on a remarkable archive of family letters and diaries, he unveils a fascinating insight into life before and during the war, on the run, in Rome, and into the Cold War. Eventually the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wachter's youngest son, who continues to believe his father was a good man - what happened to Otto Wachter, and how did he die?
In February 1989, the CIA's chief in Islamabad famously cabled headquarters a simple message: "We Won." It was an understated coda to the most successful covert intelligence operation in American history. In What We Won , CIA and National Security Council veteran Bruce Riedel tells the story of America's secret war in Afghanistan and the defeat of the Soviet 40th Red Army in the war that proved to be the final battle of the cold war. He seeks to answer one simple question - why did this intelligence operation succeed so brilliantly? Riedel has the vantage point few others can offer: He was ensconced in the CIA's Operations Center when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Christmas Eve 1979. The invasion took the intelligence community by surprise. But the response, initiated by Jimmy Carter and accelerated by Ronald Reagan, was a masterful intelligence enterprise. Many books have been written about intelligence failures - from Pearl Harbor to 9/11. Much less has been written about how and why intelligence operations succeed. The answer is complex. It involves both the weaknesses and mistakes of America's enemies, as well as good judgment and strengths of the United States. Riedel introduces and explores the complex personalities pitted in the war - the Afghan communists, the Russians, the Afghan mujahedin, the Saudis, and the Pakistanis. And then there are the Americans - in this war, no Americans fought on the battlefield. The CIA did not send officers into Afghanistan to fight or even to train. In 1989, victory for the American side of the cold war seemed complete. Now we can see that a new era was also beginning in the Afghan war in the 1980s, the era of the global jihad. This book examines the lessons we can learn from this intelligence operation for the future and makes some observations on what came next in Afghanistan - and what is likely yet to come.
Gordon Corera uses declassified documents and extensive original research to tell the story of MI14(d) and the Secret Pigeon Service for the first time. `This is an amazing story' Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 2 Between 1941 and 1944, sixteen thousand plucky homing pigeons were dropped in an arc from Bordeaux to Copenhagen as part of 'Columba' - a secret British operation to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation. The messages flooded back written on tiny pieces of rice paper tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds. Authentic voices from rural France, the Netherlands and Belgium - they were sometimes comic, often tragic and occasionally invaluable with details of German troop movements and fortifications, new Nazi weapons, radar system or the deployment of the feared V-1 and V-2 rockets that terrorized London. Who were the people who provided this rich seam of intelligence? Many were not trained agents nor, with a few exceptions, people with any experience of spying. At the centre of this book is the `Leopold Vindictive' network - a small group of Belgian villagers prepared to take huge risks. They were led by an extraordinary priest, Joseph Raskin - a man connected to royalty and whose intelligence was so valuable it was shown to Churchill, leading MI6 to parachute agents in to assist him. A powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage, the book brings together the British and Belgian sides of the Leopold Vindictive's story and reveals for the first time the wider history of a quirky, quarrelsome band of spy masters and their special wartime operations, as well as how bitter rivalries in London placed the lives of secret agents at risk. It is a book not so much about pigeons as the remarkable people living in occupied Europe who were faced with the choice of how to respond to a call for help, and took the decision to resist.
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