Samuel M. Katz is the New York Times Best Selling co-author of Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi (St. Martin’s Press, 2013); an excerpt from the book was featured in the August 2013 edition of Vanity Fair. His book The Ghost Warriors: Inside Israel’s Undercover War on Suicide Terror covered Israel’s undercover counterterrorist units and their role in stopping the suicide bombers in the second intifada, and was published in February 2016 by Penguin-Random House/Caliber. He is the co-author of the National and Los Angeles Times best-selling Harpoon: Inside The Covert War against International Terrorism’s Money Masters. He is the co-author of Beirut Rules: the Murder of a CIA Station Chief and Hezbollah’s War against America; and, the upcoming No Shadows in the Desert: Murder, Vengeance, and Espionage in the War Against ISIS to be published by Hanover Square Press/Harper Collins.
His books have been translated into numerous languages, including: Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Hungarian, and Hebrew.
Publication Date: 21 April 2020
No Shadows in the Desert reveals the untold story of the behind-the-scenes fight against ISIS—one coordinated by heads of state and ultimately fought in the alleyways and open deserts of the Middle Eastern battlefield by spies and soldiers. Samuel M. Katz draws upon his sources within global international intelligence and counterterrorism community, as well as the international special operations and espionage fraternity, to tell the story of the covert campaign against ISIS by the operatives who ventured deeply and secretly into enemy territory.
In this first-ever look at the secret inner workings of an Arab security service, Katz tells the story of Jordan’s General Intelligence Department, or GID, the masters of human intelligence on the espionage battlefields of the Middle East, who proved pivotal and crucial go-to allies of the CIA and America’s other intelligence agencies in the war against ISIS and the war on terror. With the revealing and intimate insight of the intelligence officers who fought ISIS, No Shadows in the Desert is a rare glimpse into how a strategic partnership helped change how terrorism is fought in the Middle East and beyond.
(Berkley, October 23, 2018)
From the New York Times bestselling coauthors of Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi comes Beirut Rules, the riveting true story of the kidnapping and murder of CIA station chief William Buckley, and the bloody beginning of the CIA's endless war against Islamic radicalism. On April 18th, 1983, a van rigged with 2,000 pounds of heavy explosives broke through the security perimeter of the American embassy in Lebanon and exploded, killing sixty-three people and decimating intelligence operations throughout the Middle East.
Only one man inside the CIA possessed the courage and skills to rebuild the networks destroyed in the blast: William Buckley. Assigned as the new Beirut station chief, Buckley arrived to a war-torn city and a CIA station in tatters. A field operative at heart, he delved into Beirut's darkest corners, developing new sources and handling assets. Then, on October 23rd, a US Marine Corps barracks was destroyed in a plot masterminded by a young terrorist named Imad Mughniyeh. But even as President Reagan vowed revenge, Mughniyeh eyed a new target: Buckley.
Beirut Rules is the pulse-by-pulse account of Buckley's abduction, torture, and murder at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists. Drawing on never seen before U.S. government documents, as well as interviews with Buckley's former coworkers, friends and family, Burton and Katz reveal how the pursuit to find Buckley in the wake of his kidnapping ignited a war against terror that continues to shape the Middle East to this day.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR BEIRUT RULES:
“In these pages, Fred Burton and Samuel Katz ably describe the selfless service and ultimate sacrifice of CIA’s William F. Buckley, murdered brutally while held as a hostage in Lebanon. Beirut Rules can’t bring this quiet hero back to life. But it will show a new generation the value of a life well lived in service of country.”—President George H. W. Bush
“Burton and Katz have done it again! An intense, incredibly well-written tale of terrorism, treachery, and tradecraft. Beirut Rules is an absolute must-read!”—Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Spymaster
“Beirut Rules is a masterpiece of intelligence writing. I cannot think of any book on spying that I have read that has impressed me more in terms of its writing quality and research. I didn’t think the details of this story could ever be told, but Burton and Katz have done it…and done it beautifully. Bill Buckley was a hero and inspiration for all of us in the CIA, and I am grateful that the authors have honored his memory by presenting his life and sacrifice to the American public. Be prepared to be moved to tears, as I was.”—James M. Olson, former chief of CIA counterintelligence and author of Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying
“Burton and Katz have provided the definitive account of the extraordinary life, and tragic death, of CIA officer William Buckley. It’s a vivid reminder of the risks willingly accepted by intelligence and military personnel each and every day. But [Burton and Katz] have done more than that. This book is a must read for anyone interested in deconstructing the convoluted story of how the US found itself mired in an unwinnable situation in the Middle East.”—Dr. Vince Houghton, historian and curator of the International Spy Museum
“An unparalleled journey into Beirut’s brutal 1980s, bringing into sharp prospect the gritty, layered, underground battles in that storied city. Beirut Rules gives depth and texture to the players on all sides of the drama surrounding the ruthless murder of the CIA station chief, William F. Buckley. The expertise and insider knowledge of the coauthors permeate every page and combine to make this yarn not only a captivating read but an invaluable historical document. There isn’t anything better on the lonely death of Bill Buckley, an American of uncommon courage.”—Milt Bearden, thirty-year veteran of the CIA and coauthor of The Main Enemy
The National and Los Angeles Times Best-Seller A revelatory account of the cloak-and-dagger Israeli campaign to target the finances fueling terror organizations—an effort that became the blueprint for U.S. efforts to combat threats like ISIS and drug cartels.
ISIS boasted $2.4 billion of revenue in 2015, yet for too long the global war on terror overlooked financial warfare as an offensive strategy. "Harpoon," the creation of Mossad legend Meir Dagan, directed spies, soldiers, and attorneys to disrupt and destroy money pipelines and financial institutions that paid for the bloodshed perpetrated by Hamas, Hezbollah, and other groups. Written by an attorney who worked with Harpoon and a NY Times bestselling author, Harpoon offers a gripping story of the Israeli-led effort, now joined by the Americans, to choke off the terrorists' oxygen supply, money, via unconventional warfare.
Praise for Harpoon:
"It's a cliché after Watergate that the key investigation in most circumstances is to 'follow the money' (in the words of Deep Throat). This is the story of how Mossad led this movement and substantially effected investigations of terrorism and similarly important matters and how this influenced the CIA's later work in the same field. Bravo Mossad! Thanks for leading the way." ― R. James Woolsey, CIA Director (1993-95)
"The riveting and untold story of the intelligence task force that launched a dynamic new front in the war on terror. A thrill ride with one of the most important Israeli start-ups of them all." ― Tamir Pardo, Director of the Mossad (2011-2016)
"Harpoon is interesting and insightful. It is a deep dive into the world of espionage and covert operations that takes the reader from the streets of Israel to the finance district of New York City. One of Harpoon's best aspects is giving us a look at the leaders inside the unit. Instead of simply reading about the incidents, we get to feel connected to the men and women who put their lives on the line in the battle against radical Islam."―Daily Wire
"Harpoon reads like a fast-paced thriller novel.... Harpoon superbly outlines how Israel became the preeminent authority in fighting terrorism by attacking its sources of income.... This book must be considered required reading for anyone considering a career in counter-terrorism--or for anyone wanting real insight into how our world works, and what can be done about it."―The American Spectator
"This book is Start Up Nation all over again, only this time the ingenuity, innovation and flexibility of mind is not about technology but about fighting terror."―Jewish Journal
"Highly revealing.... One of the best books on best practices in countering terrorists."―Washington Times
"A fascinating read."―The Tower
"Gripping.... This fascinating book about the intelligence and legal war against terror is a must-read."―Jewish Press
The untold story of the Israeli Border Guard’s special operations counterterrorist undercover teams that infiltrated Palestinian terrorist strongholds during the Second Intifada.
It was the deadliest terror campaign ever mounted against a nation in modern times: the al-Aqsa, or Second, Intifada. This is the untold story of how Israel fought back with an elite force of undercover operatives, drawn from the nation’s diverse backgrounds and ethnicities—and united in their ability to walk among the enemy as no one else dared.
Beginning in late 2000, as black smoke rose from burning tires and rioters threw rocks in the streets, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Arafat’s Palestinian Authority embarked on a strategy of sending their terrorists to slip undetected into Israel’s towns and cities to set the country ablaze, unleashing suicide attacks at bus stops, discos, pizzerias—wherever people gathered.
But Israel fielded some of the most capable and cunning special operations forces in the world. The Ya’mas, Israel National Police Border Guard undercover counterterrorist special operations units, became Israel’s eyes-on-target response. Launched on intelligence provided by the Shin Bet, indigenous Arabic-speaking Dovrim, or “Speakers,” operating in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza infiltrated the treacherous confines where the terrorists lived hidden in plain sight, and set the stage for the intrepid tactical specialists who often found themselves under fire and outnumbered in their effort to apprehend those responsible for the carnage inside Israel. This is their compelling true story: a tale of daring and deception that could happen only in the powder keg of the modern Middle East.
Praise for The Ghost Warriors:
“An engrossing, if very disturbing, chronicle of a successful program of counterterrorism.”—Booklist
“An action-packed, nondidactic examination of how Israel’s special operation units rose to the challenge of the Palestinian intifada...A detailed book that is refreshingly full of sound research.”—Kirkus Reviews
The New York Times bestselling inside account of the attack against the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence outposts in Benghazi, Libya.
On the night of September 11, 2012, the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, came under ferocious attack by a heavily armed group of Islamic terrorists. The prolonged firefight, and the attack hours later on a nearby CIA outpost, resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, the Information Officer, Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, working for the Central Intelligence Agency.
After the fall of Qaddafi, Benghazi was transformed into a hotbed of fundamentalist fervor and a den of spies for the northern half of the African continent. Moreover, it became the center of gravity for terrorist groups strategically situated in the violent whirlwinds of the Arab Spring. On the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States, a group of heavily armed Islamic terrorists had their sights set on the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence presence in the city.
Based on the exclusive cooperation of eyewitnesses and confidential sources within the intelligence, diplomatic, and military communities, Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz reveal for the first time the terrifying twelve-hour ordeal confronted by Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, his Diplomatic Security (DS) contingent, and the CIA security specialists who raced to rescue them.
More than just the minute-by-minute narrative of a desperate last stand in the midst of an anarchic rebellion, Under Fire is an inspiring testament to the bravery and selflessness of the men and women who put their country first while serving in one of the most dangerous regions in the world.
Praise for Under Fire:
“AMAZING READ.” ―Politico
“A gripping first-hand narrative of the night of the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, pieced together from intelligence reports and eyewitness accounts . . . [The authors] keep the politics out of it and let the events of that night speak for themselves.” ―Huffington Post
“Heart-stopping, minute-by-minute detail . . . Much more a tale of valor on the ground than a story about the overshadowing grandstanding we've witnessed from those in Washington's bleachers.” ―Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair
“A wealth of information that paints a night-long war . . . The harrowing story of the firefight faced by those who escaped the compound and the two terrorist attacks that night on the CIA's annex in Benghazi.” ―Washington Examiner
“A compelling read.” ―The Atlantic Wire
“Readers will come away with a vivid picture of the rented diplomatic compound where Ambassador Stevens died and the long, bloody fight to defend him.” ―San Diego Union-Tribune
“Compelling. . . The more we learn about Benghazi, the more we need to know. The story is far from over.” ―New York Post
“This is a gripping, authoritative account of a tragedy that's not going away. What happened in Benghazi on that fateful night counts, because it's the moment when the Arab Spring took a wrong turn and drove into the abyss. It tells the story of a Washington too blinded by politics to see the facts. A wonderful book.” ―Robert Baer, former CIA operative and New York Times bestselling author of See No Evil
“A stunning reconstruction of events surrounding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi. It will be particularly instructive to those who have a limited knowledge of the processes for providing security for our diplomats serving abroad.” ―Admiral B. R. Inman, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
“A gripping chronological account of the attack. Readers will clearly comprehend how the DS agents were put into an impossible, life-threatening situation with few of the ready assets associated with American power . . . Authoritative account of a still-controversial spasm of anti-American violence.” ― Kirkus
The true story of a potentially devastating terrorist plot in New York City—and the heroes who risked their lives to prevent it.
On the morning of July 31, 1997, two young Palestinian men living in Brooklyn, New York, were prepared to sacrifice themselves as martyrs to their bloody cause. Their plan—to board a subway filled with commuters, wait until the train was traveling through the tunnel under the East River, and then detonate a shrapnel-covered explosive belt they had built in their tenement apartment. The attack would have killed hundreds, possibly even thousands, while sending the city—and the country—into a state of panic.
This is the inspiring, startling, and frightening true story of how the NYPD learned of the impending attack and made a daring predawn raid on the terrorist hideout. The gripping series of events began with an Egyptian immigrant who, learning of the plan, alerted the police. Coordinating an assault with limited resources and manpower, seven brave members of the NYPD moved in—reaching the terrorists when they literally had their fingers on the trigger—saving countless lives, preventing a disaster that would have paralyzed New York City, and alerting the nation that, in today’s world, violence and terror could begin at home.