Ram Madhav
May 4, 2020

The Targeter – My life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House

Author - Nada Bakos and Davin Coburn

Nada Bakos’ book The Targeter was a greatly publicised one before its release earlier this year. A good one with information about CIA’s efforts at Langley as well as in Baghdad to track down and neutralise one of the world’s most wanted AQ terrorists and in a way the father of ISIS by name Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Nada narrates her experience of 3-4 years as target analyst at the CIA headquarters at Langley, VA and also her occasional visits to Iraq in pursuit of the target Zarqawi. She has many complaints to make, many disapprovals with the way the agency worked and at one point her decision to quit only to return after sometime in a different role.

Although an informative one it is relatively less insightful when compared to several other books on the Middle East terror and US Counterterrorism operations. Nada need not have used so much space to discuss about her personal life starting from her childhood right up to her marriage because that didn’t add any value to the main narrative; instead it became an avoidable distraction.

Strength of the book is that it is one of the first books on CIA’s target operations in Iraq. Kindle edition is available in India; print I am not sure.

Published by Ram Madhav

Member, Board of Governors, India Foundation

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