Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Triple Cross

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Triple Cross

Article excerpt

Triple Cross. By Peter Lance. New York: Harper Collins, 2006. 601 pp. $27.95.

Lance, an investigative journalist with five Emmy awards, indicts U.S. intelligence and security sendees for incompetence and dishonesty by focusing on the saga of Ali Mohammed, a Special Forces advisor, FBI informant, CIA operative - and also a highly placed Al-Qaeda member who served as bin Laden's bodyguard, trained bin Laden's forces, built and trained a terrorist cell in New York, and provided classified intelligence to Islamists. He was ultimately caught, yes, but almost by accident.

How did this happen? How could this man get away with a double life for so long? Lance at times argues that individual soldiers "let down their guard." But the cultural and organizational context of the time also was important. The U.S. military culture of the 1980s was heavily shaped by multiculturalism; service members learned to keep their derogatory opinions on racial and religious issues to themselves - but, perhaps, at some cost to security. …

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