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Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA Hardcover – WAV, August 19, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 265 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A National Bestseller
One of the Guardian’s Top Ten Books About Spies

“Highly credible. . . . Both a rollicking read and a rare insider’s account of Western spying in the age of al Qaeda, where the risk if exposed is not Cold War-style expulsion but gruesome execution. . . . A valuable window on both sides in a lethal underground war.”
New York Times Book Review

“This book reads like a screenplay for a James Bond movie written by Joel and Ethan Coen. . . . Anyone interested in the saga of terrorist fanatics will find Agent Storm compelling.”
Washington Post

“Morten Storm has done the Western world a great service. . . . And by the way, the CIA owes him 5 million dollars.”
—Brian Kilmeade, Fox News

“An extraordinary story, well told and convincing.”
Foreign Affairs

“[A] gripping firsthand account . . . . Storm’s work provides valuable and fascinating insight into the quiet battle being waged between clandestine national agencies and various terrorist organizations.”
Christian Science Monitor

Agent Storm feels like a James Bond story or one of John Le Carre’s marvelous spy-thrillers. Yet, the story written by CNN’s Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister is a true account. . . . First-rate.”
—War on the Rocks

“Morten Storm’s account of his nerve-wracking life spying on Al Qaeda for Western intelligence gives us the most detailed, compelling, and human look at modern espionage in the lethal world of jihadist terrorism that we are likely to get. This ground-level view of the shadowy struggle between these two clandestine groups is truly gripping.”
—Mark Stout, former CIA officer and Director, MA in Global Security Studies, Johns Hopkins University

“Picture Homeland’s Nicholas Brody getting jacked during his time as a POW and you’ll get an idea of Morten Storm, the 6’1”, red-haired Dane who went from unlikely jihadi to double agent. . . . Storm’s tale of dodging drones and navigating alliances may read like a great espionage thriller (complete with a blonde honey trap), but his deeply personal struggle with extremism and atonement is the real story.”

Agent Storm is the remarkable memoir of a Danish convert-turned-extremist who managed not only to infiltrate al Qaeda’s ranks but would later become one of West’s most valued human intelligence assets in the war on terrorism. As a true spy-story, this book brings you incredibly close to what it actually takes to be an extremist and get into a terrorist group while balancing loyalty and treachery in the world of intelligence. Essential reading for everyone interested in how the war on terrorism is actually fought in the shadows.”
—Dr. Magnus Ranstorp, a leading expert on international terrorism and Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College

Agent Storm opens a unique window onto bleak interlocking landscapes—the radicalization of European Muslims that has now been energized by the Syrian civil war, the leadership and organization of global jihad, and the twilight struggle waged by western intelligence agencies against an elusive and implacable enemy.”
—Steven Simon, bestselling co-author of The Age of Sacred Terror and The Next Attack

“In Agent Storm, Morten Storm, Paul Cruickshank, and Tim Lister tell an astonishing and unknown tale of the exploits, change of allegiances, double crosses and inner workings of both al Qaeda terrorist groups and the Western intelligence agencies charged with stopping them. Storm's unlikely path puts him at the center of much of the al Qaeda activity and affiliated plots in Western Europe as well as in Somalia and Yemen since 9/11. Grounded in the necessary broader geopolitical context, Agent Storm is hard to put down.”
—Mitch Silber, former Director of Intelligence Analysis at the NYPD and author of The Al Qaeda Factor

Publishers Weekly

“Probably the best account of a modern-day secret agent. Morten Storm, a convert to Islam, vividly recounts his work for the CIA and British intelligence, against extremists in Europe and al-Qaeda in the Yemen.”
Guardian (“Top Ten Books About Spies”)

“Remarkable. . . . Morten Storm is the living embodiment of the theory that it is the bad boys at school who make the best spies. . . . Agent Storm is an astonishing expose not only of the world of jihadi, but also the workings of those who secretly protect us.”
Telegraph (UK)

“Storm has been involved in many of the most critical terrorism cases since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This means if the revelations in his newly released memoir, Agent Storm, are true, he is not only this decade’s most intriguing informant: he could also be the most important.”
Toronto Star

"[A] gripping story."
Daily Mail (UK)

“Storm’s memoir is manna from heaven for counterterrorism experts.”
Sunday Times (UK)

“[Storm’s] allegations have proved explosive.”
Independent (UK)

About the Author

Morten Storm is a former radical Islamist born in Korsor, Denmark. After plunging deep inside the world of al Qaeda, he became a double agent employed by the American, British, and Danish intelligence agencies. He lives in an undisclosed location.
Paul Cruickshank is CNN's Terrorism Analyst, and the editor of "Al Qaeda," a five-volume collection of key scholarly works on the terrorist network.
Tim Lister is has worked for CNN and the BBC and has extensive experience of the Middle East.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; Hardcover edition (August 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802123147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802123145
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (265 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
It's hard to know how much to trust a man with such a penchant for extremism - but if even of half of Mr Storm's assertions are true - there's an incredible story here. He has surely put himself at great risk tell it - undoubtedly infuriating every global jihadist group and no less than 4 govt. intelligence agencies in the US and Europe. Because of the subject matter and some serious accusations it makes, there is a necessity for a lot of information to be delivered, giving things the flavor of a legal deposition at times. But in the end, the book offers rare insight into two very distinct and secretive worlds only accessible to a double agent. Above all, there's an important critique of western intelligence that deserves more discussion.
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Format: Hardcover
Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA is a worthy read; if it was fiction it might be called "a good yarn." The book is instead straight-up non-fiction, making it all the more interesting as a window into the world of modern espionage.

The book is the "as told to" autobiography of Morten Storm. Storm grew up on the dark side of Denmark, a tough, a brawler, a street gang member who always looked for a fight and usually found one. He did some jail time, and lived on the outskirts of society, surviving well enough off Denmark's generous social welfare system. Socially and spiritually adrift, he was a quick convert to Islam, driven into his new faith by a chance encounter with a library book on the life of The Prophet. The descriptions of the built-in camaraderie of the mosques shows their appeal to disenfranchised youth.

Storm quickly found a way to combine his street smarts with his new faith, gravitating into the growing European jihadi underground. He soon moved to the UK, taking up life in "Londonistan," the slang term for England's dark underbelly of Muslim immigrants. Like them, Storm felt marginalized, left out, looked down on and began moving in ever-more radical circles. Despite his over six foot height and bright red hair, he found himself well-accepted. An encounter with a fellow Muslim, who died almost in his arms, propelled Storm to Yemen in search of meaning for his own life. His devotion to Islamic studies and his tough attitude saw him befriended not just by his classmates, but soon by <a href="http://wemeantwell.com/blog/2014/07/25/dead-is-dead-drone-killing-the-fifth-amendment/">Anwar al-Awlaki</a> himself. Storm takes on all sorts of courier missions for the cleric and becomes a member of his trusted inner circle.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book--well written and riveting! I highly recommend it to get into the terrorist mind--particularly of European converts to the militant jihad. It uncovers many of the inner workings of militant jihadi circles and even more troubling, of intelligence services. Storm goes into great detail about the "honeypot" laid out to catch Anwar Awlaki--a plot that the UK services refused to be part of because it involved sending an unsuspecting European into harm's way. According to Storm, the CIA had no such compunctions and then later refused to pay his reward fee because the Danes could not endorse it after the fact...Not sure if everything there is as it really happened but it rang true to me. Likewise having interviewed over four hundred terrorists, terrorist close family members, associates and supporters and hostages of terrorists (reported in my book Talking to Terrorists: Understanding the Psycho-Social Motivations of Militant Jihadi Terrorists, Mass Hostage Takers, Suicide Bombers & Mart) Morten Storm came across as extremely authentic. His path to radicalization, his time spent on the terrorist trajectory and the black and white thinking of an abuse victim which later was part of his faith being shaken so badly that he fell off the terrorist trajectory made total sense to me. His resonance to the al Qaeda narrative that Muslims are under attack and in need of a violent "defense' hence his ability to channel all his inner anger into such a "defense" was so well elucidated in this book. That is a common story for European jihadis.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
After seeing Agent Storm being interviewed about his dangerous adventures as a double agent for The Taliban and The CIA , I immediately downloaded his book. As A Danish citizen who spent his youth in a motorcycle gang, going in and out of jail, Storm is an unlikely candidate to become an Islamic follower After he reads a book about The Prophet Muhammad, Morten Storm becomes mesmerized by the Islamic religion, prompting his conversion to Islam. He moves to the UK, becomes radicalized and goes to Yemen to study Arabic. There are many twist and turns in his story. He explains the connection between different Islamic networks and their secret communication methods, along with finding a European wife for al-Awlaki! During his Taliban fighting in Afghanistan, he becomes friends with Anwar al-Awlaki, an American born terrorist cleric (and successor to Osama Bin Laden). After several years of fighting for al-Qaeda, Storm realizes the Islamic religion isn't meeting his spiritual needs and questions the rational behind killing others, in the name of religion. He returns to Denmark and becomes involved with Danish and British intelligence and The CIA.

Agent Storm provides a substantial amount of supporting evidence to give credibility to his story. Whether you want to believe Storm's incredible story or not, he is a terrific storyteller. I read this book in one day. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy real life adventure/spy stories.
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