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Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows

A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice

Fred Burton and John Bruning

St. Martin's Press


On a warm Saturday night in July 1973 in Bethesda Maryland, a gunman stepped out from behind a tree and fired five point-blank shots into Joe Alon, an unassuming Israeli Air Force pilot and family man. Alon's sixteen-year-old neighbor, Fred Burton, was deeply shocked by this crime that rocked his sleepy suburban neighborhood. As it turned out, Alon wasn't just a pilot—he was a high-ranking military official and with intelligence ties. The assassin was never found and the case was closed. In 2007, Fred Burton—who had since become a State Department counterterrorism special agent—reopened the case. Here, in Chasing Shadows, Burton spins a gripping tale of the secret agents, double dealings, terrorists and heroes he encounters he chases leads around the globe in an effort to solve this decades-old murder. From swirling dogfights over Egypt and Hanoi to gun battles on the streets of Beirut, this action-packed thriller looks in the dark heart of the Cold War to show power is uses, misused, and sold to the most convenient bidder.


Praise for Chasing Shadows

“[This investigation] dealt Burton as many twists and turns as in any five detective thrillers ... As a result of Burton's efforts ... resolution came to the case at long last.” —Huffington Post

“[Chasing Shadows] reads like a spy thriller. Readers will be turning the pages, eager to see where the case leads Burton . . . Anyone interested in international affairs and the history of the Cold War era will be fascinated by Burton's efforts to find his neighbor's killer.” —Jewish Book World

“There's nothing like opening a cold terrorism case and finally finding the truth, one that will open the door to what we're up against today. Burton's done it with gripping narrative, and a straight-shooting style.” —Robert Baer, author of See No Evil and The Company We Keep

Chasing Shadows is a tension-filled hunt for an assassin by a tenacious counterterrorism agent who finds that the path to finally nailing the case leads through the FBI, the CIA, Mossad, and the Black September terrorist organization. Thrillers don't get any better than this, but this spine-tingling story is real.” —Ronald Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service and The Terrorist Watch

Chasing Shadows is an unprecedented book, the first account of a legendary spyworld cold case and a guided tour of the wilderness of mirrors that exists at the intersection of the Cold War, the Israeli-Arab conflict, and the struggle against Islamic extremism.” —Yossi Melman, coauthor of Every Spy a Prince: The Complete History of Israel's Intelligence Community

“Burton conveys an impressive passion to solve a mystery that higher authorities either did not want to solve or had already solved but refused to acknowledge…[he] should receive an A for effort.” —Kirkus

“Fred Burton has made tense times, now past, come back to life. From the first page to the tantalizing end, he reveals details that are amazing and riveting. A knockout!” —Tony Mendez, retired CIA and author of The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA

“Part non-fiction mystery, part primer on Israeli-Palestinian relations.” —Associated Press

“A classic action packed political thriller… an extraordinary history.” —UK Defense Forum Magazine

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Fred Burton and John Bruning

Fred Burton is one of the world's foremost experts on security, terrorists, and terrorist organizations. He was deputy chief of the Counterterrorism Division of the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service and is currently a vice president at Stratfor, a global intelligence agency known as the "shadow CIA." He is the author of Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent and has appeared on the Daily Show, Glenn Beck and Anderson Cooper 360, and on Fox, ABC, and CBS radio. He has also written for the Los Angeles Times, among others. He lives in Austin, TX.
John Bruning is a military historian and the co-author of House to House. He lives in Independence, Oregon.

Fred Burton

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Fred Burton

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