Figuring out who Fred Burton is and what he does at STRATFOR isn’t easy. His first book was called Ghost and it’s a fitting title for him.
Inside of STRATFOR, Fred oversees a group we call “tactical intelligence.” If something involves explosives, mayhem, murder, kidnapping, drug-smuggling… Fred and his team are on it.
At first glance, you may think such details don’t belong at STRATFOR, our focus being the big picture of geopolitics. But as we create our big-picture forecasts, tactical details keep us honest. If the facts don’t fit our forecast, we have to re-evaluate. So, Fred and his team are here to constantly challenge our assumptions and keep our assessments accurate.
To do this, Fred uses a skill set and experiences few people in the world possess. He began as a cop, and then moved on to the Department of State Security service, which protects foreign diplomats in the United States and American diplomats abroad. During his time in DSS, Fred orchestrated the arrest of Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing, and investigated cases such as the questionable events surrounding the death of Pakistani president Zia in 1988, among others.
He’s written a new book called Chasing Shadows. It’s about the unsolved murder of an Israeli diploment and military officer in the 1970s in Washington and Fred’s decades-long hunt to find the assassin. The case sheds light on how intelligence services operate—and how nations play hardball with each other. It starts with the tactical details and builds up to the big picture of international relations, much like the way our tactical and geopolitical teams work together.
Despite his elusive persona, Fred’s more than a colleague. He’s my friend and STRATFOR is lucky to have him. I highly recommend this book because in a fluid and personable fashion it tells an important story from 1973 with a lasting effect on geopolitics today.
For that reason, I’d like to send a free copy to all those who subscribe to STRATFOR today. I know you’ll find value in both your subscription & the book.