Sunday, August 20, 2006

Circle of Fear

Circle of Fear : A Renegade's Journey from the Mossad to the Iraqi Secret Service (Hardcover)
by Hussein Sumaida (Author)

The author has some similarity with renegade Israeli intelligence officer Victor Ostrovsky who went on to write a couple of best sellers after he ran away from the Mossad unable to work for an agency which he thought was doing more harm than good.

Here we have an Iraqi who nurtured the fantasy to work for Iraq's arch enemy Israel only to be found out by Iraqi intelligence. If he was not the son of a very influential person with close ties to Saddam, he would have been summarily executed. Saddam who eliminated people for even very small mistakes allowed this guy to live and work for Iraqi intelligence. Now this man is in trouble with Mossad for having abandoned them suddenly and having to work of Iraqi terror apparatus against his will. How he manages to come out of this vicious circle what the book is all about.

Book lacks much substance or the author has failed to bring out the best in the form of the book. No where you would find anything extraordinary. Even some of the precarious moments seem to be brought about by circumstances and taken care of again by circumstances. No where you would find the author having had to do something dare devil to escape from the circle of fear. I am sure some of the things that the author accomplished such as managing to get out of the country in a clandestine manner, arranging for his wife's escape so that they could reunite outside of Iraq etc. must have been really heroic of author. But, it does not come across so.

Since the author was the son of a very influential diplomat, references to some famous Iraqis are found in the book. Saddam's two sons Uday and Kusay were his playmates. Tariq Aziz, an educated Iraqi who was the mouth piece of Saddam's regime was a regular visitor to his house. Abul Abbas a notorious PLO terrorist had once did business with the author and references to some not much heard about intelligence people and their unmatched cruelty and ruthlessness.

The author finally manages to flee out of Iraq and makes Canada as his new home. There he now lives a very low profile life to avoid being detected by Iraqi intelligence. This book was written around the time of first gulf war. 15 years since then a lot has changed. Saddam is gone. So are his sons and whole Iraqi Baaht party regime. Iraq is in civil war and America is being required to end what it started.

This is a moderately interesting read. Nothing much to enjoy in terms of sensational spy escapades.


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