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The Deniable Agent: Undercover in Afghanistan

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As far as Colin Berry's family was concerned, he'd gone to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban to market low-cost modular housing; but the truth was much more complicated. Berry, a former soldier, had been recruited by British intelligence to secretly buy back weapons systems which had been delivered to the Mujahideen during their struggle against the Soviets. Giving As far as Colin Berry's family was concerned, he'd gone to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban to market low-cost modular housing; but the truth was much more complicated. Berry, a former soldier, had been recruited by British intelligence to secretly buy back weapons systems which had been delivered to the Mujahideen during their struggle against the Soviets. Giving riveting insight into the covert world of intelligence, Berry reveals his involvement in reconnaissance missions to remote mountain villages where he was able to see first hand the ravaging effects of decades of warfare. The story culminates in a hotel room shootout that left two Afghans injured and Berry himself seriously wounded. He finally reveals the truth about what happened in the Intercontinental Hotel that night, as well as how he spent nearly a year in a stinking Afghan jail.


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As far as Colin Berry's family was concerned, he'd gone to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban to market low-cost modular housing; but the truth was much more complicated. Berry, a former soldier, had been recruited by British intelligence to secretly buy back weapons systems which had been delivered to the Mujahideen during their struggle against the Soviets. Giving As far as Colin Berry's family was concerned, he'd gone to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban to market low-cost modular housing; but the truth was much more complicated. Berry, a former soldier, had been recruited by British intelligence to secretly buy back weapons systems which had been delivered to the Mujahideen during their struggle against the Soviets. Giving riveting insight into the covert world of intelligence, Berry reveals his involvement in reconnaissance missions to remote mountain villages where he was able to see first hand the ravaging effects of decades of warfare. The story culminates in a hotel room shootout that left two Afghans injured and Berry himself seriously wounded. He finally reveals the truth about what happened in the Intercontinental Hotel that night, as well as how he spent nearly a year in a stinking Afghan jail.

30 review for The Deniable Agent: Undercover in Afghanistan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Daren

    This was an enjoyable enough read for what it is... And what is it exactly? Spoilers below, but I haven't ruined it if you do want to read the book... As I see it, this is a non-fiction telling of an awkward situation that an ex-military fellow who has got himself involved in some spy work which he thought was managed by British Intelligence (well Customs & Excise), when it appears he was a subcontractor of a (dodgy) subcontractor, who was perhaps being managed by someone at Customs & Excise who This was an enjoyable enough read for what it is... And what is it exactly? Spoilers below, but I haven't ruined it if you do want to read the book... As I see it, this is a non-fiction telling of an awkward situation that an ex-military fellow who has got himself involved in some spy work which he thought was managed by British Intelligence (well Customs & Excise), when it appears he was a subcontractor of a (dodgy) subcontractor, who was perhaps being managed by someone at Customs & Excise who was being investigated for corruption. Basically the author ended up being caught up in a political situation where a faction of the Afghans had control of him, and neither the British or the Americans wanted to exert a lot of pressure to get him back - they didn't care enough, as he was effectively operating without support. So assuming everything in the book is true, the author has every right to feel aggrieved with the fact that so little was done. He primarily ended up in a mess when two Afghan informers visited him at his hotel, and pulled a gun on him, attempting to rob him. The result was the author got shot in the side, and the two Afghans got killed. Having fallen out with the dodgy Cypriot guy he was working for (with??) the author made the decision to call the Americans he had been working with, as the British Consulate were already at arms length. Given the dodgy Cypriot was selling information to the Americans where in theory he was working for the British, this was probably not ideal. He openly suggests that he doesn't believe he was set up, it was just a bad situation, and the assistance he was given by the Americans (who wouldn't take him to the US base, or a neutral hospital, dumped him at an Afghan hospital (run by foreign aid, but where the Afghan authorities could claim jurisdiction, which wouldn't have happened otherwise). The Americans also handed over his gun, luggage, and most crucially briefcase with his surveillance notes over to the Afghans - which effectively hung him out to dry (they removed everything incriminating the US first, of course). The UK embassy were either incredibly incompetent, or unwilling to step in. They met with him several time and made some low level reassuring comments that they were sorting it out, meanwhile the author is being starved and tortured in an Afghan jail. Another reviewer has indicated the facts are not all accurate, but provides no grounds for doubts. It is feasible there are some things missing or mis-reported, but as always in these books how can most of these things be corroborated, but what is the motivation for writing a book and covering up? Who knows. I said above 'assuming everything in the book is true...' and I have no reason to doubt the content. The author is not a writer - the book is not startlingly well written - it doesn't have a building up of pace, it doesn't set up startling revelations - but it is not fiction (where writing techniques are expected), and to me, the calm, organised and thorough explanation of events (and really the authors whole life story) lends the book much more legitimacy than involving a ghost writer to spice things up, or write an Andy McNab / Chris Ryan book which embellishes the story and later gets disproved by the others involved. Three and a half stars, rounded down, but still an interesting read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Danial

    A former British soldier narrates his account of working as an undercover agent in post-Taliban Afghanistan.His job is to procure weapons from the landlocked country,which otherwise could fall into wrong hands.His story starts from his recruitment into British Army and culminates to his latest deadly encounter with Afghans eager to kill him.He is Colin Berry with his book,The Deniable Agent:Undercover in Afghanistan.Berry while searching for weapons comes across startling revelations.Berry's boo A former British soldier narrates his account of working as an undercover agent in post-Taliban Afghanistan.His job is to procure weapons from the landlocked country,which otherwise could fall into wrong hands.His story starts from his recruitment into British Army and culminates to his latest deadly encounter with Afghans eager to kill him.He is Colin Berry with his book,The Deniable Agent:Undercover in Afghanistan.Berry while searching for weapons comes across startling revelations.Berry's book has a flavor of conspiracy usually attached with the intelligence agencies.They hire you and once the job is done you are taken on a ride. Hence the emphasis on the word deniable in the title of his book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    Poorly written, but an interesting read on some of the insidious, capitalistic and conniving practices that have taken place in Afghanistan over the past ten years. Turns out, and on good sources, Berry obfuscates key facts in his story. Still, it's something somewhat honest coming out of Afghanistan. Poorly written, but an interesting read on some of the insidious, capitalistic and conniving practices that have taken place in Afghanistan over the past ten years. Turns out, and on good sources, Berry obfuscates key facts in his story. Still, it's something somewhat honest coming out of Afghanistan.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paddy

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vimal Bhojwani

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alan Leckey

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

  8. 5 out of 5

    Garikayi Nyamugama

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ben Shutt

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob Frost

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mr D Bonich

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mason

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zabih Akhgar

  15. 4 out of 5

    Valziegler

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ian Wilson

  17. 5 out of 5

    J.M. Johnson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sam New

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Smith

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sally

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lee Whitehouse

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elliot Richards

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robi Sen

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sherifheleka

  28. 5 out of 5

    Huw Williams

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Millward

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mr A P R Barron

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