THE BEST INTELLIGENCE BOOK for 2017 by The American Association of Former Intelligence Officers
A gripping feat of reportage that exposes—for the first time in English—the sensational life and mysterious death of Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian senior official who spied for Israel, offering new insight into the turbulent modern history of the Middle East.
As the son-in-law of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and a close advisor to his successor, Anwar Sadat, Ashraf Marwan had access to the deepest secrets of the country’s government. But Marwan himself had a secret: He was a spy for the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. Under the codename “The Angel,” Marwan turned Egypt into an open book for the Israeli intelligence services—and, by alerting the Mossad in advance of the joint Egyptian-Syrian attack on Yom Kippur, saved Israel from a devastating defeat.
Drawing on meticulous research and interviews with many key participants, Uri Bar Joseph pieces together Marwan’s story. In the process, he sheds new light on this volatile time in modern Egyptian and Middle Eastern history, culminating in 2011’s Arab Spring. The Angel also chronicles the discord within the Israeli government that brought down Prime Minister Golda Meir.
However, this nail-biting narrative doesn’t end with Israel’s victory in the Yom Kippur War. Marwan eluded Egypt’s ruthless secret services for many years, but then somebody talked. Five years later, in 2007, his body was found in the garden of his London apartment building. Police suspected he had been thrown from his fifth-floor balcony, and thanks to explosive new evidence, Bar-Joseph can finally reveal who, how, and why.
Uri Bar-Joseph is Professor of Political Science at the University of Haifa. He is the author of six books about intelligence, Israel’s national security strategy, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. His coming book, Intelligence Success and Failure: A Comparative Study (with Rose McDermott), is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
Table of Contents
Cast of Characters vii
Prologue: The Funeral and the Mystery 1
Chapter 1 Cairo, 1944-1970: Beginnings 7
Chapter 2 London, 1970: Contact 33
Chapter 3 April 1971: Enter Military Intelligence 55
Chapter 4 May 1971: Liftoff 76
Chapter 5 The Dream of Every Spy Agency on Earth 100
Chapter 6 Sadat's Emissary for Special Affairs 133
Chapter 7 Egypt Girds for War 152
Chapter 8 Final Preparations and an Intermezzo in Rome 176
Chapter 9 Signing at Sundown on Saturday 194
Chapter 10 Dovecote: Warning and War 219
Chapter 11 The Rise and Fall of Ashraf Marwan 237
Chapter 12 An Angel in the City, a Son-In-Law Exposed 269
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