Tom Clancy Support and Defend (A Campus Novel)

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9780425279229: Tom Clancy Support and Defend (A Campus Novel)

Over the course of three decades, Tom Clancy created a world alive with prescient action and remarkable individuals. In Tom Clancy Support and Defend, covert agent Dominic Caruso faces the deadliest challenge of his career.

Dominic Caruso. Nephew of President Jack Ryan. FBI agent. And operator for the top secret U.S. intelligence agency known as The Campus. Already scarred by the death of his brother, Caruso is further devastated when he is unable to save a friend and his family from a terrorist attack. Ethan Ross was a mid-level staffer for the National Security Council. Now he’s a wanted fugitive on the run with a microdrive that contains enough information to destroy American intelligence efforts around the world. The CIA is desperate to get the drive back before it’s captured by the Russians or one of the various terrorist groups also vying for it.

Only Caruso stands in their way—but can he succeed without the aid of his Campus colleagues?

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About the Author:

A little more than thirty years ago Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before, he had been an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October, sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn.” From that day forward, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He passed away in October 2013.

Mark Greaney has a degree in international relations and political science. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Tom Clancy Support and Defend, Tom Clancy Full Force and Effect, Tom Clancy Commander in Chief, and Tom Clancy True Faith and Allegiance. With Tom Clancy he coauthored Locked On, Threat Vector, and Command Authority. He has written six books in his own Gray Man series: Gunmetal GrayBack Blast, Dead Eye, Ballistic, On Target, and The Gray Man. In his research for these novels, he traveled to fifteen countries, and trained alongside military and law enforcement in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine, and close-range combat tactics.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS

Dominic Caruso: operative, The Campus

Ethan Ross: deputy assistant director for Near East and North African affairs, National Security Council

Eve Pang: computer network systems engineer, Ross’s girlfriend

Darren Albright: supervisory special agent, FBI Counterintelligence Division

Nolan and Beale: investigative specialists, FBI Special Surveillance Group

Adara Sherman: director of transportation, The Campus

Harlan Banfield: journalist, member of the International Transparency Project

Gianna Bertoli: director, International Transparency Project

Mohammed Mobasheri: Iranian Revolutionary Guard

Kashan, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Ormand: operatives, Quds Force

Arturo: Venezuelan General Intelligence officer

Leo: Venezuelan General Intelligence officer

Rigoberto Finn: polygraph examiner, FBI

Gerry Hendley: director, The Campus/Hendley Associates

Arik Yacoby: former operative, Shayetet 13, Israeli naval Special Forces

David: Israeli intelligence agent

Phillip McKell: computer network expert

PROLOGUE

THE COAST OF INDIA appeared in the moonlight. There wasn’t much to it, really, just a narrow strip of sand that emerged from the darkness a few hundred meters off the ship’s bow, but the first sight of land in four days told the man standing on the foredeck two important things.

One: The ingression phase of his operation had succeeded.

And two: The time had come to slit the captain’s throat.

The man on the foredeck drew his knife and moved toward the stairs leading up to the navigation bridge. Two of his men fell into step behind him, but they were just along to watch. Responsibility for killing the captain fell to the leader and, in truth, he considered it no burden; in fact, he welcomed the opportunity to once again put his commitment to this mission on display for the others.

The leader and his team of six had spent three days on board an Omani fishing trawler on the open water of the Arabian Sea. Last night they came abreast of this eighty-foot dry-goods vessel and waved a shredded fan belt in the air. In Hindi they asked for help, but when the cargo ship drew even with them, the leader and his men scurried aboard like swamp rats and overran the small crew; they slaughtered all save the captain, and ordered him to head due east with a course set for India’s Malabar Coast.

It had taken the leader half a day to convince the terrified captain he would not suffer the same fate as his crew. Killing him would make a lie of this, of course, but as the leader climbed the steps up to the dark bridge, he wasn’t troubling himself about going back on his promise; his mind was already off this boat and onto the objective phase of the operation.

The leader was a lieutenant in the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of the Palestinian political organization Hamas. He’d been sent on this mission to target a single man, but he had known all along that many others, the captain and his crew, for instance, would necessarily be sacrificed in the action.

So far he had been in total control of his operation. The next phase, by contrast, was in the hands of someone else, and this worried him greatly. Everything now hinged on the competence of a local contact. A woman, he had been told in his mission brief, who had verified the presence of the target and the disposition of the local police and had also, Inshallah, delivered a vehicle to his landing point and, Inshallah, remembered to leave the keys under the driver’s seat.

The leader lost his balance momentarily at the top of the stairs on the outer bridge deck, and he reached out to steady himself. The men behind him were still climbing, they had not seen him stumble, and he was glad of this. They might wonder if it was a show of nerves on his part, and this he could not allow. Actually it was just a slight sway to starboard that unbalanced him, and it stood to reason his sea legs would falter. Born in the Gaza Strip, the leader had grown up within sight of the ocean but had never set foot on anything larger than a fishing skiff with an outboard motor before this week.

He had been chosen because of his intelligence, his ruthlessness, and his resolve, but certainly not for any maritime prowess.

Up here on the bridge deck, the leader stopped to scan the night in all directions. There were few signs of civilization onshore except for some wooden shacks, but an electric glow hung in the haze over the huge coastal metropolis of Kochi just forty-five kilometers to the south.

Satisfied no one was around to hear a scream across the open water, he reached for the door latch.

The middle-aged Indian captain did not turn as the leader entered the bridge. He kept his hands on the wheel, looking straight ahead, his chest heaving from dread.

He knew.

The leader continued forward with his knife shielded down behind his thigh; he’d planned on asking a question as he approached, something nonchalant to distract the man, to put him at ease for the moment, but instead he kept silent, raising the blade in his right hand.

At three paces he rushed the man’s back, reached around in front of his body with the knife, then thrust the blade into his neck and pulled it back across the bare throat. He withdrew the knife and took a single stride back. The Indian spun, blood spewed across the bridge, catching the leader’s pants and sneakers though he leapt back the length of the small room to avoid it.

The other two watched through a portal by the door, clear of the arterial spray.

The captain dropped to his knees, air hissed and gurgled through the bloody wound for a moment. Then he died. Mercifully quick for everyone, the leader thought.

“Allahu Akbar.” He said it with reverence, and he stepped over the body, tracking through the blood because there was no way to avoid it, and he put his hands on the wheel.

But for only a moment—he was no captain. In fact, none of the men on board knew how to bring the cargo ship safely into port, the captain had even told them there was no port where they were going, so the leader just pulled the engines back to idle and ordered his men to move to the tender that had already been packed with gear and lowered into the black water on the port side.

·   ·   ·

TWENTY MINUTES LATER the seven men climbed out of the small tender and into gentle shoreline surf, then pulled the boat onto the sand, beaching it just clear of the licking waves.

Leaving the boat here in the open would be no problem. They would not need it again; the leader’s exfiltration route would be overland to the east, into Madurai and then out on an aircraft with forged papers. Plus, the boat would not stand out and jeopardize the mission, as several other small watercraft lay unattended around this spit of sand. Net fishermen had left them for the night, having first removed their outboard motors and taken them back to their thatched-roof homes to protect them from thieves.

The men pulled black canvas bags from the tender and donned their gear. Three strapped heavy vests under their large black windbreakers; the other four hung small rifles on slings around their necks along with pouches of extra ammunition. The guns were micro-Uzis, a nine-millimeter machine pistol of Israeli manufacture, but any irony in the choice of firearm was outweighed by the gun’s undeniable reliability.

In three minutes they were off the sand, running up a dark beach road lined with palm and coconut trees.

The local contact had left her vehicle just off the road alongside a narrow ditch, exactly where she had been instructed to do so. True to the leader’s brief, the vehicle was a large brown panel truck that delivered milk from a local farm to the residents of Kochi. The refrigerators had been removed from the back, and this created barely enough room for the five men who climbed through the side door.

The keys were there, under the seat, and the leader found himself both pleased with and surprised by the woman’s competence. He slipped into the front passenger seat, his second-in-command took position behind the wheel, and the others sat in back without a word spoken among them.

They drove east, away from the beach and down a narrow paved road through the backwater, a system of both natural and man-made brackish lakes and canals where the Arabian Sea and the Periyar River meet. Coconut trees lined the road on both sides here, and thick haze diffused the headlights.

The leader checked his watch, then consulted with a handheld GPS device, loaded with coordinates given to him by the local agent. Their first stop was the cell phone tower on Paravur–Bhoothakulam Road. There were no landlines at the objective, so disabling the tower would cut off their target’s line of communication with the local police.

The leader conferred with his driver, then turned to face the men behind him. He saw only dark silhouettes.

He had known two of the five men for years; they, like the leader and the driver, were fedayeen from the territories. He could make them out by their posture even though he could not see their faces. The other three men he’d met at the camp in Yemen only shortly before setting sail. He focused on these foreigners exclusively, and even smiled at them like a patient and benevolent uncle.

The smile was a ruse; he thought the men fools; he refused to arm them with guns because he didn’t trust them as competent soldiers. These men would not wield weapons, the leader had decided, because they were weapons.

His smile deepened, and then he spoke to the fools in Arabic. “The time draws near, my brave brothers. You must prepare yourselves for martyrdom.”

1

DOMINIC CARUSO was only thirty-two years old, and by any fair measure physically fit, but still he found it difficult keeping stride with the fifty-year-old man running several paces ahead of him. In the past hour the pair had done five miles of roadwork broken up by a half-mile swim, and the conditions here weren’t helping. Dom sucked as much of the fetid air as he could get into his lungs just to keep going. It was the middle of the night and still hot as hell, and the jungle path was dark save for a little hazy moonlight that filtered through the palms above.

Dom’s running partner seemed to be having no trouble finding his way in the darkness, but Dom caught the toe of his shoe on the exposed root of a jacaranda tree, and he fell headlong to his hands and knees.

“Son of a bitch.” He said it under labored breath.

His trainer looked back at him but kept running. Dom thought he detected a smile on the older man’s face. His voice was low and heavily accented. “Do you need an ambulance?”

“No, I just—”

“Then get the fuck up.” The older man chuckled, then added, “C’mon, D, soldier on.” He turned away and picked up the pace.

“Right.” Dom climbed back to his feet, wiped warm mud on his shorts, and took off in pursuit.

A month ago there was no way in hell the American could have run a ten-K in eighty-five-degree heat and ninety-five percent humidity, especially not in the middle of the night after a full day of training in martial arts. But since his arrival here in India he’d made advances in his physical and mental strength faster than he could have imagined, and he owed this all to Arik Yacoby, the man now forty feet ahead of him.

The muddy jungle path ended at a paved road, and Arik turned to the left and began sprinting along it. Dominic gave chase even though he thought they should have been going to the right; he was the visitor, after all, and he trusted that Yacoby knew his way around these roads better than he.

Yacoby wasn’t a local, but he’d lived here a few years, and by his elite physical condition it was obvious he’d run these trails and roads hundreds of times.

Dom knew very little about Arik Yacoby’s past: only that he was Israeli, an émigré to India, and he had once been a member of the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces. Dom had no trouble picturing Arik as an elite soldier; his fitness and discipline and the confident and determined glint in his steely eyes announced this fact to anyone who knew what to look for.

Dom had come here to India to train with the man for six weeks. Yacoby held a fourth-degree black belt in Krav Maga, a martial art developed for the Israeli military. Dom’s hand-to-hand training with Arik had been intense in and of itself, but these additional nighttime PT sessions had added another facet to the grueling experience.

They’d swum, they’d run, they’d climbed—often all in the same night. It seemed to Dom as if Arik felt it his duty to impart not just the skills of hand-to-hand combat, but every physical and mental aspect of serving in the Israeli Special Forces.

Everything short of the use of firearms, that is. This was India, and although Arik Yacoby was now a permanent resident of Paravur, he was no cop, and no soldier, and he therefore could not obtain a gun legally.

But Dom didn’t think Yacoby’s lack of a firearm made him in any way less dangerous.

This India quest to study Krav Maga was the third evolution of five in a four-month training course for Dominic Caruso. Just before coming here, Dom had spent three weeks mountain climbing in the Yukon, led in one-on-one tutelage by a veteran Canadian alpinist. And before that, he’d spent two weeks in Reno, Nevada, studying sleight of hand and other applications of misdirection from a master magician.

After his Krav Maga training in India, Dom was slated to fly to Pennsylvania to work with a former U.S. Marine sniper on his long-distance shooting, and then from there he would go straight to Sapporo, Japan, to learn from a master in edged-weapon combat.

At each of these evolutions Dom tapped the experience of his expert trainers in the one-on-one courses and peppered them with literally thousands of questions. The trainers, on the other hand, didn’t ask him much of anything. They didn’t know his real name—Arik just referred to him as D—they didn’t know his organization, they didn’t know his background. All they knew, all they needed to know, was that Dom came with the blessing of important people connected to the U.S. intelligence community.

There was certainly an assumption by the trainers that Dom was CIA or DIA or JSOC or some other acronym that meant trouble, and Caruso himself did nothing to dispel that notion. But he was none of these things, nor was he an employee of any official government agency. Instead, Dominic Caruso was an operations officer for an entity known as The Campus. It was an off-the-books intelligence organization with a direct-action arm. Only a few in official government ranks knew of its existence, and these few made the connections to the one-on-one elite training cadre around the world, so Dom and his fellow C...

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