The Lone Wolf Agenda; by Joseph Badal

MWSA Review
This 4th novel in the Danforth spy family is again inspired by timely concerns of the ways in which enemies of the United States might operate.  Antagonists who are smart and devious make these stories even more suspenseful.  As current law enforcement personnel have learned, the hardest enemies to combat are those who work alone – the Lone Wolfs.  When intelligence agencies work together, they are able to proceed more quickly.  However, as in real life, you are not always sure of who might be working against you.  A wonderful political and intelligence community thriller.
By Nancy Kauffman, MWSA Reviewer

The Lone Wolf Agenda, a 91,000-word thriller, is the 4th book in the Danforth Saga, which includes Evil Deeds (#1), Terror Cell (#@),The Nostradamus Secret (#3), and Death Ship (#5). This novel was awarded the 1st place prize for fiction in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. It is based on current events, and melds the dynamics of oil and gas markets, the threat to OPEC of increased United States oil and gas production, lone wolf terrorists, and the introduction of a new CIA/DELTA Force initiative called Operation Lone Wolf.

The Lone Wolf Agenda offers another roller coaster ride of action and suspense as Bob Danforth returns to the CIA to manage a new program titled Operation Lone Wolf, created to combat single terrorists who infiltrate the United States. The story reintroduces Bob’s son, Michael, who is a senior officer with DELTA. It also introduces Carlos Garcia, a State Police Officer from New Mexico, who is recruited to play an integral role in the investigation of a terrorist attack that destroys the Santa Fe Airport and a private jet carrying a group of influential U.S. oil and gas executives.
Part I deals with the terrorist attacks and the initial investigation into those attacks. It follows the actions of a lone wolf terrorist who moves from Philadelphia, to Santa Fe, to Flagstaff, to Fresno, and, finally, to Bismarck. His ultimate assignment is to murder hundreds of energy company executives and politicians attending a dinner in Bismarck. 

Bob Danforth is recruited out of retirement to head up Operation Lone Wolf, which is managed by the CIA and supported by DELTA Force. 

Bob’s son, Michael, is a brigadier general with DELTA and is assigned the mission of tracking down the terrorist that perpetrated the attacks in Santa Fe. This assignment takes Michael and a DELTA team to Bismarck, where intelligence has tracked the terrorist. 

The terrorist is captured by Michael’s team and sent to a secret CIA location in Panama for interrogation.

Part II of The Lone Wolf Agenda brings in intelligence-generated information that the terrorist captured in Bismarck is only one of eight such terrorists will be infiltrated into the United States through Mexico, with the assistance of the head of the Guadalajara drug cartel. This drug lord, Jacobo Alvarez, is a vicious, powerful criminal, who is also the estranged uncle of Carlos Garcia, the New Mexico State Police Officer working with the anti-terrorism unit in Santa Fe.

Carlos works with Michael’s DELTA unit, which enters Mexico  to find the terrorists on his uncle’s estate outside Guadalajara. Backed by sophisticated communications systems and drones, the team has expectations of success. But when the President of the United States learns of the CIA/DELTA operation, he pulls the team’s support out of fear of political fallout, abandoning the team and leaving it exposed to Alvarez’s huge, well-armed personal security force. Jack Cole, the Director of Central Intelligence, and Harry Nicolo, the President’s National Security Advisor, disregard the President’s order to abandon the DELTA team and do what they can to prevent the team from being slaughtered. The team suffers casualties while discovering that the drug lord has already transported the terrorists across the U.S. border. But the team captures the drug lord and an Arab who is the liaison with The Black Gold Brotherhood terrorist group.

In Part III, political intrigue threatens to undermine Operation Lone Wolf, Jack Cole, and Harry Nicolo, as they continue to support the CIA/DELTA effort to track down the terrorists who are now in the U.S. The initial assumption is that The Black Gold Brotherhood is supported by Saudi Arabia and is targeting U.S. refineries. But CIA analysts question this as they make the case that non-operating refineries would do damage to Saudi Arabia. Without refineries, the U.S. would have no need to import Saudi oil, since it would have no place to refine that oil. 

Spencer Andrews, a deputy director at the Department of Homeland Security, is a political hack resentful of the “cowboy” tactics employed by the CIA. He begins a campaign to undermine Operation Lone Wolf for personal political gain. He leaks information about the program and DELTA’s incursion into Mexico to a friendly U.S. Senator and to one of his contacts in the media. 

The Black Gold Brotherhood, with the assistance of Hezbollah sleeper cells in Texas, finalizes preparations to attack seven major targets in the United States. Despite reservations, the CIA is still operating on the assumption the targets are the seven largest oil refineries in Texas. DELTA units have been stationed in the vicinity of all seven refineries. But the Company continues to question its assumptions and, just in time, comes to the conclusion the terrorists are targeting oil pipelines, not refineries. By destroying some of the largest pipelines in the U.S., the country will be denied crude oil for its refineries, necessitating increased oil imports from OPEC.

When Jack Cole and Harry Nicolo discover Spencer Andrews is behind the leaks about Operation Lone Wolf, they implement a “false flag” operation in which a video is created showing the Guadalajara drug lord holding captive the DELTA team, threatening to murder all the team members and releasing information about their capture in Mexico. Andrews takes this false information to the President and to a newspaper reporter. As a result, Andrews is discredited and fired.

Part IV deals with the political fallout from the President’s actions, the intended recruitment of Carlos Garcia by the CIA, Harry Nicolo’s retirement, and the re-establishment of normal life for the Danforth family.

Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 385