Guardian: Life in the Crosshairs of the CIA’s War on Terror

By Thomas Pecora, Jon Land, Lindsay Preston

A CIA security officer recounts a twenty-four-year career protecting America’s intelligence personnel and senior USG Officials against a backdrop of the War on Terror.

Tom Pecora is prepared to draw back the curtain on the little-known and misunderstood world of the CIA protective operations—security teams who work on the front lines in some of the most dangerous places in the world, doing battle with America’s most determined enemies in the War on Terror and more.

Somalia was Pecora’s first deployment as a CIA Protective Operations Cadre (POC) officer, responsible for providing protective operations support in hostile areas of the world. He later headed up a series of the Agency’s undisclosed protective operations teams. The existence of these protective teams was first exposed during the famous 2012 battle in Benghazi when the Annex Security Team saved the lives of the State Department employees, an incident that was the subject of the movie, 13 Hours. From 1989 until his retirement in 2013, he was assigned to multiple war zones across Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, doing the kind of work few are even aware exists.

But it does, and Pecora’s direct involvement allowed him to work behind the scenes of some of the most well-known conflicts of our time, including the infamous encounter known as Black Hawk Down, the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and the hotbeds across the Middle East where fires continue to burn.

Over the course of a career that saw him receive the Career Intelligence Medal, Intelligence Star, Meritorious Unit Citation, and numerous Exceptional Performance Awards, Pecora distinguished himself as a Protective Operations Cadre (POC) member and as a CIA Security Officer. And now he’s prepared to shed light on the world of clandestine protective operations and the selfless, heroic warriors dedicated to keeping the United States safe at all costs…