Alan Cowell


Cowell, Alan. "Blair Did Not Knowingly Use False Report, Inquiry Is Told." New York Times, 12 Aug. 2003. []

On 11 August 2003, "[s]enior government officials told a high-profile inquiry ... that intelligence officers had registered their concern at the way Prime Minister Tony Blair's government presented the threat from Iraq's weapons systems before going to war. But the officials ... denied that the government knowingly used false information to create a sense of imminent threat from Iraq."


Cowell, Alan. "Bonn Said to Expel U.S. Envoy Accused of Economic Spying." New York Times, 10 Mar. 1997, A6 (N).

Der Spiegel has reported that the German authorities have notified the United States that they will expel an unidentified American official, apparently a CIA officer, for trying to recruit a high-ranking Economics Ministry official with access to "high-tech" projects. See also, Steven Erlanger, "U.S. Negotiating with Germany to Avoid C.I.A. Man's Expulsion," New York Times, 12 Mar. 1997, A5 (N).


Cowell, Alan. "Britain Arrests 9 Suspects in Terrorist Kidnapping Plot." New York Times, 1 Feb. 2007. []

On 31 January 2007, British police in the city of Birmingham "conducted a series of raids..., arresting nine suspects on terrorism charges in what appeared to be a shift in the tactics of terrorism in Britain. The suspects are accused of devising a plot that included plans to kidnap, torture and behead a British Muslim soldier and broadcast video images of his killing on the Internet.... The Home Office in London called the arrests 'a major counterterrorism operation.'"

[Terrorism/00s/07; UK/PostCW/00s/07]

Cowell, Alan. "British Report Faults Prewar Intelligence but Clears Blair." New York Times, 15 Jul. 2004. []

The report released by Lord Butler on 14 July 2004 "found extensive failures both in intelligence gathering on illicit weapons and the government's use of that intelligence to justify the Iraq war. But it cleared Prime Minister Tony Blair of accusations that he or his government distorted the evidence to build a case for the war.... [T]he report specifically exonerated one of Britain's top spymasters, John Scarlett," who headed the Joint Intelligence Committee prior to his appointment to head MI6. See also, Glenn Frankel, "Britain's Iraq Data Deemed 'Flawed': Blair Didn't Distort Facts, Inquiry Finds," Washington Post, 15 Jul. 2004, A1.


Cowell, Alan. "The Daring Attack that Blew Up in Israel's Face." New York Times, 15 Oct. 1997, A1, A6.

This report provides a detailed account of the Israeli attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Amman and the ensuing negotiations with an outraged King Hussein.


Cowell, Alan. "East Germany's Spy Chief on Trial in the West Again." New York Times, 8 Jan. 1997, A6.

Cowell, Alan. "German Official Spied for Iraq in Gulf War." New York Times, 18 Nov. 1997, A8 (N).

A Foreign Ministry registry clerk was sentenced in May 1991 for providing "piles of secrets, including Western assessments of Iraq's missile strength," to Iraq. In the judgment of the German court, Jurgen Mohamed Gietler's "activities enabled Iraq's army to disguise some missile batteries so that it was able to fire missiles at Israel from sites that the United States and its allies believed they had destroyed."


Cowell, Alan. "German Ruling Absolves Spies of Former East." New York Times, 24 May 1995, A1.

Cowell, Alan S. The Terminal Spy: A True Story of Espionage, Betrayal, and Murder. New York: Broadway, 2008.

de Waal, Washington Post Book World, 27 Jul. 2008, finds that the author "has done an excellent job of reconstructing [Alexander] Litvinenko's last days, the police investigation and the background to the case.... The trouble is that Cowell's dogged reporting ... gets him only so far before the trail disappears in a blizzard of evasions and denials in Moscow.... Deprived of a satisfying end to his quest, Cowell infuses his story with a thriller atmosphere that sometimes seems forced.... We are also led down many detours of dubious relevance." For Peake, Studies 54.2 (Jun. 2010) and Intelligencer 18.1 (Fall-Winter 2010), the author's "independent account brings objectivity to the saga" that other writers have not.


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