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Extreme Measures

Vince Flynn





  In the secretive world where fearless men and women wage a daily covert war, the CIA has intercepted two terrorist cells—but a third, led by a dangerous mastermind, is feared to be on the loose. Counterterrorist agent Mitch Rapp joins forces with a warrior as dedicated—and lethal—as they come: ex-Marine and elite operative Mike Nash. Both Rapp and Nash have stared down the jihadist culture of death. Both have saved thousands of lives without accolades or acknowledgment of their personal sacrifices. But the political winds have changed on Capitol Hill, and certain leaders want Mitch Rapp put back on a short leash. And when a nightmare scenario descends on Washington, D.C., Rapp and Nash will follow new rules of engagement: their own.




  VINCE FLYNN is the #1 New York Times and national bestselling author of the political thrillers Term Limits, Transfer of Power, The Third Option, Separation of Power, Executive Power, Memorial Day, Consent to Kill, Act of Treason, Protect and Defend, Extreme Measures, Pursuit of Honor, and American Assassin. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family.





  His explosive bestsellers featuring Mitch Rapp are “FANTASTIC” (Glenn Beck) . . . “JUST FABULOUS” (Rush Limbaugh) . . . “SPECTACULAR AND EXCEPTIONALLY TIMELY” (The Providence Journal, RI)

  Fighting the enemy has Mitch Rapp breaking all the rules—in Vince Flynn’s



  “If you start this well-written thriller, you’ll stick with it, probably past your bedtime.”

  —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  “If I had the mythical wallet of endless wealth, I would buy up a few hundred thousand copies of Extreme Measures and start passing them out on street corners . . . [to those who] haven’t considered the issues raised in this book. . . . Flynn demonstrates that he truly understands the psyche of the enemy. . . . The book races toward a catastrophic, and ironic, conclusion. . . . Really scary, so realistic.”


  “A captivating thriller. . . . An excellent exposé about what manner of enemy we are fighting . . . and how the political correctness of the day . . . cannot only impede the effort but invite the carnage to our shores.”


  This title is also available from Simon & Schuster Audio and as an eBook

  National acclaim for Vince Flynn and his previous Mitch Rapp bestsellers—“an exciting, Ludlum-like series” (Booklist)


  “Simply stated, there’s nothing better than watching Mitch Rapp in fiction knock off the bad guys nobody seems able to get in fact. . . . A new era was born [on 9/11] and this is the best thriller to come out of it so far.”

  —The Providence Journal (RI)

  “It cannot be said often enough: Flynn gets it. He understands how the world operates and infuses his characters with a consistent and coherent realism. . . . Reading Flynn is like throwing open a window and taking in a breath of fresh, cold air that invigorates and enlightens without sacrificing entertainment value.”


  “Thrillers do not get any better. . . .”

  —Copley News Service

  “You’ll be hooked. . . . Move over, Jack Ryan!”

  —Portland Oregonian

  “CIA operative Mitch Rapp is back. And he’s as fearless as ever.”

  —Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN)

  “A Rambo perfectly suited for the war on terror.”

  —The Washington Times

  “Suspenseful . . . satisfying and totally unexpected.”

  —The Roanoke Times (VA)

  “Nonstop action [with a] surprising twist.”

  —The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News (FL)

  “The king of high-concept political intrigue.”

  —Dan Brown, #1 bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code

  “[A] thriller with deadly aim. . . . Moves at the speed of a Stinger missile.”


  “Flynn has done his homework on military and security matters.”

  —The Washington Post

  “Every American should read this book.”

  —Bill O’Reilly

  “A master of the political/espionage thriller.”

  —Deseret News (Salt Lake City)

  “Complex, chilling, and satisfying.”

  —The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)


  —The Florida Times-Union

  “A page-turning read.”

  —Larry King, USA Today

  “A roller-coaster, edge-of-your-seat thriller. . . .”

  —Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

  “Action-packed. . . . Truly entertaining—even for those not particularly politically inclined.”

  —The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA)

  Also by Vince Flynn

  Protect and Defend

  Act of Treason

  Consent to Kill

  Memorial Day

  Executive Power

  Separation of Power

  The Third Option

  Transfer of Power

  Term Limits

  American Assassin

  A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

  1230 Avenue of the Americas

  New York, NY 10020 This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

  Copyright © 2008 by Vince Flynn

  All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

  For information address Atria Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

  and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

  The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to you live event. For more information or to book an event contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available for the hardcover.

  ISBN 978-0-7432-7042-7

  ISBN 978-1-4391-9692-2 (pbk)

  978-1-4165-9399-7 (eBook)

  To Robert Richer and

  the men and women of the

  National Clandestine Service and

  National Counterterrorism Center

  Thank you for purchasing this Atria Books eBook.

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  Chapter 1: Bagram air Base, Afghanistan

  Chapter 2: Triple Frontier, South America

  Chapter 3: Bagram air Base, Afghanistan

  Chapter 4: Triple Frontier, South America
  Chapter 5: Bagram air Base, Afghanistan

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8: Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 9: Bagram air Base, Afghanistan

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16: Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 17: Triple Frontier, South America

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19: Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 20: Bagram air Base, Afghanistan

  Chapter 21: Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 22: Triple Frontier

  Chapter 23: Langley, Virginia

  Chapter 24: Bagram air Base, Afghanistan

  Chapter 25: Langley, Virginia

  Chapter 26: Triple Frontier

  Chapter 27: Bethesda Naval Hospital

  Chapter 28: Bagram air Base, Afghanistan

  Chapter 29: Triple Frontier

  Chapter 30: Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32: Capitol Hill

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34: Cuba

  Chapter 35: Arlington, Virginia

  Chapter 36: Dulles International Airport

  Chapter 37: Florida Keys

  Chapter 38: Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 39: Florida Keys

  Chapter 40: Arlington, Virginia

  Chapter 41: Capitol Hill

  Chapter 42: Brunswick, Georgia

  Chapter 43: Capitol Hill

  Chapter 44

  Chapter 45: Arlington, Virginia

  Chapter 46: Capitol Hill

  Chapter 47

  Chapter 48: Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 49: Arlington, Virginia

  Chapter 50: Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 51: Arlington, Virginia

  Chapter 52: Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 53

  Chapter 54: Arlington, Virginia

  Chapter 55: Anacostia River, Washington, D.C.

  Chapter 56: Arlington, Virginia

  Chapter 57: Capitol Hill

  Chapter 58

  Chapter 59

  Chapter 60

  Chapter 61: Capitol Hill

  Chapter 62

  Chapter 63

  Chapter 64

  Chapter 65: Mclean, Virginia

  Chapter 66

  Chapter 67

  Chapter 68

  Chapter 69

  Chapter 70

  Chapter 71

  Chapter 72

  Chapter 73

  Chapter 74

  Chapter 75

  Chapter 76

  About the Author

  About Emily Bestler Books

  About Atria Books

  Ask Atria


  TO Emily Bestler, my editor, and Sloan Harris, my agent, for your wise council and friendship. To David Brown, for your ideas and humor. To Judith Curr and Louise Burke, for your vision and commitment; I couldn’t be happier that I’m staying put for four more books. To Ian Chapman, Kate Lyall-Grant, and the rest of the Simon & Schuster UK family, thank you for the great strides you’ve made in the last few years. To Laura Stern, Kristyn Keene, Niki Castle, and Allie Green, thank you for putting up with me. To Jamie Kimmers, we’re going to miss you. To Ron Bernstein at ICM for sticking with me and selling the movie rights to the Mitch Rapp franchise.

  To Paul Evancoe, a fellow author, friend, and a great patriot, for his spot-on advice. To Dr. Jodi Bakkegard, for once again keeping me in line. To Dorothy Wallner, for being so good to my family. And to my wonderful wife, Lysa, who has kept things together during a very hectic year. You’re the best.

  We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.




  MIKE Nash glanced anxiously at his watch and then eyed the twin flat-screen monitors. Both prisoners were sleeping soundly. If all went according to plan, their slumber wouldn’t last much longer. The prisoners had been picked up seven days earlier on a routine patrol. At the time, the young GI’s had no idea whom they had stumbled upon. That revelation came later, and by accident. The brass at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan quickly separated the two men from the other 396 enemy combatants and alerted Washington.

  Nash was one of the first people called. The secure phone began ringing at 2:23 in the morning the previous Sunday. The watch officer at the National Counterterrorism Center gave him the news. Nash thanked him, hung up, and contemplated whether or not he should get out of bed and head in to the office. Catching a couple of high-value targets was exciting, but Nash knew from experience that people would be tripping over each other trying to take credit. Having just returned from London, he needed the sleep a hell of a lot more than he needed recognition.

  Less than a minute later the phone started up again. This time it was his boss’s boss, Irene Kennedy, the director of the CIA. Nash listened without comment for a good twenty seconds and then replied, “I’m on it.” With that, he kissed his wife, got out of bed, threw on some comfortable travel clothes, checked on each of his four kids, grabbed his go-bag, which was always packed, left a brief note by the coffeepot, and was out the door. Given his job, it was all too likely that his family would not be surprised by Nash’s absence when they awoke.

  Twenty minutes later he arrived at the private airstrip and climbed aboard a fully prepped Gulfstream V. As soon as they were airborne, Nash’s thoughts turned to the two prisoners. He didn’t need to look at their files. He’d already memorized them. He had been building them for years, each time a new piece of intelligence came in. That was one of Mike Nash’s gifts. It didn’t matter if it was baseball stats or the details on the who’s who of terrorists around the world. If he read it, he could recall it. Nash began to construct his line of questioning. With as much instinct as logic, he laid his traps and anticipated their lies. It would likely take weeks to completely break them, but they would talk. They always did.

  Somewhere over the eastern Atlantic he received his first secure message that there was a problem. As the plane raced along at 47,000 feet the drama unfolded via a painful exchange of updates from Langley. Three senators, who had been at the base on a fact-finding mission, had caught wind of the two new detainees and requested to see them. The base commander, through either sheer stupidity or a calculated desire to please those who could advance his career, relented and let the senators sit down with the high-ranking prisoners.

  If Nash had been forced to compile a list of the three politicians he most despised, two of these “Fact-Finders” would have been on it, and the third would have made honorable mention. As chairmen of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, they were a powerful group. They also happened to despise the CIA. After their one-hour meeting with the prisoners, the three senators told the base commander in very stark terms that his ass was on the line. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee went one step further and told him if the Geneva Conventions weren’t followed to the letter she would haul him before her committee and make him answer for his crimes in front of the American people.

  The fact that one of the prisoners had earned his stripes with the Taliban by blowing up coalition-built schools with little Afghani children in them seemed to be of little consequence to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Neither did she care that the prisoners and their organization were not signatories of the Geneva Conventions. Apparently, she had other priorities. Affording tolerance, respect, and compassion to the bigoted, sadistic, and cold-hearted sounded very noble in principle, but in reality it was a great way to lose a war.

  One of the most difficult aspects of Nash’s job was dealing with the opportunistic politicians he answered to. These same senators had clamored for action in the months after
the attacks on New York and Washington. Behind closed doors they expressed concern that the CIA wasn’t being aggressive enough with their interrogation techniques. They pushed for the use of extreme measures, and gave Langley assurances they would be protected. Now, Nash was reminded of the fable about the scorpion who promises the frog he will not sting him if the frog gives him a ride across the river. They were now halfway across the river, and just like in the fable, instincts had taken over, the stinger was out, and they were all on the verge of drowning.

  Nash looked at the two prisoners sleeping peacefully in their warm, clean beds. On the left screen was Abu Haggani, a senior Taliban commander in charge of suicide operations in Afghanistan. It was estimated that his attacks had claimed the lives of more than three thousand civilians and another forty-three coalition soldiers. The man was notorious for intentionally targeting women and children in an effort to intimidate his fellow Afghanis from cooperating with coalition forces. The second man was Mohammad al-Haq, the Taliban’s liaison with al-Qaeda and one of Mullah Omar’s most trusted aides. While Nash unashamedly relished the thought of inflicting severe pain on Haggani, it was al-Haq who interested him most. The man was an integral link between al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The secrets he held would be invaluable.

  Nash had been allowed a maximum of four hours with each man per day for the first three days. Everything was strictly supervised and recorded. No stress positions, no sleep deprivation, no loud music or yelling, no hitting or slapping, no manipulation of diet, and no manipulation of temperature in their cells. Even the mere threat of physical violence had to be approved by lawyers back in Washington.

  On Wednesday, Nash’s session was ended early when he told al-Haq that he had spoken to General Abdul Rashid Dostum. The former Northern Alliance commander and leader of the Uzbek community was widely known for his hatred of the Taliban. Nash told al-Haq that he had arranged to have him transferred to Dostum’s custody in the morning. Al-Haq nearly shit a brick over the prospect of being handed over to a man who was every bit as vicious as he and his colleagues. The fear in al-Haq’s eyes was obvious. Nash watched him closely as the prisoner searched for a way to forestall the nightmare. Nash had put dozens of men in this situation before. They always looked down at first and then nervously to the left and then the right as they scrambled to come up with something that would save their asses. The truth didn’t matter so much at first. Nash just wanted them talking. He could sort out the lies later.