Operation Shakespeare

The True Story of an Elite International Sting

About The Book

A secret war. A daring sting operation. The great untold national security story of our time: “An impressive and important work…The book has the glamour of a spy novel and the gravity of a meticulously researched exposé” (Christian Science Monitor).

On today’s high-tech battlefields, the most lethal weapons are not the big ones, but rather the ones that are small enough to be smuggled inside a pack of chewing gum. Developed and manufactured in the United States at extraordinary cost, these tiny weapons of war—which can guide missiles, see through walls, and trigger anything from a wireless IED to a nuclear weapon—are what currently give the US its military advantage. Unfortunately, they are increasingly being discovered in the hands of our enemies.

In Operation Shakespeare, Pulitzer Prize finalist John Shiffman tells the true story of an elaborate sting operation launched by an elite Homeland Security team that was created to stop Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea from stealing US military technology. The sting, codenamed Operation Shakespeare, targets an Iranian arms broker who works on behalf of Tehran. Over the course of three years, the American agents go undercover to outwit not only the Iranian, but US defense contractors and bankers willing to put profit over national security. The chase moves around the world, and as the United States tries to bring the Iranian to justice, his own government plots to assassinate him, fearful of what he might reveal.

Tenacious, richly detailed, and boasting unprecedented access to both the Iranian broker and the US agents who caught him, “Operation Shakespeare reads like a spy thriller—but Shiffman’s meticulous reporting leaves no doubt that he is telling nothing less than scary truth” (Daily News, New York).

About The Author

John Shiffman is an investigative reporter for Reuters. He worked as a staff writer at The Philadelphia Inquirer from 2003 to 2011, where he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is the author of Operation Shakespeare and with former FBI agent Robert Wittman, he coauthored Priceless, a New York Times bestseller published in nine languages. He is a lawyer and lives near Washington, DC.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 8, 2014)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451655193

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Raves and Reviews

“Vivid . . . An impressive and important work . . . Shiffman illuminates the network of smugglers, brokers, governments, and corporations that facilitates the illegal sale and shipment of sensitive American military technologies to foreign enemies. . . . The book has the glamour of a spy novel and the gravity of a meticulously researched exposé.”

– Christian Science Monitor

“Heart-pounding . . . So mesmerizing I couldn’t put it down . . . This book stuns.”

– Providence Journal

“A riveting new book, Operation Shakespeare, tells the thrilling inside story of how an elite team of Homeland Security operatives snatched an Iranian arms dealer from the shadows in a triumph of American justice. . . . Operation Shakespeare reads like a spy thriller—but Shiffman’s meticulous reporting leaves no doubt that he is telling nothing less than scary truth.”

– New York Daily News

“John Shiffman’s Operation Shakespeare reads like a spy novel, but this meticulously reported book has the added virtue of being completely true. Shiffman has uncovered one of the great undercover stings in recent U.S. history, a Homeland Security operation aimed at protecting U.S. troops from an Iranian arms dealer. This is must-reading for anyone who loves foreign intrigue—a welcome covert operation where the U.S. agents are the good guys.”

– Andrea Mitchell

“A tale that seems almost ready-made for Hollywood . . . A cross between a great detective story and an intricate spy yarn from John le Carré, with a cast of burly American agents, slippery international arms dealers, and an Iranian agent.”

– Philadelphia Inquirer

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