Could terrorists ever conduct a biological weapons attack on the Baltimore area?
According to Davidsonville resident and retired CIA operative Charles Faddis, the threat of such an attack is feasible and one he explores in his most recent novel Caffa.
“Biological weapons are a very real threat. No kidding, for real, the single biggest threat that we face,” Faddis said.
Caffa, Faddis’ third book in a series, follows former CIA agent Bill Boyle and his wife, former Greek terrorist and CIA "asset" Aphroditie, as they attempt to stop a biological weapons attack in Maryland.
Faddis, whose most recent job was heading up the CIA’s weapons of mass destruction unit, has a significant amount of background in terrorism and WMDs.
“What I try to do with all of these works of fiction is a couple things. One, I try to make them entertaining and fun and fast reads,” Faddis said. “The second thing is to try and make them as realistic as possible, to give people some idea of what it’s like to work counter terrorism abroad."
While he is careful to make sure his novels don’t read like how-to books for terrorists, because of his expertise, they are as close to real life as possible.
Faddis believes Americans need to stop thinking like Americans.
“[The intelligence community] spends a lot of time talking about how we need to get into the shoes of our advisories, but we do a really poor job of that. We still think like Americans, act like Americans, very complex,” Faddis said.
Many terrorist groups are faced with limited engineering, monetary and other resources, so they have to think more simply, which can work in their favor.
“They have more limitations, so they usually find much more direct, more brutal ways to be effective,” Faddis said.
Faddis was in the CIA for 20 years before retiring in 2008 and settling into his home in Davidsonville. He now makes his living as a writer and as a contractor for the intelligence community.
Caffa is his third work of fiction and his sixth book. You can find a full list of his works online here.