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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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Jul 30, 2019

In 1999, 30-year-old Nada Bakos moved from her lifelong home in Montana to Washington, DC, to join the CIA. Through determination and an affinity for intelligence work, she rose through the ranks of the CIA as an analyst and Targeting Officer and found herself on the front lines of America’s war against Islamic extremists. Nada brought her story to Town Hall, drawing from her book The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House. She described how she was charged with determining if Iraq had a relationship with 9/11 and Al-Qaeda—and with finding the mastermind behind this terrorist activity: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Bakos chronicled the struggles of the determined men and women who worked in the heart of the CIA to ensure our nation’s safety at home and abroad. Through on-the-ground insights and poignant personal anecdotes, Bakos showed us the great personal sacrifice that comes with intelligence work. Sit in for a tight, tension-packed narrative that reveals the inner workings of the Agency and the largely hidden world of post 9/11 intelligence gathering.

Nada Bakos is a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Bakos served as one of the key members of the team charged with analyzing the relationship between Iraq, al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks, and for her role as the Chief Targeting officer tracking one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Bakos is also known for her interview in the documentary, Manhunt:The Hunt for Bin Laden and “PBS Frontline: The Secret History of ISIS.”

Recorded live in The Forum at Town Hall Seattle on June 30, 2019.