The Kill List

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The Kill List 2013 cover.jpg
AuthorFrederick Forsyth
CountryUnited States
PublishedRandom House in 2013
Media typePrint (paperback)
Pages352 (paperback)
Preceded byThe Cobra 

The Kill List is a novel by Frederick Forsyth published in 2013 by Random House.[1] The story concerns the response to murders by Muslim radicals.


A number of random mid-level authority figures in the United States and Great Britain are brutally murdered by Muslim extremists, all of whom seem to have been radicalized by the online sermons of a mysterious veiled man known only as "the Preacher". Perplexed by his unknown origins and his flawless command of the English language, the U.S. government soon places him on the Kill List, a list approved by the President and his senior advisors of individuals who are to be eliminated as soon as possible.

The agency charged with finding and killing the people on the list is the Technical Operations Support Activity or TOSA. It soon dispatches its best headhunter, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel known to most only as "the Tracker"[2] (who also has a personal agenda in this matter, as his father was murdered by one of the Preacher's assassins), to discover the Preacher's identity and eliminate him.[3][4]

The Tracker's investigations are slow to progress until he recruits a young and very skilled aspyish computer hacker he codenames "Ariel" to act as his tech support. Ariel traces the digital signatures of the Preacher's sermons to find him somewhere in Somalia, but the Tracker realises that the Preacher must have an ally in England to broadcast his sermons from and act as a middleman between the Preacher and his followers: the Tracker's investigation reveals an achaar mogul who is a childhood friend of the Preacher, and Ariel obtains his IP address to focus on the Preacher's location. Further investigations go nowhere until the Mossad reveals to TOSA that they have a Falasha agent codenamed "Opal" in Somalia who they can use to get close to the Preacher.

Meanwhile, a band of Somali pirates allied with the Preacher capture a Swedish trawler, taking with them the young son of the shipping mogul who had served aboard the ship as a hostage for the Preacher to personally execute in an upcoming transmission. When more of the Preacher's sermons result in further violent shootings, the Tracker tracks down an impressionist and a film crew, who he uses to create a fake video showing the Preacher exposing himself as a fraud. The video has the desired effect: the Preacher is unsettled and attempts to flee, allowing Ariel to follow both him and Opal. The Tracker parachutes into Somalia with a British Army Pathfinder Platoon and they successfully rescue the hostage and Opal, and the Tracker personally kills the Preacher in a knife-fight.


  1. ^ "The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth". Goodreads. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  2. ^ Frederick Forsyth, "The Kill List", Random House, 2013, page 14.
  3. ^ "The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth and more". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  4. ^ "The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth and review". Daily Express. Retrieved 2013-12-05.