Fred Burton

  • Global Security Expert
  • VP Intelligence at Stratfor
  • High-Net Worth Protection Expert

Fred Burton is one of the world's foremost authorities on security, high net worth protection and terrorism. He oversees Stratfor's analysis of global security developments and consults with clients on security-related issues affecting their business assets or personal safety. He also guides Stratfor's extensive coverage of the security environment in Mexico and closely monitors Mexican drug cartels, their areas of influence and their drug trafficking routes.

Burton is the author of three books, including the best-selling memoir, GHOST: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent (Random House, 2008), in which he tells the story of his role in the fight against the burgeoning terrorist threat in the 1980s and beyond. His second book, Chasing Shadows: A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice (Palgrave, 2011), follows his 35-year quest to solve the case of an Israeli diplomat assassinated in Burton's childhood neighborhood. His latest book, Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi (St. Martin's, 2013), is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times best-seller and provides the first detailed account of the infamous assault in Libya in September, 2012.  Under Fire has been optioned to HBO Films.

 
  

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Rave Reviews About Fred Burton
Mr. Burton has a wonderfully refreshing way of presenting the facts, without spinning them to catch the political winds or to appeal to a particular subset of the audience. This approach is truly exceptional in a media landscape that regularly hurls terrorist attacks like those in Benghazi back and forth like political footballs. As the Head of a K-12 school, this evidence-based approach to understanding a particular historical moment is exactly what I encourage my faculty to teach our students. In his presentation and question and answer session with our high school students, Mr. Burton was captivating, accessible and engaging. He generously shared formative stories from his youth and captivatingly documented his life of service to this country, introducing our students to new avenues for their own education and professional lives. Like any great writer, Mr. Burton loves a good story and has an uncanny knack for going after them and sharing them with his audience.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Fred Burton
  • Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School
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Making Sense of the Terror Threat

Fred Burton explains the global terror hotspots and emerging threats from a strategic and tactical level, to include a review of the most targeted cities in the United States.  He will also explain how you can determine the probable targets in your city.  Burton is routinely called upon by the natio ...

Fred Burton explains the global terror hotspots and emerging threats from a strategic and tactical level, to include a review of the most targeted cities in the United States.  He will also explain how you can determine the probable targets in your city.  Burton is routinely called upon by the national level media for expert terrorism commentary and has appeared on CNN, AC360, Fox & Friends, Fox News with Shepard Smith, NPR, Good Morning America, Morning Joe, Al Jazeera, Hardball with Chris Matthews and many others.    

The Threat to High-Net Worth Families

Since 1999, Burton has worked with numerous high-net worth individuals and families to protect their families, homes and offices.   His discreet protection model has become the industry standard for protecting businesses and wealthy families.  Fred Burton can also help make sense of the unique secur ...

Since 1999, Burton has worked with numerous high-net worth individuals and families to protect their families, homes and offices.   His discreet protection model has become the industry standard for protecting businesses and wealthy families.  Fred Burton can also help make sense of the unique security threats facing children of high-net worth parents and provide recommendations for how any threats may be mitigated.      

Benghazi: What Really Happened

Fred Burton's New York Times and Los Angeles Times best-selling book Under Fire (St. Martins, 2013) provided the first detailed account of the infamous assault in Libya in September 2012 and its aftermath.   Burton separates the fact from fiction and explains what went wrong from the eyes of a forme ...

Fred Burton's New York Times and Los Angeles Times best-selling book Under Fire (St. Martins, 2013) provided the first detailed account of the infamous assault in Libya in September 2012 and its aftermath.   Burton separates the fact from fiction and explains what went wrong from the eyes of a former State Department special agent and the implications for protection of our interests abroad. Burton investigated the death of the last U.S. Ambassador killed in the line-of-duty before Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi.   The book has been optioned to HBO for a film.      

The Threats to the Energy Sector

Oil and natural gas infrastructure and energy companies remain in the gun-sites of global terror organizations.  Fred Burton will explain the global hot-spots, trends and emerging terror threats targeting the energy industry. Burton routinely briefs industry executives and investors on the risks to ...

Oil and natural gas infrastructure and energy companies remain in the gun-sites of global terror organizations.  Fred Burton will explain the global hot-spots, trends and emerging terror threats targeting the energy industry. Burton routinely briefs industry executives and investors on the risks to oil, gas and chemical extraction and production personnel, infrastructure and facilities.     

Protective Intelligence: What You Can do to Protect Your Employees and Business

Fred Burton will explain how the protective intelligence model is key to safeguarding business interests, to include the protection of employees, infrastructure, operations and overall business continuity.  Fred Burton is a pioneer in this field, as one of the original members of the State Departmen ...

Fred Burton will explain how the protective intelligence model is key to safeguarding business interests, to include the protection of employees, infrastructure, operations and overall business continuity.  Fred Burton is a pioneer in this field, as one of the original members of the State Department's Protective Intelligence Division.  He has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss his model and best-selling memoir Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent (Random House, 2008.)   

The Importance of Situational Awareness

Fred Burton will teach you the power and importance of situational awareness, along with the steps required to lower your profile and help mitigate risks.  Situational awareness is critical to your day-to-day routine to safeguard you from crime and violence, including workplace and residence, but al ...

Fred Burton will teach you the power and importance of situational awareness, along with the steps required to lower your profile and help mitigate risks.  Situational awareness is critical to your day-to-day routine to safeguard you from crime and violence, including workplace and residence, but also essential when traveling for either work or pleasure.    This discussion will identify the main risks when traveling and provide practical advice for how best to mitigate those risks; to include those related to pre-planning measures,  hotel security, what equipment to carry, what should be avoided if traveling, as well as simple advice for how to determine if you are being followed.    Mr. Burton's model of situational awareness is the key to staying safe, understanding what to look for and how you can lower the risk of crime and violence.    

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Biography

Fred Burton is one of the world's foremost authorities on security, high net worth protection and terrorism. He oversees Stratfor's analysis of global security developments and consults with clients on security-related issues affecting their business assets or personal safety. He also guides Stratfor's extensive coverage of the security environment in Mexico and closely monitors Mexican drug cartels, their areas of influence and their drug trafficking routes.

Before joining Stratfor, Burton was a counterterrorism agent with the U.S. State Department from 1985 to 1999.  During his career, Burton was involved in many high-profile investigations including:

  • The search for Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing, resulting in his arrest.
  • The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
  • The killing of Rabbi Meir Kahane and al Qaeda's New York City bombing plots before 9/11.
  • Libyan-backed terrorist attacks against diplomats in Sanaa and Khartoum.
  • The deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel and Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.

Burton was deputy chief of counterterrorism at the Diplomatic Security Service, where he was in charge of preventing and investigating attacks against diplomatic personnel and facilities. While a Stratfor analyst, he was appointed to the Border Security Council and served as the Assistant Director for Intelligence & Counterterrorism at the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Burton is the author of three books, including the best-selling memoir, GHOST: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent (Random House, 2008), in which he tells the story of his role in the fight against the burgeoning terrorist threat in the 1980s and beyond. His second book, Chasing Shadows: A Special Agent's Lifelong Hunt to Bring a Cold War Assassin to Justice (Palgrave, 2011), follows his 35-year quest to solve the case of an Israeli diplomat assassinated in Burton's childhood neighborhood. His latest book, Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi (St. Martin's, 2013), is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times best-seller and provides the first detailed account of the infamous assault in Libya in September, 2012.  Under Fire has been optioned to HBO Films.

Burton has been featured as a terrorism and security expert in numerous media outlets, including ABC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Show, NBC's The Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, Coast-to-Coast AM, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, NPR, Al Jazeera English, FOX News and The Financial Times.

He has spoken at The Clinton School of Public Service, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the World Affairs Council, YPO, Business Executives for National Security Affairs, the Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, and for many other public and private organizations.