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 four 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.  His new book Beirut Rules: The Murder of a CIA Station Chief and Hezbollah's War Against America will be published by Berkley October 23, 2018.  

 

 

 

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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
  • President George H. W. Bush
  • Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School
Intelligence Perspectives panel at Texas National Security Forum 2017 | Clements Center - Get Sharable Link
Intelligence Perspectives panel at Texas National Security Forum 2017 | Clements Center
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Fred Burton - Under Fire: The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi
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The Terminal List With Author Jack Carr | Stratfor Podcast [17:20]
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No Survivors: Three Decades After the Crash of PAK-1 | Stratfor Wordview podcast [28:54]
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Explore Fred Burton's Talks
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Preparing for Terrorist Attacks, Disaster and Wars

What are the ramifications and impact to business, travelers and ex-pats, in the event of global terror attacks, disaster and war? In a thought provoking discussion, Burton will lay out the key items you need to think about ahead of time, before disaster strikes. Are you prepared? ...

What are the ramifications and impact to business, travelers and ex-pats, in the event of global terror attacks, disaster and war? In a thought provoking discussion, Burton will lay out the key items you need to think about ahead of time, before disaster strikes. Are you prepared?

The Road to 9-11

From his unique experiences and past terrorism investigations as a State Department counterterrorism special agent, Fred Burton will discuss the history and lead-up to the al-Qaeda attack on 9-11. Why didn't the U.S. Intelligence Community see it coming? What did we learn from the attack? Can it hap ...

From his unique experiences and past terrorism investigations as a State Department counterterrorism special agent, Fred Burton will discuss the history and lead-up to the al-Qaeda attack on 9-11. Why didn't the U.S. Intelligence Community see it coming? What did we learn from the attack? Can it happen again?

A History of Modern Day Terror: Hezbollah and The Black September Organization

Before al-Qaeda, terror groups like Black September and Hezbollah had more American and Israeli blood on their hands than any other terror organizations. Fred Burton will walk you through their fascinating history of assassinations, hijackings and bombings, which resonates today. ...

Before al-Qaeda, terror groups like Black September and Hezbollah had more American and Israeli blood on their hands than any other terror organizations. Fred Burton will walk you through their fascinating history of assassinations, hijackings and bombings, which resonates today.

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 securit ...

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.      

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.)   

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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 four 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.  His new book Beirut Rules: The Murder of a CIA Station Chief and Hezbollah's War Against America will be published by Berkley October 23, 2018.  

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.