A “Sleeper Cell” is agents or spies who are placed in a target country or organization, not to undertake an immediate mission, but rather to act as potential assets if activated at a later point in time. They have infiltrated into the target country and ‘gone to sleep’, sometimes for many years. That is, they do nothing to communicate with their sponsors, or any existing agents, or to obtain information beyond that from public sources. They can also be referred to as deep cover agents. They acquire jobs, attend schools of higher learning, get married, and have families, and identities-ideally ones which will prove useful in the future-and attempt to blend into everyday life as a normal citizen. In a sense, the best sleeper agents are those who are not paid by their sponsor as they are able to earn enough money to support themselves. This avoids the possibly of tracing payments from abroad. In such cases, it is possible that the sleeper agent might be successful enough to become what is sometimes termed an agent of influence. Those sleeper agents who have been discovered have often been natives of the target country who moved elsewhere in early life and been co-opted (perhaps for ideological or ethnic reasons) before returning to the target country. This is valuable to the sponsor as the sleeper’s language and other skills can be those of a ‘native’ and thus less likely to trigger suspicion. Choosing and inserting sleeper agents has often been problematic as it is difficult to predict which target will be appropriate some years in the future. If the sponsor government (or its policies) changes after the sleeper has been inserted, the sleeper might be found to have been planted in the wrong target.
About the Book:
THIS IS A FICTIONAL NOVEL OF ADVENTURE, CONSPIRACY, FOREIGN INTRIGUE, DEAL MAKING, FINANCIAL STRATEGIES AND THE ISSUE DU JOUR–TERRORISM.
Jonathan Wainwright Skyler, a U.S. soldier, befriends Ben Kalib Ali, a seven year old orphan in Iraq. After eighteen months of duty, Jonathan “gyros” back to the U.S. and musters out of the National Guard. He goes back to work for a wall street firm and in the ensuing years becomes a successful venture capitalist. While having lunch with clients, he notices a young man, dapperly dressed, having lunch with a group of diners. The young man looks familiar, they look at each other and eventually they meet in the restaurant’s restroom and begin talking. Jonathan says hello to Ben Kalib Ali, a strapping young man, handsome and well spoken. Ben tells Jonathan that he was adopted by a California family and sent to the US. After arriving, he completed his primary, secondary schooling and finally University of Southern California. There he majored in chemical engineering and later finished law school at Georgetown University. Ben also said that he was newly married, employed as an attorney with a New York Wall Street firm and was living in Westchester, taking the train everyday to Grand Central Station and then by subway to his office on Wall Street. Little does Jonathan know, but Ben has been programmed to be a “Sleeper Cell” destined to carry out one of the most devastating events in New York City.
The story takes place in the years 2000 – 2024.
About the Author:
This is Ralph L. McNeal, Sr’s first novel. He has spent most of his professional life in the Venture Capital Industry. He has authored a novel that brings into play global financial considerations and futuristic financial uncertainties. Ralph has been employed in financial and management capacities in both the public and private sectors. The author is a graduate of Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and served his country as an officer of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 50th Armor and the 102nd Armored Cavalry (Essex Troop) Regiment. Ralph is currently working on his next fiction novel “The Venture Capitalist,” a sequel to “Sleeper Cell.”
Mr. McNeal has written articles appearing in the “US Congressional Record” and the “Planning Executives Institute” magazine. His bio has appeared in the Marquis’ “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in Finance and Industry.” He is a recipient of the 2000 US Small Business Administration’s New Jersey Small Business Financial Services Advocate of the Year Award,” and the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Companie’s “1992 Kool’s National Achievers Award.”
|Our conspiracy theories were right, April 4, 2009
One of the good things about Sleeper Cell is it’s ability to make you look over your shoulder and wonder about the person next to you. You also begin to see the potential for bad in everyone, even a small child. The story spends a lot of time talking about the short relationship between the soldier and the boy and even gives you glimpses of Ben’s “all American” life after the tragic death of his family. The frightening part is how the author can take the scenes of triumph over tragedy and pieces of normalcy and sew threads of plotting and evil into everyday life.
|”Foreign Intrigue: Friend or Terrorist?,” April 9, 2009
In this novel the author displays the ever increasing multitude of problems the world will face as it enters into the near future. We also learn of some of the solutions that might take place if we set our minds to correcting the problems. One of those solutions is designing our cities to operate in an environmentally friendly manner. A case in point would be to develop such a plan for the rebuilding of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
Robert A. Harris (New Hampshire)
Author Ralph L. McNeal Sr.
“ Begging For a Sequel.”
Title Sleeper Cell
Every so often, a writer is able to capture the moment with a story that address current day issues, events and circumstances which all readers, both young and older, can identify. Mr. McNeal’s’ Sleeper Cell delivers a hard hitting written tapestry that brings to life in bold strokes the good, bad and ugly on an international stage with a style that reminds the reader of novels written by the likes of Nicholas Pileggi, Tom Clancy, John Grisham and Norman Mailer. Sleeper Cell takes the reader to familiar places and while there introduces characters that could be your next door neighbor or business associate. Consequently, scary thoughts are made to enter ones’ mind when the curtain of secrecy is unveiled as you course through this novel. As you read, you will often pause in contemplation of the people you met during your travels and wonder if they might have been those who are the principal characters in Mr. McNeal’s story. As I write this review, I am tempted to provide some detail, but that would steal the books thunder. Thus the reader will have to “find out” on his or her own.
Although relatively short, this book is loaded with action and begs for a sequel.
Congratulations.. This one is a winner.
MLowery (Columbus, Ohio)
Reader Rating See Detailed Ratings
Posted June 15, 2009, 1:07 AM EST: This is a lively and readable novel of action, and situation, the narrative moves along at a great rate, dialogue is particularly well crafted. The characters are completely believable in the parts they play, and the end result is strong and effective. The story is able to keep you in suspense through its twenty-four years of activity, with today’s situations and circumstances soothsaying into the future. The international settings and places added to the foreign intrigue, deal making and conspiracy undertaking are strengthened by the strong and realistic drawn characters of Jonathan and Ben Ali. The futuristic financings and financial strategies dovetailing into today’s environmental needs set the stage for sequels to follow. A Sleeper Cell is agents or spies placed in a target country to be activated at a later point in time.
PhyllisPW (Hurdle Mills, N.C.)
Ralph McNeal’s Sleeper Cell
Reader Rating See Detailed Ratings
Posted July 11, 2009, 1:46 PM EST: Mr. McNeal’s Sleeper Cell is intriguing and so current that I had a hard time putting it down. He uses refreshing far-reaching knowledge of the various directions his book takes. Specific references of sports activities, the internals of the corporate environment, the military, even up to the Green Zone in Baghdad, all of which added to the excitement of his book. As a woman, his descriptions of the hotel rooms and the restaurants jumped out at me – so thorough that I could visualize details of the rooms. His excellent use of familiar attractions in various U.S. cities added pleasant memories. The descriptions of international projects brought a new interest that is both promising and unnerving, while the characters were believable and exciting. In his book, Mr. McNeal appears to draw from some of his own life experiences – all in the spirit of objectivity. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel with the hint of promised intrigue. This is a winner.