- Splinter Cell is a common title. For other titles see Splinter Cell (Disambig).
Splinter Cell is a novel told in the first person by author David Michaels. The novel is based on the video game series Splinter Cell created by author Tom Clancy. The series chronicles the adventures and the stealth actions of the fictional character Sam Fisher. After the book was published in 2004, Raymond Benson announced that he had written it, using the pseudonym David Michaels. Benson is best known for being the official author of the James Bond series of novels from 1997 to 2002.
The plot of the novel takes place in 2004 and concerns an Iranian terrorist group called "The Shadows". Led by Nasir Tarighian, it is the goal of Tarighian to use a weapon of mass destruction codenamed "The Babylon Phoenix" against the city of Baghdad as revenge for the actions taken by Iraq against Iran during the 1980s that resulted in the murder of his wife and children. While there really isn't much benefit to the group today, Tarighian attempts to sell the scheme to his organization by claiming that it would also create further disorder in Iraq and in the Middle East, which would inevitably cause the people to turn against the "West", namely the United States since Iraq is currently under their watch. Tarighian, a former "great warrior" during the Iran–Iraq War and often proclaimed hero in Iran, hoped that by doing this the Iranian people would rejoice and urge the Iranian government to invade and conquer Iraq after the U.S is forced out of the region. Most of the members of the Shadows disagree with the course of action, feeling that the result is extremely unlikely and that the scheme is nothing more than a 20 year-old vendetta by Tarighian to get back at Iraq for the death of his wife and children during the war. These members feel the same effect of destabilization in the region can be achieved by attacking either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem in Israel.
The novel also involves a terrorist arms dealing organization named "The Shop." Headed by Andrei Zdrok, their aim is purely business; to make money by supplying arms to anyone with money regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. The Shop is one of the few organizations in the world that is aware of the black-ops division of the NSA, named "Third Echelon", which sends covert agents into the world called Splinter Cells, to exercise the use of a "fifth freedom"; the freedom to do whatever is necessary to preserve national security and peace for the United States. The Shop, using their knowledge (the source of which is revealed in the sequel, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda to be a traitor within Third Echelon itself) and resources, has taken the liberty of assassinating Splinter Cells whenever possible thus to increase their profit margin by keeping the shipment of arms from falling into unwanted hands.
Sam Fisher is deployed by Third Echelon to the Middle East to uncover the truth about the murder of a Splinter Cell agent and track down the source of a shipment of arms seized by the Iraqi police. There he surveys and infiltrates numerous locations relating to both the Shop and the Shadows, all the while unaware that the Shop has targeted him and his only daughter, Sarah.