Skip to Main Content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11

May 15, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


On Monday, May 15, retired CIA Senior Intelligence Officer David Tyson will share his experiences leading the CIA response to the 9/11 attacks. He will speak at 7:00 PM in the Rogow Room at Transylvania County Library at 212 South Gaston Street in Brevard, NC. Admission is free, presented by the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas.
Tyson was instrumental in helping the US get its first foothold in Afghanistan after 9/11. He was the partner of Mike Spann, the first U.S. casualty in Afghanistan and was working closely beside Mike when he was killed. They were assessing and questioning prisoners at the time, one of which was John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban.”
David Tyson will give a firsthand account of the deployment of CIA’s Team Alpha (8 men) into Afghanistan immediately after September 11, 2001. The team was inserted behind enemy lines to link up with Afghan warlords and prosecute the war against Taliban and al-Qaida forces.
The team also brought in a U.S. Army Special Forces detachment and together with the Green Berets and Afghan allies, Team Alpha moved and fought on horseback from the mountains to liberate the city of Mazar-i Sharif. Later, team members helped put down the al-Qaida prisoner uprising at Qalai-i Jangi.
Tyson’s presentation includes detailed accounts regarding individual Afghan warlords, combat cavalry operations, and other daily activities in Afghanistan. It is accompanied by photographs and video footage.
These books provide information about the deployment:
First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11, by Toby Harnden, 2021
The Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan, by Doug Stanton, 2010.
The Last Warlord: The Life and Legend of Dostum, the Afghan Warrior Who Led US Special Forces to Topple the Taliban Regime, by Brian Williams, 2013.
David Tyson retired from CIA’s Clandestine Service in 2020 after a 25-year career. The majority of his service was overseas; most of his postings and deployments were to Central Asia, the Caucasus region, and South Asia where he was a Chief of Station twice. He led/took part in paramilitary and counterterrorist operations in war zones, often working closely with U.S. Special Forces and foreign intelligence services.
Tyson began his intelligence career as a linguist and interpreter, achieving fluency in Russian, Uzbek, Turkmen, Turkish, and Farsi/Dari. He is a recipient of CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Cross, the Agency’s equivalent to the Medal of Honor, and the Agency’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal.
Prior to working for the Agency, David Tyson served in the U.S. Army, both enlisted and as an officer. He has a BA in International Relations and Russian Language from West Chester State University, and two master’s degrees from Indiana University; one in Central Asian Studies and the other in Russian Studies. He taught Uzbek and Turkmen languages while at IU and authored several articles and books on language and culture.
The book First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11 tells the story of guest speaker Tyson’s role in the mission. It’s available at Highland Books, 36 West Main Street in Brevard. You are invited to bring your copy of the book on May 15 for Tyson’s signature.
The Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas, 21 East Main Street in Brevard, is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Admission is free. For more information, please call 828-884-2141 or visit


May 15, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:
Event Tags:


Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas
View Organizer Website


Transylvania County Library
212 South Gaston Street
Brevard, NC 28712 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website