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Dr. Adrian Hänni is a political historian who focuses on the contemporary history of intelligence, propaganda, and political violence.


Senior Researcher, Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (Munich)

With an academic background in history, economics, and philosophy, as well as capabilities in seven languages, Hänni brings a global, interdisciplinary perspective to his body of work that connects the recent past with the present. He currently works as a Senior Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History/Institute für Zeitgeschichte (Munich), where he is part of a research project commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior to pursue a definitive account of the attack on the 1972 Olympic Games.


Terrorist und CIA-Agent: Die unglaubliche Geschichte des Schweizers Bruno Breguet

What motivates a young Swiss man to take the path of political violence? In 1970, Bruno Breguet, at the age of 19, traveled to a military training camp of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Lebanon and offered to take part in an attack in Israel. The mission is the beginning of a dramatic life story that will lead the Ticino native to a high-security Israeli prison, to the center of international secret diplomacy, and into the clandestine group of the legendary terrorist “Carlos the Jackal.”

The author Adrian Hänni, who researches the shadowy world of intelligence services and terrorist organizations, analyzes previously inaccessible archival sources and speaks with long-silent companions of Bruno Breguet. Hänni reveals for the first time Bregeut’s activities as a CIA agent, offers unknown perspectives on the Carlos group, and pursues new leads on his mysterious disappearance.

Interviews and reviews can be found in German, French, Italian, English, and Greek by numerous newspapers, digital media and TV stations, including the Guardian, the Times, Swissinfo, NZZ, and Corriere della Sera.

Publisher: NZZ Libro
Language: German
Release date: 13.02.2023


Spyscape // True Spies Podcast

In June 1970, a young man is arrested at the Israeli port of Haifa. On his person, police officers discover pro-Palestine propaganda, a Super-8 video camera, and two kilograms of high explosive. His name is Bruno Breguet and his story only gets stranger from here. In this two-part True Spies story, intelligence historian Adrian Hänni joins Daisy Ridley to uncover the life of a little-known, but fascinating figure. In Part 1, you’ll follow Bruno’s journey from sleepy southern Switzerland to the frontlines of pro-Palestinian terror in the 1970s and the inner circle of one of the world’s most notorious terrorists, Carlos the Jackal.

It’s the 1980s, and Bruno Breguet is one of international super-terrorist Carlos the Jackal’s most trusted operatives. But in a paranoid world of violence and subterfuge, what is loyalty really worth? In this two-part True Spies story, intelligence historian Adrian Hänni joins Daisy Ridley to uncover the life of a little-known, but fascinating figure. In Part 2, the strength of Breguet’s revolutionary ideals come up against the mercenary reality of the Jackal’s world – and is found wanting. Gunplay in Paris, a lavish semi-retirement in Syria and an unlikely new paymaster pave the road to a final, deadly riddle.

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