Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Author Raymond Benson (as David Michaels)
Publisher Penguin Group
Publication date December 7, 2004
Followed by Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is a prequel to the first Splinter Cell series video game, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, and is the first Splinter Cell novel to be published. It was written by Raymond Benson, writing under the pseudonym David Michaels. Benson is best known for being the official author of the James Bond series of novels from 1997 to 2002.

In 2005, a second book by Benson was released entitled Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda. After the completion of that book, a new author was hired to continue the series under the same pseudonym. The novel was published on December 7th, 2004, two years after the release of the first game and in the same year of the second Splinter Cell game, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.

The novel is told through first-person narrative (by Sam Fisher in his respective chapters) and then told in third-person for the rest of the chapters, giving it a alternating person narrative. In the novel, Splinter Cell operative Sam Fisher is sent on a mission to investigate the deaths of other Splinter Cell operatives within Third Echelon. Little does he know that the murders of his fellow agents is part of a more elaborate plot involving a mysterious terrorist group known as "The Shadows".

Story SymposisEdit

The book takes place in 2005 and concerns an Iranian terrorist group called "The Shadows" led by Nasir Tarighian. Tarighian's main goal is to use a weapon of mass destruction, codenamed "The Babylon Phoenix", against the city of Baghdad, Iraq, as a revenge for the actions taken by Iraq against Iran during the 1980s. While there really wasn't much of a benefit to The Shadows at the time, Tarighian attempted to sell the scheme to his organization by claiming that it would also create further disorder in Iraq, and in the middle east. This disorder would inevitable cause the people to turn against 'the West', namely the United States, since Iraq was currently under their watch. Tarighian, who is formerly hailed as a 'great warrior' during the First Persian Gulf War (which lasted 1980-1988) and often hailed as a hero in Iran, had hoped that by doing this, the Iranian people would rejoice and urge the Iranian government to invade and conquer Iraq after the U.S. was forced out of the region. After bringing this to the other members of The Shadows, many of them had disagreed with the course of action that Tarighian had planned. They felt that the result of this plan would be very unlikely, stating that the scheme is nothing more than a 20 year-old vendetta by Tarighian to have revenge on Iraq for the death of his wife and children during the Iraq-Iran War. These members that disagreed with Tarighian felt the same effect of destbilzation in the Middle East could have been achieved by attacking either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem in Israel.

Meanwhile, the novel also involves a terrorist arms dealing organization named "The Shop", led by a man named Andrei Zdrok. Their aim was purely business: to make money by supplying weapons to anyone with money, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or nationality. The Shop was one of the few organizations in the world that were aware of the secret initiative within the American National Security Agency, named 'Third Echelon.' The Shop knew that they had agents called 'Splinter Cells' that exercises the use of 'Fifth Freedom', the freedom to do anything necessary to preserve national security and peace for the United States. The Shop, using their knowledge and resources, had taken the liberty of assassinating Splinter Cells whenever possible to then increase their profit margin by keeping the shipment of arms from falling into unwanted hands.

Sam Fisher was 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 surveyed and infiltrated numerous locations relating to both The Shop and The Shadows, all the while unaware that the Shop had targeted him and his only daughter.


  • Third Echelon
  • The Shadows
    • Akdabar Enterprises
    • Tirma Association
  • The Shop
    • Russian-Swiss International Mercantile Bank
      • Russian-Swiss International Mercantile Bank of Zurich, Switzerland
      • Russian-Swiss International Mercantile Bank of Baku, Azerbaijan
      • Russian-Israeli Bank, Jerusalem
    • Container Company of Tarbiz


Third EchelonEdit

The ShadowsEdit

The ShopEdit

Third Echelon alliesEdit

Affiliated with The ShadowsEdit

  • Jon Ming - Great Chinese gangster (mentioned only)

Affiliated with The ShopEdit



  • Tropical Casino, Macau, China
  • Hotel Metropole, Brussels, Belgium
  • Sam Fisher's House, Towson, Maryland, USA
  • National Theatre, London, UK
  • City Place Mall, Silver Springs, Maryland, USA
  • US Military Base, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Jerusalem, Israel
  • Police Station, Arbil, Iraq
  • Russian-Swiss International Mercantile Bank, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Eli Horowitz's Apartment, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Reza Hamadan's Store, Tarbiz, Iran
  • Irish Bar, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Akdabar Enterprises, Van, Turkey
  • Warehouse near Jerusalem, Israel
  • Russian-Swiss International Mercantile Bank, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Third Echelon HQ, Washington, DC, USA
  • Commercial Centre, Famagusta, Cyprus
  • Warehouse weapon, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Obukhov, Ukraine
  • British Military Base, Dhekelia, Cyprus
  • Green Line, Cape Greco, Cyprus
  • Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel



  • Even though the book shares the same title as the game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, they do not share the same story. Both are separate in terms of story.
  • This book contains the first mention of Sam's deceased ex-wife Regan Burns and his using Krav Maga in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series. Regan was later mentioned in Double Agent and Conviction, and Krav Maga became an important aspect of Conviction's gameplay.
  • This book has the first specific mention that Third Echelon Headquarters is located within Washington D.C.
  • The exact time frame when the story takes place is unclear. Several lines mention background history which took place during the Spring and Summer of 2004 (in the northern hemisphere).[1] It cannot take place before the Georgia Information Crisis, as the next book implies that Anna Grímsdóttir had been gone during the Far East assignment and Babylon Phoenix Crisis, and her position was filled in by Carly St. John while she was away. Anna was involved during the Georgian Information Crisis. Sam mentions that he had been on assignment in Far East during the winter, and mentions that "spring has come early this year", and that he didn't have a bad winter, implying the story takes place (or at least begins) in the spring.[2] Another character mentions having an upcoming audition at Julliard in the summer[3] (which also implies that the story takes place during the spring). Sam also mentions, that he is glad that it isn't yet winter in Turkey (implying that point in the story takes place in a pre-winter season).[4] These details imply that the story begins no earlier than spring of 2005, this would force the next novel into late 2005 to early 2006. References in Operation Barracuda mention that it takes place during the winter, the following year (just after Chinese New Year). The book also mentions that the events from the previous book occurred was the last major mission taken by Third Echelon). Sam speaks of an initiative made ​​by the Iraqi government during the summer of 2004. He explained that the action takes place in late March, when he arrives in Turkey. So we can assume that the book takes place in late March 2005. This is an anachronism because Sam Fisher is 47, and more specifically, Sarah can drink alcohol at 21, in five months.
  • The third book in the series, Checkmate, is set in 2003, thus takes place before this book (and has Anna Grímsdóttir).
  • In the novel his MVGs include both night vision goggles and thermal goggles (which is another bit of evidence placing it after the original game), in addition the goggles include a special fluorescent mode, allowing him to see fingerprints and disturbances and movement in the dust.
  • Sam drives a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Overland Edition, V8 265 hp


  1. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (novel), 168
  2. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (novel), pg, 28
  3. Splinter Cell, pg 83
  4. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, pg 155


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