"Al Venter is at it again," former newsroom colleague Patrick Webb wrote. "The former Chinook, Washington, author, now has an East Coast home base. His new book, 'The Last of Africa's Cold War Conflicts,' to be published within the next two months, chronicles dangerous combat actions and political maneuvering in the West African nation of Portuguese Guinea, now known as Guinea-Bissau.
"Venter, a South African who is in his early 70s, is still visiting African war zones for first-hand views of combat operations. Most recently, he checked out United Nations peacekeeping efforts in the Central African Republic earlier this fall. He stays fit through a vigorous walking regimen.
"Venter is a former correspondent for TV networks and major British newspapers, still writes for Jane’s international defense magazines and has been an active film documentary maker. He has written books about combat tactics and diving with sharks.
"He lived in Chinook some dozen years ago and made several friends on the North Coast. Among his visitors during his time in this area was his friend, fellow author Frederick Forsyth, who was researching National Park Service details for his 2006 novel, 'The Afghan.' That fictional work was of significant interest to Lower Columbia River readers because its plot featured a terrorist threat from a tanker loaded with liquefied petroleum gas."