|“||Scorpia was all over the world. It had brought down two governments and arranged for a third to be unfairly elected. It had destroyed dozens of businesses, corrupted politicians and civil servants, engineered several major ecological disasters, and killed anyone who got in its ways. It was now responsible for a tenth of the worlds terrorism, which it undertook on a contract basis. Scorpia liked to think of itself as the Microsoft of crime - but in fact, compared to Scorpia, Microsoft was strictly small time||”|
—Description of Scorpia
SCORPIA was a terrorist organization whose name stood for: Sabotage, CORruPtion, Intelligence and Assassination. It was run by a board of ex-spies, and the overall head of SCORPIA was Zeljan Kurst.
Although it only officially appears in SCORPIA, the organisation is referred to in the first book Stormbreaker. It is revealed in Snakehead that SCORPIA provided Herod Sayle with samples of the R-5 virus for his plan of exacting revenge against the British Prime Minister, and sent Yassen Gregorovitch to Sayle Enterprises, apparently to assist with this project. Yassen shot and killed Ian Rider before the latter could return from Sayle's base. He then did the same to a guard from this company after the latter made a mistake. When Alex Rider foiled Sayle's plans, Yassen then shot the villian; he claimed Sayle was an embarrassment to their group and was told to kill the villain. In fact, Russian Roulette reveals he had orders to kill Alex Rider, who he ended up sparing.
In the novel SCORPIA, the organization gives Julia Rothman the task of commanding a scheme involving terahertz beams and poisonous nanoshells. She pretends that she wants Alex Rider to join SCORPIA, but instead she plans to kill him (to get back at his father who had double-crossed them long ago). Due to Rothman underestimating him, Alex Rider succeeds in destroying a hot air balloon central to SCORPIA's plans, stopping the project. SCORPIA then hired a sniper to assassinate Rider; the marksman shot his target but the latter survived and the former was killed himself.
In Snakehead, SCORPIA next puts Major Winston Yu in charge of an operation aimed at creating a tsunami off the coast of northwestern Australia. Yu once again underestimates Rider, making the same mistake that Julia Rothman committed. The plan fails when Alex Rider thwarts it.
Now desperate to regain its worldwide reputation, SCORPIA returned in the ninth and final novel, SCORPIA Rising, in which Razim tried to blackmail the British government into returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece. It was destroyed out of shame of failing once again to the hands of a mere schoolboy. By this point, the organisation was a laughing stock to its other counterparts and became disbanded soon after.
There were originally 12 executive members, but one died of cancer, two were killed and one murdered by Julia Rothman with scorpions before the events of SCORPIA.
Original executive board:
- Zeljan Kurst (Yugoslavian) (Incarcerated)
- Julia Rothman (Welsh) (Deceased)
- Major Winston Yu (half British, half Chinese) (Deceased)
- Max Grendel (British) (Deceased)
- Levi Kroll (Israeli) (Deceased)
- Dr. Three (Chinese)
- Brendan Chase (Australian)
- Mikato (half African, half Japanese)
- Monsieur Duval (French)
- Jason Shackell (half Irish. half Russian)
- 3 Unknown (Deceased)
Executive board members that joined between Snakehead and SCORPIA Rising:
- Abdul-Aziz Al-Rahim (Iraqi) (Deceased)
- Seamus (Irish)
- Giovanni Grimaldi (Italian)
- Eduardo Grimaldi (Italian)
- Svetlana Sonday (American) (SCORPIA expert) (Undercover)
Staff at Malagosto:
- John Rider (Undercover) (Deceased)
- Oliver D'Arc (Arrested)
- Eijit Binnag (Arrested)
- Gordon Ross (Arrested)
- Karl Steiner (Arrested)
- Professor Yermalov(Arrested)
- Harold Liebermann (Deceased)
- Desmond Nye (Deceased)
- Yassen Gregorovich (Deceased)
- John Rider (Undercover, Deceased)
- SCORPIA Guard (Deceased)
- Ash (Deceased)
- Nile (Deceased)
- Klaus (Arrested)
- Walker (Arrested)
- Amanda (Arrested)
Areas of expertise
- Drug trafficking
- Human trafficking
- SCORPIA is very similar to SPECTRE from the James Bond series.
- Herod Sayle got his supply of the R5 virus from SCORPIA, suggesting he had some connection with the organization. This is further proved when Yassen Gregorovitch pretended to work for him by killing Ian Rider and then killing a guard from Sayle's organization when the latter made a mistake.
- Harold Liebermann, of Consanto Enterprises, was in charge of creating the nanoshells used in Operation Invisible Sword, but was killed because SCORPIA suspected betrayal.
- SCORPIA owned the island Malagosto, where they trained their future agents on. However, at the end of SCORPIA Rising, the island is in Italian hands.