I Was Told to Come Alone

I Was Told to Come Alone

My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad

Book - 2017
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"I was told to come alone. I was not to carry any identification, and would have to leave my cell phone, audio recorder, watch, and purse at my hotel. . . ."

For her whole life, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for The Washington Post who was born and educated in Germany, has had to balance the two sides of her upbringing - Muslim and Western. She has also sought to provide a mediating voice between these cultures, which too often misunderstand each other.

In this compelling and evocative memoir, we accompany Mekhennet as she journeys behind the lines of jihad, starting in the German neighborhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalized and the Iraqi neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services and shows why the Arab Spring never lived up to its promise. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner "Jihadi John," and then in France, Belgium, and her native Germany, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization.

Mekhennet's background has given her unique access to some of the world's most wanted men, who generally refuse to speak to Western journalists. She is not afraid to face personal danger to reach out to individuals in the inner circles of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, and their affiliates; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination.

Souad Mekhennet is an ideal guide to introduce us to the human beings behind the ominous headlines, as she shares her transformative journey with us. Hers is a story you will not soon forget.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781627798976
1627798978
Branch Call Number: 363.325 Mek
Characteristics: x, 354 pages

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fjvalentin
Dec 02, 2017

A remarkable book by a woman who has packed a lot of living into 40 years. It shed a lot of light on the problems of the Middle East.

l
lblundell
Oct 26, 2017

A must read for anyone interested in today's terrorism problems. A very thoughtful and thought provoking book.

l
lilypad_1
Aug 14, 2017

WOW. This author has taken so many risks in order that she and her readers will understand why the hatred of the West and Shiaa vs. Sunni and immigrant vs non-immigrant that she deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. Her observations which come from her discussions with many people, young and old, secular and religious, and all the ones I mentioned above.

She has really opened my eyes and explained why the terrorism, the hatred, what we do here in the U.S. that leaves us open to this hatred. I hope many, many people read this, it is actually a pretty fast read and one that is very worthwhile.

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