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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"The journalist who broke the "Jihadi John" story draws on her personal experience to bridge the gap between the Muslim world and the West and explain the rise of Islamic radicalism Souad Mekhennet has lived her entire life between worlds. The daughter of a Turkish mother and a Moroccan father, she was born and educated in Germany and has worked for several American newspapers. Since the 9/11 attacks she has reported stories among the most dangerous members of her religion; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination. In this compelling and evocative book, Mekhennet seeks to answer the question, "What is in the minds of these young jihadists, and how can we understand and defuse it?" She has unique and exclusive access into the world of jihad and sometimes her reporting has put her life in danger. We accompany her from Germany to the heart of the Muslim world -- from the Middle East to North Africa, from Sunni Pakistan to Shia Iran, and the Turkish/ Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner "Jihadi John," and then in Paris and Brussels, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization. Too often we find ourselves unable to see the human stories behind the headlines, and so Mekhennet - with a foot in many different camps - is the ideal guide to take us where no Western reporter can go. Her story is a journey that changes her life and will have a deep impact on us as well"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2017
ISBN: 9781627798976
Characteristics: x, 354 pages ; 24 cm


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It’s a good read. My criticism with it is that Mekhennet doesn’t really explain, or attempt to, how it is that these poor young Muslim men and women from Brussels, Algers and other points of the compass can find and fund their way to far off battle zones. She tries to clean it up at the very end by saying that the U.S. and its Gulf allies made a devil’s bargain in creating these networks to fight the Soviet Union. But then in the next line she creates a false equivalence by saying Iran does the same thing by sending militias to Iraq and Syria. But Iran sending fighters to Iraq and Syria is at the invitation of the internationally recognized states themselves. Then there’s Mekhennet’s unsettling criticism of the Shia opposition in Bahrain for its ties to Iran and its refusal to disavow violence without more than a parenthetical mention of the widespread use of torture by Bahraini security forces during the height of the Pearl uprising.

Jan 14, 2018

Brilliantly written , reads like a page turner. Extremely relevant and insightful in the various issues that plague us as a society

Dec 30, 2017

An extremely relevant, topical, insightful memoir by an outstandingly discerning, objective, thought-provoking and courageous journalist that reads like a novel. A must read by anyone interested in Jihadism and its global impact on Islam and the West.

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.

Nov 03, 2017

This is an absolute must read if one wants to gainsome understanding of radical Islamist terror activities of the last 20 years or so. In addition to being very informative, it is also very readable. Very highly recommended.

Oct 26, 2017

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

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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