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Previously published as ‘In the Skin of a Jihadist’ Twenty year-old “Mélodie”, a recent convert to Islam, meets the leader of an ISIS brigade on Facebook. In 48 hours he has ‘fallen in love’ with her, calls her every hour, urges her to marry him, join him in Syria in a life of paradise – and join his jihad.
A young French journalist’s riveting and unprecedented look at how today’s most ruthless terrorists use social media and technology to reach disaffected youth—witnessed through the undercover investigation that led to her deep involvement with a key member of ISIS. On Facebook, “Melodie”—a twenty-year-old-convert to Islam living with her mother and sister in Toulouse—meets Bilel, a French-born, high-ranking militant for the Islamic State in Syria. Within days, Bilel falls in love with Melodie, Skypes her repeatedly, and adamantly urges her to come to Syria, marry him, and do jihad. The honey-tongued suitor promises the innocent, fatherless young girl a life of material comfort and spiritual purpose. But “Melodie” is actually Anna Erelle, a Parisian based journalist investigating the recruitment channels of the Islamic state, whose digital propaganda—Jihad 2.0—constitutes one of its most formidable and frightening weapons, successfully mobilizing increasing numbers of young Europeans. In this taut and riveting true story, Erelle chronicles her intense, month-long relationship with Bilel—who turns out to be none other than the right hand man of Abou Bakr al-Baghadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of ISIS. Impatient for Melodie to join him, Bilel tells her that, according to an imam, they are already all but married, and will be officially when she arrives in Syria. As she embarks on the final, most dangerous stage of her investigation, Melodie leaves for Amsterdam to begin her journey to the Middle East. But things go terribly wrong. A gripping and often harrowing inquiry into the factors that motivate young people to join extremist causes, and a shocking exploration of how technology and social media are spreading radicalism, The Mind of a Jihadist is a riveting page-turner that helps us better understand the appeal of extremism—and how an Islamic militant attempts to brainwash, seduce, and manipulate a vulnerable young woman.
Twenty year-old Mélodie, a recent convert to Islam, meets the leader of an ISIS brigade on Facebook. In 48 hours he has 'fallen in love' with her, calls her every hour, urges her to marry him, join him in Syria in a life of paradise - and join his jihad. She discovers how ISIS entraps ordinary people, like teenage girls from Bethnal Green.
"A rare and riveting first-hand account of the terror and torture inflicted by ISIS on young Iraqi Yazidi women, and an inspiring personal story of bravery and resilience in the face of unspeakable horrors. In the early summer of 2014, Farida Khalaf was a typical Yazidi teenager living with her parents and three brothers in her village in the mountains of Northern Iraq. In one horrific day, she lost everything: ISIS invaded her village, destroyed her family, and sold her into sexual slavery. The Girl Who Escaped ISIS is her incredible account of captivity and describes how she defied the odds and escaped a life of torture, in order to share her story with the world. Devastating and inspiring, this is an astonishing, intimate account of courage and hope in the face of appalling violence"--
“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.
Danish photographer Daniel Rye was taken capture by the Islamic State for thirteen months —this is his story. In May 2013, Daniel Rye traveled to Syria for a planned three-day trip to photograph the effects of the war on civilians. While there, he was captured by ISIS and held for a nightmarish thirteen months. Held alongside hostages of 13 different nationalities, Daniel was starved and tortured, and he was the last of the hostages to leave captivity alive. Walking readers through Daniel’s everyday experiences in captivity, this compelling account also follows Daniel’s family and their nerve-wracking negotiations with his kidnappers, tracing their horrifying journey through impossible dilemmas and offering a rare glimpse into the secret world of the investigation launched to locate and free not only Daniel, but also the American freelance journalist and fellow hostage James Foley. Capitalizing on a Danish legal loophole, Daniel’s friends and family were ultimately able to raise $2.2 million to secure his release. Written with Daniel’s full cooperation and based on interviews with former fellow prisoners, jihadists, and key figures who worked behind the scenes to secure his release, The ISIS Hostage offers a compelling window into life under the veil of the Islamic State and tells a moving and terrifying story of friendship and survival.
In August 2014, Farida, like any ordinary teenage girl, was enjoying the summer holidays before her last year at school. But Farida lived in the mountains of northern Iraq - and what happened next was unimaginable. Her village was an ISIS target. ISIS jihadists murdered the men and boys, including her father and brother, before taking Farida and the other women prisoner. This is the story of what happened to Farida after she was captured: the beatings, the rapes, the markets where ISIS sold women like cattle, and Farida's realisation that the more resistant she became, the harder it was for her captors to continue their atrocities against her. So she struggled, she bit, she kicked, she accused her captors of going against their religion, until, one day, the door to her room was left unlocked. She took her chance and, with five younger girls in her charge, fled into the Syrian desert. Farida showed incredible courage in the face of the unthinkable, and now with The Girl Who Beat ISIS she bravely relives her story to bear witness. Searing and immediate, this is the first memoir by a young woman that shows first-hand what life is like for innocents caught up in the maelstrom of day-to-day life with ISIS.

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