Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam

J.M. Berger. Potomac, $29.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-59797-693-0
Investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker Berger (Triple Cross) lifts the veil on the phenomenon of American jihadists in this timely and chilling examination. While most Americans were shocked when John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban" and a U.S. citizen, was captured in Afghanistan in 2001, American citizens had been joining the international jihad for decades—Berger argues that at least 1,400 Americans have taken part in military jihad over the past 30 years. While most activity has taken place abroad, American jihadists also have struck at home—the 2009 Fort Hood, Tex., massacre, for example. Berger fears "it is likely that the American jihadist movement will succeed in a spectacular attack on home soil," and believes that knowing "why Americans take up the banner of jihad is the first step" will help to counter this problem. Drawing on detailed case studies of individual American jihadists, the author concludes that they are a diverse group and their "path to radicalization begins with a rock-solid belief that Muslims are a victim class." Berger's exposé painstakingly lays out the scope and character of the American jihadist movement and points the way to a national debate on solutions. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
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