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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)
New York Times: "J. M. Berger's "Jihad Joe," a sober, factual account of the Americans who have been lured to the cause of religious violence, offers a useful reminder that this phenomenon is nothing new, long predating the Sept. 11 attacks. ... At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective."
Zenpundit: "Berger's work is detail-packed and focused, and a useful resource for that reason alone. But it is also and specifically the work of someone who has read and talked with and listened to the people he is writing about, and his work carries their voices embedded in his own commentary. It thus joins such works as Jessica Stern's Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill... Berger's is a book to read, certainly -- and more significantly perhaps, a book to admire."
Publisher's Weekly: "...Berger lifts the veil on the phenomenon of American jihadists in this timely and chilling examination. ... painstakingly lays out the scope and character of the American jihadist movement and points the way to a national debate on solutions."
I became active in community organizing within the American Muslim community in Illinois in the mid-1990s, and it is a bit disconcerting to learn of all the unsavory things that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Junaid M. Afeef
Berger does a fantastic job with this book. Keeps your attention throughout and provides many many examples.Published 8 months ago by Kevin
What makes Americans living in comfort turn to Jihad? Berger's book provides some detail on why that may happen. Felt the book was quite interesting.Published 22 months ago by Steve Jones
This very informative book helped me understand just how pervasive Islamic terrorism is in the United States. Read morePublished on June 7, 2013 by Rodger Thompson
I can't say enough complimentary things about this book. It's very well written, well researched and very informative. I look forward to reading other books by JM Berger.Published on January 12, 2013 by Jason
This book is a well researched and detail packed. Berger documents how Americans have been a part of the jihad movement and Al-Qaida since its inception and examines the reasons... Read morePublished on November 24, 2012 by Polical Science Woman
I thought Jihad Joe would be a tough read; the subject is pretty scary stuff. The material called for a master reporter who was also a fine storyteller, and that's Berger. Read morePublished on March 16, 2012 by mariann
This is a rare clear-eyed look at a topic that many like to discuss but few understand. J.M. Berger has a deep understanding of the American jihadist phenomena but his real gift is... Read morePublished on October 27, 2011 by John W. Little