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


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Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam + The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Authorized Edition) + The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.; First Edition edition (May 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597976938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597976930
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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)

Review

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."

More About the Author

J.M. Berger is a journalist covering global and domestic terrorism. He has reported, produced content and spoken on camera about terrorism for the National Geographic Channel, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Al Jazeera and other U.S. and international television outlets.

Intelwire.com, Berger's Web site, regularly publishes investigative reports and thousands of pages of primary source documents about the war on terrorism, including the single biggest collection of FBI investigative documents concerning the September 11 attacks ever released to the public.

Berger's new book, "Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go To War In The Name Of Islam," uncovers the secret history of American jihadists. Hundreds of American Muslims have traveled abroad to fight in wars because of their religious beliefs. From the 1970s to the present day, Americans have been involved in every major jihadist front. An American was even present for the founding of Al Qaeda in 1988.

Berger recently completed work on "Sarajevo Ricochet," a documentary exposing the activities of Islamic radical networks during the war in Bosnia, and what the U.S. government knew about Al Qaeda's connections to the Bosnian government. His previous works include a National Geographic documentary about Ali Mohamed, an Al Qaeda spy who infiltrated the U.S. military. Berger also recently contributed footage to "Talibanistan," an episode of "National Geographic Explorer" on the activities of the Taliban on the Af-Pak border.

http://www.intelwire.com
http://www.jmberger.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It's very well written, well researched and very informative.
Jason D
Jihad Joe is the product of a great deal of research on a troubling subject, presented with clarity and care.
C. A. Cameron
Very readable, thoroughly researched book on an uncomfortable topic.
trudypippin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
AT A TIME when so many books on politics, religion, and world events are little more than puffed-up pamphlets which are simultaneously high on hyper-partisanship and low on facts, J. M. Berger's Jihad Joe, a treatment of the radicalization and actions of American Muslims who have dedicated themselves to "violent jihad" (the author's chosen term), is a breath of fresh - and troubling - air. Painstakingly researched and heavily footnoted (the author, an investigative journalist, consulted thousands of pages of court records and documents obtained through FOIA request, as well as source material from the making of multiple documentaries on jihadi activities in Bosnia and in the U.S.), Jihad Joe does not couch opinion as fact, but instead makes use of often disparate stories and information sources to weave together a factual account of radicalized American Muslims, from their diverse motivations and processed of radicalization to their actions.

The bulk of Jihad Joe is a lesson in recent history, recounting the motivations and activities of Americans who have "go[ne] to war in the name of Islam" from the siege of Mecca in 1979, where two Americans were involved, to the present. It traces the heady days of the heavily-endorsed (by Islamic leaders and the U.S. alike) jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, when Muslims from America and around the world traveled to fight against the Russian invaders, to the founding of al Qaeda, where an American from Kansas City served as note-taker, through the Bosnian conflict, to the "war on America" that al Qaeda began in the 1990s (which included action in Somalia during the infamous "Black Hawk Down" incident), and which is currently ongoing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By trudypippin on June 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Very readable, thoroughly researched book on an uncomfortable topic. Easily accessible for people who are not as familiar with the field and players as the experts. I would recommend it to anyone who wants some insight into why our fellow countrymen take these actions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Avid on July 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard about this book from a friend, and since I knew nothing about the subject I decided that this would be an opportunity to educate myself.Keeping the names straight proved to be a little difficult for me,but understanding the threat that looms before us is criticl. In my opinion all Americans should have access to this information.
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Format: Hardcover
There is a great deal of hyperventilation in America about the threat of Americans --primarily Muslim Americans--embracing jihadist ideology and seeking to become violent or actually committing acts of violence. The very limited literature breaks down into two categories on the topic:

-Books that grossly misunderstand and hype the threat: These include works by authors who would have you think that thousands of Muslim American terrorists are going to start marching down the highways of America and impose a shariah state by force on us Americans.

-Books that "see no evil": These absolutely refuse to accept the fact that some Muslim Americans have embraced violent extremism and more infuriatingly act as if September 11 never happened and that things like the Patriot Act happened in a complete vacuum fueled by rampant anti-Muslim sentiment.

"Jihad Joe" mercifully falls into neither category. The book gives the truth...that some dozens of Americans --mostly Muslims-- have embraced violent extremism. And while this number is miniscule, people such as that can kill a lot of people and harm a country nonetheless.

"Jihad Joe" is very well researched and well written. I only wish it had some diagrams to depict the networks of individuals it discusses because all the names can get rather confusing. I also would have welcomed some photographs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sues on August 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. I was expecting something more polemical, so the book's balance and moderate tone were appreciated. Berger has a very engaging style, and juggles massive amounts of information effectively, staying within a narrow scope. "Jihad Joe" is not an in-depth study of radicalization on all its diverse levels, rather, it examines cases of Americans, who for a wide variety of reasons, chose to engage in jihad, outside of the US, and within. There's an effective timeline here; beginning with examples prior to 9/11, and Berger is very good at compartmentalizing that world-changing event. An author with less focus might have become bogged down with what to include or exclude, but historical events flow very neatly within the narrative.
My only minor criticism is, I would have liked to see just a bit more discussion of the effect of humiliation, real or percieved, on the radicalization proccess. Since this is not a pyschological study of radicalization, it need not have been analyzed in clinical detail, but merely addressed in reference to the subjects and their choices.
I hope that Berger continues to write on this subject, which he clearly has a deep knowledge of. With Americans fighting in Syria as I write this, the world is providing ample material for another book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rodger Thompson on June 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This very informative book helped me understand just how pervasive Islamic terrorism is in the United States. I was especially alarmed at the presence of training camps in this country.
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