AMERICAN TRAITOR by Steven Stalinsky
The rise and fall of Al-Qaeda's U.S.-Born Leader Adam Gadahn

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...makes for a truly unnerving examination of a real-life enemy of the state. An up-close look at one man’s bizarre journey to international notoriety.


No other Westerner, let alone American, has been closer to the leadership of Al-Qaeda than Adam Gadahn, aka "Azzam the American." The California-raised Gadahn was a media trailblazer for Al-Qaeda; he used his video production skills in the service of terrorism, creating videos for Osama bin Laden and other top leaders of the organization, and crafting the organization's earliest outreach and recruitment video content.

Steven Stalinsky, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), has provided us with essential background on Gadahn, including what we know of his upbringing in the U.S., his conversion to Islam and radicalization, his move to Pakistan, the translation and video work he did for Al-Qaeda, and how he became increasingly accepted by Al-Qaeda's top echelons - including the architects of 9/11.

This book is a chilling presentation of the mind of a terrorist. Adam Gadahn's work as a leading spokesman for Al-Qaeda is presented in comprehensive detail - up until his death in January 2015 in a U.S. government counterterrorism operation, the details of which are still little known.

Stalinsky has had access to the most valuable sources of information regarding Gadahn's life and work, including from MEMRI's vast archives of jihadi texts to his official indictment for treason - the first American to be so indicted since World War II.

Al-Qaeda's confirmation of Gadahn's death came two months after it made headlines in the West - in a lengthy in-depth interview with him published by Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent Resurgence. The interview, prepared in advance for publication in the event of his martyrdom, provided a great deal of autobiographical information about his life and work, filling in the blanks in many areas that were previously not known.

When ISIS split off from Al-Qaeda - which sent seismic waves through the jihadi world - it was Gadahn who presented the ideological dispute to an English-speaking audience; his explanations of the differences between the groups is an important watershed in the history of jihad in the 15 years since 9/11. Steven Stalinsky's presentation of Adam Gadahn's story is a vital addition to the literature about the event and its aftermath, and is essential reading for all those who seek to better understand the constant threat of terrorism in our world today.

About Steven Stalinsky

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Published October 1, 2017 by MEMRI Books. 496 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Crime.
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on Jul 14 2017

...makes for a truly unnerving examination of a real-life enemy of the state. An up-close look at one man’s bizarre journey to international notoriety.

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