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Published on Nov 4, 2013
Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam
Kenyan authorities recently alleged that Khattab al-Kene, a Somali-American, was one of several gunmen who attacked shoppers at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya last month. Al-Shabaab, a Somali-based militant group that has attracted dozens of American recruits over the years, claimed responsibility for the assault that left at least 68 people dead and another 200 wounded.
While Kene may be the most recent example of an American traveling overseas to fight with a militant group, he is certainly not the first. Hundreds of men, from every imaginable walk of life, have turned away from the traditional American dream to fight in the name of Islam. Though most have joined the battle far from America's shores, as the Boston Marathon bombing reminded the world in April, American citizens are also starting to wage war at home.
Investigative journalist J.M. Berger examined this growing American jihadi phenomenon in his latest book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam. Profiling numerous jihadi fighters, including the late Anwar al-Awlaki, Berger concluded that while these American jihadis are a diverse group of people, their paths to radicalization all begin with a rock-solid belief that Muslims are a victim class.
The New America Foundation is pleased to welcome Mr. Berger for a discussion about the findings of his book, his thoughts on recent events involving American jihadis, and his recommendations for potential solutions.
J.M. Berger Author, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam