Inside the Jihad: My Life with Al Qaeda: A Spy's Story

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Overview

Between 1994 and 2000, Omar Nasiri worked as a secret agent for Europe’s top foreign intelligence services-including France’s DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), and Britain’s MI5 and MI6. From the netherworld of Islamist cells in Belgium, to the training camps of Afghanistan, to the radical mosques of London, he risked his life to defeat the emerging global network that the West would come to know as Al Qaeda. Now, for the first time, Nasiri shares the story of his life-a life balanced ...

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Inside the Jihad: My Life with Al Qaeda

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Overview

Between 1994 and 2000, Omar Nasiri worked as a secret agent for Europe’s top foreign intelligence services-including France’s DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), and Britain’s MI5 and MI6. From the netherworld of Islamist cells in Belgium, to the training camps of Afghanistan, to the radical mosques of London, he risked his life to defeat the emerging global network that the West would come to know as Al Qaeda. Now, for the first time, Nasiri shares the story of his life-a life balanced precariously between the world of Islamic jihadists and the spies who pursue them. As an Arab and a Muslim, he was able to infiltrate the rigidly controlled Afghan training camps, where he encountered men who would later be known as the most-wanted terrorists on earth: Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, Abu Zubayda, and Abu Khabab al-Masri. Sent back to Europe with instructions to form a sleeper cell, Nasiri became a conduit for messages going back and forth between Al Qaeda’s top recruiter in Pakistan and London’s radical cleric Abu Qatada.

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Editorial Reviews

Peter L. Bergen
Inside the Jihad is the astonishing, well-told story of Omar Nasiri (a pseudonym), who penetrated al-Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s as a spy for France's intelligence services. Nasiri never met Osama bin Laden, nor did he hear anything about specific plots against the United States, but he was able to gather a wealth of knowledge about the terrorist training going on in Afghanistan.
— The Washington Post
Middle East Quarterly
A good read . . . the real value of Nasiri's memoir lies in the insight into the minds of young, mostly European Muslims.
The New York Times
Inside the Jihad reads like a John le Carre novel. It is replete with tales of phony passports, envelopes stuffed with cash and cloak-and-daggar meetings . . . Mr. Nasiri's account of the camps is detailed and chilling.
CNN.com
It is a fascinating story of a man who says he betrayed his brothers to the police and then had contact with senior al Qaeda leaders at a terror training camp in Afghanistan -- all the while spying for French, British and German intelligence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465023899
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 1/7/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 934,017
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Omar Nasiri (not his real name) was born in Morocco and currently resides in Germany with his wife.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    Great read!!!

    This book gives a fantastic perspective of a man who infiltrates the mujahadeen training camps

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

    London cell

    Did i miss something? He goes to London to form a cell but all he does is attend mosque and speak to the British and French intelligence services. He says nothing about trying to form a cell and why his contact back in the Middle East didn't question this.

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  • Posted August 9, 2009

    Jihadist in spite of himself

    Interesting details about the motivation and religious dogmatic self-rationalization involved in terrorists. As usual, being on the fringes of society, regardless of religious or ideological zeal, a nice little snapshot into the entry, training and resignation of an atypical double/triple crosser.

    Pawns of governmental clandestine agencies and the almighty dollar. Would be interesting to see volume 2 and how Mr. Nasiri lives his daily existence and where his mind wanders.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2008

    Amazing

    You can really feel the author being torn between both lives. I have been searching for someone to explain to me extreme islam from someone who understands both the religion and the west. This did it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2008

    Great Read

    I read this book while attending Boot Camp for the US Army. It changed the way I feel about the war and my enemy. Great book and very addicting

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    Posted July 28, 2009

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    Posted July 7, 2010

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    Posted April 24, 2010

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted March 14, 2009

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