The ISIS Hostage: One Man's True Story of Thirteen Months in Captivity

The ISIS Hostage: One Man's True Story of Thirteen Months in Captivity

by Puk Damsgard, David Young

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Danish photographer Daniel Rye was taken capture by the Islamic State for thirteen months —this is his story.

In May 2013, Daniel Rye traveled to Syria for a planned three-day trip to photograph the effects of the war on civilians. While there, he was captured by ISIS and held for a nightmarish thirteen months. Held alongside hostages of 13 different nationalities, Daniel was starved and tortured, and he was the last of the hostages to leave captivity alive.

Walking readers through Daniel’s everyday experiences in captivity, this compelling account also follows Daniel’s family and their nerve-wracking negotiations with his kidnappers, tracing their horrifying journey through impossible dilemmas and offering a rare glimpse into the secret world of the investigation launched to locate and free not only Daniel, but also the American freelance journalist and fellow hostage James Foley. Capitalizing on a Danish legal loophole, Daniel’s friends and family were ultimately able to raise $2.2 million to secure his release. Written with Daniel’s full cooperation and based on interviews with former fellow prisoners, jihadists, and key figures who worked behind the scenes to secure his release, The ISIS Hostage offers a compelling window into life under the veil of the Islamic State and tells a moving and terrifying story of friendship and survival.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681774725
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 05/09/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 740,984
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Puk Damsgård has been the Middle East correspondent for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) since 2011, having previously lived for several years in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She has won several awards, including the prestigious Cavling Prize, the National Press Club of Denmark's Storytelling Prize, and the 2015 Readers' Book Prize. She lives in Cairo.
David Young has been translating from Danish since 2003, everything from Greenlandic graphic novels to academic works. He has a first degree in English and European Literature and lives in Odense, Denmark, with his Danish wife and co-translator Lotte. Further information at

Table of Contents

Foreword 1

Happy Birthday, Jim 7

The Elite Gymnast from Hedegård 17

Syria Round Trip 45

A Noose around the Neck 71

The Hostages under the Children's Hospital 99

Daniel and James 139

Can You See the Moon, Daniel? 161

In Orange with a View of the World 189

Emails from the Dark 213

The Experiment 235

Hi Mum, It's Daniel 263

Return to Freedom 291

Death in the Desert 311

Postscript 333

Foreigners Held Captive by ISIS 337

About the Book 339

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The ISIS Hostage: One Man's True Story of Thirteen Months in Captivity 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DarkRavenDH More than 1 year ago
Oh, the humanity… My thanks go out to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my advance copy of this book. You ladies rock! To read this book is to enter a nightmare of hellish proportions! As you travel with Daniel Rye Ottosen along his journey of torture, starvation, and constantly changing prisons, you cannot help but feel the harsh emotions and helplessness wash over you. What this man has endured no human should ever have to face. Especially when one is not a prisoner of war, but a journalist just trying to get the truth out about how people in the War Zone manage to survive. Daniel Rye was a Danish photojournalist who disappeared after only three days in Syria. He was 25 at the time. For the next thirteen months, Daniel was beaten and starved by his sadistic captors. A fellow hostage was shot dead and Daniel and other prisoners were forced to pose with his body in a hole in the sand. His kidnappers demanded € 2,000,000 for Daniel’s safe release. In the meantime, he suffered every form of torture that his captors could dream up. He was forced to pose for pictures and videos while mouthing propaganda written for him by guards who held him a gunpoint. Finally, enough money was raised, and Daniel was released. Shortly afterward, American James Foley was beheaded in a video released by ISIS. Daniel had memorized Foley’s messages to his family and was able to pass on his murdered friend’s final words to his loved ones. The terror in this book is partly due to the discovery that some ISIS terrorists are from such places as Britain and America! The major guards that tortured and threatened Daniel and were directly responsible for the death of Foley were once British citizens… Having read this book once, I don’t know if I can read it again. That should tell the amount of realism that the author was able to coax out of his prose. I give the book five stars… Quoth the Raven…