Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ken Ballen's "Terrorists in Love"

Kenneth Ballen is President and founder of Terror Free Tomorrow, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, which investigates the causes of extremism. Since 2004, Terror Free Tomorrow's research has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CBS, NBC, and cited by Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, among others. Ballen has spent two decades on the frontlines of law enforcement, international relations, intelligence oversight and congressional investigations. As a federal prosecutor, Ballen successfully convicted international terrorists. He also prosecuted major figures in organized crime, international narcotics, and one of the first cases in the United States involving illegal financing for Middle Eastern terrorists. Ballen served as Counsel to the House Iran-Contra Committee under Chairman Lee Hamilton, where he was a lead investigator questioning witnesses during the nationally televised hearings.

Ballen applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Terrorists in Love: The Real Lives of Islamic Radicals, and reported the following:
Page 99 of Terrorists in Love begins with the following sentence: “Malik waited for a sign from God but had no dreams.”

Malik is a Taliban fighter, former commander of the religious police, and most importantly, seer to the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar. He is the Taliban Chief’s “Rasputin,” and he gives us the very first inside account of the elusive Taliban leader, whose fighters the U.S. has now fought against in Afghanistan for ten years. It is America’s longest war, and Terrorists in Love allows us to witness the secret war councils of the Taliban as never before.

After the initial American victory in Afghanistan at the end of 2001, Mullah Omar was devastated by the Taliban's defeat. Paralyzed by inaction, Mullah Omar could not decide what to do, waiting patiently for a "true night dream" from God. It was not until Malik recounted his dream, more than a year after the Taliban fled Afghanistan, which is chronicled starting at Page 99, that Mullah Omar decided to lead the fight against Americans inside Afghanistan.

Like the rest of the book, this scene reveals the hidden world of the Taliban. But Malik and Mullah Omar are not alone. We also witness firsthand the deepest secrets of other Taliban and Al Qaeda radicals, from Ahmad Al-Shayea, an Al Qaeda suicide bomber who survives his attack only to become fiercely pro-American, to Zeddy, who trained terrorists while being paid by America’s ally, the Pakistani Army, and Kamal, heir to the Jihadi throne and fortune. Mystical dreams and visions, the demonic figure of the United States, intense sexual repression, crumbling family and tribal structures, the book chronicles the intimate lives, loves, frustrations, and secrets of “Terrorists in Love.”
Learn more about the book and author at the Terrorists in Love website.

--Marshal Zeringue