Monday, September 10, 2007

"The Jihad Next Door"

New from PublicAffairs Books: The Jihad Next Door: The Lackawanna Six and Rough Justice in an Age of Terror by Dina Temple-Raston.

About the book, from the publisher:

The acclaimed author of A Death in Texas tells the riveting, morally complex story of a group of young Yemeni-American men from an upstate New York steel town who may, or may not, have been America's first "sleeper cell"

They called themselves the Arabian Knights. They were six Yemeni-American friends, a gang of high-school soccer stars, a band of brothers on the grim side streets of Lackawanna's First Ward, just a stone's throw from Buffalo.

Later, people would argue about why they left western New York in the spring of 2001 to attend an al-Qaeda camp. Some said they traveled to Afghanistan to become America's first sleeper cell — terrorists slumbering while they awaited orders from on high. Others said that their ill-fated trip was a lark, an adventurous extension of their youthful wrestling with what it meant to be Muslim in America.

Dina Temple-Raston returns to Lackawanna to tell the story of a group of young men — born and brought up in small town America — who left otherwise unremarkable lives to attend an al-Qaeda camp. Though they sought to quietly slip back into their roles as middle class Americans, the 9/11 attacks made that impossible.

The Jihad Next Door is the story of pre-emptive justice in the age of terror. It follows a handful of ordinary men through an extraordinary time when Muslims in America are often instantly suspect, their actions often viewed through the most sinister lens.