Sunday, May 09, 2010

Pg. 99: Ian Johnson's "A Mosque in Munich"

Today's feature at the Page 99 Test: A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West by Ian Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the wake of the news that the 9/11 hijackers had lived in Europe, journalist Ian Johnson wondered how such a radical group could sink roots into Western soil. Most accounts reached back twenty years, to U.S. support of Islamist fighters in Afghanistan. But Johnson dug deeper, to the start of the Cold War, uncovering the untold story of a group of ex-Soviet Muslims who had defected to Germany during World War II. There, they had been fashioned into a well-oiled anti-Soviet propaganda machine. As that war ended and the Cold War began, West German and U.S. intelligence agents vied for control of this influential group, and at the center of the covert tug of war was a quiet mosque in Munich--radical Islam's first beachhead in the West.

Culled from an array of sources, including newly declassified documents, A Mosque in Munich interweaves the stories of several key players: a Nazi scholar turned postwar spymaster; key Muslim leaders across the globe, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood; and na?ve CIA men eager to fight communism with a new weapon, Islam. A rare ground-level look at Cold War spying and a revelatory account of the West's first, disastrous encounter with radical Islam, A Mosque in Munich is as captivating as it is crucial to our understanding the mistakes we are still making in our relationship with Islamists today.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal reporter Ian Johnson spent five years researching and writing A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, interviewing survivors, scouring archives, and pressuring governments to release sensitive intelligence documents.

Learn more about the book and author at Ian Johnson's website.

The Page 99 Test: A Mosque in Munich.

--Marshal Zeringue