souad mekhennet

When journalist Souad Mekhennet chooses to go and conduct an interview, it can be a life or death decision. She’s spent much of the past 15 years reporting on Islamic extremist groups, and she’s interviewed leaders of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS, some of the world’s most wanted men. 

Mekhennet grew up as a Muslim in Germany, and she’s interested in understanding what Jihadists think, and how they appeal to disaffected young Muslims around the world. Besides speaking to members of radical organizations, she’s interviewed many of their recruits in the Middle East and Europe. Mekhennet is a national security correspondent for The Washington Post. Her memoir is I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad.

Listen:  Journalist Ventured ‘Behind The Lines Of Jihad’ To Interview The World’s Most Wanted

Photo credit: Ben Kilb

Lifting the Veil With Souad Mekhennet: Bahrain’s Iron Lady (Daily Beast)

She is not much of a diplomat—more a woman of clear words, which is why her supporters call her a “genius” or “strong character,” while critics call her “crazy” and “stubborn.”

A former colleague of hers, who asked not to be named, said Rajab is not afraid to pick fights in order to convey her opinion. “Sameera is like an iron lady. She has no issues to fight for her beliefs and principles and will not change them for anybody.”