Washington Post Correspondent Reflects on Reporting in the Middle East at the 9/11 Memorial Museum

Souad Mekhennet and Jessica Chen speak onstage during a public program at the Museum auditorium.
Souad Mekhennet and Jessica Chen in conversation at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Photo by Jin Lee, 9/11 Memorial.

Washington Post correspondent Souad Mekhennet spoke at the 9/11 Memorial Museum on Monday night, illuminating some of the tales from her book “I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad.”

In a wide-ranging conversation with Jessica Chen, director of public programs at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Mekhennet chronicled her journey as a Muslim reporter traveling across the Middle East and Europe to interview individuals in the inner circles of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS. Unafraid to travel behind enemy lines, Mekhennet reflects in her recent memoir on her encounters with some of the most notorious jihadists and how the terrorist threat in Europe has evolved in recent years.

In the clip below, Mekhennet meditates on the future of jihadism.

“It would be a big illusion to believe that just because so-called caliphate has been destroyed or is going to go away in Raqqa or in Mosul, that this will be the end of terrorism,” Mekhennet said. “It won’t because the reasons of radicalization are still out there.”

To watch the program in full, please visit 911memorial.org/live. Find out more about upcoming programs at the 9/11 Memorial Museum here.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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