Allah's Torch: A Report from Behind the Scenes in Asia's War by Tracy Dahlby

By Tracy Dahlby

On the front–lines with the development of Al Queda forces in Indonesia either earlier than and after September 11, written in provocative sort by means of the previous Asia bureau leader for Newsweek overseas.

In Allah's Torch, nationwide Geographic's Tracy Dahlby takes readers into the sprawling, porous, almost lawless area of Indonesia, the place overlapping strains of radical Islamic rage are actually converging in Asia, posing new threats to Westerners at domestic and abroad.

From the instant the journey starts, the evening the writer error on board an Indonesian passenger send with six hundred Islamic warriors on an anti–Christian jihad, readers glimpse the passions, politics and personalities fuelling radical Islam's relentless march. We pay attention as Koran–thumping preachers, hardened holy warriors and fresh–faced recruits, police investigators, army commandos, and spies try and make experience of the epidemic chaos that threatens the zone – and now the realm beyond.

Based on reporting either sooner than and after September eleven, Allah's Torch is an action–packed and thought–provoking narrative that allows readers to determine the face of Islamic terror extra in actual fact and check the hazard for themselves.

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I asked. ” Inconspicuous? ” Well, Christian enough, anyhow. Norman’s reputation as something of a ladies’ man in Jakarta’s ferny coffeehouses notwithstanding, he’d attended one of the city’s top Catholic prep schools, and the national ID card he carried in his wallet clearly identified him as 30 | A LLAH ’ S TORCH kristen. And of course any bule traveling in this neck of the woods was automatically Christian, whether he liked it or not—those four unhappy centuries of life under the Bible-thumping, nutmeghoarding Dutch masters had long since seen to that.

Then in no time at all, greater Ambon, a place of 350,000 souls, former center of the spice trade, proud of its status as an 1. org. Unbottled Lightning | 21 up-and-coming regional center, a city with good restaurants, tidy hotels,ATMs, Internet cafés, cinemas, and a university with a worldclass fisheries institute, had started its astonishingly brisk descent into hell. Having literally torn itself to pieces, Ambon existed now as a cluster of barricaded communities where Christians and Muslims lived separate lives, each with their own schools, hospitals, and supermarkets.

Thus I was entertaining unmanly thoughts of jumping ship when Norman returned from his information-gathering mission to the bridge. Stepping in briskly from the harsh light and noise of the companionway, he did a neat little pirouette, and bolted the flimsy sheet-metal door behind him. The more disturbing news from my point of view, however, was the fact that the captain had heard nothing at all about any Navy embargo and was sticking like a barnacle to his schedule—Ambon in two and a half days, the Bandas in three.

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