One of Canada's leading journalists takes readers on a rollicking ten-year journey around the globe to uncover the tragic mistakes made in a post-9/11 world.
In the complicated world of terrorism and national security, issues are frequently reduced to sound bites or 500-word stories. But for a decade, the Toronto Star's national security correspondent Michelle Shephard has travelled where others have not, witnessing the impact of Western foreign policies that all too often make the world a more dangerous place, rather than a safer one. The intrepid journalist's ten-year journey through terrorism's grey zone began on September 11, 2001, when as a young crime reporter she stood where the World Trade Center once towered, her arms coated with debris that still fell from the sky. Like everyone else, she asked, "Why?"
Shephard chased answers from Syria to Somalia, from the mountains of Pakistan and Yemen and into the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison. She had tea with men on the U.S. terrorism watch list, Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, a leader of Somalia's al Shabab; celebrated her thirty-sixth birthday in an Irish pub in Cuba's Gitmo; chewed the leafy narcotic qat in Yemen with high-level government officials and tribal leaders; and met a seventeen-year-old teenager in Mogadishu who broke her heart.
She was one of only a handful of journalists to experience the "Arab Awakening" from the streets of Sanaa in Yemen. Shephard ends where she began, at Ground Zero, reporting on the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Decade of Fear is a sweeping non-fiction narrative, a journalist's journey, an analysis and indictment of all that went wrong since 9/11. It is also a look ahead at what could now go right after 2011's "Arab Spring."