A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West

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9780151014187: A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West

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 naïve 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

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Book Description:

HMH Hardcover, 2010 
Previous ISBN 978-0-15-101418-7

From the Back Cover:

The enthralling Cold War tale of a Nazi spymaster, a CIA-run radio station, and the mosque that became radical Islam’s first home in the West
“An impeccably researched and eye-opening work of social and political history.”—Wall Street Journal

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, uncovering the story of a mosque in Germany. Its history stretched to World War II and, with CIA support, the mosque later became a haven for radical Islamists who spread their influence across the continent.

Based on previously unmined archives in the United States, Germany, and Switzerland, A Mosque in Munich is a rare, ground-level look at Cold War spying and a parable for our dealings with radical Islam today.
“It is not just Johnson’s investigative reporting that makes this book important. He also has a gift for historical narrative . . . He structures his cloak-and-dagger tale around a series of absurdly colorful characters.”—New Republic

Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter Ian Johnson spent five years researching and writing this book, interviewing survivors, scouring archives, and pressuring governments to release sensitive intelligence documents. He is also the author of Wild Grass: Three Portraits of Change in Modern China.

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