If Mourad Benchellali's life had gone as planned, hewould not be here, warning about the dangers ofmilitant Islam. Fourteen years ago, he had a job anda fiancee.Then he went to Afghanistan,and his lifeturned upside down.
He says his older brother tricked him into going toAfghanistan for a vacation. Instead, he ended up atan al-Qaida training camp.And few months later a prisoner at US Guantanamo Bay detentioncamp.
Today, 33-year-old Benchellali is back home in Venissieux, a gritty suburb of Lyon, in centralFrance. He is telling his story so young people will think twice before joining jihads in the MiddleEast.
People don't find all the answers because every story is personal. But I help them find somekeys.
Middle East and North African specialist Mansouria Mokhefi says French authorities are alsosearching for answers.
“The most important questions today are why are these young people leaving France? And,above all, what has failed in France to have the young people leaving for jihad?"
These questions are being asked across the country, but especially in places like Venissieux,where youth unemployment is high and drug dealers lurk in the shadows. It is here whereBenchellali grew up,and where his older brother turned to radical Islam.
Benchellali says he paid the price for that brother's deceit. He spent 30 months in Guantanamobefore being transferred to French custody.He wrote a book about his experience. He called it AJourney to Hell.大学英语四六级考试