'...a shocking story that might open the eyes of those who still believe "Gitmo" is the best available option.' -- The Sunday Times
'A brilliant, terrifying and deeply moving account . . . A warning of the dangers inherent in using religion to justify war' -- TONY BENN
'If this was a thriller, people would say it was unlikely. Unhappily, it's true' -- The Titles and Authors to watch in 2006, IRISH TIMES
All you want to do is welcome him back, hug his book and punish his tormentors. -- Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The Independent, 24 March 2006
One of the most successful books of the last year...a fascinating prison memoir. -- Michael Gove, The Times, 17 May 2006
The most extraordinary thing about Begg's book is the almost complete absence of bitterness -- James Meek, London Review of Books, 8 June 2006
What is impressive about the account in this book is the sympathy with which [Begg] describes some of his captors. -- Financial Times
From the Inside Flap
Moazzam Begg is an ordinary man who has endured an extraordinary fate he is one of the nine Britons detained in the camps at Guantanamo Bay, imprisoned for a crime he didnt commit and whose precise nature has never been determined. As far as the US government was concerned, it was enough to label him an enemy combatant.
Moazzam was arrested in Pakistan during the panic-stricken months after the 9/11 attacks, having been working across the border in Afghanistan on education and water projects. Hooded, shackled and cuffed, he was taken first to the detention facility at Kandahar, then on to Bagram and finally Camp Echo in Cuba. In all he spent three years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement, and was subjected to over three hundred interrogations as well as death threats and torture, and witnessing the killings of two detainees. He was released early in 2005 without explanation or apology.
Enemy Combatant is his riveting story. Taking us behind the razor wire for the first time, it reveals the terrifying and Kafka-esque world into which he was thrown, a world governed by confusion, fear and frustration as he and his fellow inmates struggled to come to terms with their incarceration and with being accused of crimes of which they had little knowledge, let alone responsibility. Here too is a fascinating insight into the mindsets of his captors and interrogators, describing not just the pointlessness of much of the questioning from MI5 or the FBI but also the wildly divergent views on the war on terror Moazzam encountered from the US soldiers on guard detail.
But Enemy Combatant is more than just a powerful and compelling account of a miscarriage of justice. It also explores fully the context of Moazzams arrest and his background as an intelligent, politically engaged Muslim living in the West; someone who finds common ground with fellow Muslims enduring oppression around the world but who finds the violent and criminal activity carried out in its name as abhorrent as the Western commentators who all too readily equate the words Muslim and terrorist. Both candid and forthright, it is both an important contribution to the debate about religious integration and a modern classic of incarceration literature.