The author reflects compellingly on the challenges of being a Muslim patriot, and he closes with a plea to resist wholesale bigotry: 'Banning Muslims from the United States throws gas on the myth that the United States is at war with Islam.' His tale of infiltration is exciting and clearly written, although since he blurs the specifics of actual undercover tradecraft, his reconstructed, dialogue-heavy encounters with jihadist suspects are occasionally repetitive ... A worthwhile, unique addition to the shelf of post–9/11 memoirs concerning the fight against terrorism.
A Muslim American working as an undercover agent in a counterterrorism unit in the FBI grapples with his faith while posing as a jihadi sympathizer in this multifaceted, action-packed account of real-life spycraft ... The plot is led in part by Chiheb Esseghaier, a Tunisian doctoral student living in Montreal, who was flagged by the Feds after contacting al-Qaeda operatives online. Elnoury heightens the suspense in vividly described scenes, such as when he nearly gets run over by a train while scouting locations for the attack with two suspected terrorists, and provides insight into the worldview and intentions of al-Qaeda affiliates. There is never a dull moment in this intimate story of an American Muslim going to great lengths to serve and protect his country.
American Radical is a kinetic (and necessarily selective) account of his undercover career, co-written with Kevin Maurer, who also co-authored the bestselling No Easy Day, about the killing of Osama bin Laden. It’s the first time an active FBI agent has published a book remotely like it — Elnoury has two principal reasons for peeping out from behind the curtain now. The first is practical: the main international terrorism case detailed in the book was declassified for trial ... His second reason for publishing now is that these are challenging times for Muslims in Donald Trump’s America.