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Nella testa di una Jihadista: Un'inchiesta shock sui meccanismi di reclutamento dello Stato islamico

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,550 ratings  ·  270 reviews
Marzo 2014 Per comprendere il fenomeno dei giovani occidentali che si arruolano nelle file dello Stato Islamico, la giornalista francese Anna Erelle si crea una falsa identità online e finge di essere Mélodie, una musulmana che vuole abbracciare la Jihad. Viene così in contatto con Abu Bilel, un francese trasferitosi in Siria, braccio destro di Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ...more
Paperback, Non fiction, 257 pages
Published February 5th 2015 by Tre60 (first published January 2015)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  2,550 ratings  ·  270 reviews

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La Petite Américaine
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who don't read newspapers
A French journalist creates an online identity to talk to jihadists, but unwittingly attracts the attention of a crazed ISIS fighter? Sign me up! I've stalked those ISIS idiots on Twitter for more years than I care to admit, and non-fiction about crappy countries is totally my thing. This book should be right up my alley! Right?

Sigh. Goddammit.

In the Skin of a Jihadist is just an extended version of Anna Erelle's NY Times/Daily Mail/Guardian articles promoting her book. If you've read any of
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Anna Erelle (pseudonym) developed an online identity to gather info for free lance articles on ISIS. After several years of presence, her online avatar Melodie catches the eye of, perhaps, an ISIS recruiter. This man, Bilel, is more than a recruiter, he turns out to be a French speaking confidant of ISIS leader, Abu Baker al-Baghdadi.

She Facebooks and Skypes with him and arranges for a photographer document the conversations. Events move quickly and within weeks Bilel proposes and says he has
Kate Forster
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catfishing in Syria

An amazing story let down by an average translation. It was also very short, considering the topic.
What the book did give me was a clear understanding of the levels manipulation these men go to, to recruit the girls, and why the girls go. Her biography of her character Melodie that she invented was powerful and made me understand the attraction for the lost youth of Europe. It was also terrifying in parts. The fear I felt for this woman was deep and real and I hope she is
Popy Tobing
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I salute her! Not much to say, you should read it yourself.
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simply, this is pretty chilling. Not only does the author go waaay too down the ISIS rabbit hole for her own good in pursuit of a story. But the numerous other young Syrian-bound women and men who turn up in this account hint at a much bigger problem that we care to acknowledge.

That said, either the writing, editing, or translation could do with a little help.
I wanted a lot from this book but even my expectations aside I think it underperformed. Let me elaborate.
Erelle started contact with a high-ranked ISIS member via Facebook as the created persona of "Mélodie". She plays along far enough that she pretends to agree to come to Syria and get married to Bilel, the terrorist, and even goes through the first steps of this journey.
So, for me it was a bit disappointing to realize she didn't actually join but was merely in contact with a jihadist. I
Jul 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot find enough words to criticize this as heavily as it requires. Filled with telling instead of showing, and a complete lack of insight into the serious issue of ISIS social media predators. If the point of the exercise was to write an autobiography, she painted herself in a very poor light. Do not look here for a journalistic piece on modern terrorism.
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so interesting to read but holy shit that last page was scary!
Nadhir Mindfreak
It's more than amazing, everything is perfect in this bokk, i couldn't stop reading it. I felt like i was living all the events. Fantastic ... !!
This was a short, fast, engaging read about a subject on which I was admittedly not well-informed. Anyone with access to media know that ISIS is a serious problem for the world at large, and that their tactics are pretty horrifying. I knew that, for whatever reason, outsiders can be drawn into their cause, so we see Americans and Europeans also committing atrocities for their "cause". But what I didn't know much about was, not only ISIS itself, but also their horrifying recruitment network. Like ...more
Camilla Muir
The book is poorly written. The character of Melodie was not believable and I just din't like the book...I wanted to get a better understanding of what happens when a person gets radicalized...I wanted to understand if there were common traits and I don't feel I was left with it after reading this book
Anna, a French journalist, loses herself between two personalities when she tricks a high ranked ISIS jihadist into thinking that she’s a lost newly converted 20 year old girl and is interested in fighting in the name of Allah in Syria. Abu Billel, the ISIS recruiter seems to be excited to catch a new prey and does is best to convince Mélodie (the catfish) to join him in Syria and proposes for marriage only 48 hours after starting to talk to her. He claims that all he wants is peace and paradise ...more
Vasundhra Gupta
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shocking. In one word.

I find it hard to believe that someone had the courage to pursue such an undercover mission, and has now lost their identity, living with the consequences of this bold act (may not even be alive anymore).

Everyone chooses their battles. But this? Is something next level. It's what movies are made from.

The book takes a little getting used to, because there are a lot of patches of pure and boring information. Boring to me, and probably to many of us that aren't that psyched
Liz Jones
It was interesting at first then it was suspenseful. To me the ending was meh. Not sure if I’d recommend it or not.
Jenna Williamson
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Such a frightening experience Anna, but how brave you are to provide such an insight, showing just how easy it is for women to be converted all over the world. So scary, such a thriller but an amazing story which is worth a read!
Heidi The Reader
I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. FTC guidelines: check!

This book was scary. First of all, I had no idea how widespread the problem of young men and women leaving their home country to wage jihad had become. Anna Erelle was almost effortlessly sucked in to a horrific situation that has actually happened to hundreds of young people from Europe. She demonstrates how easily a young woman, who may be lonely, marginalized, or searching for meaning, could be swept away
Shivam Kalra
I don't know how you rate a non-fiction book. This book is a French journalist's first hand report of how ISIS recruits new members. What started as a way to help a mother, slowly consumed Anna Erelle. 50 pages down the book, I was sympathizing with Bilel: He reeked of loneliness. He reeked how this jihad was forced on him, like he was beaten till he had no choice but to believe that is the true Islam and it's his job to do jihad.
Reading the book left me mentally disturbed, I can't even imagine
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First - I like that this book reminded me that I want more information than just the daily news on what's going on in the world. It inspired a lot of additions to my reading list.

I just want it to be more interesting.

Maybe it's just a rough translation (as other reviewers have suggested), but the story dragged, and it really shouldn't have. This is a story I should have picked up one evening and been tired the whole next day at work because I couldn't put it down until I finished it. Not being
Ionut Velicu
Mar 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This looked like an appealing read since it offers details about the IS atrocities from a rather unexpected perspective.
I believe that the book doesn't reach its full potential due to the style Anna Erelle chose for depicting her story. Of course, anyone can understand the risks and psychical turmoil brought by an experience such as hers, but she really does go to great lengths to bring her character's drama in the foreground.

In order to make the lecture tolerable, I found myself in need to
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scary work

The author, working under a pseudonym, basically catfished a high ranking member of ISIS. She wanted to know more about how these guys get young Europeans to move to Syria. The man she spoke to was alternately like a livestock high schooler, a creepy guy looking for a much younger wife, and a control freak. He actually loses his temper at one point because Erelle blew on hot tea. She only ever met him online, but the toll of getting this story clearly took a lot out of her, and now
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
3.75. I like it,though the end is different from wht i had in mind (i thought she would travel to Syria but i dnt wish tht for anyone!!! ). I'm glad the journalist is safe, what she did was so brave. the sad part is that the terrorists think they r right, tht they r doing the right thing, nd the sadder part is tht young lost ppl r goin there each single day!! To kill others in the name of allah! What a shame! Islam has nothing to do with wht they r doin!!
enqi ☁️✨
This book, for its gripping blurb and plot, was actually a little boring, but it did give me so much more information on jihadists, especially teenagers and why they go to Syria. I was also really scared for the author when I read her book. I admire her courage to take on, much less continue such a report, and I believe this book is one of the first of its kind.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. But for some reason I couldn't give it more than 3 stars. It did handle a very sensitive topic, but at some point the storyline was shifting very fast. The author should've included more details for some events. However, it's an easy and light read :)
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
David Fable
Interesting insight into a dark world and mentality. Could have been a series of long articles, though. Could tell this story in 50 pages and therefore it was a bit repetitive.
Zara Shabir
"Mélodie feels loved. She feels useful. She's been looking for purpose in her life: now she's found it..." - Chapter 1; pg. 4

When young French journalist, 'Anna Erelle' begins to investigate the ISIS recruitment process, she is soon entangled in a web of propaganda and deception.
Taken on the role of 'Mélodie' , a convert living in Toulouse, France, she finds herself being seduced and controlled by the right-hand man of the leader of the terrorist organisation and quickly begins to regret her
Imen Amimer
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books, 2018
Book: Undercover Jihadi Bride
Writer: Anna Erelle
P: 230
House of publication:
Harper Collins
Price: 800Dn (sila 2017)

You're allowed to kill, so long as it's someone who doesn't respect Allah..."you mean I have the right to take someone's life if I believe that person isn't living according to Islamic law?" "that's right. Kafirs are Haram, and we can do whatever we want to them. Giving them a painful death as a service to Allah, Insh'Allah"
This distorted vision of Islam would have driven me
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracy Fleming-Swehla
Anna Erelle is a pseudonym for the reporter who must now live under police protection due to this story/project that found her skyping and messaging intimately with an ISIS recruiter with close ties to Al-Baghdadi (the top dog…who has now renamed himself yet again).

Anna’s goal was to learn what would make so many young people leave their families and their lives to become suicide bombers, to kill people, to completely separate from their families. Along the way she became entangled, through her
Carolyn James
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always like to throw in some non fiction as a way to educate myself more on issues outside myself. In the past I had to teach a brief lesson on the Middle East and had a really hard time sorting out the terrorist groups and explaining ISIS. There is so much fear and general information swirling that I wanted to learn from a different perspective. This novel is about a French journalist who through her Facebook alias, ends up connecting with an important member of the ISIS movement. For the ...more
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Anna Erelle is the pseudonym of a thirty-something French journalist who has written for major newspapers and magazines in France.
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