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Rescued from Isis: The Gripping True Story of How a Father Saved His Son
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Rescued from Isis: The Gripping True Story of How a Father Saved His Son

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Rescued from ISIS is the inspiring and terrifying tale of one man's journey to the Middle East to save his child from radical Islam, and its surprising worldwide repercussions.

Dimitri Bontinck lived every parent's worst nightmare. His teenage son, introduced to Islam by his girlfriend, fell into the clutches of a radical mosque. Dimitri watched helplessly as his son, Jay,
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by St. Martin's Press
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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After serving in Slovenia as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force, Dimitri Bontinck travelled to West Africa on leave. While there, he met and fell in love with a Nigerian girl whom he married after completing his military service.

The couple moved back to Bontinck’s native Belgium and settled into a happy middle class life. They had two children— a boy and a girl. Dimitri doted on his children, and had an especially close relationship with his son, Jay. But when Jay was a teenager, he b
Valerity (Val)
This was a really harrowing book, especially for anyone that has a son and you could imagine them being lost to one of these terrorist training groups. Just as former soldier Dmitri Bontinck found himself, with his son a runaway to one of the camps in Syria and little information to go on. He bravely went to Syria to search for his son when he gave up on him being able to come back on his own. In fact, he had to make several trips in order to even locate his son because his location kept changin ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
The first half concerns the search and travel with some horrendous physical and mental anguish of this father author for his son who has joined ISIS in Syria.

The second half is much more encompassing the different ordeals which people have ensued for him to make in trying to arrange escape for their women relatives or other ISIS connected.

I'm glad I read it, but it was not written well. It could have been the language differences, or not? It's sad, desperate, and at times jumpy. It's very hard
Steven Z.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
As parents we worry about many things. Over the last decade parents in western countries be they Muslim or Christian have a new source for concern – The Islamic State or ISIS. It seems many of their children have become vulnerable to ISIS’ slick online propaganda or the radicalization that is preached at a number of Mosques. In Dimitri Bontnick’s new memoir the nightmare of losing a child to the “Caliphate” is real and destructive. In his book, RESCUED FROM ISIS: THE GRIPING TRUE STORY OF HOW A ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
In 2013 former soldier Dimitri Bontinck's 18-year-old son, Joe, fell under the sway of a radical Islamic mosque and traveled to Syria from Belgium to take part in that country's civil war. Rescued from ISIS (St. Martin's Press, digital galley) recounts his many harrowing trips into Syria to find and ultimately bring his son home.

Bontinck has become something of a minor celebrity in his own country and his story has even been retold in The New Yorker and on CNN. The relevance of Bontinck's story
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an incredible, harrowing tale of a father's high-risk efforts to save his son from the grip of the infamous terrorist group. The story runs along at a fast clip and it's written exactly the way it should be. It's not full of bravado or woe-is-me attitude, nor is it a right-wing screed against all Muslims or Middle Eastern people. Indeed, the author met and befriended many people in that part of the world who were willing to risk their very lives to save a stranger, expecting no compensat ...more
Mikele Fletcher
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the first things I thought when I saw this book was how does a child from a good family end up being a part of the youth that have been radicalized by Islam. According to the book, it all starts with a simple invitation to visit their mosque and from there the new person is carefully drawn in—little bit by little bit. That is what happened to the author’s young son, Jay. His father, Dimitri, began to notice changes in his son—he wouldn’t shake hands with females; his style of clothing was ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
An eye-opening book from someone who was actually there, who at first was ignorant of and uninterested in ISIS penetration into his own country of Belgium, until his teenage son was drawn away by ISIS in Belgium to become a terrorist in the Middle East.

This man knew nothing about how to rescue his son from a terrorist organization but his determination led to a rare outcome, the escape of his son from ISIS.

If you are tired of listening to western propaganda about what is really going on in Syria
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am personally attempting to understand what exactly it is that happens to young people who are targeted, groomed and converted, then radicalized, children lost to ISIS right out from under the parents and families who love them. This is a tense, heart-wrenching, yet hopeful accounts of one man's efforts to bring them home. Much more complicated and difficult is what happens when occasionally they can be brought home.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I cannot imagine how awful it would be to have one's child radicalized into a killer. When this happened to Dimitri Bontinck's son Jay, as the ultimate demonstration of parental love, Dimitri went to Syria to get Jay out. It was a dangerous and reckless thing to do, and some of his actions made it temporarily worse for his son, but he did succeed. Dimitri went back a few times more in an attempt to save others, and sometimes he was successful.

Bontinck's experiences provide insight into how a se
Monique Lary
This was a good book, giving a firsthand account of traveling to Turkey and Syria to recover foreign fighters on behalf of their parents. While it was an easy read, the writing style is rather simplistic and more like an inner dialogue. I just felt like I wanted to hear more about some characters before they dropped off instead of the more blunt chapter endings akin to "another life gone".

I truly admired Bontinck's daring passion and vision for curbing localized radicalization and the length
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gripping story of one mans story of going into Syria and saving his son from isis.
This discusses the background of how is son and many other teenagers are recruited by radicals. It goes through his search which is terrifying at times and eventually he reunites and is able to get his son across with multiple missteps and obstacles along the way. Of course jays return has its own tribulations as he is not accepted back in his home country. Dimitri then becomes a last resort for multiple families l
Tom Christiansen
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Rescued From ISIS is a gripping novel about how the terrorist organization recruits young men and women from all around the world to partake in their inhuman conquest. The author lost his son to the terrorist group in the early days of the Syrian civil war. When his life falls apart following his son’s brainwashing, the author sets off to the Middle East in an effort to find his lost son. The novel discusses ISIS in the words of an everyman, making understanding the group’s rise, and the politic ...more
Enrique Olvera
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rescued from ISIS is about a boy who is trying to find himself in what he believes in and switches from religion to religion until he goes over one day and finds himself in Syria. Comes to a conclusion the boy found himself in a big predicament and gets captured by some syrian people. Overall it is a big adventure for the father and a roller coaster for the family as a whole. It is a definitely a must read and something to put a seat belt on for.
Connie Curtis
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Incredible, heartbreaking story of the lengths a father will go to try to save his son from the affects of being brainwashed into joining ISIS. A truly frightening story as it could happen to anyone. Highly recommended.
Barbara Pearlman
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting memior of a man who rescued his son from ISIS and then went on to rescue other youth. Some thoughts on why conversion to radical Islam is so prevalent and widespread all over the world in this day and age.
Daniel Doherty
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dimitri Bontinck succeeds in narrating a very interesting and gripping story, while giving very good insight into ISIS and their cruelty.

Language is very easy to understand and I couldn't put the book down.
Patrick Pilz
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A certainly controversial man and his actions to rescue his son and eventually help others doing the same. This is a pretty gripping story about a young man gets radicalized, pursues his dreams but recognizes too late the fallacy of his actions.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Wasn't sure what to expect from this read, but as a parent, it struck chords that aren't otherwise impacted by stories of ISIS.
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Sep 21, 2017
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Jan 29, 2018
Connie Paul
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Jan 08, 2019
Rebecca Anne (with an E)
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May 28, 2017
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Jan 21, 2018
Emily Horst
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Feb 07, 2018
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Aug 10, 2018
Harini Pasupuleti
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Dec 15, 2018
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