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The American who climbed the ranks of ISIS

by AirTalk®

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A flag of the Islamic State (IS) is seen on the other side of a bridge at the frontline of fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad. JM LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

ISIS has inspired millions to fight for its dark causes.

One of their avid followers is Yahya Abu Hassan, who has quickly risen up the ranks to become part of the terrorist group’s brain trust. Yahya, as The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood has discovered, is also an American.

In his newest book, “The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State,” Wood traces the journey a wealthy Texas kid named John Georgelas took to become Yahya Abu Hassan.


Graeme Wood, contributing editor at The Atlantic and author of the book “The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State” (Random House, 2017)

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