The Trade

My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping


By Jere Van Dyk

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A former hostage in the tribal areas of Pakistan returns to meet his kidnappers and uncover how political kidnappings and ransomings take place in the shadows of the world’s most lawless territories.

In 2014, Jere Van Dyk traveled to Afghanistan to try to discover the motives behind a kidnapping that had occurred six years earlier — his own. He was haunted by questions about why he was taken and why he was released, and troubled by the refusal of his friends, employer, and government employees to offer him a full account of what they knew. An experienced investigative reporter, he began a quest to interrogate the accuracy of everything he was told, including from the people he trusted most.

In pursuing his kidnappers, and the stories of the intermediaries and money men, Van Dyk uncovered not just the story of his own abduction but the operation of what he calls the Trade: the business of kidnapping. Operating according to its own shadowy rules, the Trade has become a murky form of negotiation between criminal groups, corporations, families, and governments who have no formal lines of communication.

Van Dyk’s journey took him from up near the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, to the tea shops of Kabul, to the Obama White House, and revealed evidence of lucrative transactions and rival bandit groups working under the direction of intelligence services. In its course, he met the families of many Americans who were or are still kidnapped, bargaining chips at the mercy of violent and pitiless extremists who thrive in the world’s most lawless spaces.


This is the work of ghosts.

You are part of a gigantic picture here.

Cast of Characters


Professor Rasul Amin: From Kunar Province; studied in Pakistan; Afghan minister of education, later director of Afghanistan Studies Center, considered an independent thinker and Afghan nationalist; had many school friends who worked in the Pakistani government; maintained close ties to Pakistan; uncle of Shahwali Hazrat, author’s fixer; relationship with Sameer, a prostitute. Amin died in 2009.

Sameer (pseudonym): A prostitute, hired by Professor Amin; grew up in a Pakistani refugee camp and has links to kidnappers, introducing Shahwali to them. She may have links to the ISI.

(Sami) Sharif: Author’s first fixer, arranged through Peter and Hassina Jouvenal; took author into the mountains where Corporal Pat Tillman was killed; later took author to meet the Taliban south of Tora Bora; appears to have been involved in the kidnapping of British documentary filmmaker Sean Langan in March 2008.

Aziz: Sharif’s driver, took the author up to Tora Bora and may have been involved in Sean Langan’s kidnapping.

Hajji: Aziz’s uncle, a drug smuggler turned car smuggler turned human smuggler; in 2007, took author into Mohmand Agency; arranged for author to meet with the Taliban near Tora Bora; in 2008, kidnapped Sean Langan in Bajaur Agency, Tribal Areas of Pakistan, when he was working for Channel 4.

Ahmed: Author’s driver, brought to him by Shahwali, but who may have tried to warn and thus save author from kidnappers.

Ahmed Jan: CBS cameraman, author’s driver, and friend; came with Fazul to author’s release, but overcome with emotion, failed to film it.

Zalgai: Author’s fixer and interpreter with Yunus Khalis.

Ehsanullah: Pashtun, longtime Afghan journalist, author’s friend, source, and neutral observer.

Yunus Khalis: A famous Afghan mujahideen leader in 1980s, center of mujahideen/Taliban/al-Qaeda nexus, close to bin Laden; in author’s view the father or grandfather that bin Laden never had; died in 2006. According to Khalis’ guards, former mujahideen, and associates, the author is the only Westerner to visit him after 9/11. Head of the Pakistani-controlled mujahideen political party, Hezb-i-Islami Khalis; the Haqqanis, Mullah Malang, Mirwais Yasini, Abdul Haq, Hajji Abdul Qadir, Hajji Din Mohammad, and Hazrat Ali were all a part of the Khalis faction in 1980s.

Hajji Abdul Qadir: Din Mohammad’s older brother, a prominent 1980s mujahideen commander; governor of Nangarhar province and vice president of Afghanistan, killed in 2002 in Kabul, by, apparently, Abdullah and maybe Hajji Zaman, and others, on orders of ISI.

Abdul Haq: Famous mujahideen leader in 1980s jihad against USSR; entered Afghanistan in October 2001 to rally tribes against Taliban, and killed on orders of ISI; quite possibly the man the US, or influential elements within the US government, wanted to be president after 9/11, instead of Hamid Karzai; President Ronald Reagan honored him with a White House dinner. UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher met with him in London.

Hajji Din Mohammad: Pashtun, author’s oldest friend in Afghanistan, member of prominent Arsala family; chief negotiator for the Afghan government in talks (currently suspended) with the Taliban; former and current ally of US government; met with President G. H. W. Bush, and three times with President Reagan. Din Mohammad and others warned author repeatedly how dangerous it was to try to find out who was involved in his kidnapping. His brothers Abdul Haq and Hajji Qadir were both killed by Taliban, probably on orders of ISI. His son Izatullah, a poet, was killed with Abdul Haq.

Amrullah Saleh: Tajik, former head of National Directorate of Security (NDS, Afghan intelligence service), plays small but important role in explaining to author what, in his view, happened in his case, i.e., his belief that the author was kidnapped by his so-called friends, mirroring exactly what Din Mohammad, a Pashtun, said.

Mullah Malang: Arranged meeting with author and his kidnappers; famous mujahideen commander during 1980s jihad against USSR; member of parliament; said to be a former and possibly present CIA, Iranian, and ISI asset.

Mirwais Yasini: Pashtun, member of 1980s Hezb-i-Islami Khalis mujahideen political faction; today First Deputy Speaker, Lower House of Parliament; introduced Malang to author; enemy of Feridoun Mohmand, who secured author’s release.

Hazrat Ali: Pashai mujahideen commander in 1980s; member of Hezb-i-Islami Khalis faction; allied with Arsala family; hired by CIA to find bin Laden at Tora Bora; said to be one of the men who killed Abdullah’s cousin, Khorsheed; after the author’s release, Ali’s father and other members of his family killed, and his son kidnapped; author believes this is related to his own kidnapping.

Hajji Abdul Zahir, commonly known as Hajji Zahir: Member of parliament, member of the Arsala family; son of Abdul Qadir, nephew to Din Mohammad; hired by the CIA (along with Hazrat Ali and Hajji Zaman) to find bin Laden at Tora Bora; said to have been involved, with Hazrat Ali, in the death of Abdullah’s nephew, Khorsheed.

Khorsheed: Close relative of Abdullah; rumored to have been killed by Zahir and Hazrat Ali; as a result, Abdullah took his revenge, killing Zahir’s father, Hajji Qadir, a vice president of Afghanistan, in a contract killing in Kabul in July 2002; assassination ordered by the ISI. Abdullah may have pulled the trigger, but Hajji Zaman, said to be an ISI contractor, is said to have been the lead man in the ISI assassination. Zaman is said to have been behind the author’s kidnapping, in part, because of author’s links to Din Mohammad and the Arsala family.

Feridoun Mohmand: Afghan, member of parliament, chief of the Mohmand tribe, said to be an ISI asset, secured author’s release; Mohmand’s driver was waved onto the US base in Jalalabad and knew, strangely, exactly where to take the author; Gohar Zaman, former head of Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau, in Dubai for open-heart surgery, had his brother-in-law, Bashir, send ransom money from Pakistan to Mohmand in Kabul; Feridoun Mohmand’s convoy was later targeted in a suicide attack; Mohmand may be tied to Michael Semple, and possibly to Gohar Zaman; all three are said to have ties to the ISI.

Sami Yousafzai: Afghan journalist and fixer living in Pakistan; writes for Newsweek and Daily Beast, author brought him to CBS, where he has been a consultant.

Daoud Sultanzoy: Tribal leader, former member of parliament, presidential candidate, television host, Ariana Afghan Airlines and later American Airlines pilot; close to President Ghani, warned author that Din Mohammad might hurt him indirectly. Made introduction to Enayat; went to high school with mujahideen anti-Western guerrilla leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Enayat (pseudonym): Afghan tribal leader from the border region, family links in Miran Shah, a member of parliament, who introduced author to another tribal leader, Arifullah Pashtoon, who brought him together with Ibrahim Haqqani. Pashtoon later claimed that Enayat learned of a 2007 plot by Sirajuddin Haqqani to kidnap the author, and thought to help Sirajuddin and get his share of the ransom money.

Arifullah Pashtoon: leader of the Saberi tribe, from the border region, former chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Upper House of Parliament, served as intermediary with Haqqanis.

Fazul Rahim: Tajik, one of author’s closest friends, worked tirelessly to save him.

Ahmed Shah Amin: freelance journalist, cousin of Fazul Rahim, involved in trying to rescue author; believes that there was a conspiracy in author’s release.

Peter Jouvenal: English; businessman and cameraman; covered Afghan-Soviet war for the BBC; filmed CNN bin Laden interview; with his wife, Hassina, owned the Gandamack, a hotel for journalists; he and Hassina introduced the author to Sharif.

The Wahhabi: Shahwali’s friend and guide to the Taliban.

The Malik of Ducalam: Plotted to extort money from the author, introducing him to the Trade; sent author across border into Chitral, Pakistan, for first cross-border interview with the Taliban.

Abu Hamza: Taliban commander in Kunar Province; interviewed by author and later may have tried to kidnap him.

Abu Omar: Taliban commander interviewed by author in Chitral, north of the Tribal Areas, Pakistan.


Abdullah: Probably an ISI asset; widely rumored to have assassinated, on the orders of the ISI, Hajji Abdul Qadir, a vice president of Afghanistan and Din Mohammad’s brother. Underling to Hajji Zaman, probably an ISI asset. Lives in Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

Razi Gul: One of Abdullah’s men, one of author’s bodyguards, fellow captive, and a captor; he and Sameer are both from Landi Khotal, a town in Khyber Agency, in the Tribal Areas. Sameer apparently introduced Gul to Shahwali.

Gulob: Main jailer who lives, it seems, in Landi Khotal, along with Razi Gul and Abdullah; he, like Razi Gul, is part of Abdullah’s gang.

Samad: Author’s bodyguard who was also a captive and is part of Abdullah’s clan (married, the author believes, to Abdullah’s sister) and his gang. He claimed to be involved in a war with the Arsala family. He lives, probably, in Mohmand Agency, Pakistan.

Abdul Wali: Head of the Taliban in Mohmand Agency; ISI asset; Gulob claimed that they were under Abdul Wali.

Hajji Zaman: Probable ISI asset, former 1980s mujahideen commander; hired by the CIA in 2001 to capture or kill bin Laden in Tora Bora. He allegedly just pocketed the money the US paid him to fight al-Qaeda. Lead figure in author’s kidnapping. Abdullah worked for him. According to Din Mohammad, Zaman killed his brother Hajji Qadir, widely believed to be on the orders of the ISI. Zaman was killed in 2010, maybe by the Arsala family.

Gohar Zaman: Pashtun, former Pakistani police officer; former head of Intelligence Bureau, the Pakistan police intelligence agency, one of seven Pakistani intelligence agencies; hired by Kroll Inc., which CBS hired, to assist in author’s release; Zaman is still linked, it seems, to ISI and MI6.

Ibrahim Haqqani: Diplomatic and political head of the Haqqani Network, lead negotiator for the Taliban in peace talks (currently stalled); according to Ibrahim, his nephew, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is the caliph (spiritual leader) of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan; he is also military leader of the Taliban. Ibrahim is said to have direct ties to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff of the Pakistani army, and to the ISI. Author lived with Ibrahim and his older brother, Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the Haqqani Network, as a freelance journalist during Afghan-Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Mahmud Mohmand (pseudonym): Lawyer, tribal chief from Mohmand Agency, invited by the US to study US court system. Michael Semple introduced Mohmand to the author, who then met Mohmand in New York City; Mohmand asked the author if he was kidnapped by the Pakistani government or the Taliban (the first man to introduce this possibility to the author); close ties to US embassy in Pakistan; represents Shakil Afridi, Pakistani doctor hired by CIA to help identify bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad, Pakistan; brought up the names Shah Sab, now with ISIS, and Abdul Wali, head of Taliban in Mohmand, to the author, just as author’s captors did.

Shahwali Hazrat: Author’s fixer who betrayed him to his kidnappers; worked for his uncle Rasul Amin in Afghanistan Study Center’s library before becoming a schoolteacher. FBI wanted to take the author back to Afghanistan to help FBI take him to Guantanamo, or, if he resisted, to kill him. Lives in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Nafay Hamid (pseudonym): Worked tirelessly to help author; served as interpreter in author’s 2015 meeting with Ibrahim Haqqani.

Mugaddir Khan: Driver, author’s friend, Pashto tutor, and part of the group set up at Michael Semple’s farm to rescue author.


Rosanne Klass: Strong conservative, author’s friend, prominent American expert on Afghanistan during 1980s Afghan-Soviet war; introduced author to Rasul Amin, minister of education, and who indirectly led him into the labyrinth of political kidnapping.

Bob and John (pseudonyms): FBI agents who were part of author’s rescue team and one of whom tried to get the author to return to Afghanistan to capture or kill Shahwali.

Bill (pseudonym): Victim Specialist, FBI, who pressured author to see Rochelle.

Michael Semple: Irish, Muslim, linguist, scholar, MI6 contact, former Oxfam, EU, and UN official at the Bonn Conference in 2001, and in Afghanistan, one of world’s premier experts on Afghanistan, married to the daughter of a Pakistani general, considered by CBS as the man who saved author’s life.

Bryn Padrig: (pseudonym): English, author was told that he brought money into Pakistan, part of ad hoc group who brought in Sami Yousafzai and Michael Semple to work on author’s case.

Rochelle (pseudonym): A psychiatrist imposed on author by FBI; author left her in 2009.

Thomas Ruttig: German scholar from former East Germany, cofounder and codirector of Afghanistan Analysts Network, close to Michael Semple; worked on 2004 UN kidnapping case.

Behroz Khan: Pashtun, Pakistani journalist in Peshawar; today with Voice of America (VOA) in Washington, DC, introduced author to Sami Yousafzai and to Pakistani ambassador Asif Durrani.

Asif Durrani: Currently Pakistani ambassador to the United Arab Emirates; according to Professor Amin, Durrani blackballed author’s visa application.

John Solecki: American, and author’s friend, UNHCR official, kidnapped in Baluchistan Province, Pakistan, by a secular Baluch guerrilla organization in 2009.

David Rohde: American, and author’s friend, former New York Times reporter, kidnapped by Haqqani Network in 2008, and from which he escaped. Today, online editor for The New Yorker.

Tahir Luddin: Afghan fixer, worked with David Rohde and escaped with him in Pakistan.

Lisa Monaco: Homeland Security adviser and chief counterterrorism adviser to President Obama.

Jennifer Easterly: Senior director for counterterrorism, White House.

Jason Amerine: Special Forces officer tasked to rescue Abdul Haq; sent to protect Hamid Karzai, future president of Afghanistan; tasked to set up a special unit in the Pentagon to rescue Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, American Caitlan Coleman, her two children, her husband Canadian Joshua Boyle, and American Paul Overby, all believed being held by the Haqqani Network.

David McCraw: assistant legal counsel and now vice president, New York Times.

Author’s Note and

ON FEBRUARY 16, 2008, A WARM, SUNNY MORNING, I LEFT JALALABAD, Afghanistan, and crossed into the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, off-limits to foreigners, and hiked up into the mountains of Mohmand Agency, where, at dusk, I was kidnapped. I wrote about the experience in Captive. This book uses the story of why I went, some of what I couldn’t write about earlier, some of what happened afterward, and the story of my return to find out the truth, to paint a picture not so much of the experience of being kidnapped but to map the dark labyrinth of the geopolitics of kidnapping.

A great many people, directly and indirectly through their support, helped me to write this book, principal among them my brother, Kody Van Dyk, who in 1973 dropped out of his first year at the University of Washington and flew to Europe, where I had been studying and running track, and where I bought an old Volkswagen that we drove across Asia to Afghanistan; and who forty-two years later called me every day in February 2016 when I lay in the Manhattan VA hospital after complications from open-heart surgery, and volunteered to come from his home in Idaho to take care of me. We both want to thank our parents, mainly our mother, who agreed to let him join me long ago on our trip. The world was romantic then, and the road east was open, and the sky was clear.

It is darker now.

Much of the research in this book, both recent and not so recent, has depended on one person recommending me to speak to another. There is a kind of chain—and I’ve come to believe that a book set in a lawless region that investigates illegality could not have been written any other way. There is no completely reliable source, no ultimate validation of a single truth, no all-persuasive authority. Instead I have talked to everyone caught up in the shadows of the business of kidnapping, and all that it represents. I have had to listen to people telling me things I know cannot be wholly true, but may nonetheless be revealing for unintended reasons. The chain includes the late senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson; Afghans in exile in the suburbs of Washington, DC, seeking help; the Australian photojournalist Jim Sheldon, who gave me the name of his driver, Munchi, in Peshawar, Pakistan, who took me to meet Yunus Khalis and Din Mohammad, who introduced me to Jalaluddin Haqqani, today the patriarch of the feared Haqqani Network, through whom I met his brother, Ibrahim.

After reading her op-ed in the New York Times I met and became friends with Rosanne Klass; she told me to look up her friend, Professor Rasul Amin, minister of education, in the new interim government in Afghanistan, through whom I met his nephew, Shahwali, who betrayed me. Rosanne Klass said to me once that it takes a long time, but once you get a feel for Afghanistan, you know when something isn’t right. She had a point.

In 2008, after I was released, I didn’t believe the little that my rescue team or the FBI told me about my kidnapping. I didn’t feel that they were lying, only that they didn’t know the truth. I knew almost nothing, beyond that which happened in my cell, but slowly, over the next five years, I began to learn a few things about what happened on the outside. I was not ready to return to South Asia until in 2013 I created an opportunity—with the help of others, particularly Richard Perle, with whom I served in the 1970s on the staff of Senator Jackson—to travel to the Middle East to research a book on the links between the Haqqani Network and jihadist groups there.

And so I was drawn again into the intrigue of Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are not transparent countries. In my experience, there is a subterranean world that an outsider cannot penetrate. Things are rarely what they seem to be. You must go slowly, carefully, and always remember Kipling, who wrote, “Here lies a fool who tried to hustle the East.” You must go as if walking through a jungle at night, watching each step. You must always, above all, trust your instincts. This seems obvious, but I, in my ambition, in my rush to cross the mountains, to go where others had not and could not go, got kidnapped because I had not heeded the warnings that surrounded me.

Finally, and for many people this is difficult to understand and easy to mock, because of my upbringing and my experiences, I have had no choice but to go beyond instinct and to trust, sometimes, that I am being led. Call it God’s will, kismet, or providence if you wish. Inshallah, “God willing,” men say in Arabic. Deus Vult, “God wills it,” the Crusaders said in their war against Islam. “God willing,” we said in our Plymouth Brethren assembly when I was a boy. Afghanistan and Pakistan are religious countries, where men are mostly aware of the power of God. Religion is the most powerful force in that world. I understand religious fundamentalism, this new phenomenon in Afghanistan, the tension between God and mammon, what it gives to and demands from a man.

This book is about what I call the Trade, the growing international business of political kidnappings, according to the US Treasury the most lucrative source of income, outside of state sponsorship, for illegal groups. But it’s more than about money. It is about my attempt, yes, to find the answer to two questions which have haunted me for nine years: Who kidnapped me, and why? But also, it is a search for redemption, a religious term. The only way I could find the answers was to go, as I always have, from one man to the next day. It is a dangerous, sinuous route.

I AM ALIVE today thanks to many people, including the team of colleagues who set in motion the events that led to my release. Secondly, I wish to thank Michael Semple, leader of the council formed at his farm outside of Islamabad, a group who worked tirelessly to prevent what Semple called “a second Daniel Pearl.”

I would like to thank David Rohde, my cousins George and Stephen Van Dyk and Mark Woodcock, who came to visit me in the hospital after my surgery in 2016; and Alex Strick van Linchtofen, who sent me books and offered to come from the Netherlands to cook for me; my cousin Lois Chapman; Peter Lewis in Los Angeles; Ellen Rust Weintraub in Zurich; military analyst and Ret. Col. Jeff McCausland; and especially Kimberly Sue Goad, who took care of me; Maxemillian Corkum, especially, and Tom Campbell, Bill and Carol Gilbert, Cathy Congdon, John and Diane Marks, and Jane Hawthorne, friends since our youth in the Plymouth Brethren community in Portland, Oregon; Kristin Mulhivill, David and Sue Perry, Chris Jenkins and Clara Miller, Steve Owen, Arthur and Sherry Hill; Grace Kiley, for her help after my second operation; Aden Hayes, whom I met at Ft. Eustis, Virginia, now of Madrid; and Richard Reticki, of Camp King, in Obersurel, Germany, now of Oakland, California; Geoff Hollister, former teammate at the University of Oregon, who came to New York with his wife Wendy, when he was dying of colon cancer, to say good-bye. To teammates Mike Crunican, Bill Norris, Dave Wilborn, Bob Williams, Wade Bell, Gary Lineburg, and Gordon Payne; to my high school teammates Louis Benedict, Bob Mayes, and Mike Olin. To Laura Besserman, Linda Buss, Toni Henderson, Barbara Olsen, and Susan Monti, for the dinner they gave me in our hometown; to Ron and Michele Thompson; to Susan Hall, Randy Wulff, Susie Hirsch, Linda Sanchez, Rita Nellis, Terry Memovich, and Dennis Zoet; and especially to Jack Higgins, the best track coach I ever had; and to all my friends in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco who came to hear me talk there; to Kirk and Betsy Hall, in Boise, Gary Major in Gooding, Idaho, Denny Earhart in Henderson, Nevada, and especially my sister, M’Lyss Fruhling, all of whom welcomed me home, giving me the strength to go back.

To Dovid Efune, editor at the Algemeiner, who inadvertently sent me on a journey to find the truth about the death of Daniel Pearl, which led me on a journey of my own that I didn’t expect.

At the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs, I want to thank Joel Rosenthal, president, who gave me a luncheon; Joanne Myers, director of public affairs programs; Melissa Semeniuk; Richard Haas, president at the Council on Foreign Relations; and James M. Lindsay, senior vice president and director of the David Rockefeller Studies Program, who from 2013 to 2015 took me on as an adjunct senior fellow, giving me the opportunity to study the Haqqani Network in the greater Middle East, which propelled me back to Afghanistan. I want to thank Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation, for help to complete this book and another project.

A great many people helped me in Afghanistan, but unfortunately, because of the danger to them, I must keep their names secret. I can publicly thank Hajji Din Mohammad, chief negotiator in the peace talks; Daoud Sultanzoy; Arifullah Pashton, former chairman of the Afghan Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Abdul Rahim, mujahideen spokesman in the 1980s and later ambassador to the US; and especially Fazul Rahim, who risked his life to save mine, and with him Ahmed Jan, Ahmed Shah Amin, and Feridoun Mohmand.

In Pakistan, I want to give a special and lasting thanks to Nafay Hamid for visiting me on a freezing February morning in the hospital in New York, for courageously translating for me with the leadership of the Haqqani Network, for her friendship, guidance, and perseverance; I want to thank Gohar Zaman, Behroz Khan, and Sami Yousafzai.

I wish to thank Lisa Monaco, US Homeland Security adviser and chief counterterrorism adviser to President Obama, and Jennifer Easterly, special assistant on the National Security Council on Counterterrorism; President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for their work to create a new US policy to help American hostages and their families; members, past and present, of the Fusion Cell, overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who coordinate efforts among US government agencies to bring hostages home being held today, from Latin America to Asia; and those at the FBI and the State Department who called my brother and sister when I was being held to give them encouragement.

I am humbly grateful to Dr. Eugene A. Grossi, cardiac surgeon at NYU School of Medicine and the Manhattan VA Hospital, who, with his team, gave me a third chance at life, and who said after my surgery that I had a strong heart, which gave me hope when I needed it most; to my friend Dr. Rosemary Gambetta, and Dr. Alison F. Ward, Dr. Stelios Wilson, and Dr. Shivani Singh; NPs Kathleen Woods, Mary Keary, and Vanessa Dutchin; nurses Mike Cruz, Syeda J. Funes, Carol Rohdes, Trang Hoang, Sam Wu, Noel Chua, Amy Mui, Mary Rodriguez, Joel Dolar, Elaine Francis; patient escort Emil Bellucci and Marabel Durate; occupational therapists Pam Brady and Roxanne Disla; Maribel Edelman, RDSC; Dr. Muriel T. Cruz, RN, MSN, Ed. D; Nina Gabin, PT, DPT, cardiac rehabilitation therapist, and my confidant; and Phillip Payne, fellow rehab patient, former sergeant, Company A, First of the 22nd, Fourth Division, Pleku, Vietnam, who told me to buy new clothes, meaning to look to the future, my friend. To Dr. Michael Kramer, of the Manhattan VA PTSD clinic.

A special thanks to Dr. Anna Scasso, of Albisola, Italy, whom I have known since 1977 and to whom I turned for advice, comfort, information, and second opinions, and to her extended family.

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  • "Journalist Van Dyk's gripping follow-up to Captive-a memoir about his 2008 abduction in Afghanistan-probes the machinations of the criminals, terrorists, and governments behind his ordeal.... Like a Le Carré novel, Van Dyk's narrative conjures disorientation, danger, and paranoia as he ponders the hidden motives of the smiling, solicitous men he encounters, all the while conveying his deep-seated anguish."—Publishers Weekly
  • "Tenacious....Van Dyk is a methodical and sensitive reporter, and his emotions are made vivid....There is much to admire in [his] character: his perseverance, the stark pioneer spirit honed in his youth, his desire to seek the truth."—TheNew York Times Book Review

On Sale
Oct 10, 2017
Page Count
448 pages

Jere Van Dyk

About the Author

Jere Van Dyk was born in Washington state and raised in a family of Plymouth Brethren. He first went to Afghanistan in 1973 when he and his younger brother drove an old Volkswagen from Germany to Kabul. He returned in 1981 as a young reporter for the New York Times and lived with the mujahideen, our allies fighting the Soviet Union. There, and later when he became the director of Friends of Afghanistan, a non-profit organization overseen by the National Security Council and the State Department, he got to know the leaders who were linked from the beginning with al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, with Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, and from which emerged the Islamic State.

After 9/11, he returned to Afghanistan and Pakistan for CBS News, for which he covered the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl in Karachi. In 2008, he was the next American journalist kidnapped in Pakistan. He is the author of Captive and In Afghanistan.

Learn more about this author