American ISIS tells the story of Russell Dennison, an American who converted to Islam and traveled to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. For more than six months, Russell secretly communicated with journalist Trevor Aaronson, sending more than 30 hours of recordings that detail his suburban upbringing, his pursuit by the FBI, his embrace of extremism, and his decision to live and die on distant battlefields. Russell’s recordings provide an unprecedented firsthand account of what it was like for an American to be part of one of the world’s most fearsome terrorist groups.
A remarkable work of journalism and narrative storytelling, American ISIS brings listeners into a hidden world few Americans have witnessed — filled with jihadis, human smugglers, FBI agents, government informants, and nightly bombings. Trevor Aaronson, a journalist for The Intercept, tracks down the people who knew Russell in the United States and in the Middle East as he investigates and corroborates Russell’s incredible story, from his childhood in Pennsylvania to bombed-out Syrian villages thousands of miles from the life he’d once known.
American ISIS is an Audible Original. Produced by The Intercept, Topic Studios, and Western Sound.
Hear more of this captivating podcast at Audible.com/AmericanISIS