“Gentlemen, at this very moment, there are Al Qaeda forces that are training to kill you and your Marines. They train high up in the oxygen-depleted mountains of Afghanistan, and if you think our training is hard, then try hauling a PKM (Soviet-style, medium machine gun) up to 12,000 feet, in bare feet over rocky terrain – oh, and at night without NVG’s.”
I can’t tell you how many times I heard that comment during my four years in the Marine Corps – which included a seven month hunting trip to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province – but it was a lot. And it was motivating. Little did I know however, was that this quote was actually legitimate; it’s not that I thought it wasn’t true, but you know how things can be exaggerated. I uncovered the truth just a few short weeks ago as I finished up maybe the most thrilling spy story I have ever read: Inside the Jihad – My Life with Al Qaeda, by Omar Nasiri. It is the jaw-dropping story of a former spy that infiltrated the most dangerous terrorist organization on the planet, and lived to tell about it. And this is a post telling you to go get this book – as in right now.