Matthew Green

Facing Terror

Hunting Season: The Execution of James Foley, Islamic State, and the Real Story of the Kidnapping Campaign that Started a War

By James Harkin

Little, Brown 246pp £13.99 order from our bookshop

The New Threat from Islamic Militancy

By Jason Burke

The Bodley Head 290pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

In August 2014, a video appeared on YouTube showing a shaven-headed forty-year-old man kneeling in the sand, his orange jumpsuit flapping in the breeze. To his left, a black-clad figure in a mask jabs at the camera with a knife. Speaking in a London accent, the masked man – immediately dubbed ‘Jihadi John’ by the British media – harangues his audience with a speech boasting about the rise of Islamic State. The camera fades to black and the next sequence shows the man’s bloodied head placed neatly on his back.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter