Reporter covering national security, Middle East, North Africa, terrorism, Europe. Education: Diploma, Johann-Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt/M. Political Science (International Relations, Peace and Conflict Research), History, Psychology, Sociology; Henri-Nannen-Journalism school, Hamburg
Souad Mekhennet is a correspondent for The Washington Post’s national security desk, and she has reported on terrorism for the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and NPR. She was a 2012 Nieman fellow at Harvard University, and she is a visiting fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies as well as the Geneva Center for Security Policy. She was also named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Mekhennet first reported for The Post in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, delving into the backgrounds of the Hamburg cell and writing on the al-Qaeda threat in Europe, North Africa and the Gulf. She was part of The Post’s coverage of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. In 2004, she began a long interlude at the New York Times, where she produced some of the most distinguished reporting on the Bush administration’s war on terrorism.
Mekhennet returned to The Post as a contributor in 2014 and became a staff writer in 2017. With her colleagues, she helped unmask Jihadi John. She reported the death of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the leader of the group that staged the Paris attacks, 15 hours ahead of a government announcement and the rest of the media. And in a harrowing piece recently, she described the ordeal of rushing to cover a terrorist attack in Munich only to learn that one of the dead was a relative.
Mekhennet has written four books, most recently her critically acclaimed memoir, “I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad.” It was included in the 2017 longlist for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction and received the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism. Her other books include: “Islam”; “The Eternal Nazi: From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim,” co-written with Nicholas Kulish; and “The Children of Jihad: The New Generation of Islamist Terror in Europe,” co-written with Claudia Sautter and Michael Hanfeld.
Honors & Awards:
Daniel Pearl Journalism Award, November 2017
Special Nannen award by STERN magazine editorial board, April 2018
Professional Affiliations: Young Global Leader / World Economic Forum (Switzerland), New America Foundation (DC), Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (DC) Languages spoken: English, Arabic, German, French Books by Souad Mekhennet:
I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad