From the Publisher
A prize-winning journalist tells the troubling story of
Canadian Omar Khadr, who has spent a quarter of his life growing up
in Guantanamo Bay.
Khadr was captured in Afghanistan in July 2002 at the age of 15.
Accused by the Pentagon of throwing a grenade that killed U.S.
soldier Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer, Khadr faces charges of
conspiracy and murder. His case is set to be the first war crimes
trial since World War II.
In Guantanamo''s Child, veteran reporter Michelle
Shephard traces Khadr''s roots in Canada, Pakistan and Afghanistan,
growing up surrounded by al Qaeda''s elite. She examines how his
despised family, dubbed "Canada''s First Family of Terrorism," has
overshadowed his trial and left him alone behind bars for more than
five years. Khadr''s story goes to the heart of what''s wrong with
the U.S. administration''s post-9/11 policies and why Canada is
guilty by association. His story explains how the lack of due
process can create victims and lead to retribution, and instead of
justice, fuel terrorism.
Michelle Shephard is a national security reporter for the
Toronto Star and the recipient of Canada''s top two
"You will be shocked, saddened and in the end angry at the story
this page turner of a book exposes. I read it straight through and
Omar Khadr''s plight is one you cannot forget."
-Michael Ratner, New York, President of the Center
for Constitutional Rights
"Michelle Shephard''s richly reported, well written account of
Omar Khadr''s trajectory from the battlefields of Afghanistan to
the cells of Guantanamo is a microcosm of the larger "war on
terror" in which the teenaged Khadr either played the role of a
jihadist murderer or tragic pawn or, perhaps, both roles."
-Peter Bergen, author of Holy war, Inc.
and The Osama bin Laden I know
From the Jacket
An excerpt from Guantanamo''s Child:
Omar had been through the drill many times before. The guards
would arrive early in the morning, shackle him, and cover his eyes
and ears for the drive to camp Iguana, where he would wait for his
visitors while chained by the ankle to a hook bolted to the floor.
that morning, he remained there for hours until Edney and Whitling
were led in. the Edmonton lawyers had been fighting for Omar for
four years but had never met him. They could hardly believe they
were standing in front of him.
Omar smiled. His family had written to him about h is Canadian
lawyers and had sent a picture they had taken during one visit, so
Omar know the men before him were Dennis and Nate. But his family
hadn''t prepared him for Edney''s accent. Omar had been exposed to
many languages inside Guantanamo and had even picked up a Saudi
accent, but he had never heard anything quite like Edney''s
Scottish brogue. Omar began laughing as Edney talked, cutting
through the tension.
For two days, Edney and Whitling tried to get to know Omar.
Together they ate the picnic lunch of olives, cheese, bread and
candies that they had brought, Edney tussling with Omar to make
sure he received his fair share of the sweets. Edney talked almost
as much as he listened. He told stories about Omar''s family and
told him about Kareem and Abdullah. "Your sister Zaynab is always
trying to bully me," Edney said and flashed a smile. Edney told
Omar about his sons and showed him pictures. "You''ve got to have
hope, Omar," Edney told him just before he left. "Without hope, we
"I wont'' give up on you," Omar replied, "but you''ll give up on
me. Everyone does."
Omar hugged them and asked Edney if he could keep a photo of
Edney''s son Duncan in his hockey uniform. then he gave whitling a
paper origami bird and asked him to give it to his wife as a
"You will be shocked, saddened and in the end made angry
at the story this page-turner of a book exposes. I read it straight
through, and Omar Khadr''s plight is one you cannot forget."
-Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights, New
About the Author
Michelle Shephard is National Security reporter
for The Toronto Star and has covered the story of Oamr
Khadr since he was captured in July 2002. During her ten years in
journalism she has won Canada''s top two newspaper awards: the
National Newspaper Award for investigations and the Governor
General''s Michener Award for public service journalism.
About the Book
A prizewinning journalist looks at one of Al-Qaeda's newest and
Involved in a firefight in Afghanistan that killed a decorated
U.S. medic, Al-Qaeda-trained Omar Khadr now faces charges of
conspiracy and murder. Sent to Guantanamo at only 15, Khadr belongs
to "Canada's first family of terror," a dubious distinction that
has made him a folk hero to radicalized young Muslims the world
over, while fueling hatred for both the U.S. and Canada. In
Guantanamo's Child, veteran reporter Michelle Shephard examines the
frightening phenomenon of home-grown terrorists, their process of
radicalization, and the significance of commonly held notions of
law, such as due process and protection of individual rights, in
cases such as Khadr's.
Michelle Shephard (Toronto, ON, Canada) is a national security
reporter for the Toronto Star and the recipient of two of Canada's
top journalism awards.