Tortured by Al-Qaeda, he saw the same madness in the rioters on the Capitol

After locking his body in a truck tire. After handcuffing his hands behind his back, they turned him over so that his weight was resting on his knees and forehead. After pouring water on him, they hit his feet and hands with steel cables. It was at this point that Theo Padnos confessed to helping the CIA kill Islamic terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, being gay, helping the CIA to source on Al-Qaeda in Syria and its desire to rape . Syrian.

None of this was true.

“The ideal torturer in an Islamic state is someone who completely withdraws from the ,” says Padnos, whose new book, Blindfold: A Memory of Capture, Torture, and Enlightenment, recounts the nearly two years during which he was held as a prisoner by Al-Qaeda in Syria. “[The torturer] does his part without emotion. The vast majority of them saw torture as a job they had to do to cleanse Syria from the bad elements that had crept into the nation during the Assad era.

Padnos, a writer who spoke Arabic, traveled to Syria in late 2012 with the aim of walking along the Syrian-Turkish border and recounting how the uprising against the Assad regime was affecting the average citizen. He had been to Syria in the past, had even studied at an Islamic religious school in Damascus. But the Syria he knew no longer existed, and in the book he is the first to admit that his underestimation of the situation in 2012 and his lack of a card – he had no mission – are which got him into trouble. .

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