Antonio Salas has immersed himself as an under-cover investigative reporter many times. For six years, he trained to adopt the identity of “Muhammad Abdallah,” a Venezuelan man of Palestinian origin. During this time, Salas learned written and spoken Arabic. He studied the Quran, and memorized fragments of it which he wrote out in traditional calligraphy. He also underwent a circumcision and skin-darkening treatments, and grew a long beard. He gave up pork, smoking, and drinking. He took classes alongside anti-terrorist specialists and policemen.
To test his new identity as “Muhammad Abdallah,” he traveled to Morocco, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. In Ramallah, he learned the psychology of terrorists: the trauma and frustration many face, which is, in turn, harnessed by extremists.
Then, in 2006, he set off for Venezuela because, as he says in the video, “the place in the world where a terrorist can be born was Venezuela.”
His intention was to find out — how is a terrorist made? (My question to Salas is — what is his motivation as an investigative reporter?)
In Venezuela, he found the presence of ETA, FARC, Colombian paramilitary groups, Hamas, Al Qaeda, and clumps of Venezuela’s Bolivarian groups whose members converted to Islam.
The result is a book and the video, embedded below, which was filmed while under-cover using a tiny hidden camera.
** WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES **