Journalist Souad Mekhennet awarded International Leadership Award

While working for the Post, Mekhennet has written about the rise of extremism and terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIS in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Souad Mekhennet, Frankfurt Book Fair 2017 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Souad Mekhennet, Frankfurt Book Fair 2017
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
 The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) is awarding Souad Mekhennet, a Washington Post national security reporter, with its International Leadership Award.
While working for the Post, Mekhennet has written about the rise of extremism and terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIS in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 
“In an era where ten-second sound-bytes and vacuous social media postings, Souad Mekhenet stands out as a courageous, unbiased and impactful journalist and author”, said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda for the leading Jewish Human Rights NGO. “Ms. Mehkenet has reported in real-time from the Arab Spring, interviewed murderous ISIS leaders, and became the first Muslim person to play a pivotal role in solving the case of a major Nazi War Criminal who found safe haven in Egypt”.
She is considered to be one of the most well-sourced reporters on the subject, she has interviewed jihadists, terrorists leaders and was part of the group of reporters who unmasked Jihadi John in 2017.
Throughout her career, Mekhennet has been honored for her reporting on issues of extremism, radicalization and terrorism. 
She is the author of I was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad and co-authored Eternal Nazi: from Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim
During her time in Egypt, Mekhennet was jailed during the Arab Spring and during her interrogation the authorities threatened her with rape and held a gun to her head. However, even this did not deter her from continuing with her "accurate, objective, and nuanced" pieces, according to the SWC.
“While others bemoan the state of the world, Souad Mekhenen has braved arrest, a gun to head, threats of rape and violence to bring to light the rarest commodity of all—the truth—from the frontlines of breaking news across the Middle East and beyond. Politicians and pundits would do well to read her reportage to help them make more informed decisions”, Rabbi Cooper added.


Mekhennet will be recognized for her outstanding journalism ethics at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles on January 14.