2019-03-11

AMSTERDAM - In her latest book, Dutch journalist Bette Dam tells a fascinating story of the fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar. She reveals among other things that Mullar Omar lived a short walk from a US base in Afghanistan. This book was made possible by our Pascal Decroos Fund grant programme.

Bette Dam

During a visit to Dutch troops in Afghanistan in 2006, journalist Bette Dam discovered how little the military knew about their enemy. She left the military camp to investigate the feared Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

In search of the enemy is the report of a breathtaking journey, which led her to the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan to learn all about Omar's first Koran lessons, the jihad against the Soviet Union, his revolt against violent warlords, his hope for help from the international community and his bitterness on what the Americans have been doing since 2001 in his country.

Dam is the first Western journalist to reconstruct Omar's life and makes pioneering discoveries about a regime, on which many assumptions exist, but that has not been studied in a concrete way. Based on risky fieldwork and thorough research, Dam places the Taliban in a new perspective. She shows how the Taliban, within the framework of the war on terror, were made by Western governments and media from a potential ally into an enemy that should be annihilated. Dam describes how a country and its population were disrupted with brute force and ended up in a war that was unnecessary.

Publications

At the moment, the book is only in Dutch but it is getting noticed by the international media. This article by The Guardian gives a good summary of what the story is about.

Other publications are mainly in Dutch. 

'De oorlog die niet nodig was', De Standaard 21/02/2019. 
'Most wanted terrorist' Mullah Omar verschool zich 12 jaar lang onder neus van de Amerikanen', De Volkskrant, 21/02/2019.
Bette Dam ontrafelde het leven van Talibanleider Mullah Omar: 'Hij had een gesprekspartner kunnen zijn', Interview met Bette Dam, De Volkskrant, 22/2/2019.
Mysterie rond talibanleider eindelijk ontsluierd, HLN.be, 21/02/2019. 
De mens achter de mythe van Talibanleider moellah Omar, MO.be, 21/02/2019.

TV

Interview met Bette Dam bij VPRO Boeken, 24/2/2019.

 

5-day Money Trail Training in Jakarta

2019-02-26

JAKARTA - We're in Jakarta in Indonesia for Money Trail's five-day financial investigative journalism and data security training. 32 journalists and activists from 18 Asian countries are in attendance. This is the second round of training organised by the Money Trail Project.

Slavery of Care nominated for Belfius-persprijs

2019-03-22

BRUSSELS - Slavery of Care, a Journalismfund.eu-supported project has been nominated for the prestigious Belfius Press Awards, in the category 'Television Press'. The investigation revealed the systemic exploitation of Bulgarian women in the care sector in Belgium. 

Amended Money Trail guidelines for a larger number of investigations

2019-03-19

BRUSSELS - We have amended Money Trail application guidelines in order to increase the number of investigations. Do you want to investigate cross-border illicit financial flows, tax abuse, money laundering and corruption? Here's your chance! The next deadline is 25 March.