A Way Out of Hell by Jim Baton

A Way Out

About the Book

When ISIS turns your city into a living hell…
ISIS unleashes a reign of terror across Indonesia. As a former jihadist, Abdullah knows all too well the high cost and absolute ineffectiveness of fighting such violence with violence. He accepts the impossible challenge of finding the ISIS cell hidden in his city, and disbanding it non-violently. But time is running out, and there may not be any city left to save.
Meanwhile, he has to protect his adopted daughter Sari, a Christian university student, who is one of ISIS’s targets. Together they come face-to-face with the holy warriors of mass destruction and strive to overcome that evil with good.
In this riveting sequel to Someone Has to Die, Jim Baton introduces us to the real people caught in the web of terrorism, with their wide variety of backgrounds and motivations, and the possibility that they, too, can change.

Book Excerpt

Excerpt from A WAY OUT OF HELL

“Just tell me what you want me to do.” Abdullah braced himself for the worst.

The Intelligence agent leaned back in the chair with his hands pressed together tapping his lips. “If ISIS is indeed here, I want you to find their terrorist cell and take it down. And I want you to do this…” he paused, “…non-violently.”

Was this old guy insane? “How am I supposed to do that?” Abdullah asked.

“I can’t tell you who they are and I can’t tell you how to stop them non-violently, though I have some ideas I’ll share with you as we go along. But I can tell you why—because taking them down violently isn’t working. If we kill them, the radicals’ anger grows, and ten more volunteer in their place. If we capture them, our prisons become fertile ground for jihad recruitment. There has to be a better way.”

Abdullah’s mind was spinning. “Has anyone ever tried this before?”

“Actually, yes,” Joko answered. “While our American counterpart, the CIA, with its inhumane prisons and interrogations, has created one of the most effective marketing campaigns for terrorist recruiters in history, resulting in an over fifty percent increase in radical groups since 2010, there are a few dissenting voices, and the FBI has tried some softer tactics with cells in America and had some success. I’ll share the ideas I’m gleaning from them at another time.”

Joko tipped his cup to drain the last coffee drop before continuing.

“Here in Indonesia we have a similar conundrum: the more ‘hard power’ the Detachment 88 Special Forces use in combating terrorism, the harder it is for the moderate majority to discern who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Well, eventually Detachment 88 will get access to the intelligence we have, and they’ll show up in Banjarmasin, guns blazing. I’m sure you’ve seen the footage of Israeli soldiers combing Gaza for Hamas fighters? If ISIS is truly here and planning something, Detachment 88 could turn this city into a war zone where both sides cause civilian casualties. This is not the Middle East yet, where defeating ISIS requires all-out war. ISIS is just beginning their invasion of Indonesia. We have a limited window here, to find these groups and motivate them to disband before they feel it’s ‘kill or be killed.’

“That’s why we need you. You know this city. You have the background to understand what motivates these men. You speak their language. You’re also committed to non-violent resolutions to problems. You’re our best chance for peace.”

Abdullah shook his head and ran both hands through his short-cropped hair. “I still think it’s crazy. So are you offering me a job under BIN?”

“Actually, no. My theories are still unproven, so I have limited official resources here. I’m asking you to do this as a civilian. You need to understand that you’re basically on your own—I can’t call in Special Ops to rescue you. But I will give you all the intelligence leaks I can, and maybe a foot soldier or two if I can wrest them away from other duties.”

“On my own,” Abdullah mumbled. What else is new?

About the Author

Jim Baton (pen name) has spent the last 20 years living in the Muslim world, where he’s been involved in a variety of peace and reconciliation activities including interfaith dialogue, training elementary through university students in peace principles, and bringing Christians and Muslims together to pray.  His real name and photo can’t be displayed on this site to protect his identity from the extremist groups where he lives out his faith. Learn more at his website. 

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