The Accidental Terrorist

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 July, 2012, 12:00am


The Accidental Terrorist
by Adam Piore
The Atavist (e-book)

The Atavist has come out with another book that underscores the importance of long-format journalism, although The Accidental Terrorist probably could have been even lengthier than the 12,000 words Adam Piore took to tell the tale of a Cambodian accountant living in California who decided to overthrow the Cambodian government. The prompt for Yasith Chhun was violence in his native country, where, in 1997 Prime Minister Hun Sen seized power in a coup. Chhun had survived the Pol Pot regime and later settled in Long Beach, where he helped Cambodians with their tax returns. Then, at the age of 42, he started to wage his own war against Hun Sen's regime. His Cambodian Freedom Fighters, which had the backing of US-based sympathisers, were doomed to fail, and so they did, being labelled 'the gang that couldn't shoot straight'. In 2005 Chhun, who escaped back to the US, was charged there on a number of counts, including conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, for which the penalty is life imprisonment. Piore will earn the imprisoned Chhun many supporters with this book.