Hostage Business

Sara Miran, a Kurdish American real estate developer, was kidnapped while she was working in Iraq in 2014. She was held hostage by an Iranian-backed militia and eventually escaped with the help of a metal spoon. Miran’s harrowing story had been buried among secret Iranian documents, which were then leaked to The Intercept.

On a human level, Miran’s story is an anatomy of a kidnapping, an underreported scourge on unstable countries like Iraq. Thousands of Iraqis and foreigners living and working in the country have been kidnapping victims since the U.S. invasion in 2003, many disappearing without a trace even after ransoms have been paid. Most kidnappings in Iraq are conducted by militias and criminal gangs for money, but Miran’s kidnapping was one of the unusual cases that had both political and financial overtones. Miran is also one of the few high-profile kidnapping victims in Iraq to escape, survive, and tell her story.

Source: The Intercept
Published: Apr 30, 2022
Length: 23 minutes (5,895 words)

“Judge, Lawyer, Help, Case Dismissed”

“And yet despite millions in resources, much of which the state cannot figure out how to spend, Harmony remained unhoused at the foot of the iconic Coca-Cola sign above the Walgreens at Five Points — in the heart of Atlanta — as she has on and off for years, in a state of abject human degradation, with all of this misery taking place less than 100 yards from the very steps of Georgia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities headquarters.”

Source: The Intercept
Published: Oct 31, 2021
Length: 32 minutes (8,064 words)

The Future Dystopic Hellscape is Upon Us

“The rise and fall of the ultimate doomsday prepper.”

Author: Sam Biddle
Source: The Intercept
Published: Jul 5, 2021
Length: 48 minutes (12,142 words)

In ‘Cherry,’ the Bank Robber Is the Victim. What About the Teller He Held Up?

“Erasure doesn’t have to be an act. It can be a process too.”

Source: The Intercept
Published: Mar 13, 2021
Length: 26 minutes (6,700 words)

The El Paso Experiment

“A public defender’s lonely fight against family separation.”

Source: The Intercept
Published: Nov 1, 2020
Length: 27 minutes (6,900 words)

The Power to Kill

When a prosecutor states that she won’t seek the death penalty in any cases, is she exercising prosecutorial judgement or abdicating it? Aramis Ayala and the state of Florida don’t agree.

Source: The Intercept
Published: Dec 3, 2019
Length: 15 minutes (3,966 words)

Bodies in the Borderlands

Rather than deterring unlawful entry, US border policy has helped create a humanitarian crisis, where untold numbers of migrants die or fall ill in the scorching Arizona desert. When concerned citizens, like Ajo’s Scott Walker, form groups to help gather migrants’ bodily remains and offer water and medical aid to the living, officials treats these humanitarians as criminals who help enable unlawful entry and commit conspiracy. And people keep dying in the desert.

Source: The Intercept
Published: May 4, 2019
Length: 49 minutes (12,493 words)

The Infiltrator

Even as the people protesting the Dakota Access pipeline became suspicious about other activists’ loyalties, a security firm successfully planted a bearded ex-Marine undercover to gather intelligence about the protesters. Besides fueling paranoia, did the operative’s activities change anything?

Source: The Intercept
Published: Dec 30, 2018
Length: 29 minutes (7,439 words)

A Boundless Battlefield: What Happens When a Barrio 18 Soldier Tries to Leave the Gang

Gang members in El Salvador are considered ruined, beyond redemption. So what’s life like for a gang member who manages to get out?

Source: The Intercept
Published: Nov 17, 2018
Length: 25 minutes (6,436 words)

What Happened at the Lake

Wendell Lindsey is serving life prison for murdering his daughter. Maybe he did, or maybe he’s also a victim — of junk science, personal vendettas, weak investigation, and bad attorneys.

Source: The Intercept
Published: Sep 8, 2018
Length: 41 minutes (10,312 words)