Danger Room: Okay. Of all the fucked-up places you’ve been, what’s the most fucked-up of all? Why?
David Axe: Chad, by far. Even in Somalia, I felt like there was a fairly clear division between “danger” and “safety.” When I was with my fixers, I felt safe. In Chad, I never felt safe. In that country, violence visited me everywhere: in the capital, when corrupt cops hijacked my car; in a Catholic mission in Sudanese border country, when heavily-armed child soldiers hopped the fence and tried to break into my photographer’s and my rooms as a gunfight erupted all around us. Now, as it turns out, my sense of safety in Somalia was an illusion. Just a few months after I left Mogadishu, the guards my then-girlfriend Daria and I had worked with and had felt safe with sold a couple of Western freelance reporters into the captivity of an Islamic group. The reporters Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan were held for months, tortured, abused. My fixer in Mogadishu narrowly escaped coming to a bad end in that episode. Realizing he could no longer trust the guards and others around him, he went into hiding.
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