Mushtaq Yusufzai wins inaugural Kate Webb Award

Pakistani journalist Mushtaq Yusufzai has won the naugural Kate Webb Award for his reports from the Pakistans tribal belt areas home to a number of Al-Qaeda loyalists. The award was presented by Agence France-Presse and was announced today. the 32 year old reporter has previously been wounded by the Taliban and arrested during his work. He plans to use the €5,000 bursary to pursue an “international investigation into reports that radical Islamic groups in the West are sending converts to the tribal zones.” AFP has an excellent profile of Mushtaq,

“I have come face to face with militants and aggressive security forces several times while reporting from the ground in the tribal regions,” Yusufzai said. In 2005, he was in a convoy of pro-government tribal forces ambushed as it searched for supporters of Abu Farj al-Libbi, Al-Qaeda’s then-third in command who had just been arrested.
“The jeep I was in was badly damaged and I suffered minor injuries. We were surrounded by Taliban and under intense fire. “I thought that my time had come and I would not return alive from here. Despite that I continued filming the clash. Finally the Taliban were forced to retreat,” he said.
“My mother asked me afterwards to quit and said she would never forgive me if I carried on. But I just couldn’t keep myself away from reporting these events,” he said. link