That summer, Muncif told his mother he was going to Mauritania, the parched Muslim country south of Morocco. He wanted to study Islam. She saw no reason to worry. He was a good boy; this seemed just another fit of wanderlust. But three days after he left, he called home.
“Forgive me if I have done wrong,” Muncif said. It was a phrase Moroccans use to bid farewell. He was going to Iraq, he said. He wanted to do jihad.