The only westerner to survive being captured by Al Qaeda has returned to Australia to write a book about his time as a war correspondent in Iraq.

Michael Ware is home safe but not without his demons.

QUT News reports.

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Students at Q-U-T were treated to a guest lecture from CNN’s Michael Ware today a welcome home for the Brisbanite who nearly didn’t make it.

Michael Ware, CNN Correspondent: “I was dragged from my car by a chap who had a live grenade. He had the pin in one hand and held it in the other and he held it to my head.”

Michael’s captors planned to film his execution with his own camera. But he was saved by a nationalist insurgent and friend who convinced them to let him go.

Kidnapped three times, the lucky to be alive 41-year-old says his staff were also abducted and tortured.

Michael Ware, CNN Correspondent: “They’ve saved my life several times and risked theirs countless times and never once did any of them take a backwards step.”

At least 40 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003, 13 of those were killed by US troops.

For the journalists who’d come home, they often don’t return the way they once were.

Michael is on leave from CNN to finish the book but to do that he has to revisit the horrors he’s locked away in his mind.

Michael Ware, CNN Correspondent: “Laughing while a man gurgles for life is common place. On the front line you become de-sensitised.”

Since returning home, Michael has helped families he met in Afghanistan move to Australia, England and the United States.

The book, titled, “Between Me and the Dead”, will be published early next year.

Ashlea Tighe, QUT News