The author is indeed real. Raymond Ibrahim is "a Middle East and Islam specialist, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. A widely published author, best known for The Al Qaeda Reader (Doubleday, 2007), he guest lectures at universities, including the National Defense Intelligence College, briefs governmental agencies, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and has testified before Congress regarding the conceptual failures that dominate American discourse concerning Islam and the worsening plight of Egypt's Christian Copts. Among other media, he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, CBN, and NPR."
He believes that "to understand contemporary Islam, one must first understand Islamic history, doctrine, and epistemology."
Both quotes from http://www.raymondibrahim.com/about/
As someone who lived in a Muslim country for over 15 years, I assure you that the story that he tells is quite possible.