Articles

The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader, by Peter L. Bergen (Free Press). Bergen has written what will long be a “go-to” resource. — Richard A. Clarke

Friday, Nov 17, 2006 Spying on the Terrorists

“Inside the Jihad” is the astonishing, well-told story of Omar Nasiri (a pseudonym), who penetrated al-Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s as a spy for France’s intelligence services. Nasiri never met Osama bin Laden, nor did he hear anything about specific plots against the United States, but he was able to gather a wealth of knowledge about the terrorist training going on in Afghanistan. Nasiri’s feat was never replicated by a U.S. spy, despite the fact that before Sept. 11, 2001, American John Walker Lindh attended camps in Afghanistan and met with bin Laden, demonstrating that such a mission was possible.

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2006 Tribute to Ahmad Shah Massoud

The two Arab TV journalists who had been hanging around for weeks to secure an interview with the storied Afghan military commander Ahmad Shah Massoud finally got their chance to speak with him on Sept. 9, 2001. They set up their gear and asked a question about Osama bin Laden. Then one of them detonated a bomb hidden in a camera, killing himself and mortally wounding Massoud. The journalists were, in fact, al-Qaeda assassins, and it was bin Laden who had ordered the hit just before the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

Thursday, Oct 26, 2006 What Osama Wants

THE French saying, often attributed to Talleyrand, that “this is worse than a crime, it’s a blunder,” could easily describe America’s invasion of Iraq. But for the United States to pull entirely out of that country right now, as is being demanded by a growing chorus of critics, would be to snatch an unqualified disaster from the jaws of an enormous blunder.

Saturday, Sep 23, 2006 OBL not dead
PARIS, France (CNN) — A report that Osama bin Laden is dead has set off a flurry of denials from U.S., French and Pakistani officials, who say the newspaper report citing French intelligence cannot be independently confirmed.

A Saudi intelligence official, however, told CNN on Saturday that the al Qaeda leader is suffering from a waterborne illness. There have been credible reports that the most wanted man in the world is ill, but there is no intelligence indicating he is dead, the source said.

Tuesday, Sep 19, 2006 Lady Killer

Their arrest last month hit front pages around the world. Married for only three years and with an eight-month-old baby, they are now in British police custody, suspected of plotting to bring down several U.S. passenger jets over the Atlantic–a plan that, had it succeeded, could have killed thousands.

Saturday, Sep 09, 2006 Mullah Omar in Pakistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — The one-eyed Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who heads the religious militia fighting U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is living in Pakistan, though not in the same area where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is thought to be, according to a U.S. intelligence source.

Saturday, Sep 09, 2006 The Taliban, Regrouped and Rearmed

The interpreter’s hand-held radio crackled with the sound of intercepted Taliban transmissions, and he signaled the infantry patrol to wait while he translated. At 7 a.m. one morning late in the summer, peasants were already out scything wheat, with their children tending fields of pink and white poppies that would soon add to Afghanistan’s record-setting opium and heroin supplies. We were 9,000 feet up, in the hamlet of Larzab, in a remote part of Zabul province — the heart of Talibanland.

Could It Happen Again? Given the scale of the damage caused to the United States, the 9/11 attacks neither required much money to execute, nor did they take a large number of plotters. Terrorism is a cheap form of warfare–the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, for instance, only cost a few thousand dollars. […]

Thursday, Aug 31, 2006 Kashmir-on-Thames

On New Year’s Eve in 1999, Islamist militants had plenty to celebrate. At the Taliban-controlled Kandahar airport, a planeload of hostages was being swapped for terrorists held in India. The hijackers–Kashmiri militants–had managed to secure the freedom of three key allies. Two, Maulana Masood Azhar and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, were Pakistani; but the third, a man named Omar Sheikh, was the scion of a wealthy British Pakistani family and had studied at the London School of Economics.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Tuesday, October, 30, 2018 Forum on Returning Foreign Fighters, Doha, Qatar

Tuesday, November, 13, 2018 Proxy warfare conference, Global SOF, New America, ASU, New America DC

Wednesday, January, 23, 2019 We Want to Negotiate, Joel, Simon, Newseum DC

Thursday, February, 14, 2019 IDEX conf, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Tuesday, March, 05, 2019 Global SOF Forum, Tampa, Florida

Wednesday, March, 06, 2019 Suli Forum, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

Monday, April, 29, 2019 Future of War conf. ASU/New America DC

Tuesday, October, 01, 2019 Global SOF Symposium, Brussels

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RECENT FILMS

2017

LEGION OF BROTHERS, CNN Films

2016

"We Got Him": President Obama, Bin Laden, and the Future of the War on Terror, CNN

2016

Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma, HBO

ALL FILMS »