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In the days following Adolf Hitler’s suicide in 1945, amid the rubble of Allied aerial bombardment, the Red Army’s westward advance and Nazi surrender, a company of American infantrymen made their way up Munich’s Prinzregentenstrasse, toward the late Fuhrer’s personal aresidence. Hitler had owned a second-floor luxury apartment in Munich. The soldiers’ mission was to commandeer important Reich documents that might be stored there and to locate Hitler’s will. In the apartment, they found a sculpture and a painting of Hitler’s niece and love interest, Geli Raubal. (Hitler was rumored to have murdered her in the bedroom.) They found costly furnishings, spacious rooms and state-of-the-art gadgetry. They did not find important Reich documents, nor did they find a will. Several floors below there was a bomb shelter. There was also a safe, which an Army mechanic managed to force open. Save for twelve first-edition copies of Mein Kampf, the safe contained not a scrap of paper.

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I think it’s really an attempt to interfere with the tourist economy in Egypt, an attempt to attack the Egyptian government indirectly since tourism is such an important component of the Egyptian economy. We’ve seen now a campaign of attacks against Egyptian tourist targets in the past year and a half. Before that, there was really no attacks on tourists since 1997 when most of the main Egyptian terrorist groups did a sort of cease-fire with the Egyptian government. That cease-fire is clearly dead now. These groups inspired by Al Qaeda or perhaps links to Al Qaeda certainly inspired by Ayman al Zawahiri, bin Laden’s number two guy in Al Qaeda.

Books in Canada In 1997, Peter Bergen travelled to Afghanistan to interview a young Saudi who, word had it, was using his family wealth to finance international terrorism. Bergen listened for an hour as the tall, thin man in camouflage quietly declared war against the West. Asked about his plans, he replied: “You’ll see them and hear about them in the media, God willing.”

BUSH administration defenders, right-wing bloggers and neoconservative publications are crowing about Iraqi documents newly released by the Pentagon that, they say, prove that Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were in league.

Even though the 9/11 commission found no ”collaborative relationship” between the ultrafundamentalist Osama bin Laden and the secular Saddam Hussein, the administration’s reiterations of a supposed connection — Vice President Dick Cheney has argued that the evidence for such an alliance was ”overwhelming” — have convinced two out of three Americans that they had ”strong” links.

Friday, Mar 24, 2006 review of OBL I Know in Le Monde

Wanted: dead or alive, announced President George W. Bush over four years ago. Despite a reward of $25m Osama bin Laden is still at large. The mass of books claiming to explain the phenomenon have more than anything only deepened the mystery.

The man sitting opposite me in the hotel room in downtown Baghdad was adamant. His group did not ever combine forces with al-Qaida. They had never done so and they never would. “We met some of them, but we have refused to work with them because it is too dangerous,” he said. “They are really bloodthirsty people. They do not care if they kill honest Iraqi people. They are crazy, I tell you.”

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 The Madrassa Scapegoat

Peter Bergen is a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation and an adjunct

professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Swati Pandey is a researcher and writer at the Los Angeles Times.

Bergen, author of the acclaimed Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden, has pieced together the accounts of over 50 people who have known bin Laden to construct a narrative of the man and his deeds.

After viewing an Al Qaeda videotape circulating on the Internet, Bergen wrote to John Burns saying that he was “alarmed” as it seemed to presage a major Al Qaeda attack. Burns filed a story which was put on the ‘New York Times’ website but not in the newspaper of September 9. Two days later the Times took the story off its website

When I visited Osama bin Laden’s former base in Tora Bora little more than a year ago, I climbed steep, scree-covered slopes to reach his Afghan house, perched high above the snow line and commanding views of verdant valleys several thousand feet below. The hamlet, known as Milawa, comprised several lookout posts strung out along ridge lines, a bakery, bin Laden’s two-bedroom house and even a crude swimming pool, all of which had been destroyed by U.S. air strikes in December 2001. It is a place where bin Laden seems to have been very happy. He once told Abdel Bari Atwan, a Palestinian journalist, “I really enjoy my life when I’m here. I feel secure in this place.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

Thursday, June, 21, 2018 “Why Terrorist Groups Form International Alliances.” New America DC

Tuesday, June, 26, 2018 The Beltway and the Ivory Tower: Bridging the Gap, New America DC

Wednesday, July, 18, 2018 Aspen Security Forum, Aspen, CO

Tuesday, August, 21, 2018 Modern Warfare Symposium, Global SOF, Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Friday, September, 07, 2018 DARPA D60 Symposium, Washington DC

Tuesday, September, 25, 2018 Global SOF Symposium, Madrid, Spain

MORE EVENTS »

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 »