So Now, What About Osama? The capture of Saddam Hussein was a victory both for the American army in Iraq and the Iraqi people, but let us be clear: it will have little impact on the wider war on terrorism. It was al Qaeda that struck us on 9/11; it was al Qaeda that attacked […]

This class will examine how the al Qaeda network established itself in the United States. The class will focus in particular on the 1993 Trade Center attack; the mastermind of that attack, Ramzi Yousef; Yousef’s uncle, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who would eventually become al Qaeda’s military commander, and Ahmed Ressam who attempted to bomb Los Angeles airport at the time of the Millennium. We will also discuss the role of Brooklyn’s Afghan Refugee Center, which was effectively a branch office of al Qaeda, and Ali Mohamed, a former US army sergeant who was an important leader within al Qaeda.

This reading list is adapted from a course about al Qaeda and international terrorism that I teach at the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. Required reading for the entire course. (Relevant individual chapters for particular classes are noted below.) Anonymous, Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam and […]

Laurie Mylroie, the pet conspiracy theorist of the neoconservatives, long ago earned the painful debunking inflicted in the new Washington Monthly by Peter Bergen, a serious journalist and scholar widely recognized for his pioneering investigations of al-Qaida.

Americans supported the war in Iraq not because Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator–we had known that for many years–but because President Bush had made the case that Saddam might hand off weapons of mass destruction to his terrorist allies to wreak havoc on the United States. As of this writing, there appears to be no evidence that Saddam had either weapons of mass destruction or significant ties to terrorist groups like al Qaeda. Yet the belief that Saddam posed an imminent threat to the United States amounted to a theological conviction within the administration, a conviction successfully sold to the American public. So it’s fair to ask: Where did this faith come from?

Al Qaeda: The Movement In perhaps their most concentrated burst of activity since 9/11, jihadists who look to Osama bin Laden as their spiritual guide have in the past three weeks carried out a series of devastating suicide attacks in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The targets have included two synagogues and a British consulate […]

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2003 PB comment on the Night of Power

It’s worth noting that,depending where exactly you live in the Muslim world, Friday or Saturday night will be the 27th night of Ramadan, the “night of power” when the Prophet received the first verses of the Koran. It is the most sacred night of a sacred month for more than a billion Muslims around the […]

Greetings all. The Weekly Standard story is a more detailed presentation of a number of stories that have been out there for some time (some of which have long been discredited such as the Atta/Ani meeting in Prague.)The catalogue of al Qaeda-Iraqi meetings in Sudan is interesting in the sense that there are more details […]

Monday, Nov 10, 2003 Attacks in Riyadh

(CNN) — Saudi Arabia is preparing for more terrorist attacks following a suicide car bombing in Riyadh on Saturday, which killed 17 people and wounded more than 120. Officials in the kingdom blame al Qaeda for the attack, and now fear terrorists might strike the city of Mecca, a pilgrimage destination during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2003 New Bin Laden audiotapes

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN ANCHOR: More now on those taped messages purportedly from Osama bin Laden. The U.S. government is analyzing the audio to determine whether it is truly the words of the al Qaeda leader. CNN’s Mike Boettcher is with me here at CNN Center with the latest on this developing story.


Thursday, September, 05, 2019 Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), DC

Wednesday, September, 18, 2019 Global SOF Forum, New America DC

Tuesday, October, 15, 2019 Global Security Forum, Doha, Qatar

Tuesday, November, 19, 2019 9/ 11 Memorial Museum, NYC

Thursday, November, 21, 2019 2019 Modern Warfare Symposium, Ft. Bragg, NC

Tuesday, January, 28, 2020 2020 IFDA Dairy Forum, Scottsdale AZ

Tuesday, April, 28, 2020 Future Security Forum, DC








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