Every few days, somewhere inside the daily newspaper, there is an account of someone being detained somewhere for some link to al-Qaeda or somebody being let go. French police arrest three men and a woman for links to a planned chemical attack. A German convert to Islam, suspected of having been in phone contact with the truck bomber who blew up a historic synagogue in Tunisia, slips out of the country while, it was reported, he was under surveillance. From this patchwork of dispatches, it’s hard to figure out just how the global pursuit of al-Qaeda is going. Joining us now is Peter Bergen, who’s the author of “Holy War, Inc.” and also CNN’s terrorism analyst.

While the Bush Administration looks to the weapons inspection process in Iraq to turn up a material breach worthy of war, hawks in and out of government have been making a separate case for invasion, claiming that a US military strike against the country is necessary under the amorphous rubric of the “war on terrorism” and because of Saddam Hussein’s alleged connections to Al Qaeda. In fact, it is Saudi Arabia rather than Iraq that has supplied much of the ideological and financial impetus for Al Qaeda, and it is Saudi Arabia that continues to play an obstructionist role in the investigation of the 9/11 attacks, not Iraq.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: An audio statement attributed to a known associate of Osama bin Laden reportedly threatens more attacks on Christians and Jews. The statement on al-Jazeera TV purportedly by Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, says quote, “The Jewish crusader alliance will not, God willing, be safe from attacks anywhere. We will attack strategic interests with […]

 The Al Qaeda Connection: Try Riyadh not Baghdad.There may be good reasons to go to war against Saddam Hussein should he defy United Nations’ resolutions about his weapons of mass destruction, but going to war against Saddam under the amorphous rubric of the “war on terrorism” and his alleged connections to al Qaeda is not […]

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 CNN Special War on Terrorism

BERGEN: I think this story about the money transfers from the wife of the Saudi ambassador possibly to these hijackers, when you look at it, may not add up to very much. She probably didn’t know where the money was going. It is not even clear if it ended up in their pockets.
However, I think there is a wider point, Anderson, which is that Saudi Arabia historically has never cooperated with investigation in terrorist actions against Americans, that was in the ’90s, and the attacks against U.S. facilities in Saudi Arabia, Dhahran and Khobar Towers. But again in the 9/11 investigation where you would have thought they would be pretty cooperative. I know some people directly involved in the investigation. They use the words like “useless,” “obstructionist,” “despicable;” those are the words that are printable.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 Al Nashiri arrest

(CNN) — The arrest of Abd Al-Rahim al-Nashiri is a significant development in the international war on terrorism. Peter Bergen, CNN’s terror analyst, placed al-Nashiri in an al Qaeda “top 10” of leaders. He spoke with CNN Anchor Martin Savidge about the arrest Thursday. SAVIDGE: This is a man who is claimed to be a […]

In past weeks Al Qaeda has relaunched itself, a rebranding that presages a second phase in its war against the West. The clearest evidence for this shift is in three audiotapes that Al Qaeda has released since the beginning of October from its top leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri.

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2002 New bin Laden audiotape

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A senior U.S. State Department official confirmed Wednesday a voice on a recording released by the Qatar-based, Arabic language television network Al-Jazeera appears to be that of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. CNN terrorism expert Peter Bergen, one of the few Western journalists ever to meet bin Laden, agrees with that […]

Thursday, Oct 31, 2002 Rocker Alice Cooper on Holy War

We all see this guy as one thing. The thing about this book is that you learn the history of this power mongerer and where his insanity comes from.”

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2002 Al Qaeda 2.O. Article for site

Al Qaeda 2.0In the past month al Qaeda has relaunched itself, a rebranding that presages a second phase its war against the West. Where once al Qaeda attacked, for the most part, only American military, governmental and symbolic targets the group is now focusing on a wide range of western and economic targets. This repositioning […]