In the closing years ofthe 20th century, globalisation emerged as the west’s new creed in the aftermath of the cold war. It had its priests in the form of economists, chief executives of multi-national companies and western governments, who all preached its merits to their respective congregations. Globalisation, they declaimed, would sweep away corrupt and undemocratic regimes, alleviate world poverty and usher in a brave new world.

Peter Bergen is one of the few Western journalists who has ever interviewed Osama bin Laden. In March 1997, after endless negotiations, he and Pulitzer Prize-winner Peter Arnett were taken by six machine gun-toting men to a secret location, to meet with bin Laden for CNN. “He’s a very serious and committed individual, says Bergen, the author of “Holy War: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Ladin (Free Press). “The first impression you have of him is he’s tall. He’s around 6’4”. He walks with a slight stoop, and walks with a cane, due to some war injury he sustained. People say he has charisma; I didn’t really see him as a charismatic individual. He’s almost a low-key presence.”

Friday, Nov 16, 2001 Review of Holy War Documentary

“Holy War, Inc.,” Sunday’s installment of “National Geographic Explorer,” complements “Unholy War” in more than its title: it begins in Pakistan with a classroom of little boys being trained for a jihad. Based on Peter L. Bergen’s new book, “Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden,” it relies more heavily than Ms. Shah’s films on Western experts and reporting. And although it is disappointing and perfunctory next to Mr. Bergen’s slim yet thorough book, it has a thoughtful, opinionated quality rare among current documentaries.

As the forces of the Northern Alliance roll through town after town in Afghanistan, including now the capital of Kabul, a question presents itself: Where’s Osama bin Laden? Finding someone who lives in a cave and communicates via satellite television is no walk in the park. British journalist Peter Bergen cautions that “When you go looking for Osama bin Laden, you don’t find him: he finds you.” Well, he certainly found us on September 11. It would be much to our advantage were we to find him before he finds us again.

Tuesday, Nov 13, 2001 Publishers Weekly

From Publishers Weekly There’s a lot of new information in this well-written examination by CNN’s terrorism expert on the man believed to be behind the events of September 11, though some of its revelations have already been reported elsewhere in the media. What distinguishes this account is its depth: Bergen has long tracked the Islamic […]

Sunday, Nov 11, 2001 Prophet of Evil

This is the only book you need to read about Osama bin Laden, at least for now. Peter Bergen, a British-raised producer for CNN and ABC television news, has done the world a favor by writing a work that is at once lively, literate and authoritative — equal parts journalism, history and even whimsical travelogue, from the London salons of welfare-supported, turbaned blowhards to the sand-whipped redoubts of the jihad in Yemen, Cairo and, of course, Afghanistan. Some Holy War. Imagine, if you will, that Hitler had been booted out of Germany and taken his closest psychopaths into unhappy exile. In Bergen’s telling, Holy War, Inc. is a global network of mostly professional Arab malcontents bent on overthrowing the corrupt regimes of the Middle East and taking their peoples back to an idealized version of the 7th century. (The future disposition of the technology they use to get their message across — cell phones, bank transfers, credit cards, fax machines, Apple Powerbooks, video cameras and satellite dishes, not to mention passenger jets — remains to be worked out.)

In 1997, CNN correspondent Peter Bergen interviewed an obscure terrorist in Afghanistan. Of course, that was back when the Western world knew little about Osama bin Laden. And cared less. In “Holy War, Inc.,” Bergen compares Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network to a multinational holding company, with similar global reach. It has a truly international roster of “employees,” drawn from at least 24 countries, including America.

El libro de Peter Bergen, analista en temas de terrorismo de la CNN, fue una de las grandes estrellas de la feria de Francfort, y hay que decir que si solo se tiene tiempo para una biografia del hombre mas odiado de Occidente, lease Bin Laden, esta debe ser la eleccion. Cuatro anos tardo Bergen en recopilar la informacion y otros dos en redactar esta biografia, que finalmente tuvo que ser revisada a toda velocidad para ponerla al dia tras el 11-S.

Professor Sir Michael Howard MC knows a great deal more about warfare than I do, or ever shall. His elegant analysis of the current crisis, first delivered as a lecture to the Royal United Services Institute last week, has been hailed as “brilliant”, has been widely reported, reprinted in full, and is fast becoming the locus classicus of those opposed to military intervention in Afghanistan. Who am I to criticise a former Regius professor? I feel, metaphorically, like a Taliban fighter loosing off a couple of rifle rounds at a passing B52.

CNN’s terrorism analyst, Peter L. Bergen, observes in his new book on Osama bin Laden that the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were “the deadliest salvo” yet in a holy war against the United States that began “almost a decade earlier with the little-noticed bombing of a Yemen hotel that housed American soldiers.” “An Australian tourist was the sole casualty of that assault,” he writes, “but with every passing year the attacks became more sophisticated and more deadly.”