A suggested reading list for those who want to know more about al Qaeda, by topic:Al Qaeda in general Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror, (New York: Random House, 2002) Peter Bergen, Holy War, Inc. Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden (New York: Touchstone, 2002). (paperback edition) Rohan Gunaratna, […]

Writing the obituary of al Qaeda has proven premature. Recent attacks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Pakistan by al Qaeda and affiliated groups demonstrate the war on terrorism is far from over. Indeed there are likely to be more attacks against western targets in coming weeks. Yet the Bush administration, and by extension the American public, are laboring under two misapprehensions about the conduct of that war; one of which is significant, the other is of fundamental importance. The first miscalculation is that the war in Iraq was relevant to the war on terrorism.

Saturday, May 17, 2003 Morocco attacks

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A series of bombings hit Casablanca, Morocco, targeting places of Belgian, Spanish and Jewish interests, and killing dozens of people. Moroccan Interior Minister Mustapha Sahel blamed international terrorists for Friday night’s attacks, which came four days after suicide car bombings killed 25 people in Saudi Arabia. CNN Terrorism Analyst Peter Bergen discussed […]

Friday, May 16, 2003 Multiple attacks possible

Peter Bergen: Al Qaeda may be forming multiple attacks Friday, May 16, 2003 Posted: 10:30 PM EDT (0230 GMT) CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen: “It would be very surprising” if the Riyadh attacks weren’t the work of al Qaeda. ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — The attention of the United States was focused once again on terrorism […]

Thursday, May 15, 2003 Al Qaeda and Riyadh attacks

LONDON, England (CNN) — A leading Saudi dissident who broadcasts a nightly radio newscast from London into the Saudi kingdom, said he is certain that Saudi exile Osama bin Laden gave the “green light” for Monday’s suicide attacks in Riyadh.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003 CNN more on Riyadh attack

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: No one’s claimed responsibility for the Saudi attacks, but a lot of people, including the secretary of state himself, are clearly pointing toward Al Qaeda.

CNN’s terrorism analyst Peter Bergen has been studying that group for many years. He wrote an important book himself, “Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama Bin Laden,” a best seller. Peter joins us now from Washington.

For the Saudis it?s finally time to put up or shut up. This week?s suicide attacks in Riyadh demonstrate that al Qaeda is alive and well in Saudi Arabia. Indeed al Qaeda is to a large extent a Saudi organization: Saudi charities and individuals have been the most important funders of al Qaeda; fifteen of […]

The big question we can pose tonight: Is al Qaeda back stronger than ever, planning more attacks on the United States? Well, that possibility is being raised tonight. An Arab weekly magazine based in London is quoting a purported al Qaeda spokesman who says the organization has regrouped and is planning a new strike on […]

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 Review of Vidal, Fallaci, Mailer

We live in sobering times, so why are the bestseller lists so punch-drunk? In the wake of the traumas of Sept. 11 and after, publishers have rushed out titles that stake strong ideological positions — particularly when delivered by someone with a modicum of fame — and watched the nonfiction lists lurch into line. How else to explain the runaway success of books such as Michael Moore’s “Stupid White Men” — now nearing a yearlong run on the New York Times list — or Michael Savage’s “Savage Nation”?

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2003 Online chat with

Washington, D.C.: You said on last night’s program that al Qaeda undoubtedly had the materials to make a dirty bomb. Tell us what led you to believe this, for example, do you have any intel or evidence? Can you tell us which nuclear species they undoubtedly possess? We have been hearing the basics on dirty […]