CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen has been studying Osama bin Laden and his operations for several years and is the author of an upcoming book on the man the United States suspects in the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Saturday, he discussed the geography of Afghanistan and bin Laden’s links to the country with CNN anchor Kyra Phillips.

Thursday, Sep 13, 2001 BIN LADEN’S WARNING. Smoke Signals

Hiding out somewhere in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden must be a happy man. U.S. officials have identified him as the principal suspect in the disasters visited upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And there are several reasons why. First, the operation required recruits sufficiently well-motivated that they were prepared to commit suicide. Bin Laden’s group, Al Qaeda (“the base”), employed suicide bombers in the 1998 attacks against two U.S. embassies in Africa and in the bombing of the USS <em>Cole</em> in Yemen eleven months ago. Tuesday’s attacks also required pilots capable of flying jets into their targets. And Al Qaeda has actively recruited pilots capable of flying such planes; in 1993 the group even purchased a jet in Arizona, which was flown to bin Laden’s base, then located in Sudan by a pilot the group had hired. Al Qaeda also has a long history of attacking U.S. government buildings and military targets. And bin Laden himself recently indicated that he was planning to attack more Americantargets.

Tuesday, May 29, 2001 Bombing Verdict

JIM LEHRER: Three perspectives now. Peter Bergen is a journalist who interviewed bin Laden in 1997, he is now writing a book about him and Islamic militant groups; Bruce Hoffman is vice president at Rand, a research organization, and editor-in- chief of the journal “Studies in Conflict and Terrorism;” and Juliette Kayyem runs Harvard University’s Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness, and she was a commissioner on the National Commission on Terrorism.

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2001 Going Soft. KABUL DIARIST

It was Ramadan in Afghanistan. By comparison, Savonarola’s Florence during Lent must have felt like party central. In a country where millions are cold and hungry throughout the winter, the faithful were observing one of the five pillars of Islam: abstaining from food and drink from dawn to dusk during the holy month. No wonder I was the only guest in Kabul’s grim, cavernous, and incongruously named Intercontinental Hotel.

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2001 A dying nation

This time the Taliban has gone too far. The movement of religious students turned-warriors that controls most of Afghanistan is systematically destroying the cultural patrimony of their country. And there is, unfortunately, little the rest of the world can do but watch in horror.

Even the most attentive of post-Sept. 11 media junkies will learn something new from reading journalist Peter L. Bergen’s just-published biography of Osama bin Laden.

Published in October, the biography was not a quickie book. Bergen started reporting about Afghanistan in 1983, producing a documentary about the millions of refugees fleeing to Pakistan after the Soviet military invaded. He traveled to Afghanistan for CNN in 1993 after the bombing of the World Trade Center; based on what Bergen learned about the masterminds behind that terrorist attack, he decided to write a biography of Osama bin Laden.

December 7, 2000 Web posted at: 10:25 p.m. EST (0325 GMT) LONDON, England (CNN) — U.S. officials said Thursday there is evidence linking suspects in the October 12 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen with known operatives of accused terrorist Osama bin Laden’s organization. The officials said the evidence suggests some suspects in the […]

Thursday, Oct 26, 2000 He is Back

Osama bin Laden had dropped out of the headlines until recently. The bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa tied to the Saudi multimillionaire happened more than two years ago. The Taliban movement of religious students-turned-warriors which controls much of Afghanistan where bin Laden is based said they had clamped down on his ability to conduct operations in other countries.


LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Hijackers aboard an Indian Airlines jet in Afghanistan make new demands. They want $200 million and the release of 35 jailed Muslim militants. An Indian minister predicts negotiations will be lengthy. About 160 people are into their fifth day as hostages aboard that plane on the tarmac in Afghanistan. It has been cold and they have been hungry.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: A half-dozen hijackers, a band of negotiators, truckloads of heavily armed soldiers, and 160 exhausted yet terrified captives: Those are the players in a hijack ordeal that’s now well into its fourth day. An Indian Airlines airbus commandeered Friday sits on a tarmac in Afghanistan while direct negotiations with Indian officials gets underway for the first time. Watching events unfold is journalist Peter Bergen, who filed this report just minutes ago.