Friday, Oct 01, 2004 The Long Hunt for Osama, Part 1

Where has he been? How did we ever let him get away? Our correspondent?one of the few Western journalists ever to have met Osama bin Laden?traces the al-Qaeda leader’s footsteps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and describes the sometimes hapless American pursuit

When you fly over the icy peaks of the Hindu Kush, which march in serried ranks toward the Himalayas, dividing Central Asia from the Indian subcontinent, you get a sense of the scale of the problem: Osama bin Laden may be hiding somewhere out there. Wherever he is, bin Laden continues to give substantial ideological direction to jihadist movements around the globe?and so American forces are scouring the Hindu Kush to find him.

Thursday, Sep 23, 2004 Hope in Afghanistan

Based on what Americans have been seeing in the news media about Afghanistan lately, there may not be many who believed President Bush on Tuesday when he told the United Nations that the ”Afghan people are on the path to democracy and freedom.” But then again, not many Americans know what Afghanistan was like before the American-led invasion. Let me offer some perspective.

Monday, Sep 13, 2004 Jamestown Terrorism Monitor

Peter Bergen is a print and television journalist and author of Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden. Mr. Bergen is CNN’s terrorism analyst and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. His article, entitled “The Long Hunt for Osama”, appears in this month’s issue of The Atlantic Monthly. He recently returned from a six week trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The interview was conducted by Chris Heffelfinger on September 12, 2004 in Washington, DC.

Friday, Aug 20, 2004 Review of “Hamburg Cell” film

We all know how the tragic story of Hamburg Cell will end, but the question that Channel 4’s new film tries to answer is: how did the 9/11 plot first take shape? Hamburg Cell focuses on a group of young Middle Easterners who arrived in Germany during the 1990s, and their unlikely transformation from nondescript students to key players in the 9/11 conspiracy. As the final report of the 9/11 commission pointed out last month, Osama bin Laden initially conceived of using more established members of al-Qaida to execute the attacks on Washington and New York, but decided instead to use the “Hamburg group [who] added the enormous advantages of fluency in English and familiarity with life in the west” – attributes that were necessary to learn how to fly at technically demanding American flight schools, and for the meticulous planning of the 9/11 operation.

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 NPR Talk of the Nation on Afghanistan

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I’m Neal Conan in Washington.

As Afghanistan prepares for its first presidential election, the country continues to suffer from violence and terrorism, from poverty and from political and ethnic divisions. After 25 years of almost constant war, much of Afghanistan’s infrastructure lies in ruins and the central government’s authority sometimes seems limited to the capital, Kabul. Yet, across the country, millions have turned out to register to vote in the looming election. Twenty candidates have emerged to challenge the apparent favorite, interim President Hamid Karzai who took office in 2002 with strong American support. Often overshadowed by events in Iraqf, Afghanistan is at a crucial crossroads. A successful election this October could help legitimize and stabilize the government. The consequences of failure are ominous.

Thursday, Jul 15, 2004 The Iraq war and Laurie Mylroie

Americans supported the war in Iraq not because Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator – they knew that – but because President Bush made the case that Saddam might hand weapons of mass destruction to his terrorist allies to wreak havoc on the United States. In the absence of any evidence for that theory, it’s fair to ask: where did the administration’s conviction come from? It was at the American Enterprise Institute – a conservative Washington DC thinktank – that the idea took shape that overthrowing Saddam should be a goal. Among those associated with AEI is Richard Perle, a key architect of the president’s get-tough-on-Iraq policy, and Paul Wolfowitz, now the number-two official at the Pentagon. But none of the thinkers at AEI was in any real way an expert on Iraq. For that they relied on someone you probably have never heard of: a woman named Laurie Mylroie.

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — Afghan authorities have arrested three American citizens accused of running a fake prison in Kabul, U.S. State Department and Afghan officials say.

Afghan government officials raided a rented house in the capital late Sunday where the three Americans lived. They found a private prison inside the building that contained eight prisoners, a Ministry of Interior official said Friday.

PRESIDENT BUSH’S May 2003 announcement aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln that “major combat operations” had ended in Iraq has been replayed endlessly. What is less well remembered is just what the president claimed the United States had accomplished. “The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the llth, 2001,” he declared. The defeat of Saddam Hussein, he told the American people, was “a crucial advance in the campaign against terror.” In fact, the consensus now emerging among a wide range of intelligence and counterterrorism professionals is that the opposite is true: The invasion of Iraq not only failed to help the war on terrorism, but it represented a substantial setback.

WASHINGTON – Despite the finding by the 9/11 commission staff that there is no evidence of a “collaborative relationship” between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, Bush administration officials continue to insist the two worked together. As evidence, they frequently cite Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the 37-year-old Jordanian who is arguably the most dangerous terrorist in the world today. Mr. Zarqawi, who fled his Afghan training grounds after the American invasion and found safe haven in Iraq, was most likely behind the string of bombings across Iraq on Thursday that killed more than 100; in May, he beheaded Nicholas Berg, an American communications engineer working in Iraq.

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 Farenheit 9/11

The White House preemptively gave the movie two thumbs down: “Outrageously false,” said communications director Dan Bartlett, when he was asked about some of its allegations.

Sizzling! countered Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), who plans a teach-in at a Seattle theater to tap into the “anger brewing against this administration.”