This reading list is adapted from a course about al Qaeda and international terrorism that I teach at the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. Required reading for the entire course. (Relevant individual chapters for particular classes are noted below.) Anonymous, Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam and […]

Laurie Mylroie, the pet conspiracy theorist of the neoconservatives, long ago earned the painful debunking inflicted in the new Washington Monthly by Peter Bergen, a serious journalist and scholar widely recognized for his pioneering investigations of al-Qaida.

Americans supported the war in Iraq not because Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator–we had known that for many years–but because President Bush had made the case that Saddam might hand off weapons of mass destruction to his terrorist allies to wreak havoc on the United States. As of this writing, there appears to be no evidence that Saddam had either weapons of mass destruction or significant ties to terrorist groups like al Qaeda. Yet the belief that Saddam posed an imminent threat to the United States amounted to a theological conviction within the administration, a conviction successfully sold to the American public. So it’s fair to ask: Where did this faith come from?

Al Qaeda: The Movement In perhaps their most concentrated burst of activity since 9/11, jihadists who look to Osama bin Laden as their spiritual guide have in the past three weeks carried out a series of devastating suicide attacks in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The targets have included two synagogues and a British consulate […]

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2003 PB comment on the Night of Power

It’s worth noting that,depending where exactly you live in the Muslim world, Friday or Saturday night will be the 27th night of Ramadan, the “night of power” when the Prophet received the first verses of the Koran. It is the most sacred night of a sacred month for more than a billion Muslims around the […]

Greetings all. The Weekly Standard story is a more detailed presentation of a number of stories that have been out there for some time (some of which have long been discredited such as the Atta/Ani meeting in Prague.)The catalogue of al Qaeda-Iraqi meetings in Sudan is interesting in the sense that there are more details […]

Monday, Nov 10, 2003 Attacks in Riyadh

(CNN) — Saudi Arabia is preparing for more terrorist attacks following a suicide car bombing in Riyadh on Saturday, which killed 17 people and wounded more than 120. Officials in the kingdom blame al Qaeda for the attack, and now fear terrorists might strike the city of Mecca, a pilgrimage destination during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2003 New Bin Laden audiotapes

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN ANCHOR: More now on those taped messages purportedly from Osama bin Laden. The U.S. government is analyzing the audio to determine whether it is truly the words of the al Qaeda leader. CNN’s Mike Boettcher is with me here at CNN Center with the latest on this developing story.

By far the most serious charge that can be leveled against Bill Clinton is that his administration was derelict in its handling of the al Qaeda threat and therefore deserves much of the blame for the dreadful events of Sept. 11. If these charges were true, Clinton’s considerable accomplishments on the domestic economic front and foreign policy successes such as the Dayton peace accords would be utterly eclipsed, while even the harshest appraisals of the Lewinsky matter would be rendered moot. Moreover, a plausible argument that the Democrats screwed up the hunt for al Qaeda would have obvious implications for the election in 2004.

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 Kelly and Plame, Special to the Site

Some Lessons From London In the rapidly developing story of the Bush administration’s leaking of the name of a CIA operative to a columnist for the Washington Post the Bush White House would do well to consider how a similar scandal has damaged the credibility of its British ally, Tony Blair. In each case the […]