Sep 16, 2008

Comprehensive Al Qaeda Reading List

This  reading list is the one I gave  my students at Harvard's Kennedy School in 20008.

General Reading on al Qaeda

9/11 Commission Report (New York, Norton 2004). The authoritative account and actually a good read, surprisingly so for a government report. The report is also online:

Anonymous/Scheuer, Michael. Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam and the Future of America. Washington, DC: Brasseys, 2002. (Paperback edition). Written by the former head of the bin Laden unit at CIA. Well researched, analytically sharp.

Bergen, Peter. The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda’s Leader. New York: Free Press 2006. (Paperback edition). A collection of interviews with those who have known bin Laden and key documents such as the founding minutes of al Qaeda.

Bergen, Peter. Holy War, Inc: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden. New York: Touchstone, 2002. Reporting on the ground about al Qaeda around the world. Easy read, (I think.)

Burke, Jason. Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror. New York: I.B. Tauris 2003. (Paperback edition) A really sharp combination of on the ground reporting and analysis.

Atwan, Abdel-Bari. The Secret History of al-Qa’ida. Saqi Books, 2006. A concise primer.

Coll, Steve. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. New York: The Penguin Press, 2004. (Paperback edition) Deeply reported. Won the Pulitzer for best non-fiction book of 2004.

Sageman, Marc. Understanding Terror Networks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. Sageman’s groundbreaking sociological analysis of who joins al Qaeda and its affiliated groups. 

Wright, Laurence. The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Knopf, 2006. A gripping narrative of the jihadist movement from its birth in Egypt in the mid 20th century up until 9/11. Won the Pulitzer prize for best non-fiction book of 2006. and and are useful sites. West Point’s Center for Combating Terrorism produces excellent reports and is well worth look at their material. 

Class 1: A discussion of the underlying causes of the 9/11 attacks.


Arab Human Development Report. Middle East Quarterly. 9.4, fall 2002. 59-67. Academic Search Premier.   Link

Bergen, Peter and Pandey, Swati. “The Madrassa Scapegoat.” The Washington Quarterly 29.2, spring 2006. 117-125. Project Muse.

Bergen, Peter. “What were the causes of 9/11?” Prospect Magazine (U.K) Issue 126, September 2006.

Doran, Michael Scott. “Somebody Else’s Civil War.” In How Did This Happen? Terrorism and the New War. Eds. James F. Hoge Jr. and Gideon Rose. New York: Public Affairs, 2001. 31-52.

Moghadam, Assaf. “Suicide Terrorism, Occupation, and the Globalization of Martyrdom: A Critique of ‘Dying to Win.’” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 29.8: December 2006. 707-729. (A critique of Pape, see his book below)  Link

Nacos, Brigitte. “The Terrorist Calculus Behind 9-11: A Model for Future Terrorism?” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 26.1: January-February 2003. 1-16.  Link

Ruthven, Malise. “How to Understand Islam.” New York Review of Books. November 8, 2007.

Wiktoroqicz, Quintan and Kaltner, John. “Killing in the name of Islam: Al-Qaeda’s justification for September 11.” Middle East Policy 10:2, summer 2003.


Atran, Scott. “The Moral Logic and Growth of Suicide Terrorism.” The Washington Quarterly 29.2, spring 2006. 127-147. Project Muse.

Bergen, Peter & Lind, Michael. A Matter of Pride.” Democracy. Winter 2007.

Berman, Paul. Terror and Liberalism. New York: Norton, 2003. Argues that the jihadist threat is similar to the fascist or communist threat in terms of both its ideology and goals. 

Czwarno, Monica. “Misjudging Islamic terrorism: the academic community’s failure to predict 9/11.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29:7, 2006. 

Gabriel, Richard A. “The Warrior Prophet.” Quarterly Journal of Military History. Summer 2007. Republished at:

Gold, Dore. Hatred’s Kingdom. How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism. Washington, DC: Regnery, 2003. 

Hudson, Rex. The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 1999.

Kaplan, David. “The Saudi Connection: How Billions in Oil Money Spawned a Global Terror Network.” US News & World Report December 7, 2003.

Krueger, Alan. What Makes a Terrorist. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007.


Pape, Robert. Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. New York: Random House 2005). Argues that campaigns of suicide terrorism are more motivated by nationalism than religion. 

Richardson, Louise. What Terrorists Want, New York, Random House 2007 pp 38-103

Sageman, Marc. Understanding Terror Networks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. Sageman’s groundbreaking sociological analysis of who joins al Qaeda and affiliated groups. 

Class 2: An overview of Islamist terrorism and its intellectual influences .


Berman, Paul. “Al Qaeda’s Philosopher.” New York Times Magazine, March 23, 2003.    Link

Burke, 23-39.

Gertz, Clifford. “Which Way to Mecca?” New York Review of Books, June 12, 2003.

Hoffman, Bruce. Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1998. 87-129.

Kepel, Gilles. Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. Cambridge, Belknap Press, Harvard 2002.1-20.

Kepel, Gilles. Muslim Extremism in Egypt, the Prophet and Pharaoh. University of California Press, 1986 (1st ed.). 36-67.

Rubin, Barry and Rubin, Judith Colp, eds. Anti-American Terrorism and the Middle East: A Documentary Reader. New York: Oxford University Press 2002. 27-32. 

Ruthven, Malise. A Fury for God. The Islamist Attack on America. New York: Granta Books, 2002. 72-98. 

Paz, Reuven. “Islamists and Anti-Americanism.” Middle East Review of International Affairs. 7.4, December 2003.

Takeyh, Rey and Gvosdev, Nikolas. “Radical Islam: Death of an Ideology.” Middle East Policy 9.4, winter 2004. 86-95. Link


Benjamin, Daniel and Simon, Steven. The Age of Sacred Terror. New York: Random House, 2002. 38-94. 

Berman, Paul. Terror and Liberalism, New York: Norton, 2003

Burns, John F. “Bin Laden Stirs Struggle on Meaning of Jihad.” New York Times, January 27, 2002.  Link

Cook, David. Understanding Jihad. Los Angeles: University of California, 2005. An erudite explanation of the history of jihadist thought.  

Esposito, John L. Terror in the Name of Islam. Oxford University Press, 2002. 26- 70.

Firestone, Reuven. Jihad, the Origin of Holy War in Islam. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 13-18 and 47-65.

Gerges, Fawaz. The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global. New York: Cambridge, 2005.  Well researched account of how the global jihadist movement is driven by internecine ideological disputes and petty feuds. pp1-80,119-151 

Lewis, Bernard. The Political Language of Islam. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988. 71-90.

Qutb, Sayyid. Milestones. American Trust Publications, 1991, or

Class 3: The Afghan war against the Soviet Union, the role of the United States, and the formation of an Islamist Internationale, 1979-1989.


Anonymous/Scheuer, 89-108.

Bergen, Holy War Inc. 66-78.

Bergen, OBL I Know. 24-74.

Burke, 54-67 and 68-80.

Yousaf, Mohammad and Adkin, Mark. Afghanistan--The Bear: The Defeat of a Superpower. London: Leo Cooper, 1992. 78-96.

Rubin reader, 62-64 and 108-110 (Brzezinski memo).


Bearden, Milton. “Graveyard of Empires, Afghanistan’s Treacherous Peaks.” In Hoge and Rose, 83-95.

Bradsher, Henry. Afghan Communism and Soviet Intervention. London: Oxford University Press, 1999.177-192.

Cooley, John. Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism. London and Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, 2000. 80-105.

Crile, George. Charlie Wilson’s War, The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003.

Huband, Mark. Warriors of the Prophet. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1998.1-24.

Roy, Olivier. Afghanistan From Holy War to Civil War. Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press, 1995. 43-92.

Urban, Mark. War in Afghanistan. London: Macmillan Press, 1988. 203-222.

Class 4: Al Qaeda from its formation in 1988 to 1996

This class will examine the changing nature of al Qaeda from its inception in Afghanistan, and the group’s sojourn in Sudan from 1991-1996.


9/11 Commission Report, 47-71.

Anonymous/Scheuer, 109-118, 119-131 and 133-147.

Bergen, Holy War, 79-107.

Bergen, OBL I Know, 74-160.

Burke, 92-126.

Court transcript of USA v. Usama bin Laden (the embassy bombings trial) provides a wealth of material. Entire transcript of the trial available:

The most important testimony for this class is from the following days: Testimony of L’Hossaine Kherchtou, February 21 and February 26; Testimony of Essam al-Ridi, February 14, 2001; Testimony of Jamal al-Fadl, February 6, 2001.


Ali Mohamed’s plea agreement, reprinted as “Excerpts from Guilty Plea in Terrorism Case,” New York Times, October 21, 2000.   Link

Fandy, Mamoun. Saudi Arabia and the Politics of Dissent. New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1999.177-194.

Huband, Mark. Brutal Truths, Fragile Myths: Power Politics and Western Adventurism in the Arab World. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2004. 61-113.

Kohlman, Evan F. Al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe: the Afghan-Bosnian Network. New York: Berg, 2004.

Jacquard, Roland. In the Name of Osama Bin Laden, Global Terrorism and the Bin Laden Brotherhood. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002. The Appendix of this compiles a useful series of documents. 168-272 for this class and others.

Class 5: Afghanistan under the Taliban, the rise of the religious warriors and their al Qaeda allies.  This class will examine the exact nature of the relationship between the Taliban and al Qaeda.


9/11 Commission Report, 47-71.

Bergen, Holy War, 146-170.

Bergen, OBL I Know, 160-219.

Burke, 106-123 and 161-177.

Cullison, Alan. “Inside Al Qaeda’s Hard Drive.” The Atlantic Online. September 2004.

Rubin reader, 40-41 and 247-249.

Sirrs, Julie. “The Taliban’s International Ambitions.” Middle East Quarterly 8.3, summer 2001. Academic Search Premier.   Link

Pyes, Craig and Rempel, William. “Slowly Stalking an Afghan ‘Lion.’” Los Angles Times, June 12, 2002.  This is the best account of the plan to assassinate Ahmad Shah Massoud, which was a prelude to the 9/11 attacks.


Constable, Pamela. “Buddhas’ Rubble Marks a Turn for Taliban.” Washington Post. March 20, 2001.   Link

Cullison, Alan and Higgins, Andrew. “Inside al Qaeda’s Afghan Turmoil.” Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2002. 

Dorronsoro, Gilles. Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to Present. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. Dense, authoritative study.

George Washington University’s National Security Archive has a useful collection of declassified US State Department documents about the Taliban that can be accessed at \

Griffin, Michael. Reaping the Whirlwind: the Taliban Movement in Afghanistan. London: Pluto Press, 2001. 33-69.

Maley, William, ed. Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban. New York: New York University Press, 1998. Introduction by Maley, 1-23, and chapter on the United States and the Taliban by Richard Mackenzie, 90-103.

Nasiri, Omar. Inside the Jihad, My Life with Al Qaeda: A Spy's Story. New York: Basic, 2006. A gripping account of one man’s embrace of militant jihadism and his training in the camps in Afghanistan.  

Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. (paperback edition) 1-140

Wiener, Tim. “The Commanders: Afghan Arabs Said to Lead Taliban’s Fight.” New York Times, November 10, 2001.  Link

Class 6: Al Qaeda from 1996 to 9/11. This class will examine how al Qaeda became increasingly violent once it rebased itself in Afghanistan in ’96, with a particular focus on the US embassy bombing attacks in Africa, and the USS Cole attack in Yemen. 


9/11 Commission Report, 174-215.

Al Qaeda Training manual:

Anonymous/Scheuer. 151-168, 169-194,195-224.

Bergen, Holy War, 24-41, 108-116 and 171-198.

Bergen, OBL I Know, 219-258.

Burke, 143-160 and 189-209.

Court transcript of USA v. Usama bin Laden (the embassy bombings trial) provides a wealth of material. Entire transcript of the trial available:

The most useful days for this class are Testimony of FBI Agent John Anticev,       February 27, 2001; Summation of Ken Karas, May 1, 2001; Testimony of Jerrold M. Post, M.D., June 27, 2001. 

Cullison, Alan. “Inside Al Qaeda’s Hard Drive.” The Atlantic Online. September 2004.

Lewis, Bernard. “License to Kill: Usama bin Ladin's Declaration of Jihad.” Foreign Affairs, November/December 1998.  Link

Rohde, David and Chivers, C. J. “The Jihad Files.” New York Times, March 17, 2002 and March 18, 2002.  Link

Rubin reader, 174-18 (videotape of 2001) and 204-207 (the Fazil letter).


Gunaratna, Rohan. Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror. New York: Berkley. 127-221.

Cullison, Alan and Higgins, Andrew. “Computer in Kabul Holds Chilling Memos.” Wall Street Journal, December 31, 2001.

Raufer, Xavier. “Al Qaeda: A Different Diagnosis.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism   Link 26.6, November-December 2003. 391-398.

Class 7: The Leaders of Al Qaeda.

This class will address the biographies and ideas of the most important figures in al Qaeda.


Bergen, Holy War. 49-65.

Bergen, OBL I Know. 258-283.

Cracks in the Foundation-Leadership Schisms in Al Qaeda from 1989-2006,” Combating Terrorism Center, West Point, 2007. pp1-26  Link


Higgins, Andrew and Cullison, Alan.Saga of Dr. Zawahiri Sheds Light on al Qaeda Terror.” Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2002.

Wright, Lawrence. “The Man Behind Laden: How an Egyptian doctor became a master of terror.” The New Yorker, September 16, 2002. (Note, this is more than 20,000 words in length. Also the piece is subsumed in Wright’s 2006 book The Looming Tower.)

al Zawahiri, Ayman. Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet (2001). This document is Zawahiri’s autobiography, and it also outlines his political philosophy. It runs about 75 pages and is essential reading to understand him.

Below is a comprehensive list of bin Laden statements and interviews from 1996-2003. While it is not necessary to read all of them it would be helpful if you sampled some of them.

August 1996 OBL Fatwa: “Declaration of War against Americans occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places

9-10-1996 OBL Interview with Robert Fisk

October-November 1996 OBL Interview with Nidual Islam

2-21-1997 EEN Article on Bin Laden’s February statements

March 1997 OBL CNN Interview

2-23-1998 World Islamic Front Statement

5-28-1998  OBL John Miller Interview, ABC News

Non-Dated 1998 OBL Al-Jazeera interview

December 1998-January 1999 Full Transcript of OBL Yusufzai interview

9-10-1999 OBL interview with Salah Najm 

5-7-2001 Abdul Sattar Article:  “Osama Urges Ummah to Continue Jihad.”

9/25/2001 “Letter to the Pakistani People”

9/28 2001 Interview

10/8/2001 Speech Broadcast by Al Jazeera

11/1/2001 “Letter to Muslims”

11/3/2001 Videotaped Statement

11/15/2001 Translation of videotaped meeting

12/9/2001 “Message to Muslim Youth”

12/27/2001 Transcript of excerpts from OBL video

5/19/2002 Article:  “New Bin Laden Film Vows revenge on the UK”

8/25/2002 “Letter to Afghan People” (handwritten)     

9/10/2002 excerpts of recorded statements sent to Al Jazeera and 9-11 hijacker’s will

11/12/2002  Transcript of audiotape message sent to Al Jazeera

11/24/2002 “Letter to America”,11581,845725,00.html

1/19/2003 “Bin Laden urges Islamic groups to unite: report.” Associated Press in Globe and Mail (Toronto).

2/11/2003 Transcript of audiotape statement about US and Iraq

March 2003 “Sermon for Feast of Sacrifice”

3/27/2003 Washington Post article on OBL email on Abdullah Peace initiative

3/28/2003 Guardian Article on OBL email on Abdullah peace initiative,3858,4383469-108920,00.html

7/18/2003 New Speech

Guardian Timeline of OBL Tapes,12643,839823,00.html 

4/15/2004 Offer of truce to European countries willing to pull out of the coalition in Iraq 2004.

10/29/2004 Address to the American people on the eve of the Presidential election.

12/30/2004 Osama Bin Laden to the Iraqi People

12/30/2004 Osama bin Laden on World Heresy and the Islamic Nation

1/19/2006 Bin Laden threatens attacks on US

4/24/2006 Bin Laden on cutting off funds to Hamas

5/23/2006 Osama Bin Laden: A Testimony to the Truth

6/30/2006 Bin Laden on Zarqawi and Iraq

7/15/2007 Possible Bin Laden tape

9/7/2007 Bin Laden to the US on Iraq

9/11/2007 Bin laden on the sixth anniversary of 9/11


Amanpour, Christiane and Bergen, Peter. “In the Footsteps of bin Laden.” CNN. (DVD)

Bin Laden, Osama. Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden. New York: Verso, 2005. Bruce Lawrence ed. A good collection of bin Laden’s statements, which can be sampled.

Kepel, Gilles. The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West. Belknap Press: Cambridge, MA, 2004. 70-108.

Snyder, Robert. “Hating America: Bin Laden as a Civilizational Revolutionary.” The Review of Politics, 65.4, Autumn 2003. Link

Yusufzai, Rahimullah. Most Wanted: Profiles of Terror. New Delhi: Lotus/Roli, 2002. 19-37.

al Zayyat, Montasser. The Road to al Qaeda: The Story of Bin Laden’s Right Hand Man.  Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, 2004. This is a short book about Zawahiri by a former colleague. Well worth looking at.

Class 8: Al Qaeda’s operation in the United States before the 9/11 plot.

This class will examine how the al Qaeda network established itself in the United States. We  will focus in particular on the 1993 Trade Center attack; the mastermind of that attack, Ramzi Yousef; Yousef’s uncle, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who would eventually become al Qaeda’s military commander, and Ahmed Ressam who attempted to bomb Los Angeles airport at the time of the Millennium. We will also discuss the role of Brooklyn’s Afghan Refugee Center, which was effectively a branch office of al Qaeda, and Ali Mohamed, a former US army sergeant who was an important leader within al Qaeda.


Bergen Holy War, 130-145.

Burke, 93-105.

Fouda, Yosri and Fielding, Nick. Masterminds of Terror. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 2003. 89-104.
 McDermott, Terry, Meyer, Josh and McDonnell, Patrick. “The Plots and Designs of al Qaeda’s Engineer.” Los Angeles Times, December 22, 2002.  Bokhari, Farhan. et al. “The CEO of al Qaeda.” Financial Times. February 15, 2003.  

Kaplan, David. “Made in the USA.” US News and World Report. June 6, 2002.


An important newspaper series on Ahmed Ressam, who planned to blow up Los Angeles airport during the Millennium celebrations, can be found at                              

Dwyer, Jim et al. Two Seconds under the World. New York: Crown, 1994. This is an excellent investigation of the 1993 Trade Center attack.

Lance, Peter. 1000 Years for Revenge, International Terrorism and the FBI. New York: Regan Books/HarperCollins, 2003. 273-306 and 319-332.

Reeve, Simon. The New Jackals. Boston, Northeastern University Press, 1999. 24-154.

Venzke, Ben, ed. The al Qaeda Documents Vol. 2. Alexandria, VA: Tempest Publishing 2003. Ressam testimony, 256-389.

Class 9: Pakistan and the jihadists before 9/11.

 Required: Bennett-Jones, Owen. Pakistan: Eye of the Storm. New Haven, CO: Yale, 2002. 1-33. Bergen, Holy War. 212-221. Burke, 81-92. 

Fair, C. Christine. “Militant Recruitment in Pakistan.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 27.6, November/December 2004.  Link

Goldberg, Jeffrey. “Inside Jihad U. the Education of a Holy Warrior.” New York Times Magazine, June 25, 2000.  Link 

Sheikh, Omar. Diary extracts.

Stern, Jessica. “Pakistan’s Jihad Culture.” Foreign Affairs, November/December 2000. Optional:

Abbas, Hassan. Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army and America’s War on Terror. London: M.E. Sharpe, 2005. pp 89-177

Abou Zahab, Mariam and Roy, Olivier. Islamist Networks, The Afghan-Pakistan Connection. London: Hurst, 2004.

 Bennett-Jones, 56-108 and 250-280. Cohen, Stephen. The Idea of Pakistan. Washington, DC: Brookings, 2005. Well written general history. pp161-200         Collins, Aukai. My Jihad. Guilford, CO: Lyons Press, 2002). 23-40, an interesting account of an American jihadist who trained in Pakistan.Constable, Pamela. “Pakistan’s Predicament.” Journal of Democracy. January 2001. Link Constable, Pamela. “Pakistan’s Moral Majority; Islamic Fundamentalist Fervor Poses Challenge to Military Regime.” Washington Post. June 22, 2000.  Link Haqqani, Husain. Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military. Washington, DC: Carnegie 2005.  Mishra, Pankaj. “Death in Kashmir.” New York Review of Books. September 21, 2000. Mishra, Pankaj. “Kashmir: Unending War.” New York Review of Books, October19, 2000. 
Yusufzai, Rahimullah. Most Wanted: Profiles of Terror. New Delhi: Lotus/Roli, 2002. 132-144, Interrogations of Omar Sheikh and Maulana Azhar.

Class 10. Al Qaeda’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction from 1993-2008, and a discussion of what the future WMD threat from jihadist terrorists might be.


Albright, David and Higgins, Holly. “Pakistani Nuclear Scientist: How Much Nuclear Assistance to Al Qaeda?” Institute for Science and International Security. August 30, 2002.  Link

Allison, Graham. "The Ongoing Failure of Imagination."  Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 62.5: September / October 2006. 36-41.  Link

Atran, Scott. “A failure of imagination (Intelligence, WMDs, and ‘Virtual Jihad’).” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29.3: April-May 2006.  Link

Bergen, OBL I Know. 337-349.

Boettcher, Mike and Arnesen, Ingrid. “Al Qaeda Documents Outline Serious Weapon Program.” January 25, 2002.

Daly, Sara, Parachini, John and Rosenau, William. “Aum Shinrikyo, Al Qaeda, and the Kinshasa Reactor: Implications of Three Case Studies for Combating Nuclear Terrorism.” RAND Project AIR FORCE 2005. RAND Corporation.

Mir, Hamid. “Osama Claims He Has Nukes: If the US Uses N-arms It Will Get Same Response.” Dawn- The Internet Edition. November 9, 2001.

McCloud, Kimberly and Matthew Osbourne. “WMD Terrorism and Usama Bin Laden.” CNS Reports. 20 November 2001. Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Shrader, Katherine. “Suitcase nukes unlikely to exist.” Associated Press. Yahoo! News, November 10, 2007.

Tenet, George. At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. New York: Harper Collins, 2007. pp 259-280

Warrick, Joby. “Pakistan nuclear security questioned.” Washington Post. November 11, 2007.

Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Research Program. “Chart: Al-Qa’ida’s WMD Activities.” May 13, 2005. Center for Nonproliferation Studies.


ABC News. “World’s Most Wanted Terrorist: An Interview with Osama bin Laden” January 2, 1999,

Albright, David and Higgins, Holly. “A bomb for the Ummah.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 59.2: 2003. 49-55.   Link

Allison, Graham. Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe. New York: Owl Books, 2005. 

Baker, Peter. “Pakistani Scientist Who Met Bin Laden Failed Polygraphs, Renewing Suspicions.” Washington Post. March 3, 2002.  Link

Barletta, Michael. “Chemical Weapons in the Sudan: Allegations and Evidence.” The Nonproliferation Review. 6.1, 1998. 115-136.  Link

Hayden, Nancy Kay. “Terrifying Landscapes: a study of scientific research into understanding motivations of non-state actors to acquire and/or use weapons of mass destruction.” Defense Threat Reduction Agency. June 22, 2007.

Bunn, Matthew, Anthony Wier and Josh Friedman. “The Threat: The Demand for Black Market Fissile Material.” Nuclear Threat Initiative: Project on Managing the Atom. June 16, 2005.                        

Calabresi, Massimo and Sally Donnelly. “Cropduster Manual Discovered,” September 22, 2001.,8599,175951,00.html

Corera, Gordon. Shopping for Bombs. Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity and the Rise and Fall of the AQ Khan Network New York: Oxford, 2006.

Kaplan, David and Marshall, Andrew. The Cult at the End of the World: the Incredible Story of Aum. London: Random House, 1997.

Langewiesche, William. “The Wrath of Khan.” The Atlantic Online November 2005.

Langewiesche, William. “The Point of No Return.” The Atlantic Online January/February 2006

Langewiesche, William. “How To Get A Nuclear Bomb.” The Atlantic Online   December 2006.

OR Langewiesche, William. The Atomic Bazaar: The Rise of the Nuclear Poor. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007.

Mueller, John. “Radioactive hype.” The National Interest. August 29, 2007.

Robertson, Nic. “Tapes shed new light on bin Laden’s network.” August 19, 2002,

Wolf Blitzer, Nic Robertson, Mike Boettcher, David Grange, Peter Bergen, Terror on Tape: Inside al Qaeda, CNN, August 25, 2002.

Warrick, Joby. “Pakistan nuclear security questioned.” Washington Post. November 11, 2007.

Zimmerman, Peter D., and Lewis, Jeffrey. “The Bomb in the Backyard.” Foreign Policy November/December 2006. 32-39.  Link

Class 11: Al Qaeda and 9/11.

This class will examine the 9/11 plot.


Bergen, OBL I Know. 283-311

Burke, 210-227.

9/11 Commission Report, 145-174, 215-254, 254-278.    

Fouda, Yosri and Fielding, Nick. Masterminds of Terror. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 2003. 73-87, 105-122, 123-147, 196-202.

Mneimneh, Hassan and Makiya, Kanan. Manual for a Raid, The New York Review of Books, January 17, 2002 (Essential)  

Bin Laden, Osama. Reflects on 9/11 in a private meeting with a Saudi supporter in November 2000.


Bin Laden, Osama. Only post 9/11 television interview.


Rubin reader, 233-238 and 273-77.


Bernstein, Carl et al. “Threats and Responses: Pieces of a Puzzle; On Plotters’ Path to US, a Stop at bin Laden Camp.” New York Times, September 10, 2002.


Kippenberg, Hans and Seidensticker, Tilman, eds. The 9/11 Handbook. London: Equinox Publishing, 2006.

Mir, Hamid. “Osama claims he has nukes: If US uses N-arms it will get same response.” Dawn. November 10, 2001. OBL’s only print interview post 9/11:

Strasser, Stephen, ed. The 9/11 Investigations: Staff Reports of the 9/11 Commission. New York: Public Affairs, 2004. Supplements the final report.

McDermott, Terry. Perfect Soldiers: The Hijackers—Who They Were, Why They Did It New York: HarperCollins, 2005. An excellent narrative.

Der Spiegel magazine. Inside 9-11 What Really Happened. New York: St. Martins Press, 2001. 177-202; interesting appendix, 253-321.

The indictment of Zacarias Moussaoi has some useful information about the planning of 9/11 and can be found at

Class 12: US attempts to counter al Qaeda and its forerunners from the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center until today.

This class will examine how effective the US government has been against al Qaeda, particularly the FBI and CIA. It will also consider how effective the Pentagon has been against al Qaeda.


9/11 Commission report. 47-71, 71-108, 108-145, 325-339.

Bergen, Peter. “The Enemy Within.” The Washington Monthly. May 2004.

Urquhart, Brian: Richard Clarke’s Case. The New York Review of Books. May 13, 2004.

Miller, Judith and van Natta Jr., Don. “Traces of Terror: The Intelligence Reports; In Years of Plots and Clues, Scope of al Qaeda Eluded U.S.”  New York Times. June 9, 2002.   Link

OIG Report on CIA Accountability With Respect to the 9/11 Attacks. Released August 2007.

Pillar, Paul. “Counterterrorism after al Qaeda.” The Washington Quarterly. Summer 2004.

Wright, Lawrence. “The Counter-terrorist.” The New Yorker. January 14, 2002.


Tyler, Patrick. “Washington memo: Feeling Secure, U.S. Failed to Grasp Bin Laden Threat.” New York Times. September 8, 2002.


Benjamin and Simon, ch. 6,7, 8,9 and 10, 229-380.

Elliott, Michael. “They Had a Plan.” TIME magazine. August 12, 2002.

Cordesman, Anthony. The Lessons of Afghanistan: War Fighting, Intelligence, and Force Transformation. Washington, DC: CSIS Press, 2003. 3-60.

Clarke, Richard. Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror. New York: Free Press, 2004.

 Hersh, Seymour. Chain of Command. New York: HarperCollins, 2004. 73-145. 

Tenet, George. “Written Statement for the Record of the Director of Central Intelligence Before the Joint Inquiry Committee.” October 17, 2002. A vigorous defense of U.S. efforts to counter al Qaeda can be found in the testimony of Director of the CIA before the Joint Inquiry into the Terrorist Attacks on the United States.

Tenet, George. At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. New York: Harper Collins, 2007. pp 99-257

United States. Congress. 9/11 Report: Joint Congressional Inquiry. July 22, 2004. 1-127 and 240-394 for a detailed account of US government missteps leading up to 9/11.

Warde, Ibrahim. The Price of Fear: The Truth behind the Financial War on Terror. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2007.

Woodward, Bob. Bush at War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.

Class 13: Al Qaeda and the US post- 9/11

This class will consider what actions al Qaeda has attempted to take inside the United States since 9/11. It will also examine a number of cases against American citizens accused of terrorism since the September 11th attacks. Specifically it will examine the cases of John Walker Lindh, Jose Padilla, Richard Reid, the Lackawanna, NY cases, the Oregon cases, the case of Arnaout, and of Zacarias Moussaoui. We will also consider Guantanamo and the “extraordinary renditions” program.


Eggen, Dan and Tate, Julie. “U.S. Campaign Produces Few Convictions on Terrorism Charges; Statistics Often Count Lesser Crimes.” Washington Post. June 12, 2005.   Link

Terrorist Trial Report Card: U.S. Edition New York University School of Law Link

Lindh material:  


Mayer, Jane. “Lost in the Jihad.” The New Yorker. March 10, 2003.  


Kukis, Mark. My Heart Became Attached: The Strange Journey of John Walker Lindh. Washington, DC: Brasseys, 2003. A book about Lindh if you want to explore his story further.

Jess, Sara and Beck, Gabriel. John Walker Lindh: American Taliban. California: University Press, 2002.

Reid material


Cullison, Alan and Higgins, Andrew. “How al Qaeda Agent Scouted Attack Sites in Israel and Egypt.” Wall Street Journal. January 16, 2002.


McGrory, Daniel. “London Thief Who Turned to Terror for bin Laden.” The Times (London), October 5, 2002. 

Watson, Roland. “Guilt of bin Laden’s British Agent.” The Times (London). October 5, 2002. 

Lackawanna material


Powell, Michael. “No Choice but Guilty; Lackawanna Case Highlights Legal Tilt.” Washington Post. July 29, 2003.  Link

Satkalmi, Ravi. “Material Support: The United States v. the Lackawanna Six.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism28.3, May-June 2005. 193-199.  Link

            (This was a paper written for a class at SAIS that Peter Bergen taught.)


Reston, Dina Temple, The Jihad Next Door.  Blackstone Press, 2007.

 Purdy, Matthew and Bergman, Lowell. “Where the Trail Led: Between Evidence and Suspicion; Unclear Danger: Inside the Lackawanna Terror Case.” New York Times. October 12, 2003.  (Note 10,000 words)  Link

al Qaeda Documents Vol. 2., 106-20, 135-241.

Oregon case material


al Qaeda Documents Vol. 2. Oregon cell case, 241-256.

Murr, Andrew and Peraino, Kevin. “The Portland Six.” Newsweek, October 14, 2002.

Moussaoui material


United States. Department of Justice. The indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui. December 2001.



Moussaoui, Abd. Zacarias, My Brother: The Making of a Terrorist. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2003. A short book about Moussaoi, by his brother.

Padilla material


Hosenball, Mark, Hirsh, Michael and Moreau, Ron. “Odyssey into the Shadows.” Newsweek. June 24, 2002.

Span, Paula. “Enemy Combatant Vanishes Into a ‘Legal Black Hole.’” Washington Post. July 30, 2003.   Link

Arnaout material


United States. Department of Justice. Enaam Arnaout indictment. April 2002.


Grey, Stephen. Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program. New York: St. Martins, 2006. This is the best account of the ‘extraordinary rendition’ program.

Hawkins, Katherine R., “The Practice and Legality of Rendition,” Bepress Legal Series.  Working Paper 1311. October 11, 2005  Link

 Mayer, Jane. “Junior: The Clandestine Life of America’s Top Al Qaeda Source.”          The New Yorker September 11, 2006.

Mayer, Jane. “The Black Sites.” The New Yorker. August 13, 2007.

Mayer, Jane “Outsourcing Torture.” The New Yorker February 14, 2005 Link

Stafford Smith, Clive. Eight O’clock Ferry to the Windward Side: Seeking Justice in Guantanamo Bay. New York, Nation Books 2007

Worthington, Andy The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison. Ann Arbor, Pluto 2007.

United States. Senate. Committee on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Hearing on Prison Radicalization: are terrorist cells forming in U.S. cell blocks? 109th Cong, 2nd session.

United States. Department of Justice. First superseding indictment. United States of America, plaintiff, v. Adam Gadahn, a.k.a. Azzam al-Amriki. October 2005 Grand Jury.

United States. District Court of Connecticut. United States of America v. Hassan Abujihaad, a/k/a “Paul R. Hall.’ March 1, 2007.

Zergat, Amy. Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI and the origins of 9/11, Princeton 2007

Amnesty International Report on Renditions 5 April 2006  Link

CIA’s Long-Term “Ghost Detainees” Report, Human Rights Watch October 2004 Link

Renditions: Constraints Imposed by Laws on Torture, CRS Report for Congress Link

Hearing on Extraordinary Rendition in U.S. Counterterrorism Policy: The Impact on Transatlantic Relations, House Foreign Affairs Committee , April 17, 2007 Link

Class 14: Pakistan and the jihadists post 9/11

This class will examine al Qaeda and other jihadist groups operating in Pakistan since the fall of the Taliban and possible US policy responses. 


Abbas, Hassan. Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism. Allah the Army and America’s War on Terror. London: M.E. Sharpe, 2005. pp-201-236

Anson, Robert Sam. “The Journalist and the Terrorist.” Vanity Fair, August 1, 2002.  

Bennett-Jones, 281-290. Bergen, Peter. “The Killer Question” The New Republic, January 30, 2008. Coll, Steve, “Time Bomb”, New Yorker , January 28, 20008. Cohen, Stephen Philip. “The Jihadist Threat to Pakistan.” The Washington Quarterly. 26.3, summer 2003.

Cohen, Craig and Chollet, Derek. “When $10 billion is not enough: rethinking U.S. strategy toward Pakistan.” The Washington Quarterly spring 2007.

 Haqqani, Husain. “The Role of Islam in Pakistan’s Future.” The Washington Quarterly. 28.1, winter 2004-05. 

International Crisis Group. “Pakistan’s Tribal Areas: Appeasing the Militants.” Asia Report, December 11, 2006.

Perlez, Jane. “Militants draw new front like inside Pakistan.” New York Times. November 2, 2007. 

 Rashid, Ahmed. “Pakistan on the Edge.” New York Review of Books, October 10, 2002.  Link

“Pakistanis reject US military action against al Qaeda; more support bin Laden than President Musharraf.” Terror Free Tomorrow. September 2007.

Warrick, Joby. “U.S. and Pakistan: A Frayed Alliance.” Washington Post. October 31, 2007.


Ansari, Massoud. “Fatal Flaw.” The New Republic. May 31, 2004.

Dalyrmple, William. “Murder in Karachi.” New York Review of Books. December 4, 2003

Fouda and Fielding, 53-70.  

Fair, C. Christine. “Militant Recruitment in Pakistan.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 27.6, November/December 2004.  Link

Filkins, Dexter. “FBI and US Military Unite in Pakistan to Hunt al Qaeda.” New York Times. July 14, 2002.   Link

Gall, Carlotta and Khan, Ismail. “Taliban and allies tighten grip in north of Pakistan.” New York Times, December 11, 2006.

Hersh, Seymour. “The Getaway.” The New Yorker. January 28, 2002.

Hussain, Zahid Fontline Pakistan: the Struggle Within Militant Islam New York: Columbia 207

 Jehl, Douglas. “A Nation Challenged: The Suspects: Death of Reporter Puts Focus on Pakistan Intelligence Unit.” New York Times. February 25, 2002.   Link

Koster, Suzanna. “Taliban fighters talk tactics while safe in Pakistan.” Christian Science Monitor, November 9, 2006.

 Khan. Kamran. “Attacks in Pakistan Linked: Officials Tie Strikes on Western Targets to Al Qaeda, Taliban.” Washington Post. August 10, 2002.  Link Levine, Steve. “Killing of Pearl Fit Into Pakistani Web of Radical Islam.” Wall Street Journal. January 23, 2003.   

Musharraf, Pervez. In the Line of Fire. New York, NY: 2006. pp197-281

Rohde, David. “Threats and Responses: Pakistan: Suspect Describes Ordeal of Slain Reporter.” New York Times. January 23, 2003.   Link

Rana, Muhammad Amir and Mir, Amir. A-Z of Jehadi Organizations in Pakistan. Lahore: Mashal, 2004.          

The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl. Produced and directed by Ahmed A. Jamal and Ramesh Sharma. Narrated by Christiane Amanpour. HBO, 2006.

 Pearl, Marianne. A Mighty Heart. New York: Scribner, 2003. 113-189.

Stern, Jessica. Terror in the Name of God. New York: Ecco, 2003. 188-236.

Yusufzai, Profiles of Terror. 39-54.      

Class 15: Al Qaeda and the Iraq War.

Was Saddam Hussein ever allied with al Qaeda in any manner? What effect did the Iraq War have on jihadists? What was Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s relationship with al Qaeda? What is the strength of al Qaeda in Iraq today? Who are the foreign fighters in Iraq? Who are the suicide attackers?

Bergen, OBL I Know, 350-368.

Bergen, Peter and Cruickshank, Paul. “The Iraq Effect.” Mother Jones. March 1, 2007.

(Co-written with a former student from my SAIS class)

Bergen, Peter and Cruickshank, Paul. “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.” Mother Jones, December 2007.  (Co-written with a former student from my SAIS class)

Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records, December 19, 2007.

Hafez, Mohammed.  “Suicide Terrorism in Iraq: A Preliminary Assessment of the Quantitative Data and Documentary Evidence.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 29.6, September 2006. 591-619.   Link

Jaffe, Greg. “How courting sheikhs slowed violence in Iraq.” Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2007.

Kagan, Frederick. “Al Qaeda in Iraq. How to understand it. How to defeat it.” The Weekly Standard. September 10, 2007.

Kilcullen, Dave. “Anatomy of a Tribal Revolt.” Small Wars Journal. August 29, 2007.

Paz, Reuven. “Arab Volunteers killed in Iraq: an analysis.” Global research in international affairs center. The Project for the Research of Islamist Movements. 3 (1), 2005.

Rotella, Sebastian. “Bringing jihad home to Europe.” Los Angeles Times, September 23, 2005.,1,109590.story?coll=la-iraq-complete

Tilghman, Andrew. “The myth of AQI.’ Washington Monthly, October 2007

United States.


Anderson, John Lee. “Inside the Surge.” New Yorker, November 19, 2007.

Bergen, Peter. “Fight al Qaeda.” Democracy: a Journal of Ideas, fall 2007.

Bergen, Peter and Reynolds, Alec. “Blowback Revisited.” Foreign Affairs. 84.6, November/December 2005.  (Co-written with a student from my SAIS class)  Link

Bowden, Mark. “The Ploy.” The Atlantic Online May 2007.

“Left of Boom: the struggle to defeat roadside bombs.” Washington Post: Brilliant four part series about IEDS by Rick Atkinson.

Mylroie, Laurie. The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks. New York: Regan Books/HarperCollins, 2003. Law enforcement and intelligence professionals do not buy Mylroie’s theory that Iraq was behind the first Trade Center attack, but should you want to explore this theory, which has been influential in the Bush administration, read this book.

Bergen, Peter. “Armchair Provocateur.” The Washington Monthly. December 2003. Critique of her theories.

Finn, Peter and Schmidt, Susan. “Al Qaeda Plans a Front in Iraq: Strategy Shift May Signal Weakness.” Washington Post. September 7, 2003.   Link

Hafez, Mohammed. Suicide bombers in Iraq: the strategy and ideology of martyrdom. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2007.

Kimmage, Daniel and Ridolfo, Kathleen. “Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War of Images and Ideas.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2007. \

Kohlmann, Evan. “State of the Sunni Insurgency in Iraq: August 2007.” Nine Eleven Finding Answers Foundation (NEFA).

Nance, Malcolm W. The Terrorists of Iraq. BookSurge Publishing, 2007

MacFarquhar, Neil. “For Arabs New Jihad is in Iraq.” New York Times. April 2, 2003.  Link

Pillar, Paul. “Intelligence, Policy, and the War in Iraq,” Foreign Affairs 85:2, March/April 2006.  Link

Ricks, Thomas E. “Military plays up role of Zarqawi.” Washington Post, April 10, 2006.

United States. Senate. Select Committee on Intelligence. Prewar Intelligence Assessments About Postwar Iraq. 110th Congress, 1st session.

SITE Institute of Washington DC, The Martyrs of Iraq, report from June 2005.

Senate Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on Postwar findings about Iraq’s WMD programs and links to terrorism and how they compare with prewar assessments. September 8, 2006.

Paz, Reuven. The Impact of the War in Iraq on Islamist Groups and the Culture of Global Jihad. Presented at International Conference on the Impact of Global Terrorism at

The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT). September 11-14, 2004.

Class 16: Afghanistan and the resurgence of the Taliban and al Qaeda from the battle of Tora Bora until today. 


Barno, David. “Fighting ‘the other war’: counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, 2003-2005.” Military Review, September/October 2007.

Bergen, Peter. Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, February 15, 2007.

Bergen, Peter. “Afghan Spring.” The New Republic, June 18, 2007.

Bergen, Peter. “The Long Hunt for Osama.” The Atlantic Online. October 2004.

Bergen, Peter. “The Taliban, Regrouped And Rearmed.” Washington Post. September 10, 2006.   Link

Dobbins, James. Ending’s Afghanistan’s Civil War. Testimony presented before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, March 8, 2007.

Gannon, Kathy. “Afghanistan Unbound.” Foreign Affairs 83.3, May/June 2004.  Link

 Glasser, Susan B. “The Battle of Tora Bora: Secrets, Money, Mistrust.” Washington Post. February 10, 2002.   Link 

Rashid, Ahmed. “Afghanistan: On the Brink.” New York Review of Books. June 22, 2006.

Rohde, David and Sanger, David. “How the ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan went bad.” New York Times. August 12, 2007.

Rubin, Elizabeth. “In the land of the Taliban.” New York Times. October 22, 2006.  Link

Rubin, Elizabeth. “Taking the Fight to the Taliban.”New York Times. October 29, 2006.  Link        

Rubin, Barnett. “Saving Afghanistan.” Foreign Affairs. 86.1, January/February 2007.   Link

Smucker, Philip. “How Bin Laden Got Away.” Christian Science Monitor. March 4, 2002.


Trilogy of books about the U.S. war against the Taliban in Afghanistan detail how that war was prosecuted: Bernsten, Gary. Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. New York: Crown, 2005.  CIA officer recounts the fall of Taliban and the battle of Tora Bora. Naylor, Sean. Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda. New York: Berkeley Publishing Group, 2005. Army Times reporter gives deeply reported account of Operation Anaconda. Schroen, Gary. First In: An Insider’s Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan. New York: Ballantine, 2005. 

Chayes, Sarah. The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban. New York: Penguin, 2006. A journalist-turned-aid worker based in Kandahar for four years after the fall of the Taliban provides and interesting and important account of mistakes made by all the players in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.\

Asia Foundation. “A survey of the Afghan people: Afghanistan in 2006.”

Anderson, John Lee. “The Taliban’s Opium War.” New Yorker, July 9, 2006.

Barnes Higgins, Holly. “The Road to Helmand.” Washington Post, February 4, 2007.

Belasco, Amy. “The cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other global war on terror operations since 9/11.” CRS Report for Congress, July 16, 2007.      

Bergen, Peter. “Waltzing With Warlords.” The Nation. January 1, 2007.

Government Accountability Office. “Afghanistan drug control: despite improved efforts, deteriorating security threatens success of U.S. goals.” Report to Congressional Committees, November 2006.

International Crisis Group. “Afghanistan’s Endangered Compact.” Policy Briefing, January 29, 2007.

International Crisis Group. “Countering Afghanistan’s insurgency: no quick fixes.” Asia Report, November 2, 2006.

Johnson, Chris and Leslie, Jolyon. Afghanistan: The Mirage of Peace. London: Zed Books, 2004. Two long time aid workers paint a bleak picture of Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban. 

Katzman, Kenneth. “Afghanistan: post-war governance, security, and U.S. policy.” CRS Report for Congress, September 10, 2007.

Hastert, Paul. “Operation Anaconda: Perception Meets Reality in the Hills of Afghanistan.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 28: 1, January/February 2005, 11-20 is useful.         (This was a paper written for a class at SAIS that Peter Bergen   Link taught.)

Karzai, Hekmat. “Strategic and Operational Measures to Curb the Growing Threat of Suicide Terrorism in Afghanistan.” Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, Kabul, Afghanistan.

Lynch, Colum and Witte, Griff. “Afghan opium trade hits new peak.” Washington Post. August 28, 2007.

Neumann, Ronald. “Borderline insanity: thinking big about Afghanistan.” The American Interest 3 (2), November/December 2007.

Maley, William. Rescuing Afghanistan. Sydney: UNSW Press, 2007. A concise book that examines the problems and possible solutions in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban government

Parenti, Christian. “Who Rules Afghanistan.” The Nation, November 15, 2004.

Smucker, Philip. Al Qaeda’s Great Escape. Washington, DC: Brasseys, 2004. About the battle of Tora Bora.

Stewart, Rory. The Places in Between. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2006. Interesting account of Stewart's walk across Afghanistan as the Taliban were falling in the winter of 2001.

Siddique, Abubakar and Rubin, Barnett. “Resolving the Pakistan-Afghanistan Stalemate.” United States Institute of Peace, October 2006.

United States Assistance Mission to Afghanistan. “Suicide attacks in Afghanistan.” September 1, 2007.

Van Ham, Peter and Kamminga, Jorrit. “Poppies for peace: reforming Afghanistan’s opium industry.” Washington Quarterly, 30 (1): 69-81, winter 2006-07.

Zehnoona, Zroona. “An assessment of the hearts and minds campaign in southern Afghanistan.” Senlis Council, autumn 2006.

“Countering the insurgency in Afghanistan: losing friends and making enemies.” Senlis Council, February 2007.

Class 17: Al Qaeda’s media strategy from 1988-2008 and efforts to counter it.


Coll, Steve and Glasser, Susan. “Terrorists Turn to the Web as a Base of Operations.”  Washington Post. August 7, 2005.  Link    

Coll. Steve and Glasser, Susan. “The Web as Weapon.” Washington Post. August 9, 2005.

 Jones, David Martin. “Out of Bali: Cybercaliphate Rising.” The National Interest. Spring 2003.

Kimmage, Daniel and Ridolfo, Kathleen. “Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War of Images and Ideas.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2007.

Lia, Brynjar. “Al-Qaeda Online: Understanding Jihadist Internet Infrastructure.” Jane's Intelligence Review. January 1, 2006.

Lynch, Marc. “Al Qaeda’s Media Strategies.”  The National Interest summer 2006.

Wallace-Wells, Benjamin. “Private Jihad.” New Yorker. May 29, 2006.


Hassan, Fatah. “Al Qaeda Increasingly Reliant on Media.” New York Times. September 30, 2006.

International Crisis Group.  “In Their Own Words: Reading the Iraqi Insurgency.” Middle East Report N°50.  February 15, 2006.

Kohut, Andrew. “How the United States is Perceived in the Arab and Muslim Worlds.”  Testimony before the U.S. House International Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  November 10, 2005.

Khatchadourian, Raffi.  “Azzam the American: The Making of an Al Qaeda Homegrown.”  The New Yorker. January 22, 2007.

Kilcullen, David J., “Countering Global Insurgency.” The Journal of Strategic Studies. 28.4, August 2005. 597-617.  Link

Miles, Hugh. Al-Jazeera. London: Abacus, 2005.

Lynch, Marc. Voices of the New Arab Public. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2006.

Rogan, Hannah. “Abu Reuter and the E-Jihad.” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs summer/fall 2007.

Rumsfeld, Donald.  “New Realities in the Media Age.”  Speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, February 16, 2006.

Torres, Manuel R., Jordan, Javier and Horsburgh, Nicola. “Analysis and Evolution of the Global Jihadist Movement Propaganda.” Terrorism and Political Violence 18.3.

Weimann, Gabriel. “Virtual disputes: the use of the internet for terrorist databases.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 29:7, 2006.   Link

Weimann, Gabriel. Terror on the Internet. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2006. The most authoritative account of terrorists’ use of the Internet

Class 18: Al Qaeda, the organization and the ideological movement since the 9/11 attacks, particularly in the Middle East---outside of Iraq—and also in Africa   and South East Asia.


Bergen, Holy War. 225-245.

Bergen, OBL I Know. 283-382.

Bergen, Peter. “Where You Bin?” The New Republic. January 29, 2007.

Bergen, Peter. “War of Error.” The New Republic, October 22, 2007.

Burke, Jason. “Al Qaeda.” Foreign Policy. Issue 142, May/June 2004.  Link

Cruickshank, Paul and Ali, Mohannad Hage Ali. “Abu Musab al Suri: Architect of the New al Qaeda.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 30:1, 2007.   Link

Cullison, Alan and Higgins, Andrew. “Al Qaeda Acolyte, One of Many, Vows to Die for the Cause.” Wall Street Journal. December 30, 2002.


Elegant, Simon. “The Jihadis’ Tale.” TIME. January 27, 2002.

Filkins, Dexter. “Kenyans Hunting Clues to Bombing.” New York Times. November 30, 2002.  Link

Finn, Peter. “In Moroccan Slum, Zealotry took Root: Bombers Linked to Al Qaeda Worked Under Radar of Authorities.” Washington Post. June 3, 2003.  Link

Hoffman, Bruce. “Al Qaeda, Trends in Terrorism, and Future Potentialities: An Assessment.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 26.6, November-December 2003.  Link

Hoffman, Bruce. “Is al Qaeda on the run or on the march?” Middle East Policy 14:2, 2007.   Link

Hegghammer, Thomas. “Terrorist Recruitment and Radicalization in Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Policy, 13.4: winter 2006.  Link

Stern, Jessica. “The Protean Enemy.” Foreign Affairs. 82.4, July/August 2003. 27-40.  Link

Whitlock, Craig. “The New al Qaeda Central.” Washington Post. September 9, 2007.

Wright, Larry. “The Master Plan.” The New Yorker September 11, 2006.


Atran, Scott. “Mishandling Suicide Terrorism.” The Washington Quarterly. 27.3, summer 2004.

Benjamin and Simon, 447- 488. (paperback edition)

Bronson, Rachel. “Rethinking Religion: The Legacy of the US-Saudi Relationship.” The Washington Quarterly. 28.4, 121-137.

Burke, Jason. “The Secret Mastermind behind the Bali Horror.” The ObserverUK). October 20, 2002.,,815607,00.html (

Cuthbertson, Ian. “Prisons and the Education of Terrorists.” World Policy Journal. 21.3, fall 2004.

Doran, Michael Scott. “The Saudi Paradox.” Foreign Affairs. 83.1. 2004  Link

Gerges, Fawaz. The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global. New York: Cambridge, 2005.  Well researched account of how the global jihadist movement is riven by internecine ideological disputes and petty feuds. pp185-250

Gunaratna, Rohan. “The Post-Madrid Face of Al Qaeda.” The Washington Quarterly. 27.3, summer 2004.

Harris, Paul. “Blown to Pieces.” The Guardian. May 18, 2003.,,958300,00.html 

Hoffman, Bruce. “Rethinking Terrorism and Counterterrorism Since 9/11.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 25.25, September 2002. 303-316.  Link

Greenberg, Karen, ed. Al Qaeda Now: Understanding Today’s Terrorists. New York: Cambridge, 2005. A stimulating collection of essays.

Farah, Douglas. “Al Qaeda's Road Paved With Gold; Secret Shipments Traced Through a Lax System In United Arab Emirates.” Washington Post. February 17, 2002.  Link

Farah, Douglas. Blood from Stones: The Secret Financial Network of Terror. New York: Broadway, 2004.

Hoffman, Bruce. “The Changing Face of al Qaeda.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 27.6, November/December 2004.  Link

Kepel, Gilles. The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West. Belknap Press: Cambridge, MA, 2004. 108-197 and 241-295.

Kessler, Glenn. “Saudis Tie al Qaeda to Attacks.” Washington Post. May 14, 2003.  Link

Lia, Brynjar. “Al-Suri’s Doctrines for Decentralized Jihadi Training.” Terrorism Monitor. The Jamestown Foundation. January 18, 2007. Part 1:

Part 2:

MacFarqhar, Neil. “A bombing shatters the Saudi Art of denial.” New York Times. May 18, 2003.   Link

Moore, Molly. “3 Turks with Radical Ties Probed in Istanbul Blasts.” Washington Post. November 18, 2003.  Link

Petrou, Michael. “Lebanon’s new terrorist threat.”, July 9, 2007.

Perlez, Jane. “Threats and Responses: Indonesia; Suspect tells police that target of Bali bombing was Americans, not Australians.” New York Times. November 9, 2002.  Link

Ratnesar, Romesh. “Confessions of an Al Qaeda terrorist.” TIME. September 15, 2002.,8599,351169,00.html


International Crisis Group Reports about JI:

“America’s image slips, but allies share US concerns over Iran, Hamas.” Pew Global Attitudes Project. Released June 13, 2006.

“A rising tide lifts mood in the developing world.” Pew Global Attitudes Project. Released July 24, 2007.

Jacquard, Roland. In the Name of Osama Bin Laden, Global Terrorism and the Bin Laden Brotherhood, Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. Afterword, 160-165.

Singapore. Ministry of Home Affairs. White Paper: The Jemaah Islamiyah Arrests and the Threat of Terrorism. This is an enormously through investigation of JI in Singapore, which will be of particular interest for anyone researching JI.

Ruthven, Malise. A Fury for God:  The Islamist Attack on America. New York: Granta Books, 2002. 240-291.

Schanzer, Jonathan. Al Qaeda’s Armies, Middle East Affiliate Groups and the Next Generation of Terror. New York: Specialist Press International, 2005

Class 19:  Al Qaeda in Europe since 9/11.


Bergen, Peter and Cruickshank, Paul. “Clerical Error.” The New Republic. August 8, 2005. (Co-written with a former student from my SAIS class)  Link


Bergen, Peter and Cruickshank, Paul. “Kashmir on the Thames.” The New Republic. September 4, 2006. (Co-written with a former student from my SAIS  Link class).


Carlisle, David. “Dhiren Barot. Was he an Al Qaeda Mastermind or Merely a Hapless plotter?” Studies in Conflict & Terrrorism 30, 12, December 2007 Link

(This was a paper written for a class at SAIS that Peter Bergen taught.)

Jordan, Javier and Horsburgh, Nicola. “Mapping jihadist terrorism in Spain.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 28.3, May/June 2005.  Link

Lia, Brynjar and Hegghammer, Brynjar. “Jihad Strategic Studies: the Alleged al Qaida Policy Study Preceding the Madrid Bombing.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 27.5, September/October 2004.  Link

Leiken, Robert and Brooke, Steven. “The quantitative analysis of terrorism and immigration: an initial exploration.” Terrorism and Political Violence 18 (2006): 503-521.

Perlez, Jane. “Seeking Terror’s Causes, Europe Looks Within.” New York Times. September 10, 2007.

Roy, Olivier. “EuroIslam: The Jihad Within?” The National Interest spring 2003.

Roy, Olivier. “Europe’s Response to Radical Islam.” Current History. 104.685, November 2005. 360-364

United Kingdom. Home Office. “Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in

London on 7th July 2005.” 

Vidino, Lorenzo. “The Hofstad Group: The New Face of Terrorist Networks in Europe.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 30.7, July 2007.   Link


Buruma, Ian. Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance. London: Penguin Press, 2006). An excellent account of the van Gogh murder and Holland’s ambivalent response to militant Islam.

Kepel, Gilles. The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West. Chapter 7.

Rai,  Milan. 7/7 The London Bombing, Islam & the Iraq War. London: Pluto Press 2006. An efficient account of the London bombings.

Roy, Olivier. Globalized Islam: the Search for a New Ummah. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

Vindino, Lorenzo. Al Qaeda in Europe: The New Battleground of International Jihad New York: Prometheus, 2006.

Class 20: Strategies to prevail in the “war on terror.”


Bush, George W. “Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People,” The White House, Washington, DC. September 20, 2001.

United States. National Security Council. “National Strategy for Combating Terrorism.” September 2006.

Fallows, James. “Declaring Victory.” The Atlantic Online. September 2006.

“Press Briefing by Homeland Security Advisor Frances Fragos Townsend,” White House Web Site, September 26, 2006.

Kilcullen, David. “Countering Global Insurgency.” Small Wars Journal, November 20, 2004.

Van Evera, Stephen. “Forgotten lessons from World War II.” Middle East Policy 14:2, 2007.  Link


Benjamin, Daniel and Simon, Steve. The Next Attack: The failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting it Right. New York: Times Books, 2006.         

Bush, George W. “President Bush Discusses Freedom in Iraq and Middle East,” United States Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC. November 6, 2003.


Bush, George W. “President Sworn-In to Second Term.” Inauguration 2005. Washington, DC. January 20, 2005.

Byman, Daniel. The Five Front War: the Better Way to fight Global Jihad. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008

Clarke, Richard, et al. Defeating the Jihadists: A Blueprint for Action. Washington, DC: The Century Foundation, 2004.

Cohen, Elliot. “World War IV: Let's Call This Conflict What It Is,” Wall Street Journal. November 20, 2001.

Gaffney, Frank. War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2005.

Esposito, J.L. and Mogahed, D. “Battle for Muslims hearts and minds.” Middle East Policy 14:1, 2007.   Link

Frum, David and Perle, Richard. An End to Evil. New York, NY: Random House, 2003.

Gordon, Philip. Winning the Right War. New York: Times Books, 2007.

Mueller, John. Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats and Why We Believe Them. New York, NY: Free Press, 2006.

Piazza, James. “Draining the swamp: democracy promotion, state failure and terrorism in 19 Middle Eastern countries.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 30:6, 2007.   Link

Podhoretz, Norman. “World War IV: How It Started, What It Means, and Why We Have to Win.” Commentary. 118.2, 2004. 1-33.  Link

For a  critique of Podhoretz see Buruma, Ian. “His toughness problem—and ours.” New York Review of Books. September 27, 2007.

Power, Samantha. “Our war on terror.” New York Times, July 29, 2007.

Petraeus, David. The U.S. Army Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Woolsey, James. “World War IV: Who We’re Fighting - And Why.” The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, 2003.