Thursday, March, 17, 2011

Peter Bergen of CNN to lecture at Nicholls on al-Qaida

Peter Bergen of CNN to lecture at Nicholls on al-Qaida

THIBODAUX – Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst and best-selling author, is scheduled to lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 17, in Powell Auditorium at Nicholls State University. Bergen will discuss al-Qaida, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, counterterrorism and Osama bin Laden.



His lecture, part of Jubilee: A Festival of the Arts and Humanities at Nicholls, is titled “The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and al-Qaida,” which is also the title of his latest book published by Free Press in early January.

In 1997, Bergen produced for CNN the first television interview by Osama bin Laden in which the terrorist first declared war against the United States while speaking to a Western audience.

Bergen, a TV and print journalist, has spent more than 15 years traveling the Middle East, visiting difficult places in dangerous times to interview failed suicide bombers, Taliban personnel, military and national figures, bin Laden family members and hundreds of others on all sides of the terrorism issue.

The Los Angeles Times in February referred to Bergen as someone who chronicles the war on terror “with the keen eye of an experienced journalist and on-the-ground observer.”

His first book, “Holy War, Inc: Inside the Secret World of Bin Laden,” has been translated into 18 languages since its publication in 2002. His second book, “The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al-Qaida’s Leader,” was published in 2006. Bergen’s books will be available for signing by the author after his free lecture.

Bergen was born in Minneapolis but grew up in London. After earning a master’s degree in modern history from Oxford University, he moved to New York in 1984, first working for ABC News and later for CNN, for which he produced many news stories and documentaries, including one on the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

He has reported on Middle East wars and turbulence for a host of American and foreign publications through the years, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Time and Newsweek. He is a contributing editor of The New Republic and is director of the national security studies program at the New American Foundation, a public policy institute concerned with domestic, economic and global issues.

He and his wife, Tresha Mabile, first met in Afghanistan and today live in Washington, D.C. She was born in Pierre Part and is a 1985 graduate of Assumption High School who earned degrees at Nicholls State University and American University. She is a writer and producer of TV documentaries, the last five of which concerned Iraq and Afghanistan