Peter Bergen, my colleague who interviewed Osama bin Laden in 1997 and wrote the book Holy War Inc.; Karen Greenberg of the Center on Law and Security at New York University; and I have been working for some time on a conference that is pulling several of the world’s leading experts on transnational terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism together for a conference taking place this next Thursday in the Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington.
It is open to the public, and those of you who are in town, or nearby, are welcome to attend. Just make sure that you RSVP to Jennifer Buntman at the New America Foundation as noted below, or send me an email at
Here is the announcement of the conference:
The New America Foundation
The New York University Center on Law & Security
Al Qaeda 2.0: Transnational Terrorism after 9/11

Thursday, 2 December 2004
Caucus Room (SR-325), Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate; Washington, DC
. . .with special thanks to Deutsche Bank, the NYU Center on Law and Security and an anonymous donor for supporting this meeting
RSVP to Jennifer Buntman at or 202-986-4901. RSVPs required for admittance.
8:00 a.m.
Public Registration & Coffee
8:30 a.m.
al Qaeda 2.0: The Current State of al-Qaeda as an Organization

Peter Bergen
Fellow, New America Foundation; terrorism analyst, CNN; Adjunct Professor, School of Advanced Intl Studies, Johns Hopkins University and author, Holy War Inc.
Bruce Hoffman
Director, Washington Office and Senior Analyst, RAND Corporation and Author, Inside Terrorism
Steve Simon
Senior Analyst, RAND Corporation; former Senior Director for Transnational Threats, National Security Council; co-author, The Age of Sacred Terror
James Fallows
National Correspondent, Atlantic Monthly
10:00 a.m.
Who Joins al-Qaeda?

Yosri Fouda
Lead Investigative Reporter, Al Jazeera Television Network, author, Masterminds of Terror; In 2002, interviewed Khalid Sheik Muhammad, operational planner of 9/11
Jessica Stern
Lecturer in Public Policy and Fellow in the International Security Program at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and faculty affiliate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, author, Terror in the Name of God
Marc Sageman
Forensic psychiatrist, former CIA case officer, worked with the mujahideen in Islamabad from 1987-1989, author, Understanding Terror Networks
Abdel Bari Atwan
Managing Editor, Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper and interviewer of Osama bin Laden
Steve Coll
Former Managing Editor, Washington Post and author, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
11:30 a.m.
al Qaeda in Europe: A Critical Battleground

Rohan Gunaratna
Director, Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore author, Inside Al Qaeda: A Global Network Terror
Georg Mascolo
Washington Bureau Chief, Der Speigel and author, Inside 9-11: What Really Happened
Ursula Mueller
Counterterrorism Expert; and
Minister, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States
Steven Clemons
Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
12:30 p.m.
Militant Islam: On the Wane or on the Rise?

Michael Scheuer (AKA, Anonymous)
Former chief of the CIA Counterterrorist Center’s Bin Laden unit; and author, as Anonymous, of Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam & the Future of America
Salameh Nematt
Washington Bureau Chief, Al-Hayat newspaper
2:00 p.m.
The United States vs. Al-Qaeda: An Assessment

Daniel Benjamin
Senior Analyst, CSIS; former Director for Transnational Threats, National Security Council; author, The Age of Sacred Terror
Col. Pat Lang
Former Chief of Middle East Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense
Reuel Gerecht
Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Contributing Editor, The Weekly Standard, Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly; and former Middle East Case Officer, CIA
Karen J. Greenberg
Executive Director, Center on Law and Security, New York University
3:15 p.m.
al Qaeda’s Media Strategy

Octavia Nasr
CNN Arab Affairs Senior Editor
Henry Schuster
CNN Senior Producer, author of the forthcoming book, Hunting Eric Rudolph
Paul Eedle
Founder, Out There News, former Middle East Correspondent, Reuters; and expert on al Qaeda’s use of the Internet.
David Ignatius
Columnist, Washington Post; former Editor, International Herald Tribune
4:30 p.m.
The Real Twin Towers: al Qaeda and its Influence on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

Hamid Mir
Anchor, GEO television, Pakistan; and author, forthcoming biography of Osama bin Laden; was the last journalist to interview bin Laden in October 2001
Anatol Lieven
Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; author, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism
Lawrence Wright
Author and New Yorker staff writer, author, “The Man Behind Bin Laden,” which won the 2002 Overseas Press Club Award for best magazine reporting.
Arif Lalani
Director, South Asia Division, Department of Foreign Affairs Government of Canada
6:00 p.m.
Conference Adjourned

The program is a marathon session, and I’ll be there all day keeping the trains moving on time.
For those of you who have asked, we hope that C-Span will cover and broadcast the entire meeting, but that will not be confirmed to us until Wednesday.
— Steve Clemons