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Policy Analysis

Counterterrorism Lecture

Ten Years after 9/11: Where We Were Then, Where We Are Now

Ali Soufan

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September 20, 2011

On September 20, 2011, Ali Soufan addressed a Washington Institute Policy Forum in New York as part of the ongoing lecture series sponsored by the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. Mr. Soufan's comments drew from his just-released book The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda.

Download a redacted extract from the book.


Extract reprinted from The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda by Ali H. Soufan with Daniel Freedman. Copyright 2011 by Ali H. Soufan. With permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company Inc.


Ali Soufan was on the ground in Yemen on September 11, 2001, investigating the October 2000 al-Qaeda bombing of the USS Cole as an FBI supervisory special agent. A few hours after the attacks, as he prepared to board a flight home to join the investigation, he was instructed to stay in Yemen and interrogate al-Qaeda operative Fahd al-Quso, then in Yemeni custody. Mr. Soufan is now chief executive officer of the Soufan Group LLC. A former FBI counterterrorism agent with extensive experience interrogating al-Qaeda operatives, he also serves as executive director of the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies.