Independent Voices: Ali Soufan
Ali Soufan is the Chief Executive Officer of The Soufan Group and Founder of The Soufan Center. He is a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent who investigated and supervised highly sensitive and complex international terrorism cases, including the East Africa Embassy Bombings, the attack on the USS Cole, and the events surrounding 9/11. Ali Soufan also serves as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council. He is the author of the newly released Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State and The New York Times Top 10 Bestseller, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al Qaeda, winner of the 2012 Ridenhour Book Prize.
He is a leading national security and counterterrorism expert, and continues to play a significant advisory role on today’s most sensitive issues. Ali Soufan had a distinguished career in the FBI, including serving on the Joint Terrorism Task Force, FBI New York Office, where he coordinated both domestic and international counterterrorism operations. He often operated out of hostile environments and carried out sensitive extra-territorial missions and high-level negotiations, and has received numerous awards and commendations for his counter-terrorism work. These include the Director of the FBI’s Award for Excellence in Investigation, the Respect for Law Enforcement Award for “relentless pursuit of truth and bringing terrorist subjects before the bar of justice,” and a commendation from the U.S. Department of Defense that labeled him “an important weapon in the ongoing war on terrorism.”
Ali Soufan has testified before the U.S. Congress, Presidential Commissions, the British Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee, and appeared as an expert panelist and as a guest speaker at international security forums, both in the U.S. and abroad. He has been profiled, interviewed and has also contributed to leading shows and publications worldwide, including 60 Minutes, Frontline, The New Yorker, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Straits Times, Der Spiegel and Asharq Alawsat, along with news programs and specials on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. Mr. Soufan’s work has also been detailed in several non-fiction books, including The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright, which was adapted into a 10-part Hulu television series The Looming Tower in 2018.
Of Ali Soufan’s book, Anatomy of Terror (Published May 2, 2017, by WW Norton), The New York Times wrote: “Soufan writes with immense knowledge and authority … Anatomy of Terror not only tells a gripping story but is filled with insights that put today’s terror attacks by the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in perspective with the history and complicated geopolitics of the region.” Ali Soufan is an Honors graduate from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania where he received undergraduate degrees in International Studies and Political Science. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Villanova University where he received a Master of Arts in International Relations.
Independent Voices is a new SOPAC series of speakers with a story to tell, hosted by Budd Mishkin.
Budd Mishkin has been a broadcast journalist for almost forty years. He spent 25 years as an anchor/reporter for NY1, New York City’s 24 hour cable news channel. He’s interviewed countless artists and luminaries and is a longtime resident of South Orange, NJ.
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