Intellectual Leaders of Al Qaeda Disavow Violence

A few important must-reads, though lengthy, pieces about some remarkable dissent within Al Qaeda. It makes for fascinating reading. I couldn't put down Wright's piece. I've not yet read Bergen and Cruickshank.

One in The New Yorker by the estimable Lawrence Wright The Rebellion Within . Wright is the author of the Pulitizer prize winning book, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 and which was made into a one man play last year called My Trip to Al-Qaeda. A great NPR interview on the play can be heard here.

Second piece on the exact same topic, this week as well (how do these things happen?) - in The New Republic called The Unraveling by

And an hour long interview on the Diane Rehm show on dissent within Al Qaeda with (the first guest, is very interesting)
  • Michael Scheuer, former CIA analyst who headed the agency's Osama Bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999; author of the new book "Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq"
  • Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle East and international affairs at Sarah Lawrence College; author of "Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy"
  • Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst, Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation; research fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security; author of "The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader"
  • Jarret Brachman, director of research, Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point)
I will annotate after I finish reading this weekend