Peter Bergen

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Peter Bergen
Bergen, Peter (2007) crop.jpg
Bergen orating during a seminar in 2007
Born (1962-12-12) December 12, 1962 (age 52)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Journalist and author

Peter Bergen (born December 12, 1962) is an American[1] print and broadcast journalist, author, documentary producer, and CNN's national security analyst. In 1997, Bergen produced the first television interview with Osama bin Laden. The interview, which aired on CNN, marked the first time that bin Laden declared war against the United States to a Western audience.[2] Bergen has written four books: Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden (2001), The Osama bin Laden I Know (2006), The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and al-Qaeda (2011),[3] and Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad (2012). Three of the books were New York Times bestsellers[4] and they have been translated into twenty languages.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]


Bergen was born in Minneapolis and grew up in London.[14] He attended Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire before receiving an Open Scholarship to New College, Oxford, in 1981, where he earned a Master of Arts in Modern History.


Bergen is a Vice President of New America, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C..[15] He also serves as New America's Director of Studies and the Director of the International Security, Future of War and Fellows Programs.[15] He is a Professor of Practice at the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University where he is the co-director of the Center on the Future of War,[16] a research fellow at Fordham University's Center on National Security,[17] and CNN's national security analyst.[18] In 2008, he was an adjunct lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University[19] and an Adjunct Professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (2003–07).[20]

Bergen is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism and has testified before several congressional committees, including the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is a member of the Homeland Security Project, a successor to the 9/11 Commission,[21] and also of the Aspen Homeland Security Group.[22] He is the editor of the South Asia Channel and South Asia Daily,[23] online publications of Foreign Policy magazine.[24]

Holy War, Inc. (2001), a New York Times bestseller,[25] and The Osama bin Laden I Know (2006) were named among the best non-fiction books of the year by The Washington Post.[26] Documentaries based on both books were nominated for Emmys in 2002 and 2007.[27] His third book, The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda (2011), a New York Times bestseller,[28] an overview of the War on Terror, was named by the Guardian[29] and Newsweek[30] as one of the key books about terrorism in the past decade. The Longest War also won the Washington Institute's Gold Prize for best book about the Middle East[31] and was named by Amazon,[32] Kirkus[33] and Foreign Policy[34] as one of the best books of 2011.

Bergen's most recent book, a New York Times bestseller,[35] is Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for Bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad.[36] The Washington Post named Manhunt one of the best non-fiction books of 2012,[37] and The Guardian named it one of the key books on Islamist extremism.[38] The book was awarded the Overseas Press Club Cornelius Ryan Award for best non-fiction book of 2012 on international affairs.[39] Manhunt was the basis of the HBO documentary film, "Manhunt",[40] which won the Emmy for the best documentary of 2013.[41] Bergen was Executive Producer of the film.[40] Bergen was awarded the Stephen Ambrose History Award in 2014.[42]

Bergen co-edited with Katherine Tiedemann Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion, a collection of essays about the Taliban that was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.[43] He co-edited with Daniel Rothenberg Drone Wars: Transforming Conflict, Law, and Policy, published by Cambridge University Press in November 2014.[44] Bergen is currently writing a book about "homegrown" terrorism.[45]

Bergen has reported on al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and counterterrorism and homeland security for a variety of American newspapers and magazines including The New York Times,[46] the Los Angeles Times,[47] Foreign Affairs,[48] The Washington Post,[49] Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic,[50] Rolling Stone,[51] Time,[52] The Nation,[53] The National Interest,[54] Mother Jones,[55] Newsweek,[56] and Vanity Fair.[57] He is a contributing editor at The New Republic[58] and at Foreign Policy[59] and writes a weekly column for[60] His story on extraordinary rendition for Mother Jones was part of a package of stories nominated for a 2008 National Magazine Award.[61] He has also written for newspapers and magazines around the world such as The Guardian,[62] The Times,[63] The Daily Telegraph,[64] International Herald Tribune,[65] Prospect,[66] El Mundo (Spain),[67] La Repubblica,[68] The National (Abu Dhabi),[69] and Die Welt.[70] He has worked as a correspondent for the National Geographic Channel,[71] Discovery Channel, and CNN.[72] He co-produced with Tresha Mabile the National Geographic Channel documentary, American War Generals (2014).[73]

Bergen was the recipient of the 2000 Leonard Silk Journalism Fellowship and was the Pew Journalist in Residence at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 2001 while writing Holy War, Inc.[74] He was a fellow at New York University's Center on Law & Security between 2003 and 2011.[75]

In 1997, as a producer for CNN, Bergen produced bin Laden's first television interview, in which he declared war against the United States for the first time to a Western audience.[76] In 1994 he won the Overseas Press Club Edward R. Murrow award for best foreign affairs documentary for the CNN program "Kingdom of Cocaine,"[77] which was also nominated for an Emmy.[78] Bergen co-produced the CNN Documentary, Terror Nation, which traced the links between Afghanistan and the bombers who attacked the World Trade Center for the first time in 1993.[79] The documentary, which was shot in Afghanistan during the civil war there and aired in 1994, concluded that the country would be the source of additional anti-Western terrorism.[80] From 1998 to 1999, Bergen worked as a correspondent-producer for CNN.[81] He was program editor for "CNN Impact," a co-production of CNN and TIME, from 1997 to 1998.[82]

Previously he worked for CNN as a producer on a wide variety of international and U.S. national stories. From 1985 to 1990 he worked for ABC News in New York. In 1983, he traveled to Pakistan for the first time with two friends to make a documentary about the Afghan refugees fleeing the Soviet invasion of their country. The subsequent documentary, Refugees of Faith, was shown on Channel 4 (UK).

In 2015, Seymour Hersh criticized Bergen for "view[ing] himself as the trustee of all things Bin Laden."[83]

Bergen is married to the documentary director/producer Tresha Mabile. They have two children.[84]


  • Drone Wars: Transforming Conflict, Law, and Policy. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 2014.  (Co-editor with Daniel Rothenberg)
  • Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 2013.  (Co-editor with Katherine Tiedemann)
  • Manhunt : The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad. New York, NY: Crown. 2012. 
  • The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and al-Qaeda. New York, NY: Free Press. 2011. 
  • The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader. New York, NY: Free Press. 2006. 
  • Holy War, Inc. New York, NY: Touchstone. 2002. 


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The last word on Bin Laden". Gulf News. 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  2. ^ Osama bin Laden Fast Facts. CNN
  3. ^ The Longest War Amazon
  4. ^ Books by Peter L. Bergen.
  5. ^ Osama de Cerca.
  6. ^ Ben Laden l'Insaisissable.
  7. ^ Heiliger Krieg Inc.
  8. ^ Holy war (jihad) network.
  9. ^ Menneskejakten. Cappelen Damm
  10. ^ 賓拉登的聖戰工廠.
  11. ^ Holy War Inc. Osama Bin Laden e l'azienda del terrore.
  12. ^ Heilige Oorlog bv. de Bibliotheek Literatuurplein
  13. ^ Osama Bin Laden. Portret z bliska.
  14. ^ Biography. Retrieved 2014-11-19.
  15. ^ a b Peter Bergen. New
  16. ^ Peter Bergen.
  17. ^ About Us. Center on National Security
  18. ^ "Anti-Government Protests in Pakistan" CNNPressRoom
  19. ^ Peter Bergen.
  20. ^ Strategic Studies Faculty.
  21. ^ Jihadist Terrorism: A New Threat Assessment Report Release.
  22. ^ Aspen Homeland Security Group Members.
  23. ^ South Asia.
  24. ^ "About Peter Bergen | The AfPak Channel". 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  25. ^ "Books of the Times; How bin Laden Became a Global Celebrity." NYTimes.Com
  26. ^ Book World Holiday Issue.
  27. ^ Holiday Guide: Books of the Year, The Washington Post
  28. ^ February 06, 2011. Hardcover Nonfiction.
  29. ^ "The Longest War By Peter Bergen - review."
  30. ^ The Essential War on Terror Books.
  31. ^ Book Prize.
  32. ^ The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda.
  33. ^ 2011 Best of Nonfiction: Current Affairs.
  34. ^ FP's Favorite Reads of 2011.
  35. ^ May 20, 2012 Hardcover Non-Fiction.
  36. ^ Bin Laden's End, From the Beginning. The New York Times
  37. ^ Best of 2012: 50 notable works of nonfiction.
  38. ^ Jason Burke: the key books on Muslim extremism. The Guardian
  39. ^ Cornelius Ryan Award.
  40. ^ a b Manhunt. HBO Documentaries
  41. ^ Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for bin Laden.
  42. ^ "Rutgers' Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award Goes to Peter L. Bergen, Journalist Who Produced Famous CNN Interview with Osama bin Laden."
  43. ^ Talibanistan.
  44. ^ Drone Wars.
  45. ^ "CNN's Peter Bergen Writing Book on Terrorism."
  46. ^ Warrior in Chief.
  47. ^ The war on poppies.
  48. ^ Washington's Phantom War.
  49. ^ Al Qaeda, Still in Business.
  50. ^ The Drone Wars.
  51. ^ The Shadow Warrior: Jack Idema.
  52. ^ The Last Days of Osama bin Laden.
  53. ^ Beware the Holy War.
  54. ^ Could it Happen Again?
  55. ^ Exclusive: I Was Kidnapped by the CIA.
  56. ^ Why Osama bin Laden Still Matters.
  57. ^ Bin Laden's Lonely Crusade.
  58. ^ Peter Bergen.
  59. ^ Peter Bergen.
  60. ^ Peter Bergen: Commentaries.
  61. ^ Exclusive: I Was Kidnapped By The CIA, Mother Jones
  62. ^ This link between Islamist zealot and secular fascist just doesn't add up. The Guardian.
  63. ^ We've found Bin Laden - now how are we going to kill him?
  64. ^ Osama bin Laden: Softly-spoken but focused, he railed against the 'tyranny of America'.
  65. ^ What Osama wants - Opinion - International Herald Tribune
  66. ^ Mowing the lawn.
  67. ^ Osama bin Laden, el fugitivo mas buscado del mundo, celebra su 50 cumpleanos.
  68. ^ La sfida a Bin Laden si sposta sul web.
  69. ^ Survey says: Stop backing Musharraf.
  70. ^ Al-Qaida hat bei Gotteskriegern ein Imageproblem.
  71. ^ Q&A With Peter Bergen.
  72. ^ Anti-Government Protests in Pakistan.
  73. ^ "Filmmaker Peter Bergen to Discuss National Geographic Documentary on War." Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 2014-08-28. Retrieved 2014-11-19.
  74. ^ Journalists-in-Residence. International Reporting Project at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
  75. ^ Al Qaeda Now: Networks, Strategies, Goals. The Center on Law and Security
  76. ^ Osama bin Laden Fast Facts.
  77. ^ OPC Awards Current Recipients.
  78. ^ "HBO Leads the Pack with 89 CableACE Nominations..."
  79. ^ CNN Presents: Terror Nation? U.S. Creation?
  80. ^ TV REVIEWS: Did U.S. Create Terror Monster.
  81. ^ "Osama bin Laden's 'holy war' began years ago."
  82. ^ "Impact: CNN & TIME on Special Assignment."
  83. ^ Chotiner, Isaac (13 May 2015). "'I am not backing off anything I said': an interview with Seymour Hersh". Slate. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  84. ^ Biography & Contact,

External links[edit]