Ali Soufan is the Chief Executive Officer of The Soufan Group and Founder of The Soufan Center. Mr. Soufan 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. Mr. 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, andcontinues to play a significant advisory role on today’s most sensitiveissues. Mr. Soufan had a distinguished career in the FBI, includingserving on the Joint Terrorism Task Force, FBI New York Office,where he coordinated both domestic and internationalcounterterrorism 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.”
Mr. 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 Mr. 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.” Mr. 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.
Ali Soufan Worked to Prevent
the 9/11 Attacks
September 11, 2018
United States House of Representatives
“The Evolving Nature of Terrorism and the Current Groups Around the World which Pose the Greatest Threats to the National Security of the United States”
Testimony of Mr. Ali SoufanBefore the Committee on Financial ServicesSubcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance
Remarks by Mr. Ali H. Soufan
September 7, 2018
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Looming Tower traces the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1990s and how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA during that time may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11. The series follows members of the I-49 Squad in New York and Alec Station in Washington, D.C., the counter-terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively, as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward the same goal – trying to prevent an imminent attack on U.S. soil. The 10-episode limited drama series, The Looming Tower, premieres Wednesday, February 28 only on Hulu.
John O’Neill (Jeff Daniels), the bullheaded chief of the I-49 Squad, is rightly convinced that the U.S. has been targeted for an attack by Al-Qaeda. He and his protégé, Muslim-American FBI agent Ali Soufan (Tahar Rahim), face deliberately insufficient cooperation from other organizations within the federal government. Specifically, their counterparts within the CIA, led by the frequently antagonistic Martin Schmidt (Peter Sarsgaard). Convinced he’s by far the smartest person in the room, Schmidt, along with his Alec Station protégé, Diane Marsh (Wrenn Schmidt), opt to disobey Presidential orders and horde information from the FBI under the misguided notion that the CIA is the only government agency equipped to battle potential terror threats from abroad.