Your IP access to will expire on June 15

To ensure uninterrupted reading, please contact Rachel Mines, sales director, at


Book Talk: The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight.

Al Qaeda’s leader was in hiding for over a decade. A new account tells us what he was doing.


On this week’s episode of The E.R., FP’s executive editor for news Sharon Weinberger hosts authors Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark to discuss their book, The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight. And joining the discussion from New York is Murtaza Hussain, a reporter for The Intercept.

Since the killing of Osama Bin Laden by U.S. Seal Team Six in 2011, multiple narratives have emerged concerning the 10 years between the 9/11 attacks and his death. While many of these stories rely heavily on U.S. government sources, Levy and Scott-Clark chose to tell the 10-year saga of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda’s exile through the eyes of those closest to him, including his wives, children, deputies, and spiritual advisor.

What insights do these accounts give us about Al Qaeda? Did the Pakistani government know about Bin Laden’s time hiding in Abbottabad? What were Bin Laden’s views on the Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? And finally, what does this mean in terms of an Al Qaeda resurgence?

Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy are award-winning investigative journalists and filmmakers, who worked as foreign correspondents and writers for The Guardian and the Sunday Times. They are co-authors of The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Flight, which was released in May 2017. Follow them on Twitter: @cathyscottclark and @AdrianMLevy.

Murtaza Hussain is a journalist for The Intercept, covering national security, foreign policy, and human rights. Follow him on Twitter: @MazMHussain.

Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the WorldFollow her on Twitter: @weinbergersa.

Tune in, now twice a week, to FP’s The E.R.

Subscribe to The E.R. and Global Thinkers podcasts on iTunes.

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola