September 12, 2018 | POLITICO MAGAZINE
Seventeen years after the attacks on September 11th, Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin wrote a piece for Politico Magazine that notes the lack of recent attention to terrorism by our political leaders and the media and asks: "Is this a good thing? If so, is it durable?"
Consider this sign of the times: In late August, U.S. officials expressed confidence they had finally killed Ibrahim al-Asiri, the most fabled Al Qaeda bombmaker of the post-9/11 period. Asiri was reported to have created undetectable bombs and experimented with implanting them inside operatives’ bodies. He had been involved in the near-miss of the “Underwear Bomber” in 2009 and had nearly succeeded in killing former Saudi counterterrorism chief Muhammad bin Nayef. Asiri had haunted the sleep of counterterrorism officials, including me, for years.
Yet his apparent death, which might once have been a Page 1 story, got scant coverage, with no news stories appearing in the New York Times or the Washington Post. In the lede of an op-ed he penned to note this “major counterterrorism success,” former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell wrote, “Amid all the controversies and scandals from Washington dominating our news cycle. … [Asiri’s death] did not get the attention it deserved.”
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