Ali Soufan

Chairman and CEO, The Soufan Group

Meeting Today's Terror Challenges

About the Speaker

Ali Soufan is the Chief Executive Officer of The Soufan Group. 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 New York Times Top 10 Bestseller, "The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al Qaeda." He is regarded as a leading national security and counterterrorism expert, and continues to play a significant advisory role on today's most sensitive issues. 

Mr. Soufan had a distinguished career in the FBI, including serving on the Joint Terrorist Task Force, FBI New York Office, where he coordinated both domestic and international counterterrorism 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 contributed to leading shows and publications worldwide, including 60 Minutes, Frontline, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The New Yorker, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Straits Times, Spiegel, Asharq Al-Awsat, and leading shows on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox. Mr. Soufan's work has also been detailed in several non-fiction books, including The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. 

Mr. Soufan's book, The Black Banners, (Published September 12, 2011, by WW Norton and Penguin), was selected as a book of the year by The Sunday Times. About the book and Mr. Soufan, Harpers Magazine wrote: "To those inside the U.S. government Soufan has long been something of a legend. He conducted the most effective and fruitful interrogations of al Qaeda suspects during the war on terrorism." In April 2012, Ali Soufan was announced as the recipient of the ninth annual Ridenhour Book Prize. 

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.