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Ali Soufan

Former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, CEO Soufan Group, Author of "The Black Banners"

Former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, CEO Soufan Group, Author of "The Black Banners"

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New York, NY, USA
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Ali Soufan Biography

He is a Lebanese-American former FBI agent who was involved in a number of high-profile anti-terrorism cases both in the United States and around the world. A New Yorker article in 2006 described Soufan as coming closer than anyone to preventing the September 11 attacks, even implying that he would have succeeded had the CIA been willing to share information with him. He resigned from the FBI in 2005 after publicly chastising the CIA for not sharing information with him, which could have prevented the attacks. He is the CEO of the Soufan Group. In 2011 he published a memoir, which includes some historical background on al-Qaeda: The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda.

Soufan was called to Jordan in 1999 to investigate the Jordan Millennium Bombing plot, and discovered a box of documents delivered by Jordanian intelligence officials prior to the investigation, sitting on the floor of the CIA station, which contained maps showing the bomb sites. His find "embarrassed the CIA", according to a 2006 New Yorker profile of him.

In 2000, he was made lead investigator of the USS Cole bombing. When given a transcript of the interrogations of Fahd al-Quso, he noticed a reference to a one-legged Afghan named "Khallad", whom he remembered as a source identified years earlier as Walid bin 'Attash; this helped the FBI to track down Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Following the September 11th attacks, Soufan was one of eight FBI agents who spoke Arabic, and the only one in New York. Colleagues reported that he would sit on the floor with suspects, offer them tea and argue over religion and politics in fluent Arabic, while drawing out information.

While investigating the September 11th attacks in Yemen, Soufan received intelligence that the CIA had been withholding for months. According to The New Yorker, "Soufan received the fourth photograph of the Malaysia meeting—the picture of Khallad, the mastermind of the Cole operation. The two plots, Soufan instantly realized, were linked, and if the C.I.A. had not withheld information from him he likely would have drawn the connection months before September 11th." He was tasked with the "intensive interrogation" of Abu Jandal over the course of five days in Yemen, during which time Jandal gave up the names of a number of members of al-Qaeda.

It was his questioning of Mohammed al Qahtani, that led to the terrorism charges against Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri in Chicago, whom al Qahtani had mentioned being a relative.

In 2005, Soufan approached Florida doctor Rafiq Abdus Sabir and pretended to be an Islamist militant, and asked him whether he would provide medical treatment to wounded fighters in the Iraq War. When Sabir agreed to provide medical treatment, he was arrested and sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment for supporting terrorism. Soufan has been described as having had a close working relationship with FBI counter-terrorist agent John P. O'Neill.

Ali Soufan Videos

Ali Soufan Books

  • The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda
    The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda

FAQs on booking Ali Soufan

  • How do I book Ali Soufan to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Ali Soufan for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Ali Soufan, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Ali Soufan or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Ali Soufan

    Speaking fees for Ali Soufan, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Ali Soufan are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Ali Soufan, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Ali Soufan speak about?

    Ali Soufan is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Executive Leaders, Leadership.
  • Where does Ali Soufan travel from?

    Ali Soufan generally travels from New York, NY, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Ali Soufan’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Ali Soufan for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Ali Soufan for your next private or corporate function.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Ali Soufan or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
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    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Ali Soufan is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Ali Soufan for your event is available upon request. Ali Soufan generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Robert Verhelst, Annabel Quintero, Kunal Shah, Janine Hamner Holman and Michael Podolsky. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Ali Soufan for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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