Michael Scheuer (2011 event)
The death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 marked a key moment in the history of the so-called War on Terror. But Michael Scheuer, formerly the chief of the CIA unit responsible for capturing the elusive Saudi, believes bin Laden’s death will make no difference. Incandescent at ‘pro-terrorist’ US foreign policies, he argues that while bin Laden was an icon and a strategic genius, al Qaeda’s next generation will be less visible and more violent. Scheuer’s hawkish views can be shocking: he believes militant Islamism is a violent enemy that the US must hold at bay. But his analysis of bin Laden’s power is unusual and intriguing. In this event, recorded live at the 2011 Edinburgh International Book Festival, he talks candidly to Ruth Wishart.