Preet Bharara Talks Bringing Senior Al-Qaeda Officials to Justice

A man gestures with his hands in conversation with another man on a blue stage.
Photo by Monika Graff

Last week in a public program held at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara reflected on post-9/11 New York, the challenges of prosecuting terrorism, and his role in bringing senior al-Qaeda officials to justice.

In conversation with Cliff Chanin, executive vice president and deputy director for museum programs at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Bharara discussed the impact of the 9/11 attacks and his time with the Southern District (2009–2017). In the clip below, Bharara explains how bin Laden became known to the Southern District.

“When I was a young Assistant U.S. Attorney, I tried to explain to people what the Southern District does. One of the things I would kind of brag about on behalf of my colleagues was you always want to be ahead of the curve. And on 9/11, the awful name of Osama bin Laden became a household name everywhere in the world and he wasn’t before that. And some people like to say, ‘Nobody ever heard of him before.’ Well we had. And I show the first page of the indictment from 1998 where the Southern District indicted bin Laden and a number of other folks in connection with the bombing of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. That was al-Qaeda.”

Preet Bharara Talks Bringing Senior Al-Qaeda Officials to Justice

2019_1212_Preet Bharara_Highlight_(Caps)

You can watch the full program here. This program marked the end of the fall 2019 public programing season, but the winter/spring 2020 calendar of public programs will be announced in January 2020.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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