Bruce Riedel

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Bruce Riedel
Born 1953 (age 65–66)
Queens,[1] New York, USA
Citizenship American
Alma mater Brown University
Harvard University
Royal College of Defence Studies
Occupation Academian, counter-terrorism expert, and author

Bruce O. Riedel (born 1953) is one of America's leading experts on U.S. security, South Asia, and counter-terrorism. He is currently a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, and a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He also serves as a senior adviser at Albright Stonebridge Group.

Bruce, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst and counter-terrorism expert, served in the Agency for 29 years until his retirement in 2006. He has advised four presidents on Middle East and South Asian issues in the White House on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC).

He is a contributor to several periodicals and an author of books examining topics related to his areas of expertise — counter-terrorism, Arab-Israeli relations, Persian Gulf security, and South Asia, especially India and Pakistan.


Youth and education

Riedel was born in 1953 in Queens, New York.[1] He was just a year old when his father — a political adviser at the United Nations — moved his family to Jerusalem and later to Beirut. After much travel, Riedel obtained a B.A. (1975, Brown University) in Middle East history and an MA (1977, Harvard) in Medieval Islamic history. From 2002 to 2003, he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.[1]


CIA years : 1977 - 2006
In 1977, Riedel began a career as an analyst for the CIA, where he spent most of his professional life. After serving 29 years, he retired in 2006.[1]

During his tenure at the CIA he held several positions, including:

2006 - till date
Riedel is currently a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, and a professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He also serves as a senior adviser at Albright Stonebridge Group.[2][3]

Riedel was a policy adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama.[4][5] In February 2009, Obama appointed him chair of a White House review committee formed to overhaul U.S. policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan.[6][7]

In 2011, he served as an expert advisor to the prosecution of al Qaeda terrorist Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab in Detroit.[2] In December 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron asked him to advise the United Kingdom’s National Security Council on Pakistan.[3]

In a February 2013 article published on the website of the Brookings Institution, Riedel discussed "false flag ops" in relation to Algerian counter-terrorism units. In his article "Algeria a Complex Ally in War Against al Qaeda", he described the Algerian counter-terrorism unit DRS and its methods: “(The) DRS is (…) known for its tactic of infiltrating terrorist groups, creating “false flag” terrorists and trying to control them.”, Riedel writes. “Rumors have associated the DRS in the past with the Malian warlord Iyad Ag Ghali, head of Ansar al Dine AQIM’s ally in Mali, and even with Mukhtar Belmukhtar, the al-Qaeda terrorist who engineered the attack on the natural gas plant.”

On 14 February 2012, in an article for American news website The Daily Beast, Riedel quoted former ISI chief, Gen. (retired) Ziauddin Khwaja, as saying that former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf "knew bin Laden was in Abbottabad".[8][9][10]



Riedel is a contributor to several journals and magazines; and an author of several books.[11]

Personal life

Riedel is married and lives in the US. His wife, whom he met at the CIA, continues to work at the agency as a Middle East analyst.[1]



External links