Matthew Rosenberg

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Matthew Rosenberg (born August 2, 1974) is an American journalist who covers national security issues for The New York Times. He previously wrote about Afghanistan and Pakistan for the paper, but was expelled from Afghanistan in August 2014 on the orders of President Hamid Karzai,[1] the first expulsion of a Western journalist from Afghanistan since the Taliban ruled the country.

Early life

Rosenberg was born in New York. He holds a bachelor's degree from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[citation needed]


Rosenberg began his reporting career at The Associated Press, and served as a foreign correspondent for the news agency in India, East Africa and the Caribbean.

in 2007, Rosenberg joined The Wall Street Journal. There, he interviewed Sirajuddin Haqqani,[2] the leader of what is considered one of Afghanistan’s most potent insurgent factions, and uncovered the massive amount of cash that flows daily through Kabul’s airport, prompting the temporary suspension of $3.9 billion in American aid to Afghanistan.[3][4] He also was part of the Journal team that covered the 2008 attack on Mumbai.[5]

Rosenberg joined The New York Times in 2011. His stories have included one of the few detailed accounts of an attack by Afghan soldiers on their American allies,[6] and a look at how Iran has skirted American-imposed sanctions by buying up dollars in Afghanistan,[7] which was awash in hard currency because of massive American cash infusions. He also christened Afghanistan’s first international boxing match "The Squabble in Kabul."[8]

On April 29, 2013, the Times published an investigative report by Rosenberg detailing how the Central Intelligence Agency had delivered bags of cash to the offices of Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, for more than a decade to finance a slush fund for the Afghan leader.[9] Mr. Karzai acknowledged the payments the day the story appeared, and later thanked the C.I.A. for providing the money and said he had been assured the flow of money would continue.[10][11]

Rosenberg subsequently reported that roughly $1 million in cash provided by the C.I.A to Mr. Karzai’s office was used by the Afghan government to pay a ransom to al Qaeda.[12]

Espionage Accusations

On November 5, 2009, The Nation newspaper in Pakistan printed a front page story that falsely accused Rosenberg of being a spy. The story claimed that Rosenberg worked for the CIA, the U.S. security contractor formerly known as Blackwater and had ties to Israeli intelligence.”[13] Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson wrote to the editor of The Nation, Shireen Mazari, to protest the false story about Rosenberg soon after the article appeared.[14] The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Pearl, kidnapped and killed in 2002 in Pakistan, was labelled a Jewish spy in a similar manner by some sections of Pakistani media before his death. Twenty-one editors from the world's major international news organizations also signed a letter of protest, criticizing the unsubstantiated article for compromising Rosenberg's security.[15]

In August 2014, Rosenberg was barred from leaving Afghanistan and interrogated by the country’s attorney general after writing a story about how senior Afghan security officials were considering whether to stage what would, in essence, amount to a coup because of a mounting political crisis.[16][17]

The following day, the travel ban was abruptly reversed, and Rosenberg was ordered to leave Afghanistan within 24 hours. He departed Afghanistan on August 21, in compliance with the government order. Defending the decision to order out Rosenberg, a government statement called his story "an act of espionage", and Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for President Karzai, said the expulsion had been ordered at "the highest levels."[18]

Personal life

Rosenberg is currently based in Washington, DC.[citation needed]


  1. “Calling Article ‘Divisive,’ Afghanistan Orders Expulsion of Times Correspondent". The New York Times, 20 August 2014
  2. "New Wave of Warlords Bedevils U.S.". The Wall Street Journal, 20 January 2010
  3. "Corruption Suspected in Airlift of Billions in Cash From Kabul". The Wall Street Journal 28 June 2010
  4. "Afghan Aid on Hold as Corruption Is Probed". The Wall Street Journal, 29 June 2010
  5. "India Security Faulted as Survivors Tell of Terror". The Wall Street Journal 1 December 2008
  6. "As Trained Afghans Turn Enemy, a U.S.-Led Imperative Is in Peril". The New York Times, 16 May 2012
  7. "Iranian Currency Traders Find a Haven in Afghanistan". The New York Times, 17 August 2012
  8. "In This Corner, a Much-Needed Distraction". The New York Times, 31 October 2012
  9. "With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan". The New York Times, 29 April 2013
  10. "Afghan Leader Confirms Cash Deliveries by C.I.A." The New York Times 30 April 2013
  11. "Karzai Says He Was Assured C.I.A. Would Continue Delivering Bags of Cash". The New York Times, 4 May 2013
  12. "C.I.A. Cash Ended Up in Coffers of Al Qaeda". The New York Times, 14 March 2015
  13. "Journalists as spies in FATA?". The Nation, 5 November 2009
  14. "Letter from WSJ to Mazari", "Committee to Protect Journalists", 6 November 2009
  15. "Letter about The Nation article" "Committee to Protect Journalists", 16 November 2009
  16. "Afghan Officials Interrogate a Times Correspondent". The New York Times, 19 August 2014
  17. "Amid Election Impasse, Calls in Afghanistan for an Interim Government". The New York Times, 18 August 2014
  18. "Afghanistan Defends Expulsion of a Times Reporter". The New York Times, 21 August 2015

External links