Where “Taliban” author Ahmed Rashid was on 9/11

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Second Edition: Ahmed Rashid Ahmed Rashid, the internationally acclaimed journalist and author of Taliban, has been in high demand with news media lately. Rashid has a column in today’s New York Daily News, was on NPR’s Talk of the Nation yesterday while another column of his ran in the Washington Post, and last weekend, he sat down with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb for an extensive interview on the network’s Q&A program.


In light of the recent Times Square bombing attempt and the developing conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Rashid’s expertise has made him a great resource to media. Yet, as his comments in the Q&A interview reveal, it is shocking to realize just how little the Western world knew about Afghan politics before the tragic events of 2001:


LAMB: Where were you on 9/11, when it happened?

RASHID: I was at home in Mahal, Pakistan, watching it. And the moment you know I called my wife in and I said this is Al Qaeda and the Americans are going to invade our country and you know very soon after that I was asked to come to Washington and to meet these people here and I was trying to prepare for the war and what to do.

A lot of people wrote to me asking me – a lot of Europeans, governments, all sorts of people wrote – nobody had a clue what the Taliban were and what this all mean, you know.

The newly revised and updated second edition of Taliban is available now.

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