Quilliam International is excited to announce that we have launched our podcast: ‘Next in Q’. Next in Q is a platform for a wide-ranging variety of discussions that provide unique and valuable insights into the global dialogue surrounding political, religious, and cultural extremism.

On the 17th anniversary of 9/11, our first episode features a candid conversation between Noman Benotman, the man who knew Bin Laden.

In the podcast, Noman says of Osama Bin Laden:

“He was always smiling, he was capable of sitting for an hour without saying a word unless you directly asked him a question. This is my analysis on OBL, this was one of his main problems, I believe deep inside his heart he believed that he was the Chosen One and that this was his destiny and this is what God designed for him.”

Noman was formerly a senior commander who fought with the “Mujahideen” in Afghanistan in their struggle against the Soviet backed government. He now aids governments around the globe in understanding jihadist trends and provides strategic consultancy in the field of counter-terrorism.

During the course of his fifteen years of battlefield experience, he forged close links with key figures including Osama Bin-Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani, Abu Qatada, Abu Musab al-Suri and Refaey Taha. He witnessed the development of the transition of the jihadism from an ideology that underpinned various national conflicts to the theological justification for a global war against the West.

Since leaving jihadism and disavowing his former jihadist views, Noman played a key role deradicalizing members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) between 2007 – 2010. He was also closely involved in the negotiations between the Gaddafi regime and the LIFG which resulted in the disbanding of the group and the release of hundreds of its members from imprisonment.

In Next in Q’s first episode, Noman talks of his journey in and out of extremism, and his time spent as a close aide to Osama Bin Laden, with Quilliam’s Executive Director US Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, who has spent over a decade in US government and counter-terrorism intelligence.

The podcast is available for free on our Q Perspective website at http://journal.quilliaminternational.com/2018/09/11/next-in-q-episode-1/.

Media contact: David Toube [email protected]

For more information: [email protected]