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Flagg M
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Good to see Vice News promoting my book widely

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My comments on Enrico Macias recording in bin Laden tape collection:

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AQAP stirs up hopes in part of Aden I knew to be called "Little Kandahar" in 1990s for Arab Afghan returnees. Bombing of Hadi-loyalist government security building last week was in this same neighborhood and suggests AQAP is nervous about being seen as pro-Saudi/US henchmen in regional conflict. Securing its own territory is a step toward branding its legitimacy beyond terror headlines.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">AQAP stirs up hopes part of Aden I knew to be called &quot;Little Kandahar&quot; in 1990s for Arab Afghans <a href=""></a> via <a href="">@TheWorldPost</a></p>&mdash; Flagg Miller (@FlaggMiller)<a href="">August 24, 2015</a></blockquote>
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A terrific and thoughtful email from a French journalist about the presence of a recording in the tape collection featuring Enrico Macias, the extraordinary French singer of an Algerian Jewish background. He heard about the tape from my BBC interview. Here is his email, and then my response, the latter of which attempts to clear up misinformation.

On Aug 19, 2015, at 5:20 AM, CHAILLOT Luc <> wrote:
I am a French journalist and I would like to get more information about news that spread in French media recently about the French songs found on one audiocassette that was found in Bin Laden’s house in Kandahar. Many media in France shortened that news to this title : Bin Laden was listening to Enrico Macias songs. Is that true ? I heard on the BBC interview that these 1500 cassettes have been found in one music cassette shop in Kandahar. So I guess it’s possible that some of these cassettes have been used by this shop as blank cassettes. So can we imagine this cassette starting with recording of talking about Palestine suddenly interrupted by French music (about 18 minutes if I calculate from the Yale university database) was used after leaving Bin Laden’s house to re-record some music in that shop ? It would be credible as on Side B of the cassette the same speaker talking about Palestine continue speaking.
I would like to have your opinion about this. Can you tell me also what kind of French music was audible on the cassette. Only songs from Enrico Macias ? Is there other type of Western Music in any other cassette you have listened to ?
Enrico Macias reacted to this information about his music found in Bin Laden’s cassettes saying : this information must not be serious. I cannot imagine the man responsible of 9/11 listening to my songs promoting peace and friendship of all peoples. Do you understand his reaction ?
I would like to know also if you book that is going to be published next September in USA and next November in United Kingdom will have any chance to be translated in French. Do you have any contact with a French publisher ?
Can you tell me also in a short way what is the most important analysis you can make out of these 1500 cassettes.
Best regards
Luc Chaillot
Journaliste au groupe Ebra (10 daily newspapers in France)

MY REPLY: 9:46am, August 19, 2015

Dear Luc,
Thanks for your inquiry. As I have noted in my interviews, the tapes were in bin Laden’s house but we know nothing about what exactly he listened to personally. The tapes were a collective audio-library for people who passed through the house at various times, and so could have been purchased and left there by others. Bin Laden may never have known about the tape’s contents.
With regards your theory about the over-recording in the cassette shop, it’s not out of the question. Ahmad Zahir, a tremendously famous Afghan singer in the 1960s and 1970s, was a fan of Gaston and made him famous through his own renditions of his songs throughout the country. However, the CNN stringer who found the tapes told me that the cassettes in the shop had not begun to be used as blanks. That aside, the mix tape could have been made by anyone anywhere. We just don’t know. I devote an entire chapter in my book to explaining these matters and showing why the nature and use of this media requires a very different study of Al-Qaeda and “the bin Laden phenomenon” than has been done before.
I love Macias's singing. I thoroughly understand his surprise and would want to tell him that the loose media allegations are not the sort of thing I have in my forthcoming book.
As for the most important points of my book - I am open for interviews when my book appears in the US in mid October.
And I have no plans yet to have the book translated into French, though I would welcome this.
I hope this answers some of your questions.

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Also a Hindustan Times piece, interested in Bin Laden's take on Gandhi:

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Today's interview with Irish National Radio went well.  A snappy 10-minute job had me almost tripping over my tongue: 

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Looking forward to BBC/Radio 4's 30-minute interview with me this Monday at 12 noon! 

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