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Philip Smucker
Philip Smucker (Alexandria, VA) is an independent journalist, academic, and the author of My Brother, My Enemy: America and the Battle of Ideas across the Islamic World and the highly acclaimed Al-Qaeda’s Great Escape: The Military and the Media on Terror’s Tail, which broke the story of Osama bin Laden’s escape at Tora Bora. He has spent the last twenty-two years as an overseas reporter, covering conflicts across many countries including Haiti, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Cambodia. He received three Pulitzer nominations for his reporting and has worked and written for many publications, including McClatchy Newspapers, the Atlantic Monthly, Christian Science Monitor, Daily Telegraph, Asia Times, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, and Time. He has appeared on national television and radio as an expert on the Islamic world, including on the Today show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Hardball with Chris Matthews, CNN, and The Diane Rehm Show.

To learn more about Philip Smucker and his work, and to see his documentaries, please visit his website:

Entries by Philip Smucker

Travel Adventure: My Worst Nightmare, Attacked by a Giant Python

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 11:23 AM

Gorontalo, Indonesia. As conflict correspondent, who has witnessed enough traumas for a lifetime, I usually go in for strange, tranquil settings that offer casual adventure and sandy beaches.

The natural allure of the Togians, several dozen tiny islands off the northern coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, is undeniable. The...

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Specter of Terrorism Rises from Missing MH 370

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 10:43 AM

Jakarta, March 17 -- With nefarious intent exposed in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Asian intelligence experts and law enforcement officials are now examining a growing possibility that the perpetrator, who steered or ordered the flight off course, was a lone wolf terrorist or one connected to international...

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Getting to Know My (Br)other: U.S. Exchanges Build Trust

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2010 | 5:58 PM

It was breezy Chicago day, the third week of an Egyptian-American cultural exchange, when two members of an Egyptian disabled delegation, emerged from a Sears store with wide smiles and holding T-shirts reading: "God Bless America!"

The delegation of eleven visiting Egyptians, many of whom were Muslim, was sponsored with...

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Newt and Nazis: Aiding and Abetting bin Laden

(107) Comments | Posted August 16, 2010 | 5:48 PM

It was George Washington who reminded his fellow Americans that, "The most certain way to make a man your enemy is to tell him you esteem him such."

Republican commentators like Newt Gingrich have been esteeming Muslims such for years now.

Gingrich hit a new low Monday morning when...

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Obama and That Damn Mosque: A Clarion Voice for Freedom

(566) Comments | Posted August 14, 2010 | 3:41 PM

President Obama's stern defense of a Muslim group's right to build a community center and a mosque near Ground Zero has brought more than the expected morning after cries of "insensitivity."

The President, embattled in the polls, is already being accused of pandering to the 1.2 billion Muslims in...

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Beck and Gerecht Call for Spanish Inquisition, American-style

(102) Comments | Posted August 11, 2010 | 7:28 PM

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a Middle East expert and storied former CIA operative, has called, along with Fox News' Glenn Beck, for a litmus test to be given to Muslims anxious to build a mosque near Ground Zero.

In a classic conspiracy-riddled "chalk talk" this week, Beck reversed his...

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GOP Charge: Ground Zero Mosque is bin Laden's Trojan Horse

(42) Comments | Posted August 10, 2010 | 12:50 AM

Don't look now but the mosque at Ground Zero is the Trojan horse that Osama bin Laden has been dreaming of in his cave somewhere in the Hindu Kush. Gary Berntsen, the tough-as-nails former CIA operative running to unseat Senator Chuck Schumer in New York, tells me al Qaeda and...

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Drink, Pray, Love: New Yorkers and Pacific Islanders Eschew Interference in Favor of Tolerance.

(1) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 5:53 PM

A New York City commission's courageous decision to think past indignant cries to stop the building of a new community center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero reminded me of a bizarre tale I came across while researching a book on a remote island chain in Asia.

It is...

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My Brother, My Enemy: A Video Tour Behind the Front Lines of the Battle of Ideas in the Islamic World

(20) Comments | Posted August 4, 2010 | 12:45 PM

Please join me on this kaleidoscopic tour behind the frontlines of the battle of ideas in the Islamic world. For five years since my first book, Al Qaeda's Great Escape: the Military and the Media on Terror's Trail, I've traveled through the Holy Land, Sahelian Africa, Afghanistan-Pakistan and...

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Afghanistan: Fight or Turn out the Lights

(6) Comments | Posted August 2, 2010 | 12:30 PM

When Christiane Amanpour held up the cover of Time magazine on ABC News' This Week, Nancy Pelosi averted her eyes at the sight of an otherwise beautiful Afghan girl missing her nose and ears.

The iconic photograph is an excellent starting point for any discussion of America's exit strategy...

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Newt Gingrich's New Clash of Civilizations

(89) Comments | Posted July 30, 2010 | 3:09 PM

The bluntly-named group "Stop Islamization in America" has posted signs on the sides of metro buses across the country this summer, reading: "Fatwa on your head?" and "Leaving Islam?" Pamela Geller, who heads the organization, says she just wants to help out Muslims endangered by their own religion.

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WikiLeaks Story Exposes Bad Intel From the Field and on Bin Laden

(34) Comments | Posted July 28, 2010 | 5:56 PM

Washington, D.C. -- As the Pentagon attempts to manage the damage from a massive leak of raw intelligence from the battlefields of Afghanistan, it is time for senior Obama administration officials to examine the quality of information streaming into remote U.S. bases there. In one far-fetched story, a source in...

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