By Anthony Petitt
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – CNN’s Paul Cruickshank will speak at Camden County College’s Civic Hall on April 1 as part of the ongoing lecture series titled “America and the Middle East: A Search for Solutions – The Evolving Terrorist Threat.” Cruickshank will speak about the resurgence of terror groups and the effects on the United States.
Cruickshank, CNN’s terrorism analyst, said his responsibilities at the network include providing “on-air and online analysis on breaking news and major developments relating to Jihadi terrorism.” Cruickshank plans to address key issues during his speech, including “a big picture view of the evolving terror threat to the West,” and hopes to communicate to the audience “the threat from terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.”
Cruickshank has reported on terror incidents from all over the world and edited the five-volume collection “Al Qaeda,” a series that is widely seen as key scholarly research on the terror group. “It was a really interesting academic exercise,” Cruickshank said on his experience editing the series. “It helped me zoom out to 30,000 feet and see the big picture trends. It was also fascinating to re-read articles several years later and to see how events had panned out.”
He places much importance on hands-on coverage of topics such as terrorism. “In order to better understand the threat we face it’s very important to do field research – to interview people with links to terrorist groups or who have the same ideology,” he said.
He has also worked with Morten Storm on “Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA,” a true story about Storm’s experiences as a double agent. He described the experience as “absolutely fascinating. I’ve been studying and researching al Qaeda for more than a decade but I learned a lot from him.”
Cruickshank has covered many heart-wrenching stories. “Of course it gets to you but when you’re reporting on it another part of your mind to some degree takes over … and you start asking the questions what has just happened? … who is just responsible? … what is the significance?” he said.
Cruickshank will speak at 7 p.m. April 1 in Civic Hall on Camden County College’s Blackwood campus. For more information, call 856-227-7200, ext. 4333, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.camdencc.edu/civiccenter.