Patrick Radden Keefe is a project leader at the World Policy Institute and the author of Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping. (May 2005)

Cat-and-Mouse Games

In the years since September 11, 2001, amateur plane spotters around the world have tracked the movements of what started out as an unidentified flying object, a phantom jet. The plane, a Gulfstream V, the kind of small, sleek private aircraft favored by movie stars and business executives, was first …

Quartermasters of Terror

On November 7, 2001, agents from Customs, Immigration, the IRS, and the FBI burst into the Dorchester, Massachusetts, offices of al-Barakaat, a Somali conglomerate with branches in forty countries, and arrested Mo- hamed M. Hussein, treasurer of Barakaat North America, on charges of operating an unlicensed money transfer business, or, …

Iraq: America’s Private Armies

As the ragtag killers of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) advanced on Freetown in the spring of 1995, the government of Sierra Leone took a desperate measure. The rebels had cut a violent swath across the country, enlisting child soldiers and leaving thousands with amputated limbs or dead in their …