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Experts available to media on Osama Bin Laden’s death, aftermath

May 2, 2011 By Jenny Price

The death of Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, is an historic moment in the U.S. war on terror launched a decade ago. The University of Wisconsin–Madison has a number of experts who can discuss Bin Laden’s death, the U.S. war on terror around the globe and how the public is reacting to the news. For more UW experts:

  • Jeremi Suri, professor of history and director of the European Union Center of Excellence, is an expert on terrorism and post-9/11 foreign policy and can discuss the U.S. operation in Pakistan that killed Bin Laden. Contact:, 608-263-1852.
  • Joseph Elder, professor of sociology, languages and cultures of Asia, is an expert on contemporary events in Afghanistan and Pakistan and can discuss why Bin Laden’s whereabouts remained a mystery for so many years. Contact:, 608-262-2782.
  • Charles Franklin, professor of political science, is an expert on U.S. politics and public opinion and can discuss the political implications of Bin Laden’s death. Contact:, 608-235-1960.
  • Dietram Scheufele, John E. Ross Professor of life sciences communication, is an expert on social media. He can discuss the role social media played in relaying the news and prompting people to gather publicly in response, as well as reports that a computer programmer in Abbottabad, Pakistan, tweeted what he heard during the raid — without realizing for hours what was happening. Contact:, 920-791-9421.
  • Howard Schweber, associate professor of political science and legal studies, has spent time in Pakistan and can discuss what the incident shows about the state of relations between Pakistani government agencies and the Taliban, implications for U.S.-Pakistani relations going forward, how Bin Laden’s ability to “hide in plain sight” informs our understanding of the internal politics of Pakistan, how the operation represents the approach President Obama described during his campaign and his administration’s overall anti-terrorism strategy. Contact:, 608-263-2293.
  • Dhavan Shah, professor of mass communication and political science, is an expert on how communication, especially digital and mobile media, affects political judgment, public opinion, and civic engagement. Shah and UW journalism professor Douglas McLeod are the co-authors of a forthcoming book on how media has covered the war on terror and its implications for civil liberties.  Contact:, 608-262-0388.
  • Neil Whitehead, professor of anthropology, is an expert on terrorism and can discuss the ongoing U.S. war on terror and how Bin Laden’s death affects where it goes from here. Contact:, 608-262-2866.