Skip to main content


The Airey Neave Trust is pleased to announce that Ali Soufan, author of Anatomy of Terror,is the winner of the inaugural Airey Neave Book Prize (The “Neave Prize”), generously sponsored by Pool Reinsurance Company. The winner and shortlisted candidates of the Neave Book Prize were announced yesterday evening, the 22ndof November, at the Royal United Services Institute in London. The prize was presented by Lord Evans of Weardale KCB DL (former Director-General of the British Security Service), and a cheque for £5,000 was presented to the winning author by Julian Enoizi, CEO of Pool Re. The Neave Prize is awarded annually to the work of non-fiction which the Judging Panel considers to have made the most significant, original, relevant, and practically valuable contribution to the understanding of terrorism. Pool Re, the UK terrorism reinsurance fund, has agreed to sponsor the Neave Prize for an initial three years. Ali Soufan is the author of The New York Times bestselling title The Black Banners, and a former FBI officer and expert on counterterrorism. He was the lead investigator of the bombing of the USS Cole and supervised counterterrorism operations during the investigation into the 9/11 bombings, proving instrumental in identifying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the mastermind of the attacks. Anatomy of Terror was first published on the 2nd of May 2017 and has received numerous accolades since its publication, with outstanding reviews in The New York Times and The New Yorker. The book traces the rise of Islamic State following the Arab Spring and the death of Bin Laden and sheds light on the histories, personalities and motivations of the leading characters of Islamist terrorism today. Ali Soufan, recipient of the Neave Prize, said: “In so many ways, terrorism consumes many of the views, many of the fears, and much of the politics we’ve seen in recent years. And yet, 16 years after 9/11, we still don’t fully understand our enemy. People fear the unknown and our role, as experts and as leaders, should be to light a candle towards this darkness. Our aim should be to evoke empathy in the sense of understanding terrorism on a deep level. That’s what I wanted to do in Anatomy of Terror. To understand their psyche and their history, and the way that terrorists view the world. I am very pleased to have been awarded the inaugural prize and look forward to continuing the work, with the help of the Airey Neave Memorial Trust, of educating our society about terrorism and, in so doing, helping to combat the threat.” Ed Butler, a trustee of the Airey Neave Trust and Head of Risk Analysis at Pool Re, said: “Ali Soufan’s book is an outstanding piece of writing, drawing on first-hand experience and meticulous research. Since its foundation, The Airey Neave Trust has always recognised the vital role that authors and academia play in understanding the drivers of terrorism and, importantly, how these threats can be mitigated. Ali Soufan has addressed many of these and we are delighted to recognise Anatomy of Terror as the winning book. The Airey Neave Trust and Pool Re look forward to equally valuable submissions for the 2018 Neave Prize.” Anatomy of Terror is available from WW Norton & Co £18.99