AP uncovers secrets of the al-Qaida papers

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West Africa Bureau Chief Rukmini Callimachi
West Africa Bureau Chief Rukmini Callimachi
Through her intrepid reporting in Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa Bureau Chief Rukmini Callimachi last year discovered a trove of internal al-Qaida documents that continue to offer  invaluable insight into the terror organization.
In a series of exclusive stories, Callimachi has revealed how al-Qaida is trying to act like a multinational corporation, attempting to impose a common accounting system across its far-flung branches, as well as a public relations strategy and a human resources division.
Many news organizations do not cover Africa on a full-time basis, but time and again, AP’s long presence there has proved critical in  breaking stories that resonate worldwide.

Callimachi is “an amazing blend of courage and humanity. She goes deep into the most uncharted places and patiently teases out stories of enormous struggle, trial and triumph,” AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said when the correspondent won the Distinguished Writing Award for Nondeadline Writing from the American Society of News Editors in 2013.

Based in Dakar, Senegal, Callimachi has earned myriad journalism awards throughout her career. Her series on child trafficking in Africa was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting in 2009. Callimachi started as a freelance reporter in New Delhi, in 2001, and joined AP in Portland, Ore., in 2003.

A native of Bucharest, Romania, Callimachi was 5 when her family fled the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. She would not return for 16 years; the family was granted political asylum in Switzerland and later immigrated to the United States.

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