New York Times foreign correspondent to discuss overseas terror organizations

February 24, 2017

Award-winning Callimachi revealed how ransoms funded al-Qaida in the pastRukmini Callimachi, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and The Associated Press (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Lisle, Illinois ~ Rukmini Callimachi, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and The Associated Press, will present “Not Such Lonely Wolves: How ISIS Remote Controls Attacks” as part of the Center for Civic Leadership Lecture Series at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, in Goodwin Hall Auditorium at Benedictine University.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.

Callimachi has covered 20 foreign countries and exposed the inner workings of terrorist organizations. Her George Polk Award-winning series, “Underwriting Jihad,” revealed that ransoms paid by European governments had become one of the main sources of financing for al-Qaida.

Her other series, “The Al-Qaida Papers,” uncovered internal procedures of the extremist organization, including their expense reporting process and correspondence from the man considered to be the general manager of the terrorist network.

Callimachi was born in Bucharest, Romania, but fled with her mother and grandmother when she was 5 years old to Switzerland and ultimately immigrated to the United States. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in Linguistics at Exeter College, University of Oxford.

She began her reporting career as a freelancer for Time magazine covering the Gujarat earthquake in 2001 before covering city hall at the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Ill., from 2001-2003. She joined the Portland bureau of The Associated Press and moved to New Orleans in 2006 to cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist is a recipient of the Michael Kelly Award and the first journalist to win both the Hal Boyle and the Bob Considine awards the same year.

Established by former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan and the Department of Political Science, Benedictine University’s Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) helps prepare students for leadership roles in public service and as world citizens by offering them opportunities to learn more about issues of local, national and international concern.

In addition to providing scholarships for students who demonstrate leadership potential, the CCL regularly invites prominent public figures to campus to participate in lectures, seminars, symposia and other events dealing with politics and public affairs.

For more information, contact Jen Zingg at (630) 829-6460 or 


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 9,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. A 2016 PayScale Inc. report ranked BenU one of the top 10 colleges in Illinois for return on investment and in the top 20 percent nationally. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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