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Avoiding Armageddon
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Episode 3 - "The New Face of Terror: Upping the Ante"
Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are chillingly dangerous. But in the hands of those unafraid to die using them, they become a threat unprecedented in human history. A new kind of terrorism - global in scope, fueled by religious zeal, fed by willing recruits, connected by readily accessible technology - is the focus of this episode of "Avoiding Armageddon."

"The New Face of Terror: Upping the Ante" examines the people, the causes and conditions that define the era in which we live. In this powerful and highly personal episode, the producers travel the world to ask the most difficult questions: What is terrorism today and how has it changed? Can it be defeated or denied? How will children in all parts of the world, some of them the raw recruits, decide which path to take?

Osama bin Laden and this new brand of terrorism show that small groups of people can inflict enormous damage - from New York to Bali, against superpower and remote nation alike. The program examines bin Laden's movement and the role it has played in the changing face of terrorism.

Viewers meet some of the people who have a special perspective, such as Essam Alridi, a former comrade of Osama bin Laden. Disillusioned by al Qaeda's murderous methods, Alridi is now telling the inside story of al Qaeda from his home in Texas.

Viewers visit an Islamic couple living in Great Britain. They condemn the attacks of September 11th but voice understanding of Bin Ladenism and even teach the concept of jihad (holy war) to their two-year-old. The implications are immediate - and disturbing - as they tell the story as they see it.

In Gaza, viewers meet 17-year-old Ehab Yusef, who struggles to understand the world around him and his place in it. He imagines a productive life but ponders a "martyr's" death. He paints pictures of pyramids but also grenades. He sees his world filled with violence and dead ends but senses there is something more. Ehab personifies both the potential and the peril of a generation.

"The New Face of Terror: Upping the Ante" traces the roots of terrorism, and viewers hear from some of the world's experts and frontline commanders in the war on terrorism, from CIA Director George Tenet to "Inside al Qaeda" author Rohan Gunaratna.

As the program concludes, the program returns to young Ehab. Sitting alone in a cemetery he considers his choices, and it is clear his decisions may affect our future.

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