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FRONTLINEthe roots of terrorism: FRONTLINE's special reports on what led to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the issues facing the U.S. in their aftermath
hunting bin laden
broadcast sept. 13, 2001

Originally broadcast in 1999, this updated report offers an indepth investigation into Osama bin Laden's life and motives. The site includes bin Laden's May 1998 interview with ABC News reporter John Miller (in video and text), as well as FRONTLINE's interviews with New York Times reporters Judith Miller and James Risen; former CIA officials Milton Bearden and Larry Johnson; exiled Saudi dissident Saad Al-Fagih; Ahmed Sattar, former aid to Omar Abdel Al Rahman, the "blind sheik"; Thomas Pickering, former U.S. under-secretary of state for political affairs; and others. In addition, the site outlines the elements of bin Laden's international organization (with details of its alliances and its tactics); offers a timeline, biography and selections from his fatwahs and interviews condemning the U.S.; and explains the challenges confronting U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism efforts.
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target america
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broadcast oct. 4, 2001

"Target America" looks at the lessons to be drawn from the first "war on terrorism" -- the one waged by the Reagan administration in the 1980s -- through interviews with key players in the Reagan White House, including Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane, and several of their deputies. Revisiting the major events of the period -- from the attacks on the American embassy and Marines in Beirut, to the hijacking of TWA 847, the kidnappings of Americans in the Middle East, and the bombing of Pan Am 103 -- the report examines how Reagan and his Cabinet, in a piecemeal effort to combat terrorism, tried retaliatory attacks, espionage, secret negotiation, and eventually international law enforcement.
looking for answers
broadcast oct. 9, 2001

Produced in partnership with The New York Times, "Looking for Answers" investigates the roots of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network -- and the anti-American hatred that feeds it -- within Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two crucial U.S. allies in the Islamic world. Through interviews with government officials and exiled dissidents from Egypt and Saudi Arabia -- including a rare interview with the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar bin Sultan -- the report offers a close look at why so many of bin Laden's recruits come from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Seven U.S. national security and intelligence experts also assess why U.S.intelligence failed on September 11th.
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trail of a terrorist
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broadcast oct. 25, 2001

"Trail of a Terrorist," a FRONTLINE co-production with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is the story of a young Algerian named Ahmed Ressam, trained in Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda camps, who was caught crossing the Canada-U.S. border in December 1999 with a carload of explosives headed for Los Angeles International Airport, where he planned to blow up a terminal on New Year's Eve. Tracing the investigation of Ressam and the global terrorist network in which he operated, the report follows a trail from North Africa to small towns in France to the mountains of Afghanistan, and ultimately back to Canada and the United States. With access to Ressam's testimony in the trial of a co-conspirator, the report uncovers troubling questions about the security of the U.S.-Canada border and chilling details about global terrorist cells and Osama bin Laden's recruiting and training network.
gunning for saddam
broadcast nov. 8, 2001

In "Gunning for Saddam," FRONTLINE investigates the intense debate within the current Bush administration over whether Saddam Hussein should be the next target in America's war on terrorism. The litany of charges linking Iraq's leader to terrorism (though largely unproven) include Iraqi ties to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the attempt to assassinate former President George H. W. Bush in Kuwait in 1993, and determined efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. FRONTLINE explores these allegations through interviews with former Reagan adviser Richard Perle; former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft; former Secretary of State James Baker; Iraqi UN Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri; former CIA Director James Woolsey; and Richard Butler, former chairman of UNSCOM, the UN weapons inspection agency. In addition, two Iraqi military defectors tell of a secret Iraqi government camp on the outskirts of Baghdad that trained radical Islamic terrorists from across the Middle East.
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saudi time bomb
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broadcast nov. 15, 2001

In "Saudi Time Bomb?" FRONTLINE and The New York Times explore the U.S.-Saudi relationship and the internal forces that threaten the stability of Saudi Arabia, one of America's most important allies in the Arab world. Through interviews with U.S. and Saudi officials, political analysts, religious experts, and observers, this report outlines the history of U.S.-Saudi relations, the internal problems and contradictions within Saudi society, the growing Islamic fundamentalism within Saudi Arabia and its possible ties to terrorism. Exploring the far-flung influence of Wahhabism, the extreme form of Islam that originated in Saudi Arabia, this report also looks at the troubling connections between Saudi charities and some Islamic religious schools, or "madrassas," which spread Wahhabism throughout the Muslim world; at the Wahhabi sect's close ties to the Taliban, many of whom were educated in Saudi-financed madrassas in Pakistan; and at the current tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia arising from the Saudis' seeming reluctance to cooperate in the war on terrorism.
inside the terror network
broadcast jan. 17, 2002

FRONTLINE investigates the personal stories of the three September 11th terrorists who piloted suicide planes into the World Trade Center and into a field in Pennsylvania: Mohammed Atta, Marwan Al Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah. Correspondent Hedrick Smith explores what transformed these seemingly unremarkable men into fanatical terrorists and examines how their deadly plans went undetected for so long. Tracing the paths of the three from their native countries to Germany, then Afghanistan, and finally, to America, "Inside the Terror Network" chronicles the planning that went into their conspiracy and how they went unnoticed and unsuspected. This report also looks at how the terrorists achieved surprise not only by their cunning exploitation of America's open society, but also by the failure of law enforcement agencies to spot numerous warning signs of their plot.
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