son of al qaeda
photos of aburahman khadr and prisoners behind barbed wire
join the discussion: What do you take away from this story of  Abdurahman Khadr -  a  terrorist trainee turned CIA informant?

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you again Frontline for reporting the truth.

Americans use the term "hero" very loosely nowadays. I would like to applaude this young man for truly being heroic. He challenged the status quo, greatly suffered to try and do the right thing, and was courageous in his efforts to tell the truth. I beleive that is heroism. If only everyone would have the courage to challege systems that perputuate oppression... what difference we could make.

J Sneva

Dear FRONTLINE,

Dear FRONTLINE:

After viewing your program, "Son of Al Queda", the story of Abdulrahman, I am concerned about the wellbeing of the young man. It strikes me that this young man has learned that,

"NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED".

Our CIA had an obligation to him due to his sacrifice. I suspect that the young man has a good moral sense, and admire that he was able to resist the socialization of terrorism.

I hope that he is well.


David Gillie
Indianapolis, Indiana

David Gillie
Indianapolis, Indiana

Dear FRONTLINE,

Here is the realpolitik view of Mr. Khadr's sage. The CIA's mishandling of this very precious asset amounts to gross incompetence - the laughing stock of the world's intelligence agencies. Once you have misused and overutilized an asset such as Mr. Khadr, you certainly don't leave him on the steps of the Canadian Embassy to educate the world on your crude incompetence. It is unbelievable he is even alive to tell this astonishing story.

His decision to alert the Canadian media was serendipitous or simply sheer brilliance. Still, how much time do you think Mr. Khadr has left on this earth? It is not unreasonable to expect an humiliated CIA to send a detailed map to radical islamists on where to find Mr. Khadr. Both will want to dispatch this individual who will now have difficulty finding trusting friends anywhere in the world.

If this is a typical example of the Bush administration's war on terrorism, it is safe to assume the United States will lose.

Alice Moyer
Boston, Massachussetts

Dear FRONTLINE,

This young man is the perfect example that even when you instill hatred into a child, if the heart doesn't have hatred, the child shall not hate. His journey has been one of strength. I hope his heart never changes, because sometimes the price to be true to oneself is quite expensive.

If being disowned from the family and excomunicated from ones church is the price to be paid, then so be it. Someone once wrote a saying I never forget. "Sometimes a martyr at the stake has more joy in her heart than a queen at her throne"

So to this young man I say, just follow your heart there is nothing wrong with wanting peace and definitely there is an exquisite value in a person that doesnt follow the masses like a herd of cattle.

Betty McKenna
N Las Vegas, NV

Dear FRONTLINE,

It's a difficult situation for a clever man to walk the fine line of two worlds and succeed. Abdurahman you are successful at surviving and you are not alone in this journey. I was a teacher when the Shah of Iran was exiled and saw many Iranian students in the US go through the alienation you went through - caught between honor and reality. Most of them married American women rather than face returning to a war with Iraq fought by children on the front lines. Was it right that they married under pretense? Is it ever right to be a spy, double spy or counter spy? When all is cut off it becomes a survival issue more than a conscientious issue. You won't get the support you are looking for from outside of yourself. Make good of your life and become a teacher to those on the road to being lost; be there for others in a way no one was there for you and this will fill your life with the rewards you seek.

Susan Kelly
Sacramento, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

I just got done watching "Son of Al-Qaeda" and would like to first congratulate you on the great reporting. It is very refreshing to see true unbiased reporting of stories that affect all of us.

I am moved by this young man's journey and his refusal to join and partake in an organization that has created so much chaos and animosity in the world. We have all been affected by the violent and mysterious nature of Al-Qaeda. I am 100% sure that if young men like Abdul-Rahman are well informed about the ill thoughts that organizations like Al-Qaeda harbor towards everyone that does not think exactly like them, they will also turn against such thoughts and beliefs and will develop a much rational thinking.

No one in his right mind should pursue such violent and irrational behavior because they believe they have been persecuted. Killing or causing the death of innocent civilians should in no way be condoned or encouraged, no matter what the cause is or was.

As a Muslim, I am disgusted and appalled by the behavior of the radical few that have managed to hijack a major peaceful religion and turn it into a religion of intolerance, hate and revenge. In fact, I am not aware of any religion that promotes, condones, encourages, and or cherishes the death of innocent people.

As a proud Muslim American, I am constantly baffled by the action of the devious few, and at the same time equally baffled by the fact that so many people in the West in general and in the US in particular have taken the deeds of Al-Qaeda and company as “the” normal behavior of the rest of the global Muslim population. Muslims and Arabs, like any other religion or race are very peaceful people that do also have few bad elements amongst them.

Nabil Sater

Dear FRONTLINE,

I hope Mr. Khadr doesnt believe that all americans treat everyone with the smuggness and disrespect that the C.I.A. did toward him. We pay drug people on the street to inform, why in the world can't we pay an informant of this magnitude? I think it is shameful and I am embarassed because our government did this to him. I believe he was very brave in what he did. How many people would go against their own people and family to help what they believe is an enemy (That would be the U.S.)

I pray for Mr. Khadr and his family.

Peace be with you Khadr and remember that what the C.I.A. did to you does not necessarily represent the American citizens views. Many of the American citizens disagree with our government also. But we are a free nation and we have the freedom to agree or disagree with it. That is why this country is so great. We are free. Good luck in the future and thanks Frontline for bringing this story out.

shirley howard
hico, TX

Dear FRONTLINE,

I thank Allah for this good Muslim boy. He has the mind to think for himself. He knows that it is wrong to kill other humans, no matter what religion they practice. As a Muslim myself, I am truly proud of this man. He tried to do the right thing. What has this really got him? I believe that Allah will reward you for your good deads on the day of judgement, and look favorably upon you. Inshalla.
Assalam Alikum Brother

Pamela Alnounou
North Baltimore, Ohio

Dear FRONTLINE,


Abdurahman Kadr has demonstrated how people with a good survival instinct can make it through wars. It's easy, switch sides when your side is losing and tell people what they want to hear. It works every time.
As to the mother, sister and younger crippled brother, they have showed why Canadians are known as "Universal Suckers". After spewing on western values and ranting about how the murder of innocents in embassy bombings and 9/11 were such great acts, they hurried back to Canada to collect their welfare cheques and get the crippled terrorist son free health care while I can't even get a family doctor.
They should have been turned back and shipped collect to ben Laden. He is rich, he should take care of his disciples.

Marcellin Bougie
Hawkesbury, Ontario

Dear FRONTLINE,

If what the young man was saying was true and I guess you can never come to a fair judgement without hearing both sides of the story. But if it is true, and I suspect that it probably is, then the CIA should be ashamed of itself. Its no wonder we have the inteligence failures we have with the way they have treated this young man and probably many more.

If you make a deal with someone stick to it for Gods sake. You
make fools of all of us Americans. I for one am truly embarassed. Also If someone would want to set up a fund (verifiable) for this young man to pay him for what he is due, I would be willing to pitch in. I don't believe all muslims are terrorists but I do believe most terrorist are Muslim. Why they hate us? I haven't heard a good reason yet.

Richard Berg

Dear FRONTLINE,

Just shows that young men all over the world are being used by both religious zealots and government bureaucrats.

alfred robinson
houma, la

Dear FRONTLINE,

When I first saw a part of this documentary on the CBC last year I was mad as hell for hours afterward. How could these people come to my country, Canada, accept all that we offer new immigrants, and then join Al Qaeda?

Tonight, as I watched the whole show, I was astonished to see that this young man's story is coherent, truthful, and extraordinary. He is obviously an intelligent and decent human being. How could I have missed this the first time?

John Downing
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear FRONTLINE,

As I watched this wonderfully done documentary, I was amazed. Despite how he was raised by his family, despite the culture he grew up in, despite all he had experienced and seen, Abdurahman seems like a man I as an American can identify with. He seems just like a "normal guy", with normal desires, morals, and ethics that to me just make common sense. I say this in contrast to some of the members of his family, particularly his father, whose desires, morals, and ethics felt alien to me.

I'd like to express my gratitude to Abdurahman for his bravery. He did not have to do most of what he did, least of all for my country. I think he has a good understanding of reality. This was shown when he said that he told the CIA that the money they offered meant little to him, because if he died doing his work for them, the money wouldn't mean anything.

I feel bad about the CIA not paying Abdurahman his salary. I feel that he deserved every cent, and more, for the access and information that he could uniquely provide, and his selfless service to a country he doesn't even call home. I

Here's one American saying thanks to Abdurahman Khadr. I wish you a good life. You deserve it.

Mark Miller
Boulder, CO.

Dear FRONTLINE,


As a Canadian I am ashamed of my government. Abdurahman
mother and brother should never be allowed back into this
country of tolerance. Not only do they not believe in this
country and our ways of life, but only come back here to get
medical assistance for the son that was paralyzed fighting as
a terrorist. I even wonder if they have payed any taxes to this
country when they lived abroad. His Mother was responsible
for teaching of the sons as was the father. The father died
fighting as a terrorist and now his wife believes he was a
great man, a marter no less. Who eles is she brain washing
with her ideas of HATE!

I call upon the Canadian goverment to look into this travesty
and remove this woman and her paralyzed son from our
Country.


Don't worry Abdurahman if the muslimcommunity rejects
you, for it is ther loss not yours. In my house you would
always be welcome. Live stong Abdurahman, Live free


John Haley
Banff, Alberta

Dear FRONTLINE,

The Justices of the Supreme Court should view Son of Al Qaeda before they decide on what to do with the Guantanamo prisoners.

Louis Althaus

Dear FRONTLINE,

You know, my emotions have been all over the place since watching this program, and now reading the response.

The kid seems to have been sincere, but obviously used, and confused and easily manipulate by the forces around him. Whether it was Osama bin Laden, his father, the Northern ALliamce, the folks at the camps, and finally the CIA, probably the biggest manipulators of all time. It is also a tale of missed opportunities, especially for the American CIAS operatives that were supposedly "handling" him. He was smart, and willing, and I gather could speak multiple languages, and wanted to learn and serve. Someone. He was aching for a cause, and for respect, and for creature comforts none of us would surely not understand. It was interesting to me how the news of 9/11 filtered through his consciousness, first it was like a movie to him, not real. Then he saw the person jump out the window and was confused by what he saw. He said "what was going through his mind?"


To me, he was never really given the opportunity he so longed for, to be someone important, to be part of a cause. To be involved seriously in a cause he could belive in. The Afghan, Muslim, Islamic way started to not seem right to him. He had problems with the killings in Africa as well as the killing in America. Then the Americans, could they have handled this any worse? Why not put in the time and energy to groom someone like him? We've heard through the hearing how the intelligence failed us, how it continues to fail us. How we lack young bi-lingual agents that can cross into the muslim world. How hard it is to find someone like this. So waht did they do when they had one? Mistreated him, and then used him up, and dumped him without pay. He lost the love of his family, his people. This is a sad, sad story. I hope to God he is safe.

Loretta Jacobs
Greenbrae, CA

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posted april 22, 2004

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