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,


I just want to tell you ABDULRAHMAN, if you are rejected by your family,and feel lonely, dont regret doing what you done , it is for your best.I am sure you will have your own circle of friends, and your own family oneday..Good Luck! I wish I could help in anyway!

Oud Rannan
washington dc , washington dc

Dear FRONTLINE,

Abdurahman's story was inspirational.

I understand why, but find it hard to believe that his family would be anything other than extremely proud to have brought into this world such an inovational thinker and beautiful human being. He is a true leader who has already started to bring unity to these two, (not so different)worlds through his honest and courageous heart. I wish him endless fortune in all the area of his life to come.

Dawn Hanna
Los Angeles, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,


I have no sympathy for Abdurahman. It took being caught by our allies in Afghanistan for him to decide he did not want to be a Jihad warrior.

I see it as having been a way for him to save his own skin rather than as a renounciation of the sick values instilled upon him by his hateful family. So the CIA didn't pay him for his services. They shouldn't have had to, had this young man had any loyalties to his country he would have volunteered out of a sense of duty.

Alana Porter
Ottawa, ON

Dear FRONTLINE,

After hearing of the shabby treatment afforded to Mr. Khadr by the CIA; i.e., non-payment for services rendered after Khadr decided to end his relationship with the CIA ia abominable! Mr. Khadr risked his life and sacrificed his family's opinion of himself by his agreeing to become a CIA informant. For the CIA to go back on their agreement to pay him for the long suffering months that the CIA subjected him to in their attempts to legitimize his status as a prisoner being held at Guantanamo Bay is reprehensable. Is this the policy of the CIA when pressuring informants to "play ball" with them?

Mr. Khadr also pointed out the error that the U.S. made by paying bounties on the turning in of purported members of Al Qaeda when he said that only about 10% of the prisoners currently being held at Guantanamo Bay were hard core Al Qaeda members that could be considered dangerous. I hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will have the courage to end the confinement of these prisoners being held incognito and incommunicado at this prison, which can only be compared to being a 21st century version of a Nazi Gestappo camp. Obviously these prisoners are facing torture from their captors and if they should ever be classified as being prisoners of war, President Bush would be culpable of being prosecuted for their ill-treatment!

Robert Payne
San Diego, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Hi,(I liked what Rehan Farooq of Knoxville, TN wrote).

I was surprised and impressed with Abdurahman; also am saddened for him in many ways! I give credit for all he's done; I pray for him, that he will be truly Blessed by God! He is nice looking man, and very interesting as well. I thank PBS for bringing us that story! Thank You and God Bless,

Carmen Betts
Summerfield, FL

Dear FRONTLINE,

Very few of us are cut out to be 'saints,' no matter how your religion defines sanctity. Bin Laden asks everything, supposedly in return for the greatest reward possible. But you can't see it or taste it, until you get there.

After seeing something outside the cult, this young man decided that less is more. It was the modesty of his aspiration that saved him and who knows how many others he may have killed as a suicide bomber. After capture, he admits that it was easier to cooperate than not, until what his captors asked of him was, again, too much. He is not made of the stuff that requires ultimate sacrifice in the name of something grand and invisible. In that he is more like the rest of us. He didn't make his father proud, and he didn't make his captors proud. He opted for survival rather than martyrdom. He chose this world rather than the next. He was unwilling to be used for an 'ultimate' purpose by either side or its demanding, implacable God.


Francis McCarthy
El Dorado Hills, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

First of all, a salute to Mr. Khadr for thinking for himself and having the intuition that led him away from a life of terrorism. I sincerely hope that he will be able to be further educated academically as education/understanding may be his only way out of guilt and depression.

After watching Mr.Khadr's story last night I was disturbed by the lack of follow-through that the CIA showed this man. He put his life on the line by going to Cuba and Bosnia. He was not treated with the importance and honor needed for him to act as a valuable asset to intelligence. Finally, at the end of his work with the CIA, he was not paid. How can we, as Americans, expect to engender peace when our agencies continue to act in wrongful ways that only breed more hatred and distrust?

SUSAN SCHMITZ
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Dear FRONTLINE,

This was such a fascinating life story that I had to go for the first time on your website to find out more.

This young man may not have known that he was courageous. Raised between two cultures, he exercised his free agency several times, fully aware of the personal consequences. "To thy own self, be true."
If promised pay was earned, pay should be paid.
If his war-injured young brother has now access to medical care in the Americas, that is good. Let us unite, not divide.


This story emphasizes, among others, one truth: reject any leader (be he self-appointed or publicly elected) who claims that "his Father" (whether called Allah or God) has given him the right to go to war. There germinates fanatism.

Gaele Favro
Vernon, CT

Dear FRONTLINE,

Mr. McKenna produced an outstanding and riveting hour of television. Well done!

Random thoughts: As an American, I was thrilled to learn about how our CIA is operating. First, they're seeking and paying for good information, from inside sources like the courageous Khadr kid.

I'm really pleased to read some of the Canadian comments in this forum. Sounds like a majority of you understand the threat we--the entire west--face from radical Islam. I'm not well informed on the controversy of the Khadrs re-entering Canada, but I intend to read up via the links provided here.

About the mom and sister: Lord, it was unsettling to see these covered women with western speech and mannerisms spew forth their primitive, violent, oppressive mindset. I do hope no one missed how Muslims in Canada have ostracized the poor kid for his tremendous honesty and morality. Speaks volumes about the Religion of Peace™, no?

I wish Abdurahman Khadr the very best. I was deeply inspired by his courageous choice to follow his conscience despite overwhelming pressure to the contrary--even and especially from his own father. It gives me great hope that the spark of humanity and decency can survive an upbringing and journey such as his. I will pray for his safety and give thanks for his lonely acts of introspection and amazing courage. I also pray he does not become embittered, but finds a place in the modern world to make a home and a life filled with peace and meaning.

Sally Vaci

Dear FRONTLINE,

Mr. Khadr,
I am a Muslim. I am proud of you for the stance you have taken and the courage you have shown. It is obvious that from a very early age, you were different and the fact that you stood up to your father is telling of this. It takes guts to do what you did. You are a good human being and in my opinion, a true Muslim. What has happened to you since is shameful. I feel you are a true hero.

I applaud the Canadian government for assisting this man. He is an inspiration. And kudos to Frontline for telling us his story.

Rehan Farooq
Knoxville, TN

Dear FRONTLINE,

Another clear indication fo decayed condition of the C.I.A. It's a sad stae of affairs when the agency gives a crash course in espionage to young man and expects rewards that will help resolve a major international fiasco.

While I applaud his efforts and motivation(the mighty dollar), he was clearly bamboozled from the word GO.

Hector Gomez

Dear FRONTLINE,

Most Canadians are astounded that the Khadr family, in particular the mother has the extremist views she has. As for her 14 year old son now back in Toronto, it is truely frightful how this women used his young life for her own ends. Child abuse in the extreme, and it seem that the authorities are now investigating. I hope they ensure that if she is back in Canada to get its benefits, she also faces the music of justice for her crimes against her own children.

David Lundquist
Toronto, ON

Dear FRONTLINE,

This young Man is a HERO. Canadians should be proud of him.


When I was a teenager my Christian church tried to brainwash me. I was taught that people who did not share our beliefs, even if they belonged to other Christian churches, were destined for hell. I looked at some of my shoolmates, and I could not accept this belief.

I am sure that a lot of Muslims also reject this kind of belief!

Fran Frederick
Vancouver, Canada

Dear FRONTLINE,

After watching this documentary I was impressed that Mr Khadr had so much courage to stand against his teachings and even his own family. His courage I hope will be rewarded since he stood up for his convictions rather than let hatred prevail. I hope that this young man can have a chance to live his life in peace and get away from the violent lifestyle he was brought up in.

Thank you for reporting what really goes on in this "war on terror" and I hope more people like Mr. Khadr and govt. leaders can realize that there are better ways to change the world than to kill and blow things up.

Scott Messer
Shawnee, Kansas

Dear FRONTLINE,

Without direct commentary this Frontline story illustrates how extremists like the Khadrs are created. The once moderate father of the family went back to Afghanistan to help with orphanages and to ameliorate the terrible plight of the forgotten poor there. He was then lured to a political cause that saw such injustice coming from external interference - the British, Russians and Americans.

As mad as the terrorists are, it was in fact the proxy war of the USSR and US, and the subsequent neglect, which reduced Afghanistan to ruble and its people to paupers and amputees.

We decry the ugliness of extremism, but how can we expect people to remain moderate when such hell has been thrust upon them.

Moin Hussaini

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posted april 22, 2004

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