looking for answershomesaudi arabiaegyptintelligence failurediscussion
press reaction

The New York Times - Samuel G. Freedman

"...[T]he hourlong documentary clearly and disturbingly traces the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon back more than 70 years to the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Rather than emphasizing the causes that Mr. bin Laden has offered for his jihad -- American support of Israel, sanctions against Iraq and a military presence in Saudi Arabia -- the documentary argues persuasively that the terror network has arisen largely in reaction to alleged corruption and oppression by Arab governments themselves.

This conclusion hardly amounts to a dismissal of Mr. bin Laden's prominence. The documentary -- produced by Martin Smith, Lowell Bergman, Michael Sullivan and Eamon O'Connor, with Mr. Bergman serving as the on-screen correspondent -- depicts Mr. bin Laden's Qaeda organization as the most recent and aggressive strain of a decades-old phenomenon in the Arab Muslim world..."

Daily News - Erik Mink

"Sunday afternoon - on a propaganda video previously prepared for distribution and released just after the start of U.S. attacks in Afghanistan - terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden lashed out at the United States and praised the Sept. 11 strike that killed thousands of Americans in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Flanking him were two of his closest associates in the Al Qaeda network: Ayman al Zawahiri and Abdulaziz Abu Sitta, also known as Mohammed Atef...

...[A] special Frontline documentary titled 'Looking for Answers' details the connections among the three men in that calculated and defiant video and the events and forces that shaped their thinking.

It also looks at the policies of governments, particularly in the Middle East, that allowed their movement to attract followers and carry out brutal terror attacks..."

Los Angeles Times - Lee Margulies

"...Frontline's report, titled 'Looking for Answers,' is interesting and well reported...

...Through historical news footage and interviews, Frontline shows how the militant Islamic movement was born out of discontent with economic and political conditions in the Middle East, then grew to encompass the United States because of its support for Israel and its financial aid to governments in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere that the militants considered corrupt.

The Frontline production team does a good job of showing that these grievances are real and heartfelt. They may be held by only a minority of the Muslim world--as several U. S., Egyptian and Saudi officials argue here--but the anger exists and can be exploited by Osama bin Laden and others to marshal action against the United States. Sadly, it reaffirms that this is going to be a long battle."


home +  introduction +  saudi arabia +  egypt +  intelligence failure +  islamic terrorism
reporting from the ny times +  interviews +  video +  discussion
tapes & transcripts +  press +  credits
frontline privacy policy +  FRONTLINE +  pbs online +  wgbh

photo copyright © afp/corbis
web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

NEXT ON FRONTLINE

Omarina's StoryJuly 15th

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS