Iraq / War on Terror


54:16Inside Assad's SyriaOct. 27, 2015
54:11Escaping ISISJul. 14, 2015
1:24:10Losing IraqJul. 29, 2014
1:54:11United States of SecretsMay. 13, 2014
30:00Al Qaeda In YemenMay. 29, 2012
53:41The Anthrax FilesOct. 11, 2011


America, Iraq and the Legacy of Ahmad Chalabi

Ahmad Chalabi helped lead the U.S. into war in Iraq, but if he ever had regrets about his role in the invasion, and the years of violence it unleashed, “he never voiced them to me,” writes FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith.

Remembering 9/11: Three Docs to Watch

As America marks the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, revisit a selection of FRONTLINE’s reporting on the horror of that day.

Is Abadi’s “Good Faith” Enough to Reform Iraq?

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi came into office during a time of crisis. Nearly one year later, he faces the difficult challenge of trying to reform Iraq’s political system while continuing the fight against ISIS.

What an Estimate of 10,000 ISIS Fighters Killed Doesn’t Tell Us

A senior U.S. official said this week that airstrikes have killed 10,000 ISIS fighters. So why does the group continue to expand its territory?

“Life in Baghdad”: Finding Moments of Joy Amid the Chaos of War

A new short film is a surprising glimpse into the everyday lives of ordinary young Iraqis.

Coming in March on FRONTLINE

FRONTLINE investigates two heated battles in March: the fight against ISIS, and the resurgent vaccine debate.

Have Airstrikes Really Killed Half of ISIS’ Top Commanders?

The U.S. announced that the coalition’s military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria had cost the group 50 percent of its top commanders and 6,000 fighters.

How the CIA Outsourced Torture

Ali Soufan, a former top FBI interrogator, says torture must be permanently stopped.

Voices from the “Dark Side”: The CIA Torture Debate

A Senate investigation has prompted new debate on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation” in the aftermath of 9/11. So what did key players who helped shape the policy think at the time?

The CIA Torture Report: What You Need To Know

The CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation practices was worse and more widespread than the CIA admitted, according to a Senate investigation. Also: it didn’t work.

Should the U.S. Meet Terrorists’ Demands for Hostages?

An Al Qaeda group’s threat to kill journalist Luke Somers raises the debate over whether to meet terrorists’ demands if it may set hostages free.

Dempsey Considering Placing U.S. Troops Alongside Iraqi Forces

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs told a congressional committee that Iraqi forces may need closer help in response to a question prompted by FRONTLINE’s “The Rise of Isis.”

Why ISIS Isn’t Affecting Gas Prices

This summer, after ISIS attacked Iraq’s largest oil field, experts predicted high prices at the pump. What happened?

What a Pledge of Allegiance to ISIS Means

ISIS has sought such pledges to bolster its reputation as the world’s leading jihadist group, according to global terror experts.

How ISIS Uses Sexual Predators’ Techniques to Lure Western Women (Podcast)

A panel including FRONTLINE’s Martin Smith explains how ISIS thrives through killings, kidnappings and coercion.

White House Official Defends Administration’s ISIS Response

The day after FRONTLINE’s “The Rise of ISIS” aired, a White House official defended the Obama administration against criticism that it was slow to respond to warnings about the terrorist group.

What Happens When Arming the Rebels Goes Wrong?

Despite growing calls for deeper U.S. involvement in the arming and training of Syrian rebel forces fighting ISIS, an internal CIA analysis suggests such efforts do not always go as advertised.

Losing Iraq

How Saddam’s Former Soldiers Are Fueling the Rise of ISIS

As the radical jihadist group marches through Iraq, it is quietly utilizing a network of former members of Sadaam Hussein’s army to help militarize its fighting force.

In Their Own Words: Sunnis on Their Treatment in Maliki’s Iraq

They describe the many grievances of Iraq’s Sunni population, which they say led to the resurrection of the Sunni insurgency — once again providing a safe haven for extremists.

Slideshow: Life Under the Rule of ISIS

One of the few windows into the Islamic State comes from photographs produced by the group itself.

Who Runs the Islamic State?

From the bodyguard to the media spokesman, meet the new caliph’s top men.

An ISIS Jailbreak at Abu Ghraib: “Hell Is Coming”

A July 2013 ISIS attack on Abu Ghraib freed more than 500 prisoners — and came at a crucial time.

Can Haider al-Abadi Bridge Iraq’s Sectarian Divide?

Not without reining in the Shia militias operating on the ground, according to experts who spoke to FRONTLINE.

Press Release | FRONTLINE Announces Major Investigation of How and Why ISIS Rose to Power

On October 28, FRONTLINE presents “The Rise of ISIS” — a major, in-depth investigation of the brutal terrorist group’s ascent, from veteran producer and journalist Martin Smith.

Number of U.S. Air Strikes in Iraq Already Exceeds Those in Yemen, Somalia

The president pointed to the U.S. air campaigns in Yemen and Somalia as successful implementations of his planned strategy against ISIS.

Back from Iraq: 10 Questions with Martin Smith

The FRONTLINE producer was on the ground in Iraq as the US began airstrikes against ISIS. He’s safely out now — and he’s answering your questions about what he saw.


Oct. 10, 2006

The Enemy Within

(60 minutes) Is the real terrorist threat to America home grown plots? Investigating one case study of how the U.S. responded. (Web site »)
Jun. 21, 2005

Private Warriors

(60 minutes) The dramatic story of private contractors who are playing an increasingly critical role in the war effort. (Web site »)
Jan. 25, 2005

Al Qaeda's New Front

(60 minutes) With Europe now targeted, what are the new realities in the battle against Islamic terrorism? (Web site »)
Sep. 7, 2004

Sacred Ground

(60 minutes) Within days of the September 11 attacks, the questions began: What should be built on the site of Ground Zero? Who should build it? And should anything be built there at all? FRONTLINE tells the inside story of the first stormy year in the plans to rebuild on the site of the World Trade Center. With exclusive access to architect Daniel Libeskind, the one-hour documentary follows the process to build Libeskind's proposed Freedom Tower and reveals how the desire to build the world's most meaningful architectural tribute descended into a billion-dollar battle for the soul of Ground Zero. (Web site »)
Apr. 22, 2004

Son of Al Qaeda

(60 minutes) The remarkable story of a young Canadian who grew up with bin Laden's children, but ended up becoming a CIA informant. (Web site »)
Feb. 26, 2004

The Invasion of Iraq

(120 minutes) FRONTLINE marks the first anniversary of the Iraqi War with a two-hour documentary investigation that recounts the key strategies, battles, and turning points of the war from both sides of the battlefield. Through firsthand accounts from many of the war's key participants--from strategists in Washington to the soldiers who actually fought the battles--"The Invasion of Iraq" promises to be a definitive television history of America's most recent war. (Web site »)
Feb. 12, 2004

Beyond Baghdad

(60 minutes) A five-week journey across Iraq looking at what it will take to stabilize the volatile nation and bring democracy. (Web site »)
Jan. 22, 2004

Chasing Saddam's Weapons

(60 minutes) With the credibility of President Bush and Prime Minister Blair at stake, BBC reporter Jane Corbin takes viewers inside the high-stakes search for Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction. Through exclusive access to top-secret locations and key U.S. officials leading the hunt, including David Kay, FRONTLINE reveals new details about what the search has uncovered and questions whether the investigation's final results will justify the White House's call for war. (Web site »)
Oct. 16, 2003

Chasing the Sleeper Cell

(60 minutes) They met bin Laden, trained in his camps. But were these six U.S. citizens an Al Qaeda terrorist cell ready to strike? (Web site »)
Apr. 3, 2003

Blair's War

(60 minutes) For the past few months, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been fighting the biggest political battle of his career. Caught in the center of a high stakes political storm, he tried to personally bridge the gap between the United States and its European allies -- particularly France and Germany -- over the impending war in Iraq. FRONTLINE examines the roots of the discord within the Western alliance, the perilous role Blair has played, and the stakes for him and the West should this old alliance fall apart. (Web site »)
Mar. 17, 2003

The Long Road to War: A FRONTLINE Special Report

(120 minutes) America appears to be within days of attacking Iraq. Many observers believe President Bush may soon signal to weapons inspectors, diplomats and members of the press that Iraq will come under fire and they should leave the country. Once again, the U.S finds itself about to battle Iraq, although this time it will likely not be part of a grand coalition. How did the nation come to the brink of war of another war with Saddam Hussein? In a two-hour special "The Long Road to War," FRONTLINE draws on its extensive archives of more than 12 years of reporting on Iraq to tell the history of the U.S. confrontation with Saddam. The special will examine how the West armed Iraq, the mind and methods of Saddam Hussein, the origins of the first Gulf War and its ragged end, the frustrating effort to disarm Iraq through U.N. inspections, how Saddam survived efforts to undermine his power, and the long-standing effort by Washington hawks to remove him. (Web site »)
Nov. 21, 2002

In Search of Al Qaeda

(60 minutes) FRONTLINE's 10,000 mile journey that conveys just what the U.S. is up against. (Web site »)
May. 9, 2002


(120 minutes) The events of Sept. 11 left many Americans questioning how such atrocities could be perpetrated in the name of religion: specifically, the religion of Islam. Few Americans know much about Islam, yet it continues to be the fastest growing religion in the US today. What is Islam? What do Muslims believe in? And how does their faith shape their lives, identities and their political ideologies? FRONTLINE explores these and other questions in "Muslims," a special two-hour report that examines the fundamental tenets of Islam and the causes behind its current worldwide resurgence.Through interviews with dozens of ordinary Muslims from such diverse countries as Iran, Malaysia, Turkey, and the U.S., FRONTLINE illuminates the perspectives, conflicts, and tensions that are shaping today's Muslim world. (Web site »)
May. 2, 2002

Terror and Tehran

(60 minutes) FRONTLINE investigates the terror threat from Iran and the challenges facing U.S. policymakers. President Bush has declared Iran part of an 'axis of evil.' But will U.S. actions against Iran help or hinder Iranian moderates' struggle to reform the hard-line government of Iran? (Web site »)
Jan. 17, 2002

Inside the Terror Network

(60 minutes) The hijackers of September 11 led such outwardly ordinary lives that they moved through Europe and America virtually unnoticed. They plotted in broad daylight, weaving a web of terror from the simple routines of modern life. American flight schools taught them to fly, local banks helped them move money, libraries provided computers, and the Department of Motor Vehicles supplied essential IDs. Everywhere they went they blended in unnoticed and unsuspected. FRONTLINE traces the hijackers' movements across four continents, following clues they left behind to unearth the stories of the individuals inside Osama bin Laden's terror network. (Web site »)
Nov. 15, 2001

Saudi Time Bomb?

(60 minutes) President Bush says that if the nations of the world are not with us in the war on terrorism then theyre with the terrorists. But what about the United States' supposed ally Saudi Arabia? After September 11th many Saudi citizens reportedly applauded native son Osama bin Laden as a hero. Then the monarchy hesitated to renounce the Taliban and they are still reluctant to allow U.S. warplanes to fly from their bases. Why have Saudi and other Gulf charities sent money to support Islamic fundamentalist schools that are encouraging jihad? And are the Saudis dragging their feet when it comes to assisting U.S. law enforcement agencies that are tracking down terrorists? Whose side are the Saudis on? FRONTLINE and The New York Times explore the fragile alliance with this ultra conservative fundamentalist kingdom upon which the U.S. depends for fifteen percent of the countrys oil needs. (Web site »)
Nov. 8, 2001

Gunning for Saddam

(60 minutes) As Americans are confronted by acts of bioterrorism, powerful forces in the nations capitol believe Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is to blame, for this and many other terrorist acts during the last decade. Many are lobbying to mobilize a military operation to oust Hussein when the next phase of the war on terrorism kicks in. Proponents of the plan, including former Clinton administration CIA director James Woolsey, contend Saddam Hussein was involved in the first World Trade Center bombing, the attempted assassination of President George H.W. Bush in 1993, and the ongoing state sponsorship of terrorist activities. Foes of this plan argue that attacking Saddam will destabilize other nations in the region, most prominently Saudi Arabia, and no doubt destroy the carefully crafted coalition presently hunting for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. FRONTLINE investigates Americas other enemy, Saddam Hussein. (Web site »)
Oct. 9, 2001

Looking For Answers

(60 minutes) The attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was not only the most devastating terrorist attack in history, it was also the biggest failure of U.S. intelligence since Pearl Harbor. FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman and The New York Times investigate why the CIA and FBI failed to uncover the hijackers dramatic plot to strike at the heart of the U.S. government and its economy. The film also examines the U.S. failure to understand fully the hatred for America among Muslim fundamentalists, and its roots in the U.S. government's support for Israel and for authoritarian regimes in the oil-rich Middle East. A FRONTLINE co-production with The New York Times, this special episode is anchored by Bill Moyers. (Web site »)
Oct. 4, 2001

Target America

(60 minutes) Last month, the nation's top leaders gathered to decide the U.S response to the September 11 terrorist attack. Some of the same individuals were in Washington, DC, twenty-two years ago when the United States suffered its first humiliation at the hands of Islamic militants. U.S. embassy employees were taken hostage and held captive before the world. Over the decades, incident followed incident - the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the killing of American soldiers in a Berlin nightclub, the downing of Pan Am 103, and the first attack on the World Trade Center. In "Target America," FRONTLINE uncovers a long-standing division within the nation's security apparatus about how to deal with an enemy that has been targeting America and Americans for decades. (Web site »)
Sep. 13, 2001

Hunting Bin Laden

(60 minutes) Osama bin Laden is charged with masterminding the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, believed to have had a role in the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden, and now is a prime suspect in the Sept. 11, 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center and the bombing of the Pentagon. This report features reporting by a Pulitzer-Prize nominated team of New York Times reporters and FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman.<br><br>Tracing the trail of evidence linking bin Laden to terrorist attacks, this updated report includes interviews with Times reporters Judith Miller and James Risen and former CIA official Larry Johnson. They discuss the terrorist attacks which are linked, or are likely linked, to bin Laden's complex network of terrorists, outline the elements of his international organization and details of its alliances and tactics, and address the challenges confronting U.S. intelligence in trying to crack it. (Web site »)
Jan. 25, 2000

The Survival of Saddam

(60 minutes) When the Gulf War ended, the United States government believed the Iraqis would quickly overthrow Saddam Hussein. But nine years later, he still rules Iraq. FRONTLINE investigates Saddam's ruthless rise to power and how he has maintained his grip despite pressure from economic sanctions, no-fly zones, UN weapons inspectors, and military attacks from the Iraqi opposition. (Web site »)
Apr. 27, 1999

Spying on Saddam

(60 minutes) In the wake of Desert Fox, the U.S. assault on Iraq last December,UNSCOM--the special UN commission created to find and destroy Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction--has disintegrated amid charges it was really a spy agency. Scott Ritter, former U.S. Marine and UNSCOM inspector, claims U.S. Intelligence destroyed UNSCOM's credibility when American spies penetrated and compromised the UN arms inspection teams. FRONTLINE investigates Ritter's charges and asks, who really killed UNSCOM? (Web site »)
Apr. 13, 1999

Hunting Bin Laden

(60 minutes) Investigating Osama bin Laden, his network, and his role in terrorist attacks on America. (Web site »)
Jan. 9, 1996

The Gulf War

(120 minutes) Marking the fifth anniversary of the war with Iraq, FRONTLINE investigates what really happened during the invasion of Kuwait, the months of diplomatic maneuvering, the air war and ground assault, and the post-war rebellion inside Iraq. The two-hour episodes are built around dozens of interviews with key political and military leaders in the U.S., its allies, and Iraq, as well as soldiers on both sides of the front line. Interviews include General Norman Schwarzkopf, General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State James Baker, former Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, Britain's Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Jordan's King Hussein, and Israeli Premier Yitzahk Shamir. (Web site »)


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