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hunting bin laden
osama bin laden
who is bin laden
trail of evidence
two terrorists
[Editor's Note: This report and companion Web site was first broadcast and published in April of 1999 and updated and rebroadcast two days after Al Qaeda's terror attacks on 9/11. This site reflects the original reporting published in 1999 on Bin Laden as well as a few updates and new interviews that were conducted in the hours after 9/11.]

The United States has determined that Osama bin Laden is the orchestrator of the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden, and finally, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center which killed over 3000 people. In FRONTLINE's "Hunting bin Laden," a Pulitzer Prize-nominated team of New York Times reporters and FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman investigates the man who has declared holy war on the U.S. -- a wealthy Saudi Arabian exile believed to be hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan with a $5 million bounty on his head.

Who is bin Laden? This newly updated report and companion Web site offer background and insight into his life and motives, from his formative experience in the Afghan jihad against the Soviets, to his scathing criticism of the Saudi royal family and his campaign to drive American "infidel" troops out of Saudi Arabia, to his statements and fatwahs calling for the murder of Americans.

In tracing the trail of evidence linking bin Laden to terrorist attacks, this report includes interviews with New York Times reporters Judith Miller and James Risen, and a new interview with former CIA official Larry Johnson. They discuss the attacks which are suspected to be tied to bin Laden's complex terrorism network, outline the elements of his international organization (with new details of its alliances and its tactics), and explain the challenges confronting U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism efforts.

This report also raises tough questions about the evidence used to justify Washington's retaliatory missile strikes in Sudan against bin Laden following the U.S. embassy bombings in 1998. Drawing on interviews and official documents, "Hunting bin Laden" shows how U.S. officials have backed away from their original statements that the targeted Sudanese factory was linked to chemical weapons production.

update posted Nov. 2002

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