son of al qaeda
press reaction

Chicago Tribune · Steve Johnson

"It's hard not to be impressed, even a little awestruck, by the roll that 'Frontline' is on this year.

"The PBS single-topic newsmagazine, produced by WGBH in Boston, has been turning out one gripping piece after another, notable for apt and timely subject choices and for the first-rate execution of those good ideas. …

"'Son of Al Qaeda' retells the story of Abdurahman Khadr, first presented on Canadian TV, and along the way seems to illuminate some of the ways in which the U.S. government is trying to fight this elusive and often hidden enemy. It also provides insight into the enemy, in the persons of Khadr's mother and siblings, who remain ardent believers in the Al Qaeda cause. …

"Canadian Broadcasting Corp. correspondent Terence McKenna, who conducted the interviews with Abdurahman, is a careful questioner, and this CBC production is appropriately skeptical of the man's claims. But in all the key ways -- short of the confirmation the CIA won't give -- they seem to hold water and, along the way, to teach viewers a little more about the enemy and the battle plan against him."

Toronto Globe & Mail · John Doyle

"Frontline: Son of al-Qaeda is, in essence, the CBC report done by Terence McKenna about Abdurahman Khadr and his journey to membership in Osama bin Laden's terrorist group.

"It's extremely well done -- this tale of a young man who, he claims, ultimately became an informant for the United States. It offers some illumination into the mindset of young men who follow bin Laden. …

"Now that the Khadr family is back in Canada and their presence here is itself controversial, this is a very timely PBS airing of the CBC's original report."

The Star-Ledger · Matt Zoller Seitz

"… Abdurahman is a Canadian of Egyptian descent and trained guerilla fighter who became a CIA informant. He tells 'Frontline' that on three occasions, his dad sat him down with Al Qaeda operatives who were trying to recruit suicide bombers. This admission is one of many amazing moments in a documentary that describes the inner workings of Al Qaeda with a level of detail rarely heard on American TV. …"

The Hartford Courant · Roger Catlin

"It's natural for kids to rebel against their parents.

"For Canadian-born Abdurahman Khadr that meant growing away from his father's connection with al-Qaida. The interview with the 21-year-old conducted by Terence McKenna of the CBC that appears on 'Frontline' provides a rare look inside a family intimately connected to Osama bin Laden. …"


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posted april 22, 2004

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