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FRONTLINE; Son of Al Qaeda


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Son of Al Qaeda
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered January 1983 Since January 1983, FRONTLINE has served as American public television's - PBS - flagship public affairs series. Hailed upon its television broadcast debut as "the last best hope for broadcast documentaries," FRONTLINE's stature over 23 years is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human experience. Series release date: 1/1983

Program Description

Growing up in the 1990s, Abdurahman Khadr's playmates were the children of his father's longtime friend, Osama bin Laden. How Khadr was raised to be an Al Qaeda terrorist -- and how he ultimately found himself working for the U.S. -- is the focus of FRONTLINE's "Son of Al Qaeda." Through interviews with Khadr as well as his mother and siblings, the documentary recounts his incredible journey from terrorist upbringing to CIA informant, offering a revealing glimpse inside the mindset of an Al Qaeda family. In "Son of Al Qaeda," Abdurahman Khadr recounts making the first of five trips to bin Laden's terrorist training camps when he was just eleven years old. But his constant rebelliousness, attempts to run away, and his refusal to become a suicide bomber would lead his father to declare him a "cancer" that threatened to "infect" the rest of the Khadr family. "Son of Al Qaeda" chronicles Khadr's growing disillusionment with Al Qaeda and its increasingly bloody terrorist operations. Following September 11, Khadr says he was picked up for questioning by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and made the decision to cooperate. The documentary then offers a detailed account of Khadr's life as a paid CIA informant, tracing his movements from Kabul to Guantanamo Bay--where he says he was placed among the prisoners in an attempt to gain information and access to Al Qaeda secrets--and finally to Bosnia, where he attempted to infiltrate Al Qaeda operations before making the decision to end his covert activities and return to Canada.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Public Affairs
Chicago: “FRONTLINE; Son of Al Qaeda,” 04/22/2004, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed March 22, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9B477E08BEFF497E824133B348816A14.
MLA: “FRONTLINE; Son of Al Qaeda.” 04/22/2004. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. March 22, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9B477E08BEFF497E824133B348816A14>.
APA: FRONTLINE; Son of Al Qaeda. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_9B477E08BEFF497E824133B348816A14
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