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FRONTLINE; Fighting For Bin Laden


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Fighting For Bin Laden
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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

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Fighting For Bin Laden In the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden, FRONTLINE presents two inside views of the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban. First, Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi -- who reported last year’s award-winning FRONTLINE film "Behind Taliban Lines" -- once again journeys deep inside enemy territory. This time, he gains extraordinary access to a band of militants and foreign fighters in Afghanistan who say they’re loyal to bin Laden and are readying a Spring offensive against the U.S.

Their leader is a man who only wanted to be known as Khan, an Afghan of Arab descent whose connections to Al Qaeda go far back; Khan had fought against the Russians with Osama bin Laden. Are these local bands of militants Al Qaeda's future?

A Clover Films production for WGBH/FRONTLINE

The Secret War Then, FRONTLINE crosses the border into Pakistan, where correspondents Stephen Grey and Martin Smith go inside “The Secret War” against the militants. They uncover new details of a CIA “private army” of militiamen launching kill raids against al Qaeda and the Taliban inside Pakistan. They also find new evidence of covert support for elements of the Taliban by the Pakistani military and its intelligence service, the ISI. At a safe house not far from where bin Laden was killed, they make contact with one mid-level Taliban commander who tells FRONTLINE, “If they really wanted to, [the Pakistanis] could arrest us all in an hour.”

FRONTLINE screened this story for several al Qaeda experts, including Peter Bergen, national security analyst for CNN and author of The Longest War about al Qaeda. Last week, before bin Laden was killed, Martin Smith sat down with him to explore what Najibullah Quraishi reported during his encounter with Khan's fighters in Afghanistan.

A FRONTLINE production with Mongoose Pictures/Quicksilver Media in association with CH 4.

Al Qaeda's New Challenge: An Interview with Steve Coll Following The Secret War, FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith sits down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Bin Laden biographer Steve Coll to discuss how the death of Osama bin Laden will play out in the fight against Al Qaeda, and where Pakistan stands in the fight.



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Broadcast program

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Public Affairs
Chicago: “FRONTLINE; Fighting For Bin Laden,” 05/03/2011, GBH Archives, accessed June 17, 2024,
MLA: “FRONTLINE; Fighting For Bin Laden.” 05/03/2011. GBH Archives. Web. June 17, 2024. <>.
APA: FRONTLINE; Fighting For Bin Laden. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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