From a quiet and introspective son of a billionaire to global terrorist mastermind, this series charts the story of Osama Bin Laden’s transformation, narrated by those who witnessed the journey he made. The final episode begins in 1997 with Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda ramping up operations in Afghanistan. Bin Laden grants rare interviews to US TV networks from his mountain base to communicate his threats straight into US homes. In 1998, he issues his infamous fatwa calling for ‘the murder of any American, anywhere on Earth’. Bomb attacks on US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya follow months later, prompting a US missile attack on Bin Laden’s training camp. He’s placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted. This fails to deter him. In 2000, with intelligence agencies aware that ‘something is coming’, Al-Qaeda operatives attacks a US warship, killing 17. By 2001, it’s been five years since a plan to attack New York’s Twin Towers was first discussed. On 9/11 itself, the only Afghan TV station allowed by the Taliban broadcast the attack on New York. As the US War on Terror is launched, Bin Laden retreats to the Tora Bora mountains, and onwards in 2005 to a large house in Abbotbad in Pakistan, with his family. He evades attention until intelligence leads to a US Navy Seal operation in 2011, in which he is shot dead.
Wednesday 00.05 on Channel 4