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INSIDE 9/11:COMMEMORATIVE EDITION - DVD Movie
Of all the documentaries that deal with the horrible events of September 11, 2001, National Geographic's two-part, 3-1/2-hour program Inside 9/11 is the only one to trace the evolution of Osama bin Laden's reign of terror from its origins in the Soviet-Afghan war of the early 1980s to 9/11 and beyond. Presented as a comprehensive timeline that culminates in the hijacking of four passenger jets including those that destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the program incorporates news footage and archival photos, computer graphics, thoroughly researched documentation, and eyewitness interviews to build an epic chronology of Islamic fundamentalism, carried out by radical sects which, in bin Laden's own words, "love death" with a religious fervor that was largely dismissed, in the early stages of terrorist assembly, by American intelligence services. The stage is set for bin Laden's well-financed orchestration of al Qaeda activities, and Inside 9/11 reaches a factual fever pitch as it focuses on the major players including 9/11 architect Khalil Shaikh Mohammed, hijacker pilots Mohamed Atta and Ziad Jarrah, and other "sleeper cell" terrorists as the countdown to 9/11 continues. What emerges from this minute-by-minute account is, in the harsh light of history, a much-needed understanding of how 9/11 happened, the conditions that led to lapses in CIA and FBI cooperation, airport security, and the "holy war" that bin Laden had so effectively precipitated. Subsequent, post-9/11 suicide missions are also included in this expansive chronology, making it potently clear that the war on terror will continue, and in some respects has only just begun. --Jeff Shannon