Jihad: The Men and Ideas Behind Al Qaeda (2007)
PBS series: America at a Crossroads
Videos in this documentary
From freedom fighters in Afghanistan to cold-blooded terrorists
Providing an in-depth look at modern, radical Islamic groups, JIHAD: THE MEN AND IDEAS BEHIND AL QAEDA explores the ideas and beliefs that inspire them, along with the challenges they pose for governments in the Middle East and the West. With previously unseen footage and first-hand testimony from those who fought, planned, argued, met or lived with them, this is the inside story of Al Qaeda's three leaders: Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the recently killed leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. This film examines how the blood-soaked careers of these three men were driven by an evolving ideology of violence and hatred towards the West. From the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1940s to Islamic organizations today, the film offers insightful perspectives of Islam from Western and Middle Eastern journalists, U.S. intelligence experts on the frontlines of the fight against Al Qaeda, and friends and contemporaries of Osama bin Laden and his lieutenant Ayman al-Zawahiri.
It is also the story of how the peaceful and noble religion of Islam was distorted by Islamist terrorists in the name of jihad. Two years in the making, JIHAD: THE MEN AND IDEAS BEHIND AL QAEDA was filmed on location in the Middle East, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, America and Britain. Based on extensive original research, the film presents the story of the birth and evolution of Al Qaeda, not through the second-hand reporting of Western journalists, but through powerful testimony from first-hand witnesses.