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Chasing the Sleeper Cell

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On Sunday, the New York Times published a ten thousand word investigation of the Lackawanna terror case. Thursday on most PBS stations (check local listings) air a companion Frontline documentary, Chasing the Terror Cell.

Both provide a detailed examination of the arrest of six US citizens who trained in a Al Queda camp in the spring of 2001. Bush said another 26 words in his State of the Union speech this year, “”We’ve broken Al Qaeda cells in Hamburg and Milan and Madrid and London and Paris–as well as Buffalo, New York.” But did they really catch a Al Queda sleeper cell?

Lowell Bergman who co-wrote the NYT piece with Mathew Purdy is the correspondent and he gets some important interviews (just as he did in other docs including Blackout where he interviewed Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, and Dick Cheney not long before Enron imploded).

He speaks to one of the men in prison, Sahim Alwan. And that is one big advantage of a documentary over even a long newspaper story. We get a sense of what kind of person Alwan is. We also get to see the looks on the faces of Tom Ridge and the FBI’s Peter Ahearn as they are silent when Bergman asks them a question they don’t want to answer.

Luckily, we have the advantages of both plus the additional material which will go up on the show’s website.

And people who missed last week’s Truth, war, and consequences can watch the entire program and explore the website.

You can also check out TVBarn where this was originally osted and my weblog.

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About Steve Rhodes

  • http://www.newshax.com amy

    Hello, I am editor of the new News Around The World page on http://www.newshax.com which is a satire news site consistently in the top 5 in traffic ratings in its category ( apart from this moment prob while the exec editor is on hols).
    I am seeking to add to my reliable staff of writers for more variety from people with political conviction.
    Am seeking new articles or to run articles of archives or syndication if need be or if not already appearing on another satire news sites ( though I do make exceptions).
    Please contact me at vampslayah1@yahoo.co.uk
    or register with newshax and go to your inbox and hit SEND , choose NAT and I will get the message.
    Be aware that any stories submitted must be done through a different method on the site than for contributions to newshax.
    We are doing very well considering the newness of NATW and newshax editor being on hols. the removal of number of hits shown per article and my own hax email adress are amongst the things the exec editor has yet to work out but coming soon.
    I was given this page to show news from around the world and with more of a political intent when it is suiting ( which is nearly always.
    Your name appears beneath each headline of a story you send and is a link to your profile on which you can advertise your own site or this site.
    your writer name can also be close as that to your or this site.
    We ( I) would also add to you our list of partners .
    We do have rules and guidelines such as cursing .Most my writers are professional humour columnists , a couple free lance comedy writers and a couple whom have their own sites.
    Please respond as stated above for more info if needed or how to get started to bring more attention to yourself on a high profile satire news site and do me the honour of being a part in spreading the word on the fantastic work I see on this site. I see potential for satire news here in some places where none is intended. Brilliant site you have here.
    All the best,
    Amy, Editor News Around The World on newshax.com

  • Jack

    While the editor of newshax is on vacation (hopefully vacation and not hospitilization or incarceration), I’ve found the news from around the world links still active, timely and very amusing. Glad I took the hiatus as an opportunity to find a new source of political satire. Good work, NAT. We need more satire.