National Geographic airs bin Laden docos

National Geographic Channel chronicling bin Laden’s rise to power and post 9/11 efforts to track him.

In the wake of the US President confirming the Al Qaeda leader’s death, National Geographic Channel marks this event with documentaries chronicling bin Laden’s rise to power and post 9/11 efforts to track him.

In addition, there will be a special encore screening of late filmmaker Tim Hetherington’s Academy Award nominated Restrepo about the war in Afghanistan.

Late programming changes are as follows:

Tuesday May 3
1:30pm – Hunt for Bin Laden
Just days after the horrific attacks of 9/11, a team of seven CIA agents sneak into northern Afghanistan and begin to lay the groundwork for war. Dubbed operation “Jawbreaker,” their goal is to take out al Qaeda, break the Taliban, find Osama bin Laden, and kill him. Now, National Geographic Channel tells the story of this dangerous covert mission from the point of view of the CIA officers and top-secret Delta Force operators involved. Veteran intelligence officers discuss the risky methods used to gather intelligence, the high-tech devices needed to track the Taliban, and the missteps and errors that allowed bin Laden to get away. This special captures the raw energy and danger of one of the biggest manhunts in history.

2:30pm – Osama Rising
Piece together the mosaic of people, places, ideology and events that led to the events of September 11. Among those drawn to Soviet occupied Afghanistan in the late 1970s in the name of jihad was a wealthy young Saudi, Osama bin Laden. By the end of the Soviet-Afghan war, bin Laden had positioned himself as the Robin Hood of jihad. He helped develop the wider jihad network, had co-founded a group named al Qaeda, or “the base”, that would make use of this network and had usurped power from his mentor to control the network. By mid-1996, Ramzi Yousef had been captured for the first World Trade Centre attack, and US intelligence was beginning to understand the larger threat of a jihad against America spearheaded by al Qaeda. What Yousef started would be finished by bin Laden, who first heard of a “planes operation” soon after he returned to Afghanistan.

Saturday May 7
6:30pm – Osama Rising
7:30pm – Hunt for Bin Laden

8:30pm – Restrepo: The Deadliest Outpost (feature length)
In a film that takes you as close to the reality of warfare as anyone would wish to go, a company of soldiers hold out against the Taliban in one of the US military’s most dangerous postings. This Academy Award nominated and Sundance award winning feature-length documentary chronicles life in the remote 15-man outpost, “Restrepo”. Named after a platoon medic who was killed in action, Restrepo is on the frontlines in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. The cameras never leave the valley and there are no interviews with generals, diplomats or the soldiers’ families. Take an inside look at the reality of just how dangerous deployment to this remote Afghan outpost is.

Tim Hetherington, the co-producer of Restrepo was killed in Libya on April 20, 2011 by a rocket-propelled grenade as he continued his work documenting humanitarian issues in times of war.

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