This miniseries based on a Pulitzer-winning book by the same name is an eye-opening account of the rivalry between the CIA and FBI that gave way to ideal conditions for 9/11.
The two agencies had profound ideological differences: the CIA saw Al-Qaeda’s pre-9/11 attacks as acts of war, requiring war-like responses such as bombings, whereas the FBI saw them as criminal acts, which would mean arresting and prosecuting members rather than killing them in airstrikes. They worked separately, often not sharing crucial information with one another.
Ali Soufan is one of a handful FBI agents who speak Arabic back in 1998, the start of Osama Bin Laden’s rise to prominence. He embodies the FBI’s position, and together with his unit, try to push for an effective way to deal with the threat.
As is common with historical thrillers, the weakest links are the romantic storylines of the main characters. Still, the story offers so many important and little-known parts of history-defining moments that make it an essential viewing. The cast, from A Prophet’s Tahar Rahim to Jeff Daniels and Alec Baldwin, is also an unmissable highlight.