FROM Ali Soufan
Lawrence Wright and Ali Soufan on ‘The Looming Tower’ The Hulu series ' The Looming Tower ' traces events leading up to 9/11, with a focus on the FBI’s attempts to track down Al Qaeda terrorists before they could strike on American soil. The story depicts the CIA as repeatedly refusing to to share critical information with the Bureau, frustrating efforts that might have prevented the attack that altered the course of history. Based on the book of the same name by journalist Lawrence Wright, Hulu's 'The Looming Tower' begins just before the 1998 Al Qaeda bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In the series we see young, Lebanese-born Ali Soufan--played by French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim--joining the FBI as a special agent around that time. When he joins, he's one of only 8 agents in a force of 10,000 who speaks Arabic. Our guests today are the real Ali Soufan and Lawrence Wright. Wright is one of the co-creators of the Hulu series, along with Alex Gibney and Dan Futterman. Soufan serves as a consultant and producer on 'The Looming Tower.' Wright has seen his books adapted before--Kim Masters was a talking head in Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary based on his book ‘Going Clear.’ In the case of 'The Looming Tower,' Wright says there was a time when he doubted it could ever be dramatized on a screen large or small. They tell us why they were hesitant to adapt it at first, and what changed recently that made them feel it was time to go ahead. Plus, Soufan talks about the strange experience of watching himself portrayed by French film star Tahar Rahim, and how he got an initially hesitant Rahim to take the role in the first place. And both men offer their perspectives--and a warning--about Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent courting of Hollywood honchos.
Can a defeated ISIS keep its brand alive? In less than three years, the Islamic State extended its so-called Caliphate in Syria and Iraq to cover some eight million people. Now, Kurdish and Arab militias, advised by US Special Forces, are wrapping up the remains of Raqqa. The city is now in ruins, no longer the capital of the Islamic State that drew thousands of militants to the Middle East. But students of ISIS say almost 40 so-called "provinces" still exist in other parts of the world, including Southeast Asia -- and Africa. That may explain the ambush deaths of four American soldiers in Niger, and the Trump Administration wants to weaponize drones to kill ISIS recruiters. In the meantime, almost 6000 fighters have returned to their home countries. Will they help a deadly ideology to survive?
Terrorism in London: Lessons for the US This weekend’s terrorist attack in London left seven people dead and almost 50 injured. London police fatally shot the attackers, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
Trump says goodbye Paris Accord: What does it mean for U.S. and the planet? President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Trump was to renegotiate a new deal, but will that happen?