Is al-Qaeda winning?

Is al-Qaeda winning?

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Supports of Bin laden

A hero to some and villain to others, Osama Bin Laden is perhaps the best known al Qaeda figure.

Seven years into the global war on terror, is al-Qaeda winning? It's a deceptively simple question, one Owen Bennett-Jones asked in Riyadh, Peshawar and Baghdad, as well as London, Brussels and Washington for this four-part series.

Part One - Hearts and Minds

The series begins with a man who has recruited fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq, explaining al-Qaeda's global goals.

This rare interview is followed by an exploration of why some radical imams and al-Qaeda sympathisers are turning against the organisation because of the number of civilians it has killed.

Owen Bennett-Jones moves from Jordan to West Point, where scholars study captured al-Qaeda documents for clues as to how serious it takes the problem of civilian casualties.

He shares the results of a BBC global opinion poll about al-Qaeda and meets ostensible US allies in Europe and Pakistan who say America's War on Terror is doing more harm than good - a charge he later puts to the US State Department.

First broadcast Monday 29 September 2008

Listen Special Interview (26mins) with Major Reid Sawyer - Head of Counter-Terrorism, West Point


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