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Part 7: Death on the Nile

On the trail of Osama Bin Laden. BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen follows his journey from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan via a ranch on the banks of the Nile.

On the trail of Osama Bin Laden. BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen follows his journey from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan via a ranch on the banks of the Nile. "1998 was the first time that anyone who wasn't expert in the growth of radical jihadist violence had heard of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda," he says. "Reports on the BBC website at the time referred to him as 'Mr Bin Laden, an exiled Saudi dissident'. Years later there was no need to find a form of words to describe him and the BBC was no longer calling him Mister."

Bowen started reporting on the region in the lead up to the Gulf War back in 1990. Since then, he has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

15 minutes

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