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FRONTLINE: Fighting For Bin Laden

Airs Friday, May 6, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: An Afghan Arab, known only as Khan, claims to be the regional commander for 3,000 to 4,000 Mujahidin in north central Afghanistan.

In the aftermath of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, FRONTLINE presents two inside views of the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban. First, Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi — who reported last year’s award-winning FRONTLINE “Behind Taliban Lines” — once again journeys deep inside enemy territory.

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FRONTLINE is on Facebook, and follow @frontlinepbs on Twitter.

This time, he gains extraordinary access to a band of militants and foreign fighters in Afghanistan who say they’re loyal to bin Laden and are readying a spring offensive against the U.S.

Then, FRONTLINE crosses the border into Pakistan, where correspondents Stephen Grey and Martin Smith go inside “The Secret War” against the militants. They uncover new details of a CIA “private army” of militiamen launching kill raids against al Qaeda and the Taliban inside Pakistan.

They also find new evidence of covert support for elements of the Taliban by the Pakistani military and its intelligence service, the ISI. At a safe-house not far from where bin Laden was killed, they make contact with one mid-level Taliban commander who tells FRONTLINE, “If they really wanted to, [the Pakistanis] could arrest us all in an hour.”

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Preview: Frontline: Fighting For Bin Laden

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

Above: Last year, Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi made an extraordinary reporting trip for FRONTLINE that led to the award-winning film “Behind Taliban Lines.” This year, once again, Quraishi journeys deep into enemy territory — this time to meet a different band of militants and foreign fighters who say they are loyal to Osama Bin Laden and are readying a new offensive against coalition forces in "Fighting For Bin Laden."

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Author Steve Coll: Al Qaeda's New Challenge

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

Above: "Zawahiri's record suggests he will struggle" “His record is one of alienating his colleagues, fighting over dogma, even within the Islamist movement. And as a communicator, he is less effective. His books are turgid and dogmatic.” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Bin Laden biographer Steve Coll takes a dim view of Ayman al-Zawahiri's chances of success as Al Qaeda's likely new leader. Coll, the author of "The Bin Ladens" and "Ghost Wars," told FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith that Al Qaeda may find itself in a succession struggle in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death. Coll also reflected on bin Laden's life in Pakistan just before the attack that killed him, the role the Pakistani military may have played in hiding the terrorist leader, and the U.S. military's choice to bury him at sea. Read more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/2011/05/coll-likely-bin-laden-successor-will-struggle.html

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