MANILA, Philippines – It was shortly after midnight on May 2, 2011 when the search for the world’s most hunted felon finally came to an end. OSAMA BIN LADEN: THE FINISH, the riveting inside story of one of the biggest and most arduous manhunts in history comes to Discovery Channel on Sunday, May 5 at 9:00 p.m. Based off award-winning author Mark Bowden’s meticulously researched book – The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden – that features an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama, rare access to the White House and first-hand reporting, OSAMA BIN LADEN: THE FINISH provides a gripping and comprehensive account of the step-by-step developments that led to finally tracking down the world’s most wanted man. OSAMA BIN LADEN: THE FINISH encores on Saturday, May 11 at 11:00 a.m.
After masterminding the terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September 2001, Osama bin Laden vanished. Over the course of the next decade, America discovered that its war with al-Qaeda – a scattered group of individuals who were almost impossible to track – required a more innovative approach. A one-hour special, OSAMA BIN LADEN: THE FINISH begins by looking at the tragic 2009 suicide bombing by a Jordanian triple agent which killed 10 people, including Jennifer Matthews, a mother of three and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative leading the hunt for Osama. With exceptional access to key military and agency sources, OSAMA BIN LADEN: THE FINISH takes you on the ground where the action unfolded and inside the rooms where high-level decisions were made.
Filmed on location in Jordan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, OSAMA BIN LADEN: THE FINISH gives viewers a look at the top-secret strategies employed to complete the mission and President Obama’s campaign promise – to get Osama. The special also sheds light on how intelligence agencies utilise special operations to gather information to find al-Qaeda and Taliban targets. After thousands of Special Forces missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, an opportunity to go after Osama had finally presented itself. In spring 2011, intelligence pointed to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan; it was estimated that there was a 50/50 chance that Osama was there. Just how then did this daring operation get green-lit? What went on in President Obama’s mind as he sat in the Oval Office debating how to proceed after the seven-year hunt reached its pinnacle? OSAMA BIN LADEN: THE FINISH is an extraordinary story of the largest, most expensive and most advanced manhunt in the history of the world. The trail which began with a single, false name ended years later, with Osama’s burial out at sea.
David Keane of Wild Eyes Productions, Mark’s cousin, worked closely with Mark’s son, Aaron, and did most of the primary reporting for this special over an extensive course of trips through Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mark has been investigating evolving special operations capabilities for more than 15 years. As the author of Black Hawk Down, Guests of the Ayatollah, and Killing Pablo, he has reported more extensively on the evolution of America’s military and Special Forces than any other journalist.