The Looming Tower (2018): Season 1, Episode 2 - Losing My Religion - full transcript

Following the simultaneous embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the FBI begins its investigation on the ground while the CIA starts working on a retaliation plan.



Bin Laden has made
these threats before,

but this time he put a time cap on it,

saying that whatever violence awaits

will occur within the next few weeks.

Deb Fletcher, Chief of Station.


Come find me when you're done.

I'm one floor up.

- You're playing our song.
- Is this our song?

You're playing our song.

Welcome home.

I really do appreciate
you coming out tonight

after I had to cancel the first time.

The Bureau had two agents
assigned to Alec Station,

the Bin Laden Unit of the CIA.

They were supposed
to be informed of intelligence

so they could report it
to John O'Neill.

Shut it down. Close up shop.

Sir, the way this works
is you show us what you've got,

and then we discuss
if it's our business.

You got a stash of intel

that you refuse to share
with my agents.

If we did have any intelligence,

it would be for us to decide
how best to use it

before you blow a possible
gold mine of information

and render it utterly useless.

If one American gets killed

because of information
you kept secret...











Well, if we can get eight to ten agents

back on the ground
in Kenya and Tanzania,

how would you feel
about embedding CIA agents

with the FBI from the WFO?

Mr. O'Neill.

- To be continued.
- Where's Louie Freeh?

- He's on vacation.
- What a surprise.

What can I do for you?

All due respect,
this is a New York Office case,

not Washington Field Office.

Did you fly all the way
to D. C. to tell us that?

- That's right.
- Well, I hate to send you

right back to the airport,
but we have an attack

on American interests on foreign soil.

It's WFO's case.

That's what Director Freeh would want.

- That decision has been made.
- It's the wrong decision.

Our office has got
a standing federal indictment

against bin Laden.

We all know this is
the work of al‐Qaeda...

We don't know that.

There's been some suggestion
that it could be Hezbollah.

Oh, come on!
I know Marty wants it to be WFO

so he can keep better tabs on it.

- Just calm down.
- Agent Soufan is gonna

tell you why it's gotta be UBL.

Go, Ali. Now.

Sir, there has been a preliminary claim

of responsibility from

Al‐Jaish el‐lslami
li‐Tahrir al‐Muqadasat.

"The Islamic Army for the
Liberation of the Holy Places."

- If I can quote to you...
- Agent Soufan.

- That is your name?
- It is, sir.

As you continue
to work with the Bureau,

you will come to realize that
there is a chain of command

by which decisions are made.

Your boss has yet to learn this lesson.

We are done here.

And, John, submit your airline receipts

to the Bureau's internal auditor.

He'll determine
whether this trip of yours

is a justifiable expense.

One last thing. Sanchez.

You and Louie can go fuck yourselves.

Or each other.
Whichever makes you happy.



The claim also contains
the demand for the withdrawal

of U. S. forces
from the Arabian Peninsula.

If you recall the February fatwa,

the retreat from the Arabian Peninsula

is a particular obsession
for bin Laden and al‐Qaeda.

It has never been remotely
as important to Hezbollah,

which is Shia, not Sunni,

and which is far more focused
on the ultimate elimination

of the State of Israel.

Those agendas seem to me

disconnected from the bombings
in East Africa.

Oh, for fuck's sake. Come on, Dick.

We're simply arguing for case control.

We're not trying to get you
to pronounce a guilty verdict.

Our office knows more
about al‐Qaeda than anybody.

WFO will be playing catch‐up,

and they're a pawn of Alec Station.

Schmidt just wants the case over there

so he can direct it remotely.

- John, calm down.
- I‐I really wish people

would stop telling me to calm down!

There are bombs going off
around the world!

That doesn't make me feel calm!

I want you to calm down
because you're right.

- I'm sorry?
- You're right.

You should have this case.

- Oh.
- You're welcome.

- Where were you born?
- Lebanon, sir.

Beverly, would you get me
Louie Freeh on his cell phone?

Yes, sir.

He's good. Don't lose him.

Director Freeh, Richard Clarke.

I'm fine. I'm here with John O'Neill.

It is unusual that he came to me,

but I also think he's right.

The New York office
has been tracking UBL since...

Well, this young Agent Soufan
makes a very convincing case

that it is al‐Qaeda.

I understand.

Okay. I appreciate that.

Thank you, Director.

You got your case.

- Dick, you're the greatest.
- Hang on.

- No, I owe you a big one.
- John, hang on. Hang on!

First of all, you damn well
better prove it's al‐Qaeda.

Second, the Director told me
to say that you, personally,

are not permitted to go to Africa.


I'm sorry.

That's a relationship you're
gonna have to work to repair.

I'll take care of it.
Don't worry about it.

John, whoever you do send
to East Africa,

please tell them to be careful.

Okay, let's settle down.

Listen... most important.

Remember, we are guests
in another country.

Let's conduct ourselves accordingly.

Let's also remember why we are here.

Less than 36 hours ago,
some number of Americans

and scores of Kenyans were murdered.

This is al‐Qaeda territory.

When investigating, make sure you got

a partner who's aware of these sur...



- It's goats.
- You got to be kidding me.

Agent Robert Chesney.

Hello, Officer Ndereba, hello.

- Hello.
- It's good to see you again.

Good to see you too.

Special Agent
Robert Chesney from the FBI,

meet Commander Onyango.

Commander, I'm so sorry
for the loss your country

has experienced.

I want you to know
that we are here to help.

We want to work in friendship with you.


We are now all Kenyan Policemen.

Thank you, sir. Thank you.

May I introduce Agent Bennet
and ask if he can help

your officers secure a perimeter?

- Please.
- Copy that, boss.

Good, and sir, do you have
an account of the dead

and wounded, one that I could
take a look at?

- Charles.
- Commander.

- Please.
- Thank you.

Has there been any word
on an American woman,

Deborah Fletcher?

She's with the State Department
at the Embassy.

I haven't heard anything
from or about her.

You refer to the CIA Chief of Station.

- Oh, well...
- It's okay.

I know you cannot say.

Look, I'm sorry,
but if we knew anything,

Ms. Fletcher would be on the list.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

All right, let's get
Bomb Squad, ERT, Forensics

working alongside the Kenyans.

Collect soil samples,
explosives residue,

find parts of the truck
and start reassembly.

Yep. Will do. Thank you.

Sir, did you know Deb...

And let's get a group together

to help dig out from the rubble,

try to save some people,
if at all possible.

Yes, sir.

I had a drink with her
when I was here last week.

He's got nothing.

He said the Kenya and Tanzania cells

were formed way after his time.

We've been babysitting
this guy in witness protection

for three friggin' years.

He was with UBL in Sudan,
one country north.

He's got no leads for us?

I even threaten not to let
him watch the new porno tapes

if he didn't give us something.

You're taking a hard line.

Eh, for Junior,
that borders on torture.

I cooked him his favorite,
the pork Bolognese.

Yeah, definitely not Halal.

And the only thing he could
tell me was that

he'd bet Khallad was involved
in the planning.

This is the peg‐leg, right?

- Yep.
- Tell me something

- I don't know.
- This is all I get

for the embarrassment
of standing in line

to buy "Donkey Shlong"
and "Busty and the Beast."

Oh, my goodness, Vincent,

the animal penis is so long.

I swear I'm gonna kill
myself if I'm here much longer.


- Boss, do you have a moment?
- Yeah.

- Vince, I gotta go.
- Hey, boss,

why don't I come up
to the city tomorrow.

We'll get some drinks
or something, huh?

Nah, in the morning, head to Langley.

See what they're up to
in the Manson Family.

I need to know.

What's up?

I don't know how else to say this.

I think I should be there.

- Where's there?
- East Africa.


We're saying it's al‐Qaeda.

If it is, I'm the only one
who speaks the language,

who understands the culture...
Okay, sit down.

Have a seat.

I have two jobs here.

One is to lead investigations
into what's already happened.

That's going on in Africa right now.

Okay? The second, and maybe the more

important one, is to figure out
what happens next

so we can stop it.

What I need you for right now
is the second.

Where's the place in the world that has

the highest concentration of al‐Qaeda

other than Afghanistan?

Where they funnel media contact
with the outside world.

- Okay.
- I want you there

- as soon as possible.
- Okay, all right.

Satellite imagery's
identified eight to ten

possible training camps
near the Pakistani border

where UBL may be living.

Possible training camps.

One or two may be Pashtun villages

where the tribesmen target practice.

And you're telling me
bin Laden may be living

in any one of these sites?

Our estimates give us 75,
80% chance of killing UBL

if we wipe out all the targets.

That's assuming we destroy
everything at once so there's

no chance of him disappearing
into the Hindu Kush

as we target them one by one.

How much collateral damage
are we talking about?

Could be in the hundreds.

I can confidently state
less than a thousand.

That is a hell of a lot
of damage in a country

that was our ally in the fight
against the Soviets.

UBL was our ally in the fight
against the Soviets.

The Attorney General
told George Tenet months ago

that we do not have a kill
order without

a Memorandum of Notification
signed by the President.

- Oh, please.
- And now George is worried

that, without an M. O. N.,
he could be indicted for murder

if we target and assassinate bin Laden.

After what he just did in East Africa?

And I will remind you
that we don't know for certain

that it was al‐Qaeda.

So then why did Clarke
give the goddamn case

to the New York Field Office?

You know what O'Neill will do.

He'll arrest the first suspects
he comes across

and blow any chance
of flipping them so that

we can work our way
up the chain of command.

- That may be.
- No, that will be.

And then we'll just end up with
a bunch of low level turds

in custody while
the leadership of al‐Qaeda

is walking blissfully around.

- The Body of Christ.
- Amen.

The Body of Christ.

We find ourselves
in a land where temptations

are everywhere...
Inside each cinema, every pub.

So what do we do?

The Messenger of Allah,
Peace be Upon Him,

teaches us of jihad al‐nafs...
Struggle of the soul.

Our inner struggle of good
against the evil one, Shaytan.

Then we have a duty to turn outward,

to fight the impurities of the world,

the infectious growth of non‐believers

in the Muslim land of the holy sites.

In Mecca and Medina.

In Afghanistan, in Pakistan.

From jihad al‐nafs, jihad of the soul,

to jihad bil‐saif, jihad of the sword.

All of us have this obligation.

All of us.


Kenyan officers spoke to me earlier,

and, after three days...
so, this morning,

they begin to reassign
from Victim Recovery

to other duties.

I'm sorry.

Boss, it's incredibly hard in this heat

to survive 72 hours without water.


Thank you for coming to Mass with me.

I told you it wouldn't hurt.

And it didn't hurt, did it?

Nothing I won't get over.

I should get to the office, check in.

- John, John...
- It's been too long.

You were there all night.
Just hold on a second.


I know your feelings about
church are complicated.

You're right. They're, uh... ha ha ha.

They're complicated.

I started everything morning,
all the way through

Jesuit High School, going to Mass.

I had a Catholic wedding,
you know, the four‐hour kind.

I know it's important to you.

Would you ever consider
taking communion again?

"Whoever eats this bread
in an unworthy manner

is guilty of sinning against
the body of the Lord."

Because you're divorced?

That's not what Paul meant.

It's about future intention,
not past sin.

Hey, I admit, for a good Catholic girl,

I think it's hot that you carry a gun,

that you chase down
the bad guys for a living,

but that's not why I love you.

I see beneath that.

I see the goodness.

I gotta go to work.

Agent Soofin.

Soufan, Ali Soufan.


I was hoping your boss
would make the trip.

We had a great fucking time
when I was in Manhattan last.

I don't think we slept for 40 hours.

Mr. O'Neill sends his regrets.

He's busy coordinating the East Africa

investigations out of New York.

Where'd you say you were from?

I didn't.

The United States. By way of Lebanon.


Well... welcome to the United Kingdom.


Thank you.

Much appreciated.

Did you happen to see this?

Al‐Qaeda claimed responsibility
for the bombings this morning

in this Arab rag we got here.

I did see it.

They even bragged about pulling off

simultaneous bombings
in separate countries.

It's despicable.

Shall we pay the publishers a visit?

Yeah, I think we should.

Chuckie, talk to me.

Toyota truck, probably rented.

No VIN yet.

Out of the 94 trucks rented locally,

81 have been returned.

Agents are checking on
the 13 that are still out.

I want that VIN number.

We got parts of the doors,
dash, steering column...

That number's gotta be somewhere.

- Tell me.
- Soil, concrete fragments

in the area of the truck bomb
are all testing positive

for TNT and ammonium nitrate.

We're estimating at least
1,800 pound of dynamite.

Where would someone be able

to buy that amount of explosives?

- I don't...
- When you add the Tanzania blast,

we're talking a fuckload of materials.

Get agents out with the Kenyan Police

- and get me some answers.
- Yes, sir.


- No.
- Richard...

We do not have an unequivocal M. O. N.

from the President.

Until we do, the answer is no.

In that case, we should
revisit the Tarnak Operation

we were advocating last year.

- Which is?
- We incentivize

- Pashtun tribesmen...
- Cash payments, essentially.

The ones who are in and out
of al‐Qaeda encampments

all the time, to kidnap UBL
from his main camp

at Tarnak farms.

They stash him in a safe house
in one of their villages.

- After several days...
- When things calm down.

We rendition him anywhere we like.

- Egypt, perhaps.
- Where they have,

shall we say, more latitude

in terms of interrogation techniques.

If he dies in custody under Mubarak,

the blood's not on our hands.

And if he dies in Afghanistan

resisting the kidnapping,

we haven't violated
the terms of the M. O. N.

You don't even know
where bin Laden is, Martin.

How can you kidnap him
when you can't find him?

- We blanket the...
- How many Pashtuns are you

planning to put on the U. S. payroll?

Just up and down the Hindu Kush,

just in case the Sheikh is
in their neighborhood?

How long you think
that secret will be kept?

- Richard...
- There are Pakistani teenagers

who walk into al‐Qaeda camps every day

and ask to join.

How could the Agency,
after half a decade,

not have one fucking spy to tell us

where bin Laden sleeps at night?

If you wanna push Congress
for more funds

to get agents on the ground,
please do so.

Right now, I'm giving you
actionable intelligence

based on what we've gathered to date.

If you don't have the guts to proceed,

that's your problem and
the President's, not mine.

I'm not dealing with ten targets.

UBL's sat‐phone hasn't shown a signal

for the last two weeks.

Give me a call when it does.

Every lead from most to least credible.

We adjust the rankings
depending on what we learn.

Also, a number of the victims
have been stabilized

at Aga Khan Hospital.

They may be ready to be interviewed,

but that's your decision.

Floyd, Kathy.

- Mburu.
- Hold on.

Comb through these
back‐burner leads with Mburu.

See if anything jumps out
and get on it.

Grab a Kenyan partner
and get out to the hospital.

I want you to talk
with anyone well enough

- to move their mouth.
- Yep.


They have a survivor under the Embassy.

Wait, why are you here?

I'm lookin' for your boss,
Farouq Osman.

- Take a seat, I can see if...
- I can do that meself

by just heading toward the door
that says "Mr. Osman" on it.

What are you doing in my offices?

- Mr. Osman?
- I am.

- Did you publish this today?
- Of course I did.

- Who else would publish it?
- We need to see the claim

of responsibility as it came
into your possession.

Well, you can show us now,
or we can go down

to Scotland Yard to discuss it.

I'll even give ya a free ride.

What is this, fucking Mad Libs?

It's a goddamn form letter.

They just fill in the cities
when they decide where to bomb.

When did you get this?

Yesterday evening.
You can see at the top.

What's this number?
Where was it sent from?

I have no idea. Somewhere in London.

Does this page say what they
printed in the paper?

Yes, it does.

Look at this.
There's another time stamp.

It's faint. It must be where the fax

was first sent to the London number.

92's the country code for Pakistan.

And hang on. The fax was first received

in London on... 7 August, 02:20 hours.

With the time change, it's five hours

before the blast.


Agent Chesney, please, be careful.

We removed that section of the wall,

and our dogs began to bark.

We're trying to remove
the remaining slabs

without further collapse.

Can I... would you let me speak
to whoever's in there?

You should know it's a young
Kenyan man that is down there.

Follow me.

We're coming.

We're coming.

There he is. He's very weak.

Can you hear me?


My name is Bobby. Who are you?

Simon, sir.

You just hang in there, Simon.

They're gonna get you out.

I cannot feel my legs.

Everyone here is working to save you.

You just stay strong for me, Simon.

Sir, you are American?

I am.

There is...

a woman, sir.

My boss, American, below.

Is she alive?

She had been talking,

praying with me to keep me alive.

She stopped speaking
earlier this morning.

What's her name?

Simon, what's her name?

Deborah Fletcher.

Were you working yesterday
evening, sir?

I work here all the time.

If the shop is open, I'm working.

Is your fax number 20‐496‐0956?

- Out of my memory, I...
- Look at your fax machine,

and tell me if your number
is 2‐0‐4‐9‐6‐0‐9‐5‐6.


Who sent this fax at 19:43 last night?

If it's sent from here,
then I suppose I have sent it.

- Well who paid you to send it?
- I don't know, sir...

What do you mean you don't know?

I mean, it's less than 24 hours ago.

I have so many men come in
and out into my shop.

I can't keep track of them all.

Yes, I can see how
that must be confusing for ya.

How many faxes did you send yesterday?

I don't know... many.

Roger, have a look.


You sent three faxes yesterday,

and you can't recall who sent this one?

Like I said, there's
so many people that come...

Yes, you said that. This fax sat here

for more than two days
before it was picked up

and re‐faxed yesterday.

Sir, I don't know
if this is the case...

Yeah, well, look at the dates, look.

It sat here for two and a half days,

and then it was picked up,
paid for, and then re‐faxed.

If you say this is true.

Show me your credit card
receipts from yesterday.

We only accept cash, sir.

Of course you do.

The credit card company
treats our transaction

as if we borrow money from the bank.

The Holy Quran tells us
"Allah has permitted trading,

but forbidden interest."




All right, mate, all right.


Let's get a little breath of fresh air.


- Take it outside.
- _

- Come on...
- _

Come on, let's take it outside.



- Come on, hey? Come on.
- _

Walk away, okay?

It's all right. Ya all right?

Please, this way.

We all sit together,
the secretaries on our floor.

There was some kind of explosion.

I thought it was too loud
to be a car backfire.

We rushed to the windows, all of us.

When I got there, I saw a man
running away to the streets,

away from the guardhouse.

I didn't even see the truck explode,

though they said that's what happened.

I woke up here, and...
But everything was dark.

That is the last thing
I'll ever see in my life...

That man after he threw that grenade.

That man, running away up the driveway.

I don't know why God
allowed this to happen.

I keep asking.

Stay strong. I'll come see you

in the hospital soon.

They knew.

Hold on, hold on!

Who knew?

What did they know?

One year ago, a man
came into the Embassy.

Says he knew a plan
to blow up the building.

I brought him to my boss,
to Ms. Fletcher.

I'm certain she reported it
to Washington D. C.

She told me she did.

But nothing was done.


I am really lucky.

I was fairly close to the bomb,
but all I lost is just my arm.

I'm going to be fine.

I'm impressed by your attitude,

but you do have the right
to be angry or upset.

It doesn't help.

You know, my children are healthy.

My wife is healthy. I'm... I'm alive.

- Mr. Okuku...
- Yes.

Can you describe
for us the driver of the van?

Or the man that threw the grenade?

I don't remember their faces.

I'm sorry.

If we brought in a sketch
artist to draw what you recall,

would that help?

I don't have a picture to describe.

But... I do remember... the day before,

an Arab man walked up
to the guardhouse.

He wanted to speak with me.

He wanted to know
how I operated the metal bar

for the cars to pass.

I told him nothing.

What do you remember about him?

Most striking, he had a scar...
a large scar

running down the left side of his face.

We focus today on finding
an effective response.

I've given you a response.

You have bombing targets for UBL.

Pull the trigger.

You've given me ten possibilities.

They're woefully inadequate
and non‐specific.

I told you to narrow them down.

You're gonna have a hard
time convincing the military

to make a strike on anything
other than high‐percentage.

I might remind you that I don't need

to convince the military.

All I need to do
is convince the President.

John, you wanna weigh in?

You sure about that?

That's what you're here for.
Tell me what you think.

I think Marty's an analyst
who sits in a basement room

and has no fucking idea
what he's proposing.

I have a very good idea
what I'm proposing...

To eliminate the leader of al‐Qaeda.

By carpet bombing Afghanistan, which,

I will remind you, did not attack us.

This is exactly what al‐Qaeda
wants us to do...

Overreact and slaughter
innocent Muslims.

Well, crush the head
and the snake dies.

What are you, a frickin'
Gypsy reading a fortune?

We're talking about national security.

You make a martyr of UBL,
al‐Qaeda's recruitment

- goes through the roof.
- Ah, and you propose what?

Find him. Arrest him.

Put him on trial, then in jail.

Treat him like a criminal, not a hero.

- Well, we're at war.
- Only if we choose to be.

Why don't you go back
to where you belong,

running protection
for the Genovese family

- in South Jersey.
- You really wanna do this?

Is that what you want? John, please.

Martin, let's get back on track.

We're in new territory here.

We have non‐state actors
attacking U. S. interests.

I need something I can sell
to the President.


Mr. Clarke, there's a secure call

for Mr. O'Neill from Nairobi.

You wanna take it on the private phone?


Drink up.

You know you don't need to
put on a show for us.

Excuse me?

Well, to prove you're
a different kind of Arab.

I get it. We all get it.

I'm not a trained Muslim monkey

putting on a show for you.

All right, all right,
don't get so tetchy.

When people use my religion
to justify this shit,

it affects me.

I assure you that nothing I do
is for your benefit.

I work for the U. S. government,

and I live by my own conscience.


there's a call for the two of you

- on the secure line.
- Thank you.

I'll put it through.

Barry James here with Agent Soofin.

- Soufan.
- Fuck off.

Nice to hear the two of you
getting along so well.

Johnny, good to hear your voice.

How are things?

I've been better, as you can imagine.

We got Bob Chesney
on the line in Kenya.

Gentlemen, Floyd here
has compiled a list

of nine men registered
in the last month

on one floor at the Hilltop Hotel.

Tell me if any of these names
trip wires.

Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, Ali Abdul Saoud,

Ali Azzam, Ahmed Abdelrahman,

Hamden Awad, Mohamed Al‐Owhali,

Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, Anas al‐Liby,

Ali Rabia.

The second‐to‐last name, Anas al‐Liby.

I recognize that for some reason.

He's under indictment in Egypt.

For reasons I can't get into
on the phone,

he's received political asylum
here in the U. K.

I believe he lives up in Manchester.

All right, I'm coming to England.

Bob, Floyd, good work.

Ali, Barry, I'll see you
tomorrow morning in Manchester.

John, if you could
stay on the line for a sec.

There's something I found out
you probably should know.

I've been told there might have
been a walk‐in at the Embassy

12 months ago warning of this.

What the fuck did you know

about a possible bombing in Nairobi?

Was there a walk‐in last year
at the Embassy CIA station

who warned about this?
We get 40 walk‐ins a week

all over the world.

They all want money
or asylum in the U. S.

And lifelong protection.

I don't remember this particular one,

but if it wasn't dealt with,
it was deemed non‐credible.

Well, I guess this one was credible.

Hi. You've reached Heather.

Leave me a message,
and I'll call you back.

Hi, Heather, hi.

It's me, Ali. Um...

I'm just calling to apologize, again.

I hope you'll consider giving
me another chance

when I get back home to...
make it up to you.

All right...

take care.


You've reached the O'Neills.

Leave a message. Thanks!

Maria, I'm on my way
out of the country.

Hopefully not for long.

I was hoping maybe when
I get back that we can talk.

We've been putting this off
for too long.

I think we should...


Kiss the girls. I'll call another time.

It is unprecedented.

For the first time, a sitting
President of the United States

will give grand jury testimony
in a criminal investigation

and one in which he himself
may be a target.

Faced with a subpoena,

from Republican Special Prosecutor
Kenneth Starr,

- the President agreed today...
- This is disgusting.

- The Monica Lewinsky case...
- It's embarrassing, frankly.

I think it's wonderful.

It's the best thing that could
have happened to this country.

The White House will be desperate
to turn people's attention

away from this story, right?

We can humbly be of service.

We're gonna finally get Clinton

to pull the fucking trigger
on al‐Qaeda.