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The Looming Tower
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The Looming Tower

The Looming Tower, a drama based on Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book that chronicles the events that led to the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Looming Tower traces the rising threat of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda and takes a controversial look at how the rivalry between the CIA and FBI inadvertently might have set the stage for the tragedy of 9/11 and the war in Iraq.

Show Info

Streams on:
Hulu, US
60 min.
4.46/5 (24 ratings)
More Info:
Forum | Official | IMDb | TVMaze
Subtitles, Mistakes


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Episodes Guide and Summaries

Key Features and Themes

based on a bookterrorismciafbiseptember 11osama bin ladenal-qaedainter-agency rivalrypulitzer prize-winningwar in iraq


as Ali Soufan
as Robert Chesney
as Richard Clarke
as Martin Schmidt
as John O'Neil
as Floyd Bennet
as Kathy Shaughnessy
as Diane Marsh
as Heather


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Latest comments

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by posted
A very dark time in U.S. intelligience. Like Wright's book, it makes the case that the failure of U.S. intelligence agencies to share information thwarted any chance they might have had of stopping the attacks. However, where the book focused primarily on the people who conspired to orchestrate the worst terrorist attack on American soil, the series reorients itself around the people who failed to stop them. A series that spends so much time on interoffice squabbles could have turned out dry and dull, but the writers kept it moving at a quick clip and painted intriguing portraits of the men and few women tasked with protecting the nation. The Looming Tower often feels like the platonic ideal of a streaming series, with all the right ingredients that will keep viewers watching in one furious binge; too bad it wasn't released that way originally on Hulu. In any event, the series excels at creating a sense of existential dread, offering answers to questions we wish we didn't have to ask, and finding something new to say about a story we all already know. The information's out there but in the end, it's up to viewers on how they make sense of it all.
by posted
The CIA was wrong even though you could make a case for the need to develop sources inside a very difficult to monitor organization. The FBI job was to protect Americans (at least it was back in the 1990s) but both agencies work for the president who had to ensure that both bureaucracies cooperated. No wonder no one was punished after 911. As for Islam. lots of American expats (especially from the Peace Corps and outfits like Aramco or firms that did most of the tech work the Arab oil states needed) have have been coming home since the 1960s reporting the same thing; Islam and Arab culture is not friendly towards outsiders and the Islamic religious zealots were the worst. It all seemed unbelievable until it was up close and personal.
by posted
Yes, this has been a good one, well worth a watch.
by posted
A great series. If only half of it is true the rivalry between the FBI and CIA is unforgivable and as for Condy Rice why isn't she in jail.
by posted
Outstanding acting, great show
by posted
Yes I agree, this is an excellent show
by posted
this has been very good, was instantly hooked. oh and oh boy how much i hate the CIA now lmao
by posted

traces the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1990s and how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA during that time may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11. It follows members of the I-49 Squad in New York and Alec Station in Washington, D.C., the counter-terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively, as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward the same goal – trying to prevent an imminent attack on U.S. soil. It stars Jeff Daniels as John O'Neil who works for the FBI and Peter Sarsgaard as Martin Schmidt who works for the CIA.

It's a must watch mini-series that's well produced and well acted, and will probably make you frustrated by how difficult it is for these deeply entrenched government bureaucrats and politicians to gather information and respond appropriately to competing intelligence sources. IMDB says its 10 episodes long, and I highly recommend it.