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Last Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006, 16:47 GMT
Secret Wars
First broadcast March 2006

Kidnappings, assassinations, torture: these are just some of the allegations levelled at the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Since the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, the CIA has gone all out to combat threats to US security.

In Secret Wars, BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera looks at the hugely controversial tactics adopted by the CIA, and asks whether they have indeed made America safer.

Part One

Some on the inside of the CIA believe the organisation had lost its way in the 1990s, largely because the enemy it had been founded to fight, the Soviet Union, had collapsed.

But on 12 September 2001, at a staff briefing in the agency's auditorium, CIA Director George Tenet announced the Agency's new mission: to defeat al-Qaeda.

In the first programme of the series, Corera investigates the immediate fall-out from the 9/11 attacks - arguably the CIA's greatest failure - and the agency's activities on the front-line on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and in the secret prisons set up to detain al-Qaeda suspects.

He speaks to ex-CIA officers, as well as the Pakistani prime minister and the Romanian foreign minister.

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