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Panorama Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 19:56 GMT
Your comments on Towards the Zero Hour
Your Comments on Towards the Zero Hour

Have your say

Your comments will be posted up all week.

I read somewhere that " As reported by the BBC's George Arney, former Pakistan Foreign Secretary Niaz Naik was alerted by American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would be launched by mid-October. At a UN-sponsored meeting concerning Afghanistan in Berlin, Naik was informed that unless bin Laden was handed over, America would take military action either to kill or capture both him and Taliban leader Mullah Omar as the initial step in installing a new government there. " These sort of comments seem to be being forgotten - pre-emptive strike?
Mark White

I am completely against the terror attacks of Sept 11th. However, I was deeply offended by your program. You seem to have branded all practicing Muslims as radical extremists, when most are law abiding, moderate citizens.

Just because practicing Muslims don't socialise by going to clubs and parties, or have illegal sexual intercourse with women, does not in ANY WAY, imply they are extremist. Jewish people and Christians alike all harbour similar beliefs, yet they are not classified as extremist. Conservative Britain also holds on to similar beliefs, yet it is not regarded as "radical extremist".

Many people must have seen your program last night - those who have Muslim friends will now look twice at them when the Muslims go to pray, or grow beards, which are perfectly normal acts of worship prescribed by Islam. In my opinion, your program has shown that even Panaroma can be shallow at times.
Abdul Hakim

The programme seemed to consist of pictures of men who "didn't smile much" and "had beards", interspersed with yet more gratuitous footage of the WTC imploding. Insightful stuff.

Jane Corbin's report gave us all, an insight into the many missed opportunities to stop the terrorist attacks on September 11. The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I do feel that suspicions should have been aroused and acted upon.

The programme showed how easy it was for these men to carry out these terrible acts. No one in the USA can be blamed for these events. But I very much hope that they will, in future, have stronger security controls. If so, they must be kept in place for the security of us all.
Steve Fuller
(city) Brighton&Hove

There is plenty of doubt regarding whether the 4th plane was actually brought down by the passengers. The programme gave very little evidence on various assumptions.

The programme did not reveal anything that has not been on the news before. The only thing it did reveal is that THE US GOVERNMENT SHOULD ANSWER TO THE WORLD WHY IT DID NOT ACT UPON DOZENS OF OPPORTUNITIES THAT WERE OFFERED. THE USA IS JUST AS GUILTY.
The Rev

A first-rate programme which provided a very chilling insight into the events leading up to the September 11th attacks on the WTC
Andy Dinwoodie

Congratulations to the Panorama team for a very clever piece of work. Whilst trying to explain to the audience the possible rationale the alleged terrorists may have had for their horrible actions you have simultaneously succeeded in forming a grotesque picture of mainstream Islam.

Your clever use of imagery and audio only serves to mis-inform the audience. Your association of a Muslim keeping a beard with radicalisim and radicalism with terrorism is ill-founded at best and irresponsible at worst. It may have been informative to point out that praying five times a day is obligatory on all Muslims, not a sign of radicalism. Not partaking in social norms that are against ones beliefs is no more a sign of radicalism than a Jewish person not eating a ham sandwich. I feel the Panorama team should have better researched the Islamic facts and presented them in a fair light, they have taken the easy route of Islamism->Radicalism->Terrorism.
Mohamed Ismail

Well done to the Panorama team for producing the biggest propaganda film I've seen in decades. How brilliant you are to go into great detail about the hijacker's lives - college days, lecturers, family, pilots lessons, changes in personality...etc. - only to conveniently skip over very important points such as why these people were let into the States several times when the US had intelligence on them. You answer those questions with arguments such as "he managed to talk his way into the country even though his visa had expired because he was very skilled in communication" - brilliant! Then we go straight from the night before the events to seeing the terrorists captured on security film in the airport and then, bang, we see the aircraft hitting the towers - that simple! No explanation as to how the hijackers managed to get on the aircraft with what must have been fake ID's (should be impossible) that gave them western names (no Arab names in any of the flights - something else conveniently skipped).

As far as I can see, there are maybe 3 reasons why you don't make any attempt to answer the difficult questions: 1. You know what's going on and are deliberately avoiding asking difficult questions; 2. You're being told exactly what to say; 3. You're not very good at your jobs as reporters and simply don't look deep enough to ask those questions at all. Now, the first and second stink of collusion and the third of incompetence. Whichever way it is, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Oh, and I should add that I won't be surprised that you don't publish this message (in this form, anyway) given that the only dissenting mail you've published so far is from a Muslim complaining of racism with your talk of beards - a token effort if ever I saw one.

Well done the BBC - you're such a trustworthy reporting organisation, one that would never support feeble reasons to kill and maim thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan. I'm under no illusions that you'll keep up the good work (that's probably what you'll print!).

Anyway, good luck in your lives and I hope you sleep well knowing that in this life, what goes around eventually comes around.
Michael Mead

Excellent programme that highlighted how fanatical and totally focused these people are and how easy it is to carry out these kind of atrocities by taking advantage of the security loopholes that America seems to have. A necessary programme about a totally unnecessary attack. Chilling stuff.
Steve G

Am I just getting older or has Panorama become just another sensationalising documentary programme? Last night's reporting on the terrorists who attached the World Trade Center was patronising in the extreme. Phrases like: "but he was able to hide his true face: the face of a terrorist" and "by this time, all three men had grown beards" made me cringe.

Worse still there was little insight into WHY the terrorists hated America so much, which I expected to be the most important question asked by the journalist. Where is the high standard of reporting the I expect from the BBC gone?
Isabel Sargent

This programme insulted Muslims who keep beards. In the programme it said only radicals keep beards and pray 5 times a day. All Muslim men are expected to keep beards unless you are WHABBI MUSLIM or Shiite Muslim. Sunni keep beards because it is A Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad.
Naeem Khalid

Another excellent documentary but what about the 3rd plane which crashed into the Pentagon? It should have been mentioned even if the details of the hijack are limited

The conclusion of your programme discussed, rather briefly, the demise of the fourth plane near Pittsburgh. It is reasonably clear that this aircraft was brought down by passenger action. You would have done a great service to the relatives of these brave people to have mentioned as much. I found the finale rather abrupt and I think that the loved ones of these passengers would have thought so to. I understand that you may have not found enough evidence to validate the facts in this case but it may at least of been mentioned as a possibility. This aside, I found your investigation to be both interesting and informative.
Dr Peter Conway

What an excellently made investigation. Well done to the BBC! Still the only major question into those disgusting and tragic events. WHY?
Iain Munro

After three months I had quite forgotten what that day meant. This programme brought it all back.
Gillingham, Dorset

Tonight's Panorama programme does enormous credit to the BBC team. Congratulations on a programme that has long been needed. Whilst I may not fully agree with the subsequent military action, I feel it absolutely necessary to remind the UK population of the events of September 11. Having spent 3 years of my life within half an hour of New York, they will live in my memory for ever. Many thanks to the BBC for a respectful and revelatory approach to the tragedy.
Toby Seth

I would to congratulate you on the making of a fantastic documentary. Absolutely brilliant, this documentary gives you a great insight in what happened. It's of high quality - a true BBC production!
Sander Hofman
Enschede, The Netherlands

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