CNN’s Terror on Tape series bags UK honour

MUMBAI: CNN's Terror on Tape series has bagged the UK Royal Television Society's (RTS) International News Journalism Award. The series, which unveiled Al Qaeda from a cache of training tapes discovered by CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson and his team in Afghanistan, was originally broadcast on CNN in August 2002.

The weeklong series detailed the expertise, resources and resolve of the Al Qaeda movement, revealed painstakingly by Robertson, over several weeks tracking the tapes in Afghanistan, working with sources he had cultivated during his years of reporting from the country since 1996. 

Experts have told CNN that these tapes delivered new insights into the training methods of Al Qaeda, showing how the clandestine network prepares for various operations, including assassination, kidnapping and urban combat. Additionally, many of the documents and manuals included instructions on how to hijack and blow up airplanes, how to build bombs and how to explode trains, ships and other modes of transportation.

Also involved in the production of the series were Mark Phillips, Ingrid Arnesen, Mike Boettcher, Maria Fleet, Richard Griffiths, Fuzz Hogan and Henry Schuster. The judges described Terror on Tape as a “genuine scoop,” praising Mr. Robertson’s “meticulous research combined with careful, straightforward story-telling,” and said that it made a “genuine contribution to the understanding of the Al Qaeda network.”


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