National Geographic has greenlighted a pair of specials to air in the coming months. Bin Laden’s Hard Drive, which spotlights newly declassified information on the notorious terrorist, premieres September 10, and Virus Hunters, about the experts working to prevent the next pandemic, bow November 1.
In Bin Laden’s Hard Drive from Karga 7 Pictures, author and CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen examines 470,000 digital files seized from al-Qa’ida founder Osama bin Laden’s compound and decodes their secrets with analysis from CIA profilers, criminal psychologists, religious scholars and military experts. Home videos, photos, audio files, GIFs, personal documents and downloads reveal the contradictory personality and personal life of the mastermind behind 9/11 and other terrorist attacks nearly a decade after his death.
“Osama bin Laden’s files left behind an imprint of a complex man, responsible for the murder of thousands of people,” said Bergen, who produced the first televised interview with bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1997. “History will remember him for that, but, in order to cut through the perception of this ascetic in a cave on a holy crusade, it’s important for us to see how he crafted the videos that went out to his followers. … Understanding him is vital in order to combat other potential bin Ladens in the future.”
Produced by ABC News’ Lincoln Square Productions, Virus Hunters looks at what can be done to head off the next contagion before it’s too late. With the world gripped by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, it’s not easy to think about what could be next. But those on the front lines of science know the worst could be still to come.
National Geographic fellow, epidemiologist and ecologist Christopher Golden is on a mission to connect the dots on culture, disease and the environment to discover the patterns that cause global health crises. ABC News foreign correspondent James Longman has seen the global ravages of COVID-19 firsthand and will use his investigative experience to find the answers to urgent questions the public is yearning for. Together, Golden and Longman will embark on an epic journey across continents to meet with the brave scientists on a quest to not only understand and stop the COVID-19 outbreak but also prevent the next deadly pandemic.