The New York skyline with the Twin Towers

The worst terrorist attack in American history is also the least understood. It was not the action of one man - Osama bin Laden. It was the creation of a network, spanning decades. It began as a New York story, as homegrown as baseball. And while the first blood was shed in the early 1990’s, the roots of the violence stretch back decades and even centuries, making the final horrendous act almost inevitable. When it comes to 9/11, everyone knows what happened afterwards. The real story is all about what happened before, and why. With more than 60 interviews, including series advisor, Pulitzer Prize willing journalist Steve Coll, Road to 9/11 is a twisted and tragic tale that has only existed previously in fragments. There are missed signals, failed operations, tragic miscommunications and political turf wars - as well as a few fleeting successes by real people at the heart of the story.

This is a spy story, a true crime thriller and a political drama all at once. It is a story of real men and women on opposite sides of a vast conflict, playing for the highest stakes. In the forensic, foreboding detail of a six hour-movie, HISTORY’s Road to 9/11 documentary series will redefine our understanding of what happened, focusing primarily on the period between the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the moment of impact on 9/11 itself. Using a tick-tock of tense cat-and-mouse narratives of terrorists and counter-terrorists, friends and foes, we follow the calamitous intersection of war and faith, natural resources and scientific progress, plane and tower. How did this happen? When did this hate begin, and why?