PBS Frontline episode The Man Who Knew.
As an FBI agent who specialized in counter-terrorism, John P. O’Neill investigated the bombing of the American embassies in Africa, the USS Cole in Yemen, the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, and the first attack on the World Trade Center. O’Neill came to believe America should kill Osama bin Laden before Al Qaeda launched a devastating attack, but his was often a lonely voice. A controversial figure inside the buttoned-down world of the FBI, he was forced out of the job he loved and entered the private sector – as director of security for the World Trade Center.(pbs)
John Patrick O’Neill (February 6, 1952 – September 11, 2001) was an American counter-terrorism expert, who worked as a special agent and eventually a Special Agent in Charge in the Federal Bureau of Investigation until late 2001. In 1995, O’Neill began to intensely study the roots of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing after he assisted in the capture of Ramzi Yousef, who was the leader of that plot.
He subsequently learned of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and investigated the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen. Partly due to personal friction he had within the FBI and federal government, O’Neill was pushed out of the Bureau in 2001. He became the head of security at the World Trade Center, where he died at age 49 in the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2002, O’Neill was the subject of a Frontline documentary The Man Who Knew, and cast as the protagonist in the television miniseries The Path to 9/11 and the 2003 book, “The Man Who Warned America by Murray Weiss.”
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