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The Looming Tower

The Looming Tower

  • Premiered: 
    February 28, 2018
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Hulu
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the 2006 book (The Looming Tower) by Lawrence Wright 
  • Subject Matter: Secret Agent/Spy
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    Season 1

Plot Synopsis

Based on Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, THE LOOMING TOWER is a 10-episode limited drama series that traces the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1990s and how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA during that time may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11. The series follows members of the I-49 Squad in New York and Alec Station in Washington, D.C., the counter-terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively, as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward the same goal -- trying to prevent an imminent attack on U.S. soil.

John O'Neill, the bullheaded chief of the I-49 Squad, is rightly convinced that the U.S. has been targeted for an attack by Al-Qaeda. He and his protege, Muslim-American FBI agent Ali Soufan, face deliberately insufficient cooperation from other organizations within the federal government. Specifically, their counterparts within the CIA, led by the frequently antagonistic Martin Schmidt. Convinced he's by far the smartest person in the room, Schmidt, along with his Alec Station protege, Diane Marsh, opt to disobey Presidential orders and horde information from the FBI under the misguided notion that the CIA is the only government agency equipped to battle potential terror threats from abroad. O'Neill and Soufan travel overseas to investigate the bombings of the Nairobi Embassy, Dar es Salaam Embassy and the U.S.S. Cole, while interrogating terrorists in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, gathering important intelligence piece by piece. Meanwhile in D.C., Schmidt and Marsh are given critical information of their own -- the knowledge that known Al-Qaeda members, whom O'Neill and Soufan are trying to track down, have entered the United States. Working with Schmidt to keep that information private, Marsh rises up through the ranks of Alec Station. Soufan also rises through the FBI, using his intimate knowledge of Islam and Arabic to form bonds with foreign intelligence agents and suspects alike. Schmidt and O'Neill however, experience individual professional demise due to their own aggressive stubbornness.
On Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 3:01am ET/12:01am PT, Hulu released "9/11," the finale of THE LOOMING TOWER. It's September 11, 2001 and no one can get a hold of O'Neill. Soufan's evacuation from Yemen stops short as the CIA Station Chief gives him all the answers he has been asking from the CIA for months. Schmidt is reinstated into Alec Station. Soufan finally interrogates Abu Jandal.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Legendary Television