How times have changed. The FBI filled a room at the Westwood federal building yesterday with screenwriters invited in for a seminar on how to realistically portray anti-terrorist efforts. Special agent Greg Wing and an undercover agent "presented a whirlwind history of Islam, beginning with Sunni-Shiite hostilities in 682 AD," Paul Bond says in today's Hollywood Reporter.
The major terrorist group aligned with Sunni Muslims is al-Qaida, while Hezbollah, "the best terrorist organization there is," are Shiite Muslims, the undercover agent said.
He showed flags and logos of terrorist groups and explained that the colors of turbans worn by terrorism suspects could have significance. He also showed photos and video of al-Qaida training camps and torture rooms and pictures of unfortunate Americans who had been captives there. He showed photos of the suicide bombers who killed 17 U.S. sailors aboard the USS Cole in 2000 and pictures of the house where they built their bombs.
The undercover agent played phone messages from passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which went down in a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001, and inspired the film "United 93." He also played audio from the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 11, the airplane Mohamed Atta flew into the World Trade Center that day.
"Amazing," attendee Dave DiGilio said after the event. DiGilio wrote the film Eight Below and created the upcoming ABC series Traveler, about a couple of graduate students who might have been framed for a terrorist attack.
Expect a rash of adventure flicks starring the FBI as heroes in about two years.