Lawrence Wright is a reporter for the New Yorker Magazine, and an author of the bestselling book on Al Qaeda, The Looming Tower. He's also one of the few people in America who can say definitively that he was targeted by the U.S.
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Host Ira Glass recalls the case of the so-called Detroit Sleeper Cell—four men, arrested in the weeks after 9/11, accused of plotting terrorist attacks. Ira explains that the entire program will be devoted to the story of the man who prosecuted the case...an up-and-coming prosecutor in the Department of Justice, Richard G.
Reporter Petra Bartosiewicz tells the first half of Rick Convertino's story. The Detroit Sleeper case was one of the earliest Justice Department victories in the war on terror.
Reporter Petra Bartosiewicz's story continues. Tensions between Rick and his bosses at the Justice Department escalate: They demote him, he sues them, they put him on trial for criminal misconduct, in the very same federal court house where we won the Sleeper Cell case.
Thanksgiving 2002, the Ohm family's dinner conversation turned to the recent terrorist attacks. Alexis Ohm, the youngest daughter, made a comment that in retrospect she admits was probably the wrong thing to say with her conservative, military-veteran dad at the table...that Osama bin Laden was hot.