8 episodes

Radiolab reporter Latif Nasser always believed his name was uniquely his own. Until he makes a shocking discovery that he shares his name with another man: Detainee 244 at Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. government paints a terrifying picture of The Other Latif as Al-Qaeda’s top explosives expert, and an advisor to Osama bin Laden. Nasser’s lawyer claims that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and that he was never even in Al-Qaeda. This clash leads Radiolab’s Latif into a years-long investigation, trying to uncover what this man actually did or didn’t do. Along the way, Radiolab’s Latif reflects on American values and his own religious past, and wonders how his namesake, a fellow nerdy, suburban Muslim kid, traveled such a strikingly different path.

The Other Latif WNYC Studios

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 365 Ratings

Radiolab reporter Latif Nasser always believed his name was uniquely his own. Until he makes a shocking discovery that he shares his name with another man: Detainee 244 at Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. government paints a terrifying picture of The Other Latif as Al-Qaeda’s top explosives expert, and an advisor to Osama bin Laden. Nasser’s lawyer claims that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and that he was never even in Al-Qaeda. This clash leads Radiolab’s Latif into a years-long investigation, trying to uncover what this man actually did or didn’t do. Along the way, Radiolab’s Latif reflects on American values and his own religious past, and wonders how his namesake, a fellow nerdy, suburban Muslim kid, traveled such a strikingly different path.

    Breaking News about The Other Latif

    Breaking News about The Other Latif

    A major development in the case of Guantanamo detainee Abdul Latif Nasser.

    • 2 min
    The United States of America

    The United States of America

    Despite being cleared for transfer back to his family in Morocco in 2016, Abdul Latif Nasser remains stuck at Guantanamo Bay. Why? Latif talks to some of the civil servants actually responsible for Abdul Latif’s transfer and they tell him a dramatic story of what went on behind the scenes at some of the highest levels of government.  It’s a surprisingly riveting story of paperwork, where what’s at stake is not only the fate of one man, but also the soul of America.  

    This episode was produced by Sarah Qari, Annie McEwen, Suzie Lechtenberg, and Latif Nasser, and reported by Sarah Qari and Latif Nasser. Fact checking by Diane Kelly and Margot Williams. Editing by Jad Abumrad and Soren Wheeler. Original music by Jad Abumrad, Dylan Keefe, Alex Overington, and Amino Belyamani. 

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 50 min
    Cuba-ish

    Cuba-ish

    Latif heads to Guantanamo Bay to try to speak to his namesake.  Before he gets there, he attempts to answer a seemingly simple question: why Cuba? Why in the world did the United States pick this sleepy military base in the Caribbean to house “the worst of the worst”?  He tours the “legal equivalent of outer space,” and against all odds, manages to see his doppelgänger… maybe.

    This episode was produced by Bethel Habte and Simon Adler, with Sarah Qari, Suzie Lechtenberg, and Latif Nasser. Help from W. Harry Fortuna and Neel Dhanesha. Fact checking by Diane Kelly and Margot Williams. Editing by Jad Abumrad and Soren Wheeler. Original music by Jad Abumrad, Simon Adler, Alex Overington, and Amino Belyamani.

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 57 min
    Afghanistan

    Afghanistan

    Latif investigates the mystery around Abdul Latif’s classified time in Afghanistan. He traces the government’s story through scrappy training camps, bombed out Buddhas, and McDonald’s apple pies to the very center of the Battle of Tora Bora.  Could Abdul Latif have helped the most sought-after and hated terrorist in modern history, Osama bin Laden, escape? The episode ends with a bombshell jailhouse interview with Abdul Latif, the most reliable evidence yet of what was going on in this man’s mind in the months after 9/11.

    This episode was produced by Annie McEwen, Sarah Qari, Suzie Lechtenberg, and Latif Nasser. Fact checking by Diane Kelly and Margot Williams. Editing by Jad Abumrad and Soren Wheeler. With help from Neel Dhanesha, Kelly Prime, and Audrey Quinn. Original music by Jad Abumrad, Alex Overington, Annie McEwen, and Amino Belyamani. 

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Sudan

    Sudan

    Latif turns his focus to Sudan, where his namesake spent time working on a sunflower farm. What could be suspicious about that?  Latif scrutinizes the evidence to try to discover whether - as Abdul Latif’s lawyer insists - it was just an innocent clerical job, or - as the government alleges - it was where he decided to become an extremist fighter.  

    This episode was produced by Suzie Lechtenberg, Sarah Qari, and Latif Nasser. With help from Niza Nondo and Maaki Monem. Fact checking by Diane Kelly and Margot Williams. Editing by Jad Abumrad and Soren Wheeler. Original music by Jad Abumrad, Alex Overington, Jeremy Bloom, and Amino Belyamani. 

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 36 min
    Morocco

    Morocco

    Latif travels to Abdul Latif’s hometown of Casablanca, Morocco, to try and find out: was he radicalized? And if so, how? Latif begins by visiting the man’s family, but the family’s reaction to him gets complicated as Latif digs for the truth. He finds out surprising information on a political group Abdul Latif joined in his youth, his alleged onramp to extremism. Tensions escalate when Latif realizes he’s being tailed. 

    Read more about Abdul Latif Nasser at the New York Times’ Guantanamo Docket. 

    This episode was produced by Sarah Qari, Suzie Lechtenberg, and Latif Nasser. With help from Tarik El Barakah and Amira Karaoud. Fact checking by Diane Kelly and Margot Williams. Editing by Jad Abumrad and Soren Wheeler. Original music by Jad Abumrad, Alex Overington, and Amino Belyamani. 

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
365 Ratings

365 Ratings

Beth LeBoeuf ,

You must listen

This is an incredible dive into the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention center. I am so proud of Radio Lab and all their hard work at putting this compelling documentary out about what can happen when information lines are crossed. As an American, it is hard to listen to the injustice that occurs on behalf of your government. Though it has been 20 years since the September 11th attacks, we must never forget… but also we must not let injustice take precedent due to fear. Abdul Latif Nasser is what happens when we do. Commendable effort and a great listen!

sylphid1959 ,

Compelling!

While I was curious about the topic, I wasn’t sure I’d want to listen to all the episodes… I was entranced! So well researched. Kudos to Latif and his team, as well as the attorneys who persevered. May real justice prevail and close Guantanamo down.

shebalv ,

Thank you

What a blessing this team was in undertaking the research to bring this story forward. I shed tears often while listening, sometimes getting an inside look into our government can be heartbreaking.

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