Whilst we’ve recently seen a plethora of documentaries covering the ‘war on terror’ and conflicts taking place throughout the Middle East, they’re often told a story from a similar perspective. Given the nature of groups like Al-Qaeda and daesh, it’s very rare that we get a glimpse into their world. When we do, it’s often about someone who has now left a terror organisation. Jonathan Hacker’s new documentary Path of Blood is almost unique in the access it has.
Not long after 9/11, Al-Qaeda cells were popping up all across Saudi Arabia. There was a concerted effort to target the interests of the House of Saud and its Western allies. Training camps were organised in the desert and plans were drawn up to target government officials, infrastructure and foreigners; first with suicide bombs and them with assassinations. Hacker uses Al-Qaeda home videos, Saudi security footage and a voiceover from Samuel West to illustrate this reign of terror.
Path of Blood is a fascinating documentary which provides an incredible insight into the mindset of Islamic terror groups. The home video footage is a chilling mix of comedic buffoonery and frighteningly ordinary future martyrs. The Saudis had a policy of filming every raid, so the security footage is a combination of gunfights and some extremely disturbing images of dead jihadists. Path of Blood is an odd and moving portrait of ordinary people carting out extraordinarily horrendous acts.