The Terrorist Next Door

How did the quiet streets of Montreal create a terrorist intent on bombing LAX airport? Inspired by real-life events, the timely CTV Original Movie The Terrorist Next Door premieres Sunday, June 15 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.

Before 9/11, and days before Y2K, there was Ahmed Ressam – aka the “Millennium Bomber.” An Algerian immigrant who was recruited by an al-Qaeda terrorist sleeper cell operating in Canada, Ressam went on to be investigated by CSIS and the FBI and arrested for his part in a plot to kill innocent people at Los Angeles’ busiest airport. The Terrorist Next Door transports viewers back to a more innocent age, when few Canadians could ever imagine that terror sleeper cells were rooted on their own soil.

Directed by Jerry Ciccoritti (Lives of the Saints, Trudeau), written by Suzette Couture (The Man Who Lost Himself) and executive produced by Pierre Sarrazin (The Man Who Lost Himself, Doomstown) and Richard Lalonde (Ma Fille Mon Ange, Last Exit), The Terrorist Next Door was recently accepted into competition at the Roma Fiction Fest next month in Italy.

The Terrorist Next Door takes viewers into the very human story of a young Algerian immigrant named Ahmed Ressam (Chenier Hundal, Partition), from his arrival in Montreal to his recruitment by Majid (Reda Guerinik, Incendies), the leader of an al-Qaeda sleeper cell. Majid’s wife, Nicole (Kathleen Robertson, Hollywoodland, Last Exit), who converted to Islam for the husband she loves, is blind to the fact that his travels as head of an international charity are for less-than-philanthropic ends.

Nicole’s world implodes when an old flame – Pelletier (Chris William Martin, Chaos Theory), now a Canadian Security Intelligence Service officer teamed up with an FBI agent Wade (Michael Ironside, The Machinist) – makes a desperate attempt to convince her that her husband married her as a cover, and is deeply involved in a terrorist plot. But the baton has already been passed, and the chase is on to stop Ressam before he can accomplish his devastating mission in Los Angeles.

In the events following the conclusion of the film, Ressam was arrested in 1999, and eventually convicted of smuggling a bomb into the United States from Canada as part of an al-Qaeda plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Eve.

“The Terrorist Next Door is a dramatic thriller but also an insightful look at terrorism in our own backyard,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “This is a story that made headlines around the world and continues to have reverberations to this day.”

“The Terrorist Next Door tells the troubling and complex story of a young man who came to Canada looking for freedom and ended up choosing terrorism,” said Executive Producer Pierre Sarrazin (The Man Who Lost Himself).

The Terrorist Next Door also stars Jean-Francois Blanchard (Catch Me if You Can) as CSIS Officer Elmore and Paul Doucet (October 1970, Maurice Richard) as Burgess.

About the author