What does Geronimo 1

"Geronimo": Leon de Winter's political thriller

Transmission date: May 30th, 2021 7:00 p.m.

Do you think you know the truth? The truth about the death of the most wanted terrorist of all time? Leon de Winter tells a breathtakingly different version of the story.

by Susanne Hoffmann

"Geronimo" is a political, action and agent thriller. It is set against a real, i.e. historical, background, but it is fiction. "Any correspondence with actual persons, organizations, events or historical facts is based on mere chance," writes author Leon de Winter.

The official order: "Kill or capture"

The focus is on the operation "Neptune's Spear", which the then US President Barack Obama had carried out on the night of May 1st, 2011. A special unit of the Navy Seals, Seal Team Six, was supposed to get Osama bin Laden, the most wanted terrorist of all time, from his hiding place in Abottabad, Pakistan: "Kill or capture" was the official order. The operation was successful. Osama bin Laden was shot dead by the Navy Seals storming his property. That same night Obama announced the killing of the terrorist chief in a televised address. The identity of the deceased was confirmed by comparing the DNA of a half-sister who had died in Boston, bin Laden's body was buried in the Arabian Sea around noon on May 2, according to the Islamic rite.

Leon de Winter's conspiracy theory

So much for the official story of the operation. There was no conclusive evidence such as photos or television images of bin Laden's corpse. Contradicting reports about the operation fueled conspiracy theories that subsequently mushroomed. Leon de Winter also presented his own reading of the events in "Geronimo". With him, bin Laden is not shot, but abducted in a conspiratorial act by leaders of the Navy Seal team and exchanged for a doppelganger.

Love and loss, terror and barbarism

"You are very naive, Herr de Winter"

For "Geronimo" Leon de Winter spoke to a CIA agent who was involved in the hunt for bin Laden. That raised doubts about the official story. Interview with the author. more

Leon de Winter's novel tells of power, terror and barbarism, of competing intelligence services, of love and loss, guilt, friendship and betrayal. He jumps back and forth between places and times, as well as between perspectives. The plot extends on a time axis between 2004 and 2013 and takes place between Madrid, London, Amsterdam, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangkok, Washington, Israel, among others. In the center of the action: Tom Johnson, successful CIA man, whose young daughter is killed as a result of the terrorist attack in Madrid in 2004. His marriage falls apart, he works himself off the guilt of not being there at the crucial moment. Years later he hunted down the Taliban and met a girl, Apana, during a mission in Afghanistan, whom he enthused for her passion, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and thus plunged her doom. There is also a young Pakistani boy, Jabbar, whose mother belongs to a Christian minority. Jabbar witnessed the storming of bin Laden's property as an eyewitness, unknowingly and by chance he came into possession of a data carrier on which bin Laden had stored secret and highly sensitive information about Barack Obama and which was causing the secret services to rotate.


A radio play based on the novel of the same name by Leon de Winter
With Sylvester Groth as Tom Johnson, Barbara nuts as Ruth Fiorentino, Matthias Bundschuh as UBL, Stephanie Eidt as Vera Barranco, Birte Schnöink as Apana, Peter Kurth as Vito Giuffrida, Michael redhead as M-U, Martin Engler as Sam Mirco Kreibich as Ed, Ibrahima Sanogo as Robbie, Julian Greis as Mike, Konstantin Graudus as Jerry, Sebastian Urzendowski as Jabbar, Max von Pufendorf as Danny Davis, et al.
Translation from Dutch: Hanni Ehlers
Composition: Andreas Bick
Trumpet: Paul Brody
Rubab: Markus Schlaffke
Bansuri: Tilmann Dehnhard
Occupation: Dagmar Titz and Marc Zippel
Sound and technology: DeviceUlrich Poggensee, Sabine Kaufmann and Sebastian Ohm
Assistant director: Lisa Krumme
Editing and direction: Christiane Ohaus
Dramaturgy and editing: Susanne Hoffmann
Production: NDR 2018

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NDR culture | Detective radio play | 05/30/2021 | 7:00 p.m.