he Siege," starring Denzel Washington and Annette Bening, is a story of 'blowback' and the extreme measures government will implement to maintain control.
After the bombing of a U.S. facility abroad, American military forces capture and place in custody the man suspected to be responsible (the Sheikh). It's this action that sets off a chain reaction of retaliation.
Soon after, in New York, unnamed Islamic terrorists attack the city and its people, demanding the Sheikh's release. Denzel, as the FBI's chief counter-terror agent, chases the terrorist cells through the city, always rooting his actions in law and order, despite the directions of others. It's when the terrorists blow up a federal building, killing 600, that the President steps in and declares martial law.
The army goes block by block, door to door, and rounds up any and all Muslim people that fit their broad profile: male, 14-30 years of age. Beyond that, the military sees no moral conflict in torturing suspects for information, despite Denzel's eloquent plea against it. In the end, the FBI works in the shadows to legally take down the terrorists and arrest the military men responsible for the reprehensible actions in the city.