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In The Face Of Terror

Over three episodes, In the Face of Terror, a new series for BBC Two, follows the ordinary people searching for truth and justice following two deadly acts of terror. The first, a hostage crisis in Syria that culminated in seven beheadings by a British executioner, later dubbed ‘Jihadi John’.  The other, a far-right attack in Christchurch, New Zealand in which 51 people were shot dead in the city’s mosques.

Both incidents were broadcast to the world on the Internet, changing the face of terror as we know it and making headlines across the globe. What is less known is how the families and friends of those affected fought back.

Episodes one and two focus on the story of Jim Foley and David Haines, two of 23 Western hostages taken in Syria by a British terror cell, later dubbed ‘the Beatles’ because of their English accents. We follow Jim’s Mum, Diane as she fights for the two remaining members of the cell to face trial in the US. Kayla Mueller was the only female hostage in the group, and we meet her parents who still hold out hope of finding their daughter alive. Sean Langan, a journalist, travels to Syria in the hope of confronting the suspects directly, while elsewhere former hostages tell of their experience being held captive by ‘the Beatles’.

With unique access to those whose lives are still very much shaped by these tragic events, episode three focuses on the Christchurch mosque shooting. Livestreamed on Facebook, the incident was unprecedented and confirmed the far right as the world’s fastest growing terror threat. Using the attack as a starting point, the film tracks the shooter’s connections and contacts, uncovering a dark world of extremism and hate. The programme follows Farid, who lost his wife in the shooting, and Ambreen, whose husband and son were both killed, as well meeting former extremists now working to encourage others to turn their back on the far-right.

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