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Each time a young man leaves a quiet suburb to join ISIS, we are shocked. Why do they do it? How can they be stopped? And if they come back, what to do with them? These are the questions that drive Mubin Shaikh on his quest to stop potential jihadis around the world.
Guided by Shaikh, an ex-jihadi turned undercover informant, we see the world through the eyes of ‘home-grown jihadis’ who – driven by anger, a sense of oppression and a lust for action – seek to destroy their own nations and communities. As a government informant, Shaikh risked his life to uncover details of The Toronto 18, a sophisticated terrorist plot with links to the US and the UK that promised carnage and devastation. His actions prevented the attack, and his testimony sent eleven men to prison in Canada, the US and the UK.
Shaikh is a now a sought-after consultant to international intelligence organisations involved in combating terrorism and jihadism. He will be our guide on a dramatic journey that will lead us to the international teams that are working today to detect and prevent attacks in the United States, Canada, the UK, France and Germany.
In Washington we discover how American intelligence is dealing with home-grown radicalisation. In Germany we discover how experience working with neo-Nazis turned out to be applicable to jihadi networks and in France, we look at social unrest in Muslim neighbourhoods. We visit the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation in London to witness how Britain is dealing with terrorism, and in Canada, we see how some police agencies are trying European methods.
The stories we hear from ex-jihadis and from Mubin himself lead us to an understanding that it is possible to fight radicalism not only on the battlefield, but in the hearts and minds of the jihadis themseves.
Directed by multi-award winner Barry Stevens, Undercover Jihadi provides a global snapshot of how major countries and communities are dealing with the jihadists at home.