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  • Summary

  • When investigative journalist Shiv Malik was betrayed by a source he considered a friend, he spent almost fifteen years tracking down the truth about what happened. The Messenger is an extraordinary audio tale of friendship, lies, betrayal, terrorism, the destruction of a marriage, and the insidiousness of fake news long before it went viral. In the wake of the 7/7 London bombings, Shiv Malik began working for the BBC to discover how young South Asian men like him had turned into suicide bombers. That's when he met notorious Islamist spokesman Hassan Butt, who told Shiv that he'd repented and left al-Qaeda. Hassan wanted Shiv to write his biography, and Shiv thought he'd found the biggest story of his life—a story that would help to change the world for the better. Little did he know that Hassan Butt would almost destroy his life. Over the next three years, Shiv and Hassan became friends, until one day there was a knock on the door from police investigators and everything fell apart. In eight revealing episodes, featuring Shiv's own audio recordings of his conversations with Hassan, Shiv searches for where he can place his trust: in the reams of evidence, in the cops, in a terrorist who swears he's changed, or in a friend who has no one else to turn to? Produced by Topic Studios.
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Episodes
3 of 8 episodes
  • Episode 1: The Charming Jihadist

    Nov 05, 2020
    In the aftermath of 9/11 and the 7/7 London bombings, journalists were desperate to explain why young British Asian men were apparently turning against the country of their birth. Ambitious young reporter Shiv Malik prided himself on being able to persuade them to open up to him. Then he met Hassan Butt, one of the most notorious spokesman for Islamic terrorism in the UK. Hassan told Shiv he now denounced violence and asked Shiv to help him write a book to help others leave the terrorist network.
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    28 mins
  • Episode 2: How to Make A Terrorist

    Nov 05, 2020
    Shiv spends hundreds of hours recording conversations with Hassan in his small house near Manchester in the north of England to try and find out what it was that made Hassan the voice of violent Islamist idealogy. Hassan shares personal secrets and Shiv discovers they have more in common than he thought.
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    26 mins
  • Episode 3: How to Be A Terrorist

    Nov 05, 2020
    Hassan tells Shiv about how he moved to Pakistan and got deeper into the terrorist network. After 9/11, Hassan starts to meet some of America’s most wanted men and glories at being at the center of global attention. Then he gets involved in a bomb plot in Pakistan and tells Shiv that that’s when everything changed.
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    21 mins

What listeners say about The Messenger

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible journalism

All the reasons democracy needs robust journalism and the sacrifices journalists make to hold the powerful accountable.

7 people found this helpful

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Heck of a story; audio has some sore spots.

First off, I almost never rate anything 'perfect' so view my 4stars in that light. As one version of the saying goes, it ain't over 'til it's over. That sure applies here. An informative & interesting story that also contains twists to the twists. Bits of the audio were hard for me to make out but the reasons & instances were acceptable to me, within this story. This is one I'll come back to and replay a couple of times in the future.

4 people found this helpful

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A gripping story

It’s sad so many lives have been ruined by the biggest lie of all “Religion”

1 person found this helpful