• Summary

  • A strange letter appears on a city councillor’s desk in Birmingham, England, laying out an elaborate plot by Islamic extremists to infiltrate the city’s schools. The plot has a code name: Operation Trojan Horse. The story soon explodes in the news and kicks off a national panic. By the time it all dies down, the government has launched multiple investigations, beefed up the country’s counterterrorism policy, revamped schools and banned people from education for the rest of their lives. To Hamza Syed, who is watching the scandal unfold in his city, the whole thing seemed … off. Because through all the official inquiries and heated speeches in Parliament, no one has ever bothered to answer a basic question: Who wrote the letter? And why? The night before Hamza is to start journalism school, he has a chance meeting in Birmingham with the reporter Brian Reed, the host of the hit podcast S-Town. Together they team up to investigate: Who wrote the Trojan Horse letter? They quickly discover that it’s a question people in power do not want them asking. From Serial Productions and The New York Times comes The Trojan Horse Affair: a mystery in eight parts.
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Episodes
  • Jan 27 2022
    A mysterious letter detailing a supposed Islamist plot to take over schools shocked Britain in 2014. But who wrote it? From Serial Productions and The New York Times, “The Trojan Horse Affair,” an investigation that became bigger than we ever imagined. All eight parts are coming next Thursday, February 3rd.
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    3 mins
  • Feb 3 2022
    A strange letter appears outlining a plot by Islamic extremists to infiltrate Birmingham schools. Hamza and Brian visit the supposed mastermind of the plot, and he tells them he did take over a bunch of schools – just not for the reasons in the letter.
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    59 mins
  • Feb 3 2022
    Hamza and Brian think the source of the Trojan Horse letter might be hiding in plain sight. After learning about the petty personnel dispute that probably gave rise to the letter, they’re even more bewildered about how it ever could have been taken seriously.
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    53 mins

What listeners say about The Trojan Horse Affair

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Fantastic Reporting!

Loved it! Each episode left me excited for more! So glad they kept pushing for truth.

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Excellent.

I am very glad Hamza and Brian found each other for this story. Thank you both.

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Excellent and addictive!

Fascinating reporting. Listened to one episode after another after another. I want more podcasts like this one! Highly recommend.

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Best Podcast since S-town

Love the combo of these two journalists, the calming expertise of Brian and the raw unapologetic honesty of Hamza work beautiful together.
Please do more together!

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good story

dragged out . could be 4 instead of 8 hours long. but real view of our world of conspiracy

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Good but biased

great journalism, but definitely on a mission to prove preconceived notions. they definitely underplayed LGBT and women's rights considerations, which to those affected is concerning.

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  • ferti
  • 02-08-22

This is spectacular. Excellently naratted.

This is unbelievable. Amazing journalism exposing systemic islamophobia in the recent trojan horse affair.

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  • loulowton
  • 02-06-22

Highly recommend

Superb podcast. Balanced, thorough, human, and determined. Thanks for doing this, guys. I was a school leader in Birmingham at the time and Gove, Birmingham Education Dept and the ensuing compulsory training for all schools to deal with radicalisation (in a school with a significant problem with radicalisation of white boys into the English Defence League...not important apparently) ...were an unmitigated disaster from start to finish. Hope justice will prevail one day but I'm not holding my breath.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-21-22

Intriguing!

Really good. Interesting and informative. Great narrators that talk really fast! Highly recommended. Thank you

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  • c0nv1ct
  • 03-27-22

Enlightening

Epic concoction of facts, findings and u-turns. The yin-yang relationship between the authors complimented the direction of the investigation. Well done chaps!

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  • Mohammed Zahid
  • 03-10-22

Absolutely Riveting!

How is it possible that in modern day society a select group of people from a small portion of the population could be targeted in such a way.

The Podcast is riveting in its analysis of the Trojan Horse affair. Anyone who listens to this without prejudice or misconceptions can see through the facade and see that this was not only a tragedy but absolutely disgusting in how the local community was thrown to the wolves to be ripped apart.

The community is one of the poorest in the country and was never given the chance to aspire to much by the authorities and even the old guard. Finally a few teachers that lived and grew up within Birmingham had enough and put forward an action plan to really make a change and put the kids first. And boy oh boy did they make a difference! so much so that the once considered failed schools became on par with some of the most richest schools in the country.
They where so successful that within few years they became outstanding and become highlights for other cities and even European city's to come and model.

How could a poor area in an inner city suburb with 90% brown Muslim faces be on par with white middle class areas around the county? something must be going on here something fishy.

Meanwhile an evil genius who is running a school within the city is in a spot of bother, her plans to take over the school fully is being hampered by these pesky teaching assistants.
She manages to put a plan in place that not only gets rid of the teaching assistants for good but also these fishy teachers that have come out of nowhere and taken out the old guard in some of these inner city schools.

The evil genius strikes and the Empire retains its lustre and order is restored to the good old days where everyone knows there place.

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  • J.V.W
  • 02-20-22

Disturbing I don’t feel it’s covering all the facts

This seems at odds with other serial productions. Very biased and misleading not up to usual standards.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-06-22

brilliant!

I loved everything about this podcast..
the story the journos were justifiably chasing is outrageous but sadly just so familiar in every predominately white, Christian Country.
I loved the ‘odd couple’ pairing of the journos and their road trips
the editing was perfect.. I honestly felt I had gone along for the entire ride in person