Dig into the complexities of terrorism and discover that nothing is ever what it seems. We revisit six acts of terror since World War II using first-hand interviews, archival footage and reconstructions to piece together what exactly happened during those horrific moments in history. The meaning of these terrorist attacks only becomes apparent when looking at them from multiple perspectives, by putting them in a historical context and most importantly through scrutinous research with a keen eye for the economics of terrorism. Leading terrorism experts give testimony on how terrorism has changed over the years and how the process of radicalization and de-radicalization works.
Episode 1: The Hotel
22 July 1946. The headquarters of the British Army in Palestine is located in the luxurious King David Hotel. Members of the Irgun, the Jewish resistance movement, smuggle milk churns packed with explosives into the hotel and hide them in the basement. Thirty minutes later an enormous explosion brings down the entire south wing of the hotel. Ninety-one people die.
Episode 2: The Bar
30 September 1956. For over a century Algeria has been a colony of France and the Algerians are fed up with it. A young Algerian woman visits a bar in the European quarter of Algiers. She orders an ice cream, plants a bomb underneath her chair and leaves the establishment. Three people are killed and many more are injured.
Episode 3: The Games
5 September 1972. For the first time ever, the Olympic Games are broadcast live on television. Early in the morning of September 5, eight Palestinians, members of the Black September movement, attack the apartments of the Israeli delegation and kill two athletes. Immediately, the TV cameras switch from the Olympic sports events to the unfolding hostage drama.
Episode 4: The Station
2 August 1980. A suitcase is left in the lobby of Bologna Central Station, and explodes not long after. The gigantic explosion rips the station building apart and a train waiting to leave for Chiasso is torn to shreds. 85 people are killed and 200 are injured. The attack is attributed to a neo-fascist organisation.
Episode 5: The Ship
12 October 2000. The American naval vessel USS Cole docks in Aden, Yemen to refuel. Two men approach in a small boat. They wave to the crew before ramming the ship at full speed. The resulting explosion kills seventeen sailors. It doesn’t take long for the American authorities to identify the mastermind behind the attack: the Yemenite Al-Nashiri, member of Al Qaida.
Episode 6: The Island
22 July 2011. Anders Breivik detonates a bomb in Oslo’s government quarter. In the midst of the ensuing chaos he drives to the island of Utøya, where youth members of the Labour party have just started their annual summer camp. When he arrives, he opens fire on the young adults. That single day a total of 77 people die.
1. The Hotel - Jerusalem, 1946
2. The Bar - Algiers, 1956
3. The Games - Munich, 1972
4. The Station - Bologna, 1980
5. The Ship - USS Cole, 2000
6. The Island - Norway, 2011