Age of Terror

I’m currently looking for some good archive stuff to stick on here about this. Age of Terror was a 4-hour series for Discovery that aired on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Despite the fact that the fourth episode was never broadcast in the US (too anti-American, apparently) it was a good piece of work, and ended up winning a British Broadcast award. For a while it was available on DVD.

The series came about as a result of a long trawl for something to write after Cocaine. I decided at the start of 2001 that I was going to write a book about terrorism, inter-weaving four true stories from the points of view of the terrorists themselves. One story, I remember, was the kidnap and assassination of Aldo Morro; another had something to do with bin Laden – who was, at the time, vaguely contactable.

I did about six months’ research, got ready to pitch the book and then 9/11 stepped in. End of project. Instead of a publishing contract, I got a call from 3BMTV in London (now sadly defunct), asking whether I knew anything about terrorism and if I would write something for them. Since I had most of the information in my head, it took a month. Six months later I was in Colombia, interviewing FARC (again), Peru, interviewing Sendero Luminoso (again) and film crews were spread around the rest of the world tracking down and speaking to various other groups.

I’d love to post the original interviews with all the terrorists we interviewed here. Will have to try to locate them – and we’ll see what happens.

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