The Board­ing School Bomber

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, ABC2 Though this could be a lit­tle close to the bone for some, The Board­ing School Bomber is noth­ing if not timely. The drama­tised doc­u­men­tary tells the story of An­drew Ibrahim, a man from an os­ten­si­bly loving mid­dle-class Chris­tian fam­ily, who care­fully planned a ter­ror bomb­ing in a Bris­tol shop­ping cen­tre in 2008, just three years af­ter the Lon­don bomb­ing known as 7/7, which took 56 lives and in­jured hun­dreds. The doc­u­men­tary presents a mix of drama­ti­sa­tion, real closed­cir­cuit TV and archival footage, and in­ter­views with friends and fam­ily, in­clud­ing Ibrahim’s mother Vicky. While at the out­set ev­ery­one claims he was a nor­mal kid from a nor­mal fam­ily, a pic­ture of a loner soon emerges — an an­gry boy who did not make friends eas­ily, who held him­self aloof and be­gan smok­ing mar­i­juana at age 13. Ibrahim took ec­stasy at school rave par­ties but com­plained to ac­quain­tances that co­caine wasn’t do­ing what he wanted it to, so he moved on to heroin. Soon enough, just like Bos­ton Marathon bombers the Tsar­naev broth­ers, Ibrahim fell in love with Is­lam and was then rad­i­calised by the ex­cesses of the in­ter­net. A chill­ing and in­struc­tive pro­gram about how an­gry, iso­lated young men fall vic­tim to pur­vey­ors of hate with ap­palling con­se­quences for many.

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