The Boarding School Bomber
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.