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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A man banned from working in education in the aftermath of the Trojan Horse letter inspires Brian and Hamza to track down one last witness with him – in Australia. And all three travelers find their faith tested.
Birmingham authorities struggle to explain why they disavowed their own findings about the Trojan Horse plot. But when Brian and Hamza make a discovery deep inside some court documents, everything suddenly makes sense.
Hamza takes a long, hard look at what the government found when it investigated more than 20 majority-Muslim schools in Birmingham. And our two reporters have a confrontation – with each other.