32 episodes

Seeking to separate fact from fiction, the multi award-winning series returns to investigate the divisive story of Shamima Begum.
When three London school girls went missing in 2015, they generated global headlines and the media storm that ensued continues to this day. Back then, investigative journalist Josh Baker was filming at a mosque in the girls' neighbourhood as their families came to seek help; their daughters were on the way to Syria to join the Islamic State group. But it was too late, and they disappeared inside the so-called caliphate.
For four years, their fate remained a mystery - with only occasional glimpses and sometimes conflicting reports of what they were doing with the terror group being made public. Only one of the girls emerged from the ashes of the so called caliphate - Shamima Begum.
The new series will take listeners inside Josh's attempts to figure out what really happened, unearthing new information about one of the most talked about stories of our time. He travels from Bethnal Green in East London to the depths of what was ISIS controlled Syria as he challenges Shamima Begum and investigates if the story she tells is true.
Series One - 'I'm Not A Monster: from BBC Panorama & FRONTLINE PBS'
The first series of I'm Not A Monster told the story of Sam Sally, an American mother who left behind a comfortable life and travelled to the heart of what the Islamic State group called its caliphate with her family. Her husband became an IS sniper and her 10 year-old son was forced to appear in an infamous propaganda video threatening President Trump. It's the BBC's most awarded podcast series to date, having received 16 nominations, winning 11 awards in 10 different international programme competitions including the Rose d 'Or for Best Audio series, three Golds and the Grand Jury Prize at the New York Festivals Radio Awards and Best Documentary Series at the Webbys and the inaugural Podcast Academy Awards (the Ambies) in 2021.

I'm Not a Monster BBC Podcasts

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 3.7K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
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Seeking to separate fact from fiction, the multi award-winning series returns to investigate the divisive story of Shamima Begum.
When three London school girls went missing in 2015, they generated global headlines and the media storm that ensued continues to this day. Back then, investigative journalist Josh Baker was filming at a mosque in the girls' neighbourhood as their families came to seek help; their daughters were on the way to Syria to join the Islamic State group. But it was too late, and they disappeared inside the so-called caliphate.
For four years, their fate remained a mystery - with only occasional glimpses and sometimes conflicting reports of what they were doing with the terror group being made public. Only one of the girls emerged from the ashes of the so called caliphate - Shamima Begum.
The new series will take listeners inside Josh's attempts to figure out what really happened, unearthing new information about one of the most talked about stories of our time. He travels from Bethnal Green in East London to the depths of what was ISIS controlled Syria as he challenges Shamima Begum and investigates if the story she tells is true.
Series One - 'I'm Not A Monster: from BBC Panorama & FRONTLINE PBS'
The first series of I'm Not A Monster told the story of Sam Sally, an American mother who left behind a comfortable life and travelled to the heart of what the Islamic State group called its caliphate with her family. Her husband became an IS sniper and her 10 year-old son was forced to appear in an infamous propaganda video threatening President Trump. It's the BBC's most awarded podcast series to date, having received 16 nominations, winning 11 awards in 10 different international programme competitions including the Rose d 'Or for Best Audio series, three Golds and the Grand Jury Prize at the New York Festivals Radio Awards and Best Documentary Series at the Webbys and the inaugural Podcast Academy Awards (the Ambies) in 2021.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Coming soon... The Shamima Begum Story

    Coming soon... The Shamima Begum Story

    Seeking to separate fact from fiction, the multi award-winning series returns to investigate the divisive story of Shamima Begum.

    When three London school girls went missing in 2015, they generated global headlines and the media storm that ensued continues to this day. Back then, investigative journalist Josh Baker was filming at a mosque in the girls’ neighbourhood as their families came to seek help; their daughters were on the way to Syria to join the Islamic State group. But it was too late, and they disappeared inside the so-called caliphate.

    For four years, their fate remained a mystery - with only occasional glimpses and sometimes conflicting reports of what they were doing with the terror group being made public. Only one of the girls emerged from the ashes of the so called caliphate - Shamima Begum.
    The new series takes listeners inside Josh’s attempts to figure out what really happened, unearthing new information about one of the most talked about stories of our time. He travels from Bethnal Green in East London to the depths of what was ISIS controlled Syria as he challenges Shamima Begum and investigates if the story she tells is true.

    • 1 min
    Introducing… The Shamima Begum Story

    Introducing… The Shamima Begum Story

    Investigating the story of Shamima Begum. At 15, she ran away from her London home with two school friends to join the terror group ISIS in war torn Syria. Now she wants to come back. It’s a tale that has gripped the world, but there are different ways to tell it.
    Josh Baker has been following the story since 2015 when Shamima Begum left for the Islamic State group. For Series 2 of I’m Not a Monster he investigates what really happened.
    ARCHIVE:
    CNN: Three British Girls Run Away to Syria (2015)
    Sky News: Newspaper Review (13/02/2019)
    ITV: Good Morning Britain (24/11/2020)
    Fox News; The Ingraham Angle (20/02/2019)
    ITV: Good Morning Britain (15/09/2021)

    • 3 min
    Series 2: 1. It Felt Like a Dream

    Series 2: 1. It Felt Like a Dream

    Three London schoolgirls disappear, heading for a war zone. Four years later only one emerges from the ashes of ISIS. Nobody knows what really happened to her. Josh Baker meets Shamima Begum in Syria to begin unpicking her story.
    Almost eight years earlier, he was filming in Shamima’s local mosque when news broke that she and her friends had gone missing, it made global headlines. He was there when their families came asking for help, but it was all too late; they'd already made it into the hands of the Islamic State group.
    But how did it all begin?
    Reporter: Josh Baker
    Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent
    Producers: Josh Baker, Sara Obeidat and Joe Kent
    Composer: Firas Abou Fakher
    Theme music: Sam Slater
    Mix and sound design: Tom Brignell
    Production coordinator: Janet Staples
    Series Editor: Jonathan Aspinwall
    Head of Long Form Audio: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins
    ARCHIVE
    Good Morning Britain (ITV, September 2021)
    Sky News: John Sparks interviews Shamima Begum (February 2019)

    • 32 min
    Series 2: 2. The Point of No Return

    Series 2: 2. The Point of No Return

    Following Shamima Begum’s route reveals a dangerous Islamic State group smuggling network, but that’s not all. A local taxi firm isn’t what it seems and a gangster threatens to make Josh “disappear.” It all ends in an underground carpark with a stack of secret documents and a warning.
    Reporter: Josh Baker
    Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent
    Producers: Josh Baker, Sara Obeidat and Joe Kent
    Field producers: Hussam Hammoud and Zeynep Bilginsoy
    Composer: Firas Abou Fakher
    Theme music: Sam Slater and Gunni Tynes
    Mix and sound design: Tom Brignell
    Production coordinator: Janet Staples
    Series Editor: Jonathan Aspinwall
    Head of Long Form Audio: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins
    This episode contains strong language.

    • 31 min
    Series 2: 3. Double Agent?

    Series 2: 3. Double Agent?

    The man who smuggled Shamima Begum to Syria claims he was spying for Canada. What's the truth? And could she and her school friends have been stopped from reaching the Islamic State group?
    Reporter: Josh Baker
    Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent
    Producers: Josh Baker, Sara Obeidat and Joe Kent
    Field producers: Hussam Hammoud
    Composer: Firas Abou Fakher
    Theme music: Sam Slater and Gunni Tynes
    Mix and sound design: Tom Brignell
    Production coordinator: Janet Staples
    Series Editor: Jonathan Aspinwall
    Head of Long Form Audio: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins
    ARCHIVE:
    SKY News: New Footage 'Of British IS Schoolgirls' (March 2015)

    • 37 min
    Series 2: 4. When You’re In Love

    Series 2: 4. When You’re In Love

    Friendship, propaganda and the promise of paradise - why Shamima Begum left London at 15 for the Islamic State group in war torn Syria. But how did she ignore the group’s brutal violence? And who convinced her to go?
    The feature length documentary, "The Shamima Begum Story", will be on BBC2 at 9pm on February 7th.
    Reporter: Josh Baker
    Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent
    Producers: Josh Baker, Sara Obeidat and Joe Kent
    Composer: Firas Abou Fakher
    Theme music: Sam Slater and Gunni Tynes
    Mix and sound design: Tom Brignell
    Production coordinator: Janet Staples
    Series Editor: Jonathan Aspinwall
    Head of Long Form Audio: Emma Rippon
    Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins
    Guidance: This episode contains descriptions of extreme violence

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
3.7K Ratings

3.7K Ratings

LWKM ,

Fascinating and Brilliantly Reported

This has become my favorite podcast. Both seasons were amazing and I couldn’t stop listening. Stories are so intriguing and fascinating, and the reporting is absolute perfection. 100% recommend this to everyone.

oatbun ,

Can’t turn it off

Interesting stories, the narration keeps you engage to the story.
As the events are presented it I kept debating if these people were involve or just irresponsible who made very poor decisions.
I hope season 3 comes soon.

Kay Louie ,

Major 5 Stars

Brilliant journalism and amazing story!

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