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I'm Not A Monster - from BBC Panorama & FRONTLINE PBS
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I'm Not A Monster - from BBC Panorama & FRONTLINE PBS

Author: BBC Radio

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How did an American family end up in the heart of the ISIS caliphate? Over four years, journalist Josh Baker unravels a dangerous story where nothing is as it seems.
11 Episodes
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Sam’s son Matthew was just seven when he was taken to Syria and the Islamic State group. He thought he’d never see America again. Now he’s back with his dad and talks of the “sweet relief” of being home. Josh finds out how he and Sam’s other children are doing now. This episode includes references to violence and some upsetting moments involving children. CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Mixed by: Tom Brignell Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds
After years of insisting she’s innocent, Sam pleads guilty and Moussa’s exes reveal more about the man that led her to Syria. Sam’s team claims she was “a wife under the thumb of her violently abusive and radical husband” but the prosecution says she has “credibility issues” and tells stories that serve her personally. So how long will she spend in prison? This episodes contains some upsetting moments involving children. If you know something that you think might help the investigation please email notamonster@bbc.com CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Mixed by: Tom Brignell Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds. ARCHIVE: ABC News: President Donald Trump declares national emergency to address coronavirus outbreak
Josh retraces Sam’s steps in Syria and asks could she have been an ISIS supporter all along? He meets her old neighbours in Raqqa, visits the infamous torture prison where she says she was held and meets an Islamic State group member who knew her personally. This episode includes references to violence. CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Mixed by: Tom Brignell Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds.
As Josh starts to uncover more about the family’s past, Sam tries to explain away some of the many discrepancies in her story. Then, a connection to the FBI raises new questions about her. If you know something that you think might help the investigation please email notamonster@bbc.com CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Mixed by: Tom Brignell Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds. ARCHIVE: ITV News: Filthy and overcrowded': Islamic State families stuck in 'no man's land' CBS News: CBS News goes inside Syrian refugee camp filled with ISIS supporters
A torture prison, buying slaves and a dramatic escape - Sam continues her account of her years in Raqqa. This episode includes references to sexual abuse, extreme violence and some upsetting moments involving children. CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Mixed by: Rod Farquhar Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps If you've been affected by any of the issues in this series, please contact support organisations in your own country. For a list of organisations in the UK that can provide support for survivors of sexual abuse, go to bbc.co.uk/actionline “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds.
Josh is face-to-face with Sam after a year trying to track her down. On a military base in Syria, she begins to tell her side of the story. She says it all started as a family holiday... CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Mixed By: Tom Brignell Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds.
A young boy in the mountains of Northern Iraq makes Josh question what he knows about Sam. Then ten days searching war-torn Syria lead to an offer of help, but can it be trusted? This episode includes descriptions of violence and some upsetting moments involving children. CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Mixed by: Tom Brignell Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds. ARCHIVE: CBS News: Are Yazidis facing genocide at the hands of ISIS? (August 2014)
3. “My name is Yusef”

3. “My name is Yusef”

2020-12-0724:2211

The Islamic State group forces Sam’s son Matthew to spread its propaganda. Josh searches the woods of Idaho looking for a man on an elk hunt. Then an obscure tweet leads him to Syria to try to find the family. If you know something that you think might help the investigation please email notamonster@bbc.com CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Mixed by: Tom Brignell Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds. This episode includes strong language, descriptions of violence and some upsetting moments involving children. ARCHIVE: NBC News: Boy In ISIS Propaganda Video Claims To Be 10-year-old American | TODAY (August 2017) Sky News: Battle for Raqqa: The uneasy alliance fighting IS. Foreign Affairs Editor Sam Kiley reports (2017) France 24: Syria: Islamic state group counter-attacks in Raqqa as fierce fighting rages (2017) Channel 4 News: Battle for Raqqa: is Isis about to be driven out? Lindsey Hilsum reports. (2017)
A man who says he’s a people smuggler offers to help the family, while a drive around a suburb in Indiana reveals their past. Sam’s father adds a new twist on who his daughter really is. This episode includes descriptions of violence and some upsetting moments involving children. CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Mixed by: Tom Brignell Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps ARCHIVE: Fox News: ISIS uses purported American boy in latest propaganda video (August 2017) NBC News: Boy In ISIS Propaganda Video Claims To Be 10-year-old American | TODAY (August 2017) CBS News: ISIS claims boy in propaganda video is American (August 2017) “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds.
A suicide bombing in Iraq and a home video from inside the ISIS caliphate begin the search for a family trapped in Syria. A desperate plea arrives from an American woman who says she wants to escape the Islamic State group with her young children. This episode includes descriptions of violence and some upsetting scenes involving children. CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Sound Design and Mix: Tom Brignell Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) and is a BBC Radio Current Affairs production for BBC Sounds.
An American mother living in the heart of the ISIS caliphate. Her husband an ISIS sniper. Her 10-year-old son forced to threaten the U.S. president in a propaganda video shown around the world. She claims she was tricked into taking her young children to war-torn Syria, but where does her account end and the truth begin? Over four years journalist Josh Baker unravels a dangerous story where nothing is as it seems. From the depths of Raqqa’s infamous torture prison to an elk hunt in Idaho, he uncovers secrets, lies and the lasting consequences. “I’m Not A Monster” is the story of one family’s journey from Indiana to the Islamic State group and back. Episode 1 will be released on Monday 23rd November 2020. CREDITS: Reporter: Josh Baker Written by: Josh Baker and Joe Kent Producers: Joe Kent and Max Green Production assistant: Lucie Sullivan Composer: Sam Slater Series Editor: Emma Rippon Commissioning Executive: Dylan Haskins Commissioning Editor: Jason Phipps “I’m Not a Monster” is a collaboration between BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE (PBS) for BBC Sounds.
Comments (13)

Donelle Clarke

Thankyou for this wonderful experience Josh and all who worked on the Podcast. Wonderfully pieced together, beautifully spoken and paced. The background sounds /music were perfect as my ears became so sensitized to the explained environment as if Iwere right there with Josh and any intrusive sound would have been an anathema to my world as I listened. That was 2 mins ago! This is a treasure, a monumental gift to us all, 🙏🧡🙏🧡🙏🌱😊

Feb 14th
Reply

Sinead Armstrong

Josh this has been amazing THANK YOU.. you are such a good story teller. I've questions relating to daily life. who looked after the children when Sam was imprisoned? Were these women kind? Where did Sam give birth? Who was there?

Feb 12th
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Yolandi van Zyl

very interesting and well put together podcast. one of the best so far!

Feb 11th
Reply

Stephen Gabriel

The woman has no moral compass. it was just a great adventure at the expense of her children

Feb 1st
Reply

Alice JW

Is there an episode 9 as it doesn't seem finished?

Jan 26th
Reply (1)

Kirsty Mac

Sam knew what she was doing, you don't move from America to Africa and rather than go to Africa, travel on to Turkey.. She took part filming her son.

Jan 25th
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Nur Riday

Such a rollercoaster! Such good reporting!

Jan 18th
Reply

Kelly Maginn

Really good podcast!! Episode 6 cliff hanger has me so ready for the next one 👀

Jan 4th
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N Me

heartbreaking and wtf?!

Dec 28th
Reply (1)

Jeff Styers

I'll hang around for episode 2, this sounds like an interesting story, but my impression from this episode was 8-10 minutes of storytelling in a 20 minute podcast.

Nov 23rd
Reply (1)
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