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A mysterious letter detailing a supposed Islamist plot to take over schools shocked Britain in 2014. But who wrote it? From Serial Productions and The New York Times, “The Trojan Horse Affair,” an investigation that became bigger than we ever imagined. All eight parts are coming next Thursday, February 3rd.
A strange letter appears outlining a plot by Islamic extremists to infiltrate Birmingham schools. Hamza and Brian visit the supposed mastermind of the plot, and he tells them he did take over a bunch of schools – just not for the reasons in the letter.
Hamza and Brian think the source of the Trojan Horse letter might be hiding in plain sight. After learning about the petty personnel dispute that probably gave rise to the letter, they’re even more bewildered about how it ever could have been taken seriously.
In a state of surprise, Hamza and Brian leave a meeting with the man the Trojan Horse letter was first sent to. And they learn about an internal investigation report that local officials have kept hidden, but which they think could contain a bombshell.
A series of frustrating interviews with Birmingham politicians leaves Brian and Hamza wondering if crucial information about the Trojan Horse letter was kept from officials in London. Then one rainy Friday afternoon, Brian hears back from a government source who wants to meet right away.
Part 5: A Study in Scarlett

Part 5: A Study in Scarlett


Hamza and Brian learn that the Trojan Horse letter wasn’t the only unsigned letter alleging an extremist operation was afoot in Birmingham. An interview with a couple who lodged complaints against their school starts out cordially, but six hours later, the atmosphere is so tense that not even an offer of tea can smooth things over. And Hamza stops pretending he’s not angry about what he’s hearing.
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.
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.
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.
Comments (33)

Psychachu [ official ]

That's so like life. You get all invested and gain zero closure.

Sep 12th

Amirpasha Mozaffari

Great work!

Apr 6th

Isabelle Quirynen

Hamza & Brian, what a team! great journalism and selfreflection. so honnest!

Apr 3rd

Sarah E

Truly amazing and eye-opening podcast!

Mar 22nd

Leisha Wharfield

An eight-episode exercise in frustration.

Mar 20th

Obergin Tonic

great take on journalism here ! excellent reflection on their own work and opinions.

Mar 13th

Mir Media

Like some of you might have, I've goggled the head teacher. Naturally she's nowhere to be found, but her sister is online who also happens to be a teacher

Mar 12th

Kimberly George

people of power are predictable. they will never admit their part in failure.

Mar 11th

Vanessa Elder

I really enjoyed this. I thought they did a great job and I wish I could listen to the two of them do more together.

Mar 9th

Kris G.

The ending, and I'm sorry, I'm HOH, so I can't understand names well, but when you had the gentleman speaking on the other gentleman's behalf about his urgency as a Muslim, and why he is so passionate, was brilliant. To have someone else speak on his reasoning in a straightforward way was the beat route possible. This podcast, overall, is amazingly presented, but I wanted to comment on this one because it made me tear up (the woman speaking and the passion of the journalist) and helped me open my mind and heart, as a middle class, Christian, white woman, to what others are facing that I don't have to. Thank you.

Mar 9th

Ribea Elise

underclass in Prada..

Mar 9th

Guy Grindlay

Terrible. A perfect example of how information can be deliberately misrepresented via the prism of bias and personal agenda.

Mar 7th


Managing to listen to the last episode of the disastrous podcast #thetrojanhorseaffair and I think of my friend’s comment: it’s educational to see how also good professional can get it so wrong. I’m cringing. So entitled, tacky and exploitative 😒 so bad. So bad. So bad.

Mar 5th

Budd Jupp

Unbelievably biased reporting, and an exercise in cherry picking for an agenda. Serial had been so good until now.

Feb 27th
Reply (1)

Gemma Pepper

I couldn't get enough! great story telling and an intriguing mystery.

Feb 22nd

Tuan Nguyen

I'm not sure what Bob is talking about. I found this series to be riveting.

Feb 17th

noluvuyo calata

Can we mobilize some Australians here please? I need closure?

Feb 17th

Jemi Assefa

I need more!! why won't he speak!!!

Feb 16th

Bob Timchak

In reading the other comments I wonder if we were listening to the same podcast. I listened to every minute of every episode and kept asking myself why I was. it seems a poor facsimile of the original serial podcast. perhaps they caught lightning in a bottle and no story will ever be as compelling but each attempt seems to be worse.

Feb 16th
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