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Robin Buss

The American Taliban

BBC2, Sunday, November 17, 9-10pm

President Bush talks about the War on Terror as if it were something that started on September 11 last year. As a season on BBC4 this week demonstrates, the adoption of violence to achieve political ends is anything but new. Three films, on November 18, 19 and 20, recall the history of the German Red Army Faction, the Greek 17 November Movement and the British Angry Brigade, drawing mainly on the testimony of former members. It will be interesting to see whether these examples of terror throw light on the case of John Walker, sentenced to 20 years' jail for his activities in Afghanistan. The making of a fundamentalist is described through his statements, and in interviews with his family, who claim that he was on a "spiritual quest" that went wrong.

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Robin Buss

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