Caliphate Review

Phil Gurski | 2020

Starting in 2014, the terrorist group known as ISIS launched its version of the ‘Caliphate’  in parts of Iraq and Syria – a state run by Islamic law. Conditions were brutal and barbaric punishments were meted out for minor offences. Many lived in fear.

How realistic is the depiction of ISIS in Caliphate? In this podcast, 30-year intelligence veteran and terrorism specialist Phil Gurski reviews this Netflix series.

About the Caliphate

The Swedish series Caliphate is getting a lot of attention. It is the story of ISIS and a planned attack in Sweden and the local intelligence effort to stop it. Here is an unofficial ‘review’ by a 30-year intelligence veteran and terrorism specialist.

Starting in 2014, the terrorist group known as ISIS launched its version of the ‘Caliphate’ in parts of Iraq and Syria – a state run by Islamic law.  Conditions were brutal and barbaric punishments were meted out for minor offences. Many lived in fear. Thousands from western countries left to join ISIS, despite the fact that everyone knew it was a terrorist group.  Some were enthusiastic supporters: others had a change of heart once they got there.  

All this is historical and well documented.  Now we can relive those days via the Netflix production ‘Caliphate’. This Swedish production began airing in 2020 and follows events in Sweden and Iraq as several Swedes have left their homeland to join ISIS and SAEPO, the Swedish security service, is trying to keep tabs on threats.  Throw into the mix an alleged ISIS bomb plot in Sweden and you have all the makings of a cliffhanger series! 

Join Borealis as we walk through each episode and discuss what happened.  We will look at how accurate the fictional depiction is, all seen through the lens of a 32-year Canadian intelligence veteran and author of six books on terrorism.

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