Damian Lewis: Spy Wars - History

A jihadi poses with a gun
(Image credit: AETN)

In Damian Lewis: Spy Wars, Damian continues his look at spying in all its forms. This week, jihadism comes to town

Damian Lewis: Spy Wars stays close to home this week as History's excellent espionage documentary series continues (Monday, 9pm, see our TV Guide for full details).

It's the story of the biggest surveillance operation in British history, and how in 2006 British intelligence agencies and their allies thwarted the deadliest terror plot ever devised on home soil.

In June 2006, Abdullah Ahmed Ali flew back from Islamabad, Pakistan, to return to his east London home. Ali had no idea he was being watched by the British security service, MI5.

Presenter Damian Lewis

Presenter Damian Lewis

Using intelligence from Pakistan and a huge team of surveillance officers on the ground, Abdullah Ahmed Ali's terrorist cell was first located precisely and then monitored around the clock in East London.

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Slowly and carefully the security services were able to piece together that the deadly plan was to use liquid explosives to blow up several, maybe as many as nine, transatlantic flights as they flew from Heathrow to America.

Damian Lewis talks through the sequence of events as the scale of the attack became apparent and the security services closed in on all of the 24 suspects.

TV Times rating: ****