This World

Terror in the Desert

Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

There are two separate documentaries this week looking back at the attack in January by 40 Islamist militants on the Algerian gas facility at In Amenas. On Tuesday, Channel 4 has a drama-documentary (from Bafta-winning director Bruce Goodison) that investigates and reconstructs the raid.

But first, tonight’s BBC2 film talks to survivors of the three-day siege, in which 39 people died and dozens of foreign workers were taken hostage. For the first time they tell the inside story of playing cat and mouse with their captors, being forced to wear a necklace of explosives, coming under fire from Algerian army helicopter gunships - and their ultimate escape. The programme includes unique footage, shot during the siege by workers in the plant, as the terror unfolded around them.

About this programme

In January, terrorists linked to al-Qaeda attacked a gas facility near the Algerian town of In Amenas and took hundreds of workers hostage before the Algerian army responded with overwhelming force. In this documentary, British survivors reveal how they played cat and mouse with their captors, were forced to wear necklaces of explosives and came under fire from helicopter gunships. Part of the This World strand.

Cast and crew


Dimitri Collingridge
Executive Producer
Karen Edwards
Executive Producer
Fiona Stourton
Jane Corbin