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My Brother The Jihadist

Airs Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Filmmaker Robb Leech' final interview with Salahuddin before his flight to Mecca, Heathrow Airport.

Filmmaker Robb Leech sets out to discover why his step-brother, Rich, a white middle-class man from Dorset became a radical Islamist.

Courtesy of James Appleton/© Grace Productions 2011

Salahuddin, aka Richard, Robb Leech's step brother.

Courtesy of James Appleton/© Grace Productions 2011

A tense moment for filmmaker Robb Leech with his step brother Richard aka Salahuddin.

Robb first heard of his brother’s conversion in a national newspaper in the summer of 2009. The article said Rich had converted under Anjem Choudary, leader of the radical Muslim group Islam4UK, which was later banned under Britain's anti-terror laws.

In a film that took over twelve months to shoot, Robb sets out to reconnect with his extremist stepbrother and find clues to what led Rich to become Salahuddin.

It charts the brothers' relationship and Robb's attempt to understand why the person he'd once looked up to as a role model could so strongly reject all that his family and the Western world believe in.

As Robb spends time with Salahuddin, he witnesses a very particular phenomenon - the embrace of radical Islamism by young men, many of them white.

Read Robb's blog about the program.

"My Brother The Islamist" (UK Title of this film) is on Facebook, and you can follow @myislamistbro on Twitter. Follow @RobbLeech on Twitter.

Grace Productions for BBC


My Brother The Jihadist

Tree surgeon turned filmmaker Robb Leech is an ordinary white middle-class boy from the Dorset seaside town of Weymouth. So too is his step-brother Rich. But a little over a year ago, Rich became a radical Islamist, who now goes by the name of Salahuddin. He associates with jihadist fundamentalists and believes the UK should be ruled by Sharia law. Filmed over 12 months, Robb sets out to reconnect with his extremist step-brother; to find clues to what led Rich to become Salahuddin. Robb talks about his relationship with Rich as they were growing up, including home footage. Through the brothers' story, the viewer is taken into a previously unseen world of radical Islamists, living in Britain. Read Robb's blog about the program.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 30, 2013 at 11:41 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

I watched this program on KPBS last night. Gripping, insightful, and... frightening.

Everyone NEEDS to watch this documentary. Liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, old, young, rich, poor. It will make everyone stop and think about our society.

Although I wonder why they changed the original name "My Brother the Islamist" to "My Brother the Jihadist" for American audiences?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 30, 2013 at 12:23 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

What about our society, CA Off? Did it fall apart because of one John Walker Lindh??? Have you seen photos of how he was bound and gagged? (No doubt for Big Brother to set an example.) Neither will society fall apart because of one, Richard aka Salahuddin.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 30, 2013 at 1:22 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago


Lindh had little effect on our society as he promptly left to live in an Islamic nation after his conversion. He never appeared to have any desire to change our native society. His battlefield treatment was wrong, but that is another discussion.

Richard aka Salahuddin, and his fellow Brits turned Muslim are different. They wish to alter their native society to resemble a foreign theocracy rather than emigrate to one.

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Avatar for user 'g_MH'

g_MH | May 31, 2013 at 6:46 p.m. ― 3 years, 9 months ago

Mission : failure to launch

Lindh never learned the concept of morality or to respect humanity. A spoiled, confused post-pubescent ineffectual man-child looking for the meaning in his life and, for which, his parents failed to deliver any basis or foundation other than treating him as if he were a "pet" or a toy.

He's lucky that he wasn't taken into custody by the nascent government of Afghanistan after participating in the murder of the unfortunate CIA agent who interviewed him just as the action was developing which killed him. If he had been taken by the Afghan forces likely he would have been tortured and then executed. His parents are fortunate that he's serving 40 years in a California prison.

Perhaps he was born with brain damage or a congenital anomaly that later affected his moral judgement or more likely he was just spoiled rotten. The last question he asked his parents in in his last letter was : "What has the United States done for you, lately?"

What has become of our culture that we produce little monsters such as Lindh? I cannot tell you but there should be no doubt in your mind, dear reader, that he is a monster, and his name is "Legion."


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