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Through one man’s journey from Al Qaeda bomb-maker to MI6 agent, Conflicted explores the historic, religious and political tensions that have embroiled the Middle East for decades.  

Aimen Dean, an ex-Jihadi who joined Al Qaeda at sixteen only to become a British double agent by twenty, tells his story alongside co-host Thomas Small – a former Greek Orthodox Monk from California, whose spent years traversing the Middle East.

Each week, Thomas and Aimen walk us through a sprawling conflict that spans continents and stretches through decades – from Bosnia to Yemen, from 9/11 to the Arab Spring, from Al Qaeda to ISIS. At each stage, our hosts aim to unpack complexities and unravel common misconceptions with a refreshing combination of high-level analysis and candid intimacy.

All that combined with an uncanny ability to work in the odd Rambo III reference when you might least expect it.

Latest Episodes...

SEASON 1 episode 0

TRAILER An ex-Al Qaeda jihadi turned MI6 spy and a former monk turned filmmaker, have been embedded at the heart of conflicts in the Middle East. Together Aimen Dean and Thomas Small unpack the realities of war, fundamentalism and their global implications through first-hand experience.


9/11 Where were you on 9/11? Our hosts Thomas Small and Aimen Dean use this watershed moment as a starting point as they grapple with how Al Qaeda went from being a relatively small army of jihadists seeking a Caliphate in the Middle East to main player, centre on the global stage.



WAR ON TERROR The War on Terror has lasted 18 years – with no clear end in sight. In episode 2, Aimen and Thomas grapple with this question - piecing together the historical context, religious issues and modern politics that bred jihadists in the Middle East and exploring how the counter terrorism efforts of the west have spurred fundamentalism rather than dismantle it.



The Team