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UK counter-terrorism police released a fascinating podcast about the real terror plots they have foiled

Lara O'Reilly
counter terrorism police

(Police and forensic officers remove computers and related items from The Blade Internet Cafe, on Stratford Rd, as part of the on-going enquiry into anti-terror raids across the city to foil alleged 'Iraq-style' plot to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier, February 1, 2007, in Birmingham, England.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The UK's National Counter Terror Police Unit has released a podcast chronicling the stories of the real terror plots it has managed to prevent.

"Code:Severe" launched on on March 6 and shot to the number three spot in the UK iTunes podcast charts at the time of writing, ahead of "Serial," "Desert Island Discs," and "TED Talks."

Each episode tackles a near-miss terrorist attack and includes interviews and recordings with counter-terrorism police officers, witnesses, whistleblowers, and the terrorists themselves.

So far, two episodes have been released.

The first tells the story of a Bristol-based man who had built a bomb-building lab in his kitchen and planned to detonate his explosives in a local shopping center.

The second episode follows the story of a man who purchased 600kg of fertilizer, telling store staff he was using it for his allotment, when he really had more sinister plans.

The podcasts, which were created by ad agency AMV BBDO, are designed to encourage more people to report suspicious behavior.

In a press release, the UK's most senior counter-terrorism officer — assistant commissioner Mark Rowley — says: "By being more open about the threat and our work to confront it we hope the public will feel better informed and more confident in coming forward. I hope the podcasts will demonstrate that one piece of information shared with the police can make a massive difference. At the same time, if information turns out to be nothing of concern we will still be happy to have checked it out."

Earlier this week, Wired Magazine picked out "Code:Severe" as one of the "best tech, science, and culture podcasts for your commute."

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