If you’re a fan of Netflix’s fantastic Israeli spy series Fauda, from creators Avi Issacharoff and Lior Raz, then you should know that there’s another spy series coming next month to Showtime that you need to put on your watchlist right now: Ghosts of Beirut.
The new 4-part limited series from the Fauda co-creators will make its Showtime streaming debut on May 19 and then air on the network on May 21. As for the series itself, it dramatizes the life and origin story of a shadowy Lebanese terrorist named Imad Mughniyeh, who was responsible for more American deaths than any other single person before the 9/11 attacks — and who managed to elude the CIA and Mossad for some 20 years.
From Showtime’s official description of the show:
“Told from the American, Israeli and Lebanese perspectives, the series traces Mughniyeh’s origins from the Shiite slums of South Beirut to his masterminding of the concept of suicide bombers, a deadly tactic that led to his swift rise as the world’s most dangerous terrorist. Based on extensive research of still-classified events, the drama spans decades and weaves in first-hand, real-life interviews with prominent officials from the CIA and Mossad, connecting the turmoil of 1980s Beirut with the spy games of the modern Middle East.”
As for the team behind the show, there’s some serious talent bringing Ghosts of Beirut to fruition. Executive producers include Daniel Dreifuss, who also produced Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front, as well as Greg Barker (the filmmaker behind HBO’s Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden. Barker also directs all four episodes of Ghosts of Beirut.
Other co-executive producers here include Diane Becker, who was also a producer on HBO’s Navalny (one of my favorite documentaries of all time, chronicling the life of Russian dissident leader Alexei Navalny — and a kind of spy story, in its own right).
No spoilers on the ultimate fate of the Hezbollah master terrorist at the heart of Showtime’s new series, but you can check out this Politico deep dive from 2015 to learn more. Long story short: The CIA went to great lengths to try and kill him, going so far as to employ spotters in Damascus; rigging up an explosive designed to kill only its intended target, and hiding it in the spare tire of an SUV; and building and testing that bomb in secret in North Carolina.
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