Dirty War is a 2004 BBC, in association with HBO Films, made-for-TV movie thriller/drama about a terrorist attack on Central London, written by Lizzie Mickery and Daniel Percival. It was originally broadcast on BBC One on September 24, 2004, on HBO on January 24, 2005, and the first time on American broadcast television on PBS on February 23, 2005. It won a BAFTA Award for Best New Director (Fiction), Daniel Percival. Due to it's portrayal of a possible attack, it's listed here as a Die Hard scenario film for now.
The film opens with a June 2003 quote from Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director general (DG) of MI5: "It will only be a matter of time before a crude chemical, biological, or radiological (CBRN) attack is launched on a major western city" and provides the basic premise for the film.
The film follows the journey of radioactive material, hidden in vegetable oil containers, from Habiller, Turkey, which is approximately 210 kilometres (130 mi) west of Istanbul, through Sofia, Bulgaria, onwards to Deptford, then to an East End Indian food takeaway restaurant, and finally to a rented house in Willesden, where the radioactive material and other components are assembled into a dirty bomb.
When the bomb goes off in the heart of London, next to the entrance to Liverpool Street Underground station, the city's inadequate emergency services plans are put to an immediate test - with disturbing results for a population ill-prepared to understand or obey anti-contamination and quarantine orders.
In addition to touching upon the motivations of the Islamic extremist terrorists to conduct what they saw as a martyrdom operation, the events are shown through the eyes of three principal groups: the government, the emergency medical services, and the police.
Nicola Painswick, Minister for London, and Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC) John Ives (Ewan Stewart), of the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch, present a governmental point of view.
Watch Commander Murray Corrigan of the London Fire Brigade, and his wife Liz Corrigan, who works for the National Health Service, present two viewpoints.
Detective Sergeant (DS) Mike Drummer and Detective Constable (DC) Sameena Habibullah lead the Police investigation to catch the terrorists before the bomb is detonated. DC Habibullah, an English Muslim policewoman from Luton, who speaks Urdu, Punjabi, and Arabic, presents a unique point of view throughout the film.
The film is considered an accurate portrayal of a potential radiological terrorist attack with subsequent emergency response. As such, the film has been used to train American first-responders who may be called upon to respond to similar incidents.