BBC defends ‘Spooks’ seg

Pubcaster received record number of complaints

LONDON — The BBC has defended Monday’s episode of hit spy drama “Spooks” — about an Islamic teacher at a Birmingham mosque showing boys how to become suicide bombers — after vandals painted the words “kill the suicide bombers” on Birmingham’s Central Mosque on Sunday.

The U.K. pubcaster insists the incident is not linked to the program, which attracted 7.8 million viewers on BBC1 and aired on digital web BBC3 a week earlier.

BBC has received almost 1,000 complaints from viewers, a record number for a show this year.

A spokesman for the BBC said the drama reflected issues in the real world and did not incite hatred of Muslims.

“Given that (suicide bombing) is a reality around the world and that there are fears about what would happen if such an act were ever committed in the U.K., it falls legitimately within the storylines of ‘Spooks.’ It’s not about scare-mongering, but accurately reflecting the world we live in,” the spokesman said.