Ben Makuch of Vice takes on police in Supreme Court

The refusal of a journalist to hand over communications with a terror suspect has raised fundamental questions about press freedoms and national security.

Just a year after the Islamic State group was formed in 2013, it was already building a reputation as one of the most dangerous jihadist organisations in the world.

IS appeared unstoppable as it seized swaths of Iraqi territory, and as large numbers of foreign fighters flocked to region to join the group.

The jihadist group and its acolytes captured the interest of Ben Makuch, a national security journalist with Vice News in Canada, who had watched terrorism shape contemporary geopolitics since the Twin Towers fell on 9/11 when he was 12.

“I started noticing these guys who were my age who were on all the same social media application that I use and not only that, it looked real,” he says.

“These guys were in Raqqa, in Mosul, in the caliphate.”

The 29-year-old reporter began following some of them online, and eventually made contact with Somali-Canadian Farah Shirdon, who had made headlines for appearing in a YouTube video burning his passport and threatening the US and Canada.

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