Tuesday 7 July 2015

Who knew?

I’m trying to find out more about who knew what, when. 
The BBC knew about Mohammed Sidique Khan’s friendship with the Tel Aviv bombers, but when did they find out about it? How long before 7/7 did they know? Did they tell MI5? 
This is going to look like one of those “Everything but the kitchen sink” posts, so I’m putting the bulk of it behind the fold.

I did find this from 18th July 2005: 

Three of the four men behind the UK's first suicide bombings on 7 July last year were British and the other a Jamaican-born British resident. Below are profiles of the young men who went on to kill 52 people and injure hundreds.


Mohammad Sidique Khan had lived in the Beeston area of Leeds, then moved to Lees Holm in Dewsbury.Mohammad Sidique Khan was respected by pupils and parents. He was married to Hasina, and the couple had one young daughter.The 30-year-old had been a teaching assistant at Hillside Primary School in Leeds since 2002.Parents at the school told the BBC the teaching assistant had been highly regarded by children and parents."He was a good man, quiet," said one.Khan was suspected ringleader
During its last Ofsted inspection in 2002, the school's learning assistants had been singled out for special praise in dealing with a transient pupil population from a socially deprived area.Khan told the Times Educational Supplement at the time that "a lot of [the pupils] have said this is the best school they have been to". 

So much for the “disenfranchised Muslims” theory.

Mohammad Sidique Khan was born in Leeds in 1974. Last November (2004) a BBC Radio 4 documentary  found Khan spent most of his life as a westernised youth calling himself by the nickname "Sid" and did not talk about religion.found Khan spent most of his life as a westernised youth calling himself by the nickname "Sid" and did not talk about religion.As a teenager, he shook off his Pakistani-Muslim identity, claim friends, and chose to present himself as an exclusively westernised young man going by the nickname "Sid".A friend from school days, Rob Cardiss, said: "He used to hang around with white lads playing football."Some of the other Pakistani guys used to talk about Muslim suffering around the world but with Sidique you'd never really know what religion he was from."BBC reporter Nasreen Suleaman talked to Khan's former friends, who said he later became radicalised when he joined a tight-knit group of young Muslim men from Dewsbury, Leeds and Huddersfield.Khan was known to the MI5 but officers assigned to investigate him were diverted to another operation.BBC News learned the security services had been so concerned about him they had planned to put him under a higher level of investigation. He was also known to the police for suspected petty fraud.In November 2004, the teaching assistant travelled to the Pakistani city of Karachi along with fellow bomber Shehzad Tanweer.It is not clear what the men did during the three months they spent there, but Pakistani records show the pair left on the same flight in early February.On 7 July Mohammad Sidique Khan detonated enough explosives on a Circle Line train to kill seven people.Documents belonging to him were found near the Edgware Road blast.His family suggested in a statement that he had been "brainwashed".In September 2005, a video featuring Khan was shown on the Arab TV network al-Jazeera, in which he was shown criticising British foreign policy and saying he was a soldier fighting a war.But friends of Khan believed the message had been recorded some weeks or months before the bombings.Experts in counter-terrorism told the BBC at the time of its release that the video did not prove the attacks were directly ordered by the al-Qaeda leadership.”(emphasis added)
Nothing in that report about Khan's visit to Israel or his friendship with the two British suicide bombers who attacked Mike’s Place shortly after that. 

Here is another BBC report about Khan from 30th April 2007. 
Profile: Mohammad Sidique Khan. It’s more detailed but still no mention of Israel trip (19th February 2003)  despite the fact that it had already been discovered by the BBC as per the 2006 documentary “Britain’s First Suicide Bombers.” (and as featured  here, in July 2006.
Khan's once-promising career in education ended with his dismissal in late 2004 after a period of increasingly poor attendance at work that culminated with a period of sick leave stretching from 20 September to 19 November.Watch Khan's video statement (no longer available)He then travelled to Pakistan, accompanied by Tanweer. It is unclear if the pair received any particular training while here, but they are thought to have had some contact with members of Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.After the 7 July attacks, MI5 said it had come across Khan and Tanweer "on the periphery" of another operation, the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee reported.That operation - and fuller details of what the security services knew - has now been revealed. Khan is now known to have been monitored on four separate occasions in February and March 2004 because he was an associate of a group of men plotting to build a massive fertiliser bomb...”

“Mr Fiaz's evidence, which he has not told police about, raises the possibility that Khan, a former teaching assistant from Leeds, was radicalised well before previously realised.”[...]The programme suggests Mr Khan had connections in Afghanistan, a base for al-Qaeda, before 11 September 2001.”“Mr Fiaz was later to realise that all three had become, or wanted to be, suicide bombers.”

Why didn’t he tell the police then (after they were named re the Tel Aviv bombing in April 2003 ) even if he ‘thought he didn’t need to’ when the trio visited him in 2001?

I still can’t quite understand why none of this came out into the open during in Lady Justice Hallett’s enquiry. 

Links uncovered between Britain's first suicide bombers and 7/7 bomber
Date: 09.07.2006

A BBC documentary has uncovered links between Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the 7 July London bombers, and Britain's first suicide bombers who blew up a bar in Israel two years before.Britain's First Suicide Bombers (BBC TWO) has evidence that Omar Sharif and Asif Hanif knew Mohammad Sidique Khan and that together they attempted to recruit young Muslims to their cause. Sharif and Hanif were responsible for a suicide attack on a busy Tel Aviv bar, Mike's Place, in April 2003. A Manchester businessman, interviewed by the BBC, claims that his firm was visited by all three men in the summer of 2001 and that they attempted to recruit volunteers to go to Pakistan, Afghanistan or Syria. They targeted younger members of the company, although none agreed to join them. The businessman, Kursheed Faiz, says: "The impression we got was that they were looking for some gullible people. What they tried to do is separate them from us and give them different ideas. "The youngsters that are involved with my organisation were told by Sidique Khan that to learn the new ways of Islam you may be asked to go to Pakistan, but then the names such as Afghanistan and Syria were mentioned, so at that stage the lads asked what was going on." The evidence suggests that Sidique Khan's connections with Afghanistan, the base for al-Qaeda, were already established by 11 September 2001 and that his radicalism started earlier than was previously thought. After the 7 July London bombings, it was discovered that Sidique Khan visited Israel seven weeks before Sharif and Hanif carried out their attack in Tel Aviv. The documentary, made by Chameleon Productions for BBC TWO, also reveals various aspects from Omar Sharif's life that have not been previously in the public domain like the extent of his connections with Abu Hamza, Al Muhajiroun, his involvement in the Afghan war and his high level contacts with Hamas. It goes on to explore how some young British Muslims are being radicalised.

Screenwriting Journals have examined the making of the documentary  Britain’s first Suicide Bombers. The author was Garry Lyons.

 “This article centres on a drama-documentary developed by the author, an experienced screenwriter, producer and academic. The project in question was a major featurelength film for the BBC about the first suicide attack carried out by UK citizens. Aside from the significant difficulties posed by the subject matter, the mixed-genre nature of the film made its development problematic, falling between two distinct and contrasting traditions of programme-making. This case study locates the project in the context of a rising fashion for dramadoc within the BBC post 2000, identifies unforeseen difficulties with screenwriting that arose with the use of the form, and illustrates how those difficulties became amplified in this particular production. The analysis deals with the status of the screenwriter in a process where the script is no longer sovereign, raising questions of authorship, division of labour and collaborative exchange. It contributes to the ongoing debate between documentary values of sobriety and objectivity as opposed to dramatic ones of inner truth and emotional understanding, and makes the case for an 'accumulation of voices' as a justifiable representation of reality in contrast to a linear expository narrative. Finally, it commends further study of mixed genre drama/ documentary as a way of reappraising orthodox screenwriting theory, offering as it does production methodologies that frequently dispense with the formal screenplay.”

Someone complained that the programme was Islamophobic.
On 11 July 2006, a documentary 'Britain's First Suicide Bombers' was broadcast on BBC2. The programme looks at the life of Omar Sharif Khan, one of two British Muslims, who traveled to Palestine to join the Palestinian resistance to Israeli military occupation. The documentary contains a number of inaccuracies about Islam and jihad demonstrating a clear lack of research by the producers. No distinction is made between speculation and established fact and Muslims in general, including those found innocent in a court of law, are demonised as a Fifth Element within British society.


Here’s an article by Nasreen Suleaman, the BBC reporter (Biography of a Bomber) about her investigations about Mohammed Sidique Khan and his radicalisation.. The Mystery of 'Sid'

“With a decade of experience in journalism, fluent Urdu and a Yorkshire upbringing, I assumed I was well placed to discover what led to Khan's remarkable transformation.But no one could have prepared me for the febrile atmosphere and wall of silence that has been built up by the Beeston Muslim community that knew him. What is clear is that many people are either too scared to talk - or scared that if they do, that what they say will be distorted by the media.”[...]But there was another barrier to getting at the truth: the willingness of many people to prefer conspiracy theories to some honest reflection about how three young men in their midst could have carried out these terrible attacks.
[...]“That's not to say that since July 7 Muslims haven't been asking some important questions. The Muslims I speak to want to know how Khan, a British Muslim like them, did what he did.We have discovered that not only, as we suspected, there is "an enemy within" - but that its nature is highly complex. Mohammed Sidique Khan exemplifies that complexity.Here was a Muslim who was publicly respected and admired. He was neither socially isolated nor economically disadvantaged.If he, with all his trappings of Western culture, is capable of this, how can we prevent it happening again?And, most uncomfortably for those of Muslim origin like myself, does it encourage our non-Muslim neighbours to look on us all with suspicion? 
Biography of a Bomber will be broadcast on BBC Radio Four on 17 November.Did you know Mohammed Sidique Khan? If so, Nasreen Suleaman would like to hear from you. You can contact her in the strictest of confidence using the form below. Comments sent with this form will not be published on the BBC News website. After you click send, you will be redirected to the Magazine.
Contact Nasreen Suleaman using the form below:

More conspiracy theories, this time it's about the failed suicide bomber in the Tel Aviv bombing who later drowned himself. (A more considerate form of martyrdom)  

Can anyone explain why all this appeared to be beyond the scope of Lady Justice Hallett?

Am I missing something? I must be. But what? Now I'm turning into a conspiracy theorist. Oh well.

Don't Panic I'm Islamic  
"Osama Bin London"  

Nasreem Suleaman! I knew I'd heard that name before somewhere;
UPDATENasreen Suleaman was a researcher on that programme, and took Mr Hamid paintballing:
Nasreen Suleaman, a researcher on the programme, told the court that Mr Hamid, 50, contacted her after the July 2005 attack and told her of his association with the bombers. But she said that she felt no obligation to contact the police with this information. Ms Suleaman said that she informed senior BBC managers but was not told to contact the police.
Ms Suleaman told the court that Mr Hamid was keen to appear in the programme. She said: “He was so up for it. We took the decision that paintballing would be a fun way of introducing him.So, let’s get this right. Nasreen Suleaman knew that Hamid was associated with the bombers. She decided not to tell the police herself. She did, however, inform her BBC managers.Who were these BBC managers? Did they report this information to the police? If not, why not?I don’t know about the BBC management structure. Did she report what she had been told to the producer of the programme, Phil Rees?
Phil Rees, who produced the show, told the court that he was impressed by Mr Hamid’s sense of humour while looking for someone to appear in the documentary. He said: “I think he had a comic touch and he represented a strand within British Muslims. I took it as more like a rather Steptoe and Son figure rather than seriously persuasive. I saw him as a kind of Cockney comic.” Mr Rees, who now works for the Arabic TV station al-Jazeera, gave Mr Hamid a signed copy of his book Dining With Terrorists.
I don’t know what the BBC senior managers did, but this is what should have happened:
The Terrorism Act 2000We have a legal obligation under the Terrorism Act 2000 to disclose to the police, as soon as reasonably practicable, any information which we know or believe might be of material assistance in:
preventing the commission of an act of terrorism anywhere in the world. securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of a person in the UK, for an offence involving the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism. It is a criminal offence not to disclose such information, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Any situation where BBC staff may be in potential breach of the Terrorism Act must be referred to Controller Editorial Policy and Programme Legal Advice.The Act also outlaws certain national and international organisations described as “terrorist” groups, making it illegal for them to operate in the UK. Details of the list can be found atwww.homeoffice.gov.uk/terrorism/threat/index.html.

It was also mentioned of course on Biased BBC (olden days) by former contributor Natalie.

Nasreen Suleaman, a researcher on the programme, told the court that Mr Hamid, 50, contacted her after the July 2005 attack and told her of his association with the bombers. But she said that she felt no obligation to contact the police with this information. Ms Suleaman said that she informed senior BBC managers but was not told to contact the police.

...And by Hugh Fitzgerald in 2008
Will Nasreen Suleaman be allowed to keep her job at the BBC, continuing to help in its effort to apologize for Islam on every occasion, and of course to continue to blacken, in every possible way, the perception of the Infidel country that is the chief victims of violent Jihad, Israel, and of the Infidel country that is perceived by Muslims to be the most resolute and powerful leader of the Camp of Infidels, the United States.


  1. Yes, I remember that we learned the BBC withheld information about the paintballing jihadi from the police. We were told at the time that it was madness to expect journalists to report every little thing they learned from their sources.

    1. Ah. I think I might have ‘madness’.

    2. Well, we know now that if Suleaman had been white, she would have been fired for doing so, because reporting it would be Islamophobic. It's difficult, though, not to assume that she decided to keep quiet because she sympathized with the notion that Western foreign policy was the root of all evil.

    3. "We were told at the time that it was madness to expect journalists to report every little thing they learned from their sources"

      I remain intrigued as to what 'every little thing' the BBC sees fit to consign to memory holes, and which 'every little thing' they obsess about and pack programmes and site pages with for weeks.

      Maybe Fraser Steel could be asked, but one suspects he would deem that another question the BBC doesn't need to answer because it involves that renowned editorial integrity the BBC displays.

  2. Wonder whatever happened to her. Is she still at the BBC?

    Google reveals nothing recent. The last possible trace (if it's her) was a piece she wrote for the 'Guardian' in 2010 called, "The birth of halal holidays: More and more British Muslim women are packing their bikinis, thanks to the growth in holiday companies with Islamic values".


    1. What about the senior managers who assured her there was no need to contact the authorities?

  3. Congratulations to the BBC's Mark Easton, who managed to deliver a piece about the events of 7/7 and their impact without once mentioning the word Islam. :)

    As for Nasreen, she seems to be one of an army of journos employed by the BBC and other MSM whose job it is anaethetise the public, so they cease to think. Part of that job is to persuade us the problem of Jihadism is "highly complex" and there is an impenetrable mystery about why we have this "home grown terrorism".

    Of course these journos never for one moment think to ask what were the Jihadis were taught as children in the parallel Islamic school system or what they hear in the Mosques.

    Are they told that they should go out and be friendly with people from other communities? Are they told there is good in everyone, non-believers as well as believers? Are they told that Jews, Christians, Hindus and others have the right to their own beliefs and must not be hated for those different beliefs?

    Or are they told something different?


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