Saturday, April 29, 2006

7/7 & the 7/7 Bradford riots - connected?

Fellow Kings Cross United-member Yorkshire Lass recently posted about being caught up in the Bradford Riots of July 7th, 2001. I wondered in a comment on Yorkshire Lass's blog, whether Mohammed Sidique Khan, the alleged ringleader of the July 7th bombers had chosen that day as a significant date to kill himself and his three friends and 52 others. Was he there at the riots? Was that date, 7/7, the beginning of his radicalisation, his starting to position himself against the percieved unfairness of the police, the media portrayal of young Asians as thugs, criminals, extremists? Against a background of poverty, gangs and drugs, racial divisions, BNP incitement, intra-generational community tension, violence flared, firebombings rocked the streets. Had Multiculturalism failed in Britain?

Was July 7 2001 the day Khan changed, and self-identified as an assertive Muslim man defending 'his people' against 'oppression'? The riots were hugely significant, especially to the fractured Pakistani community, and many young Pakistani men, from Leeds, Manchester and surrounding areas were caught up in the events in Burnley, Oldham and Bradford, where they sought to 'defend' themselves and 'their territory' from rumours of white BNP sympathisers' anti-Muslim violence.

There is an enormous difference between flash-point crowds of young Asian men acting 'defensively' against a real or perceived threat to their communities, and the political acts of mass murder in London on July 7th 2005. There is a long way to travel between the two, and we will never know exactly how or why 'Sid' Khan took the path he chose. Radicalisation takes time, takes place against a context, and Khan and his fellow-bombers were not mad. They were young British men, unremarkable, integrated before they withdrew and espoused such terrible, toxic political theologies. Something happened to cause them to become suicide bombers. Perhaps the process started on 7/7/2001, as frustrated Asian youths exploded onto the streets. There were other pivotal moments in Khan's journey. One of Khan friend's talked to Newsweek about Khan's witnessing a radical preacher Abdullah el-Faisal in 1999, an Abu Hamza associate ( now jailed for incitement to murder). Others talk of the bombers' anger at the Iraq war, their watching of ''atrocity videos'' of suffering Muslims in war-torn areas, and of the increase in racism and Islamophobia many British Asians faced after 9/11. Then there were the visits to Finsbury Park mosque to hear the sermons of extremist preacher Abu Hamza. Were all of these factors implicated in the decision Khan made to walk away from the Barelwi Islam he had grown up with, then walk away from his secular, U.S-admiring lifestyle, to finally follow the austere, extreme Saudi-Egyptian Salafi Islam of Bin Laden as a 'revert'? How did he become a suicide bomber?

I wonder, was that date, the original 7/7, that life-changing, frightening explosion of hatred and violence on the streets of ordinary Northern towns on Khan's mind when he chose the day to explode the bombs in London? The similarity in dates is troubling. Did Khan choose that day, or did somebody else? Or was it just a coincidence? Was it timed to coincide with the G8 conference, to make a statement about U.S and U.K foreign policy, and the controversial Iraq war? It's yet another unanswered question, ten months on, and we are still waiting for official, Home Office-sanctioned answers. In the meantime, Milan Rai's book ''7/7, The London Bombings, Islam and the Iraq War'' has helped me to understand something of the background of the London bombers. You can order the book here, or buy it in selected bookshops.

The Home Office ''narrative'', which will be out very soon, ( in a fortnight?) is expected to say that the bombers were self-radicalised and not controlled by an Al-Quaeda ''master-mind''. In which case, it was likely Khan chose the date of the attack himself, and could well have chosen it for the reasons Yorkshire Lass and I speculate about.

But could they really have made those [nail] bombs themselves? Was 'brilliant but directionless' 33-year-old Egyptian chemistry student, Magdi Mahmoud el-Nnasharan (who was arrested in Cairo after July 7th) involved in making the devices? ( No, say the Egyptian cabinet. ) Magdi Mahmoud el-Nasharan (''Nashar'') who arrived in the U.K in 20002 rented a flat a month before the London bombings from an Iraqi neurophysiologist for ''an aquaintance'' who turned out to be - bus-bomber Hasib Hussain.

On 13th July 2005 it was reported that Christophe Chaboud, head of the French Anti-Terrorism Co-ordination Unit, told the French newspaper Le Monde that the explosives' ''military source'' was "very worrying'' and that the bombs were definitely of military origin. ''C4 is manufactured mostly in the United States, and is more deadly and efficient than commercial varieties. It is easy to hide, stable, and is often missed by traditional bomb-sniffing detection systems, the newspaper said.
Forensic scientists told the newspaper the construction of the four devices detonated in London was very technically advanced, and unlike any instructions that can be found on the Internet''

But now we're told that the London bombs were made with TATP, a dangerously unstable substance to work with, but cheap and not that difficult to manufacture with recipes gleaned from the internet using ingredients that can be bought in the high street. TATP is normally used as a detonator, rather than the main explosive, but has gained a reputation as suicide-bombers weapon of choice. Were the bombs they used, and the other bombs found in the Leeds ''bombing factory'', and in a car at Luton railway station really all made by Khan and his friends? (Several kilos of acetone peroxide, an ingredient for explosives were found at el-Nasharan's flat near the bomb factory.)

If Khan or the other London bombers really knew enough to make their bombs themselves, without accidentally blowing their hands off, then how and where did they learn the skills? The internet? Or via el-Nashar? Or even via a ''suspected mastermind'' (& aide to extremist cleric Abu Hamza) Haroon Rashid Aswat ( accused by former U.S federal prosecutor John Loftus on Fox TV, and by Michael Meacher, M.P of being an Al Queda operative previously used by M16 to recruit Islamic fighters in Kosovo via the now- banned militant Islamist extremist London group al-Muhajiroun. Is Haroon Aswat, now apparently extradited to the U.S really an UK intelligence service asset, as reported by some sources ? ( or even a double agent?)

Or were the London bombers trained in bomb-making and terror tactics at a jihadi training camp in Pakistan set up after the Iraq invasion specifically to train British jihadi volunteers? Were they at the camp with 'supergrass' Mohammed Junad Barbar, the key witness for the prosecution in the current ongoing terrorism trial codenamed Crevice ( thwarted fertiliser-bomb vehicle plot) at the Old Bailey? Who else attended that camp and where are they now? ( Some are currently on trial in London, but there are more, and I wonder if they are known to the security services?).

This is as close to conspiraloonery as I will go, and as can be seen, I am not slavishly following the Government official version, unquestioningly. I do want answers. I just don't start from the presupposition that It Is All A Lie and a 9/11 Zionist/Masonic/Lizard Conspiracy, like the fruitbats do.

Will the narrative answer any of these questions? I doubt it. What is this narrative going to tell us? Not as much as an independent public enquiry could tell us, that's for sure. You can sign the petition for one by clicking here.


Blogger Yorkshire Lass In London said...

This is seriously getting to me now. Thanks for getting in touch with the journalist on it and doing all this research.

I wrote an essay last year about the sociology of terrorists, how everything, down to the date, had multiple meanings to speak to two seperate audiences. 9/11 seemed quite obivous in the imagery of the date.

Someone must know the meaning for 7/7 as a date chosen. Why has channel 4 decided to make this drama now? If it wasn't for that, the riots would not have been given a second thought. It is just too coincidental.

April 29, 2006 8:56 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

It might be because of G8, the chioce of date, so don't get too frazzled about it. There is another theory that the date was significant because it was approaching the time of the 'deadline' Bin Laden had set for non-Muslim foreign armies ( like the US & UK) to leave Muslim lands But I think it is significant, and the anger of many young men who were on the streets rioting on 7/7/2001, who were then castigated as thugs and terrorists, may in Khan's case have been one of the seeds that developed into his radicalisation. Payback for the wrongs Muslims had suffered at the hands of white racists and the police? The day when Muslim youths rose up and fought back with home-made bombs? Was that in his mind?

We can't know for sure, but thank you for making me think about it.

April 29, 2006 9:15 pm  
Blogger The Editor said...

Read your blog with interest. With regard to religious extremists and their motivations etc I would heartily recommend a book I'm part of the way through. From your perspective of being on the sharp end it would be an important book to read, as it is for anyone today The End of Faith by Sam Harris. available from amazon:

April 29, 2006 9:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just watched the Ch4 'Bradford Riots' and am sure I could be heard to shout "Fiiiiiiive yeeeeeeeeears??????' half way down the street...

At the end of the programme it was noted 510 years worth of sentances were handed out, presumably that was just to the Asian side. Wonder how many of the white racist instigators were caught and if any official heads rolled for banning the march then allowing to it happen?

I don't know when the institutional racism accusations were being thrown about.

One cannot help feel the heavy handed approach both within the Police and the courts might have been because of a decision at Yorkshire Police level or maybe from the Home Secetary might have been behind this draconianian clam down and attempt at suppression of Muslim youth, who any sensible person could deduce had a genuine grievance, which of course this being Britain has been brushed aside.

It is even more surprising why these radicalised Muslim youth didn't turn their attentions to the leadership of the BNP.

has Blunkett (was he Home secretary at the time?) telling the appelants at the subequent appeals not to bleat...

May 04, 2006 11:07 pm  
Blogger Postman said...

I think you should examine the conceot that these 4 were not Islamo Fascist Fundamentalist Jihadists.

There is a very strong argument that they were duped drug mules, in it for ther money and exploited by someone else.

Google "another bloody silly conspiracy theory"

then take it from there.

Not sayin git is true but it is worth considering it, even if only to reject it.

May 11, 2006 11:35 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

i have considered it and rejected it as the steaming pile of conspiracy bollocks that it is, and I am gettign fed up with peopel attempting to whitewash mass murderers. P*ss off, enough of this insulting drivel, please, not on this blog, not now.

May 12, 2006 9:38 am  

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