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London Bombing News Update

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  • Zafar Khan
    Plan to improve relations with Muslim communities Home Office initiative to focus on shared challenges Alan Travis, home affairs editor Monday August 1, 2005
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 1, 2005
      Plan to improve relations with Muslim communities

      Home Office initiative to focus on shared challenges

      Alan Travis, home affairs editor
      Monday August 1, 2005
      The Guardian


      Home Office ministers yesterday launched an initiative
      to foster relations with Britain's Muslim community in
      the wake of the London bomb attacks as a row broke
      over "racial profiling" in the use of stop and search
      by the police.

      Most wanted


      When some of the London bombers were found to have
      made suspicious trips to Pakistan, few were surprised.
      Since 2001, the country's northern border with
      Afghanistan has been suspected of providing refuge to
      Osama bin Laden and his associates. Yet despite huge
      military efforts to find him and increasing
      international pressure, the barren mountains of
      Waziristan have refused to give up the quarry. Declan
      Walsh - the first foreign journalist allowed into the
      region - reports

      Faith hate hotline launched as attacks on Muslims


      The police are to launch an emergency hotline to
      report "faith hate" attacks after a steep rise in
      abuse and assaults on Muslims in London in the wake of
      the suicide bombings.

      Police reports seen by The Independent on Sunday show
      the number of attacks in the capital rose to more than
      20 a day after the first bombings on 7 July. The
      police have recorded 230 religious hatred offences in
      the past three weeks.

      The attacks on London, Part One: The arrests


      They came out choking on CS gas, their eyes streaming
      and their hands in the air. The men who had terrorised
      London were naked and terrified now, as police in body
      armour and intimidating gas masks trained the laser
      sights of their machine guns on them. And as the
      biggest manhunt in British police history reached its
      strange, apocalyptic climax live on television,
      satellites were tracking the last suspect to his
      hiding place on the other side of Europe.

      The attacks on London, Part Two: Why the search for
      the London bombers is still far from over


      Nine suspected "foot soldiers" in the London bombings
      are either dead or in custody, but the hundreds of
      police, forensic scientists and intelligence
      operatives involved in the biggest terror
      investigation Britain has ever seen cannot afford to
      ease up for a moment.

      The attacks on London, Part Three: Conflict within


      Halfway through his speech to more than 2,000 men,
      women and children, the tears start streaming down Dr
      Hany El Banna's face. The founder of Islamic Relief
      has spent almost an hour arming his audience with
      examples from the Koran of how Islam is about
      integration, inclusiveness and human rights, and he
      has warned his audience of the dangers of those who
      say that Islam doesn't allow integration with
      non-believers or "kafir".

      Extraordinary admission to interrogators by London
      bomb suspect


      "We never had contacts with the Bin Laden
      organisation. We knew that they existed. We had access
      to their platforms through the internet, but nothing

      He told investigators the cell was surprised by the 7
      July bombs. "We have no link with the Pakistanis," he
      said. However, his group took the 7 July carnage as a
      signal that it should also act.

      Blair accused of adding to the anger

      David Pallister
      Monday August 1, 2005
      The Guardian


      Tony Blair is fomenting anger and frustration in the
      Muslim communities by branding widely held Islamic
      ideas as extremist, a conference was told yesterday.
      Organised by the Islamic political party Hizb
      ut-Tahrir, the conference in a central London hotel
      attracted nearly 1,000 people including 100 women.

      Festival of fun reclaims the spirit of Islam

      Martin Wainwright
      Monday August 1, 2005
      The Guardian


      Muslims from all over Britain packed up their tents
      and headed home last night after an Islamic festival
      which served, for most, to help cope with the
      aftermath of the London terror attacks.

      Between listening to news bulletins from the capital,
      families from Glasgow to Plymouth took part in debates
      and lectures - as well as enjoying the fairground

      Seven more held after police raids in Brighton


      Seven people were arrested yesterday as the extensive
      investigation into the London bombing attacks of 21
      July moved rapidly in Britain and Italy.

      The latest arrests were in Brighton. Police in Rome,
      aided by British investigators, have detained a
      brother of Osman Hussain, the fourth suspect. And
      ministers are considering tougher passport checks on
      travellers leaving the country amid embarrassment that
      Hussain, suspected of being the Shepherd's Bush
      station bomber, slipped undetected out of Britain on a
      Eurostar train as his picture was displayed around
      Waterloo station.

      Three remaining London bombing suspects captured


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    • Zafar Khan
      Muslim Council checks for extremists http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article305953.ece The Muslim Council of Britain has set up an investigation
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 16, 2005
        Muslim Council checks for extremists


        The Muslim Council of Britain has set up an
        investigation into mosques, women's organisations and
        Islamic youth centres across the country to root out

        Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the council,
        told The Independent that the council, which has more
        than 400 affiliates and is the most powerful Muslim
        body in the country, had set up the focus groups to
        locate and combat the terrorist threat. Its early
        findings will be revealed in a national conference in
        September, he said.

        U.S.: Opportunity, Religious Freedom Leave American
        Muslims Mostly Content
        By Andrew Tully


        Last month's bombings, and attempted bombings, in
        London drew attention to the resentment felt by many
        Muslims in Britain. Some may assume that such
        hostility also exists in the United States. After all,
        it is American foreign policy that is seen as the
        foundation of the Islamic world's differences with the
        West. In fact, that does not appear to be the case.
        Surveys show that many Muslims in America may disagree
        with U.S. foreign policy, but they don't resent
        America. In fact, for the most part, they like living

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      • Zafar Khan
        Fatwa Frenzy The Muslim backlash against terrorism has begun with many Muslim groups speaking out, but are they being heard? by Joseph Loconte 08/18/2005
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 18, 2005
          Fatwa Frenzy
          The Muslim backlash against terrorism has begun with
          many Muslim groups speaking out, but are they being
          by Joseph Loconte
          08/18/2005 12:00:00 AM


          THE VICIOUS TERRORIST ATTACKS over the last 18
          months--in Spain, Egypt, Great Britain, and
          Iraq--appear to have Muslim organizations in the West
          on the defensive. It's not unusual anymore to hear
          clerics in Europe and America say they're prepared to
          expel extremists from their mosques. More Islamic
          authors and organizations are condemning terrorism
          without a string of qualifiers. There's even support
          in some Muslim quarters for the tough anti-terrorism
          laws proposed this month by Britain's Tony Blair. The
          doctrine that the intentional killing of civilians is
          always wrong seems to be winning a new level of
          rhetorical support.

          None of this can be equated with a serious campaign
          against extremism, of course. Influential clerics in
          the religious centers of the Islamic world continue to
          equivocate, even about Osama bin Laden; many if not
          most muftis, or jurists, endorse the terrorist
          activities of Hamas and Hezbollah. Nevertheless,
          ordinary Muslims in the West are growing impatient
          with their leaders' silence or hedging on terrorism.

          Suspected July 21 bomber can be sent back to Britain,
          Italian court decides
          By Peter Popham in Rome
          Published: 18 August 2005


          A court in Rome has agreed to extradite to Britain
          Hussain Osman, the man accused of trying to bomb a
          Tube train at Shepherd's Bush, within 35 days. The
          trial of three others accused of attempting to set off
          suicide bombs in London on 21 July is due to begin in

          The delay is to give Rome police time to pursue
          inquiries into Mr Osman's activities in Italy, where
          he lived for several years before moving to Britain
          and claiming refugee status under a false name and

          New claims emerge over Menezes death

          · Brazilian was held before being shot
          · Police failed to identify him
          · He made no attempt to run away

          Rosie Cowan, Duncan Campbell and Vikram Dodd
          Wednesday August 17, 2005
          The Guardian


          The young Brazilian shot dead by police on a London
          tube train in mistake for a suicide bomber had already
          been overpowered by a surveillance officer before he
          was killed, according to secret documents revealed
          last night.
          It also emerged in the leaked documents that early
          allegations that he was running away from police at
          the time of the shooting were untrue and that he
          appeared unaware that he was being followed.

          ITV claims to show 'police blunders' in Brazilian's
          By Geneviève Roberts
          Published: 17 August 2005


          Documents obtained by ITV News have revealed
          contradictions in evidence after the killing of an
          innocent Brazilian during the height of terror fears
          in London.

          More on this topic at:

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        • Zafar Khan
          Police marksmen could face charges for shooting Brazilian at Tube station http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article307881.ece The policemen who shot dead
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 25, 2005
            Police marksmen could face charges for shooting
            Brazilian at Tube station


            The policemen who shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes
            could face criminal charges over their fatal error, a
            coroner has been told.

            The inquest into the Brazilian electrician's death was
            delayed for six months to allow the Independent Police
            Complaints Commission (IPCC) to complete its inquiry.
            But the IPCC investigation will not be published until
            any court case, or disciplinary action, against the
            officers is complete.

            Crackdown will produce martyrs, Clarke is told


            Charles Clarke has been warned that moves to expel
            radical preachers, which could begin by the weekend,
            could backfire by turning extremists into martyrs and
            increasing prejudice against law-abiding Muslims.

            The Home Secretary set out a series of "unacceptable
            behaviours" yesterday that would be used to exclude
            foreign extremists from Britain and remove those
            already in the country. They include "fomenting,
            justifying or glorifying" terrorism, although he has
            dropped an earlier proposal to outlaw views "the
            Government considers to be extreme and that conflict
            with the UK's culture of tolerance".

            Watchdog: Police have footage of Tube death


            The head of the police complaints watchdog has
            insisted that investigators have obtained "crucial"
            CCTV evidence about the death of Jean Charles de

            Nick Hardwick, chairman of the Independent Police
            Complaints Commission, rejected claims of a cover-up,
            declaring that "I have all the information that I
            need" to investigate the events leading to the
            shooting of the electrician by anti-terrorist police a
            month ago.

            Bus bomber stopped for a Big Mac before killing


            Suicide bomber Hasib Hussain ate a last meal at
            McDonald's before blowing up the No. 30 bus on 7 July,
            killing 13 people.

            Hussain also made a number of telephone calls, at
            least one of which was to one of his fellow bombers,
            before carrying out his attack on the bus which
            exploded in Tavistock Square in central London. There
            were reports last night he may also have spoken to the
            other two bombers.

            Suicide bombs breakthrough gives police vital clues

            Vikram Dodd and Rosie Cowan
            Wednesday August 24, 2005
            The Guardian


            The four terrorists who killed 56 people in London on
            July 7 triggered the bombs themselves by pressing a
            device similar to a button, senior police sources have
            told the Guardian.

            The discovery scotches the theory that the four
            British-born men may have been duped into carrying the
            rucksack bombs on to three crowded tube trains and one
            bus, unaware they were going to explode.

            Israeli troops smash their way into last two


            Israeli police and troops yesterday completed Prime
            Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to abandon 25 Jewish
            settlements in occupied Palestinian territories after
            smashing their way into the last two settlements
            earmarked for evacuation and removing the settlers
            along with more than 1000 illegal infiltrators. The
            security forces broke the back of the resistance at
            the two militant hilltop settlements of Homesh and
            Sa-nur in what had been seen as potentially the most
            difficult phase of an operation which has now boosted
            the Israeli Prime Minister's standing by being
            executed way ahead of schedule.

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          • Zafar Khan
            Terror suspect held after tip-off By Geneviève Roberts Published: 24 October 2005 http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article321716.ece A 27-year-old man
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 24, 2005
              Terror suspect held after tip-off
              By Geneviève Roberts
              Published: 24 October 2005


              A 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with
              the London bomb attacks on 7 July that killed 52
              people on Tubes and a bus.

              Detectives from the Anti-Terrorist Branch arrested the
              man in the Dewsbury area of West Yorkshire, on
              suspicion of the commission, preparation or
              instigation of acts of terrorism under the Terrorism
              Act 2000.

              The man is being questioned at a West Yorkshire police
              station, while two residential addresses are being
              searched in connection with the investigation.
              Scotland Yard said he was arrested on Saturday night
              following comments made in the News of the World.

              The newspaper is understood to have passed on an
              interview with a man they name as Imran Patel to
              police involved in the investigation. Mr Patel,
              believed to be an auditor in Leeds, is reported to
              have had military training in Pakistan.

              He allegedly told the newspaper he met the bombers who
              carried out the attacks that injured 700 people;
              Mohammad Sidique Khan, age 30, Shahzad Tanweer, age
              22, Germaine Lindsay, age 19, and Hasib Hussain, age
              18, in Dewsbury after he returned to the UK.

              Patel claimed Khan tried to persuade him to join the
              bombers, and held talks about their "mission" to carry
              out terrorist attacks.

              Mr Patel decided not to join them but did not tip off
              police about their intentions. n Anti-terrorist police
              have been given more time to question three men who
              were arrested on suspicion of plotting or preparing
              acts of terrorism after late-night raids on three
              homes in Kent and London.

              Torn between cultures, Britain's 'orphans of Islam'
              turn to terror

              Navid Akhtar revisited his British-Pakistani roots to
              make a TV documentary on the aftermath of the London
              bombings - and what he found made him fear for the

              Sunday October 23, 2005
              The Observer


              Just after the 7 July attacks on London I felt a
              second wave of intense horror as it emerged that three
              of the four suicide bombers hailed from my community.
              Like me they were British, Pakistani-Kashmiri and
              Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised: they were not
              the first British Pakistani terrorists, but the
              successors of young men such as Omar Khan Sharif, who
              attempted to blow up a bar in Tel Aviv in 2003.

              But for many in our community the London bombings were
              a watershed and left us feeling the time had come to
              face up to some harsh realities. The community has
              failed to address a growing crisis of identity.
              Since the bombings I have been making a film for
              Channel 4's Dispatches series, Young, Angry and
              Muslim, in an attempt to understand and explain what
              it is about my community that has put us at the centre
              of terrorism. I've had to examine painful truths about
              our failure to combat the alienation of the younger
              generations and the rise of extremism.

              We now have three generations of Pakistani Muslims in
              the UK, but we are not part of the 'Asian Cool'
              success story, like other South Asian groups from
              India and East Africa. Our community is fracturing -
              we live in the most deprived areas of Britain, family
              ties are breaking down, personal conflicts and
              'honour' killings are on the increase.We have low
              educational achievement, high unemployment and one of
              the largest prison populations for any ethnic group. A
              once law-abiding community is now plagued by drugs,
              crime and violence.

              Part of the problem is the disenchantment with the
              government's foreign policy. But the community's
              failure to integrate is also based on daily
              experiences. Akram Sharif, a taxi driver in Leeds,
              sees the seedier side of British culture. 'They swear,
              they are abusive because they are intoxicated. People
              try to smash your car window in, just for a taxi.'
              Akram told me he felt as if he were caught in the
              middle. I understood; to be both British and Muslim
              now is to be torn in two very different directions.

              Close to one million strong, 45 per cent of all
              Muslims in Britain are of Pakistani origin and 80 per
              cent come from villages in Kashmir and Punjab. They
              brought with them a rural tribal mentality, where
              everything remains in the family group. Marriage,
              business, religion - who your friends are, who you
              vote for, everything from the cradle to the grave -
              it's all designed to keep power with the elders, who
              are in turn answerable to clan elders, who may be
              answerable to senior members in Pakistan. This clan
              system is called the Biraderi.

              In a community with two thirds aged under 35, the
              closed doors of clan power mean frustration. Clan
              elders have for years provided huge vote banks for
              mainstream parties, in return for positions and
              influence in local politics. Uneducated, even
              illiterate, Biraderi elders can get elected as
              councillors. Younger members of the community talk
              about a closed hierarchy, which does not recognise
              talent or ability. I am No 53, in a huge extended
              Biraderi, and no amount of personal achievement will
              change that.

              Things are changing, however, and young people are
              standing up for the kind of life they want, no longer
              giving blind support to old clan loyalties. I met
              Fatema Patwa, a lawyer who prosecuted an electoral
              fraud case in Birmingham. She told me people were
              bribing postmen to get postal ballots and altering the
              votes of family and friends. People who had trusted
              these individuals felt abused and disgusted. This
              wasn't British democracy, it was Biraderi.

              Young Pakistanis are losing faith in mainstream
              politics. Tribal people are reluctant to break old
              relationships, so despite anger over foreign policy
              clan elders continue their relationship with Labour.
              The effect is rising support for radical parties, such
              as Hizb ut-Tahrir which campaigns for restoration of
              the caliphate and sharia law, basically a return to
              Islamic rule in the Muslim world.

              What stands out is the overwhelming sense that the
              younger generation is being hemmed in by both their
              own community, with its cultural responsibilities, and
              a wider society focused on individualism. In this
              pressure cooker tension, a political Islamic identity
              offers an attractive alternative. It gives clear
              answers: good guys, bad guys. You know where you

              For Fatima Khan, from a large tribal family, joining
              Hizb ut-Tahrir, then the al-Mahjiroun group was a
              twofold rebellion, first against her elders, then
              against British society, neither of whom she felt
              truly understood her. 'Not only was I accepted, I was
              suddenly exclusive,' she said. 'I'm part of something
              that's bigger, greater - we're going to heaven. We
              thought everyone else had got it wrong.'

              Many of these groups were fronted by foreign
              extremists, thrown out of their own countries. In
              Britain they were quick to spot angry and
              directionless young Pakistanis, calling them the
              'Orphans of Islam'.

              But Fatima recalls: 'We weren't sitting around
              plotting and planning how are we going to blow up this
              and how we're going to blow up that. It was about
              getting empowerment. It was about changing the way you
              were thinking.'

              Fatima realised in time that all she was being offered
              was more frustration. Eventually she left the group
              and began to cultivate a spiritual understanding of
              Islam and her place in British society.

              Other young British Pakistani Muslims who feel
              marginalised by both cultures find solace in drugs.
              Reformed drug addict Javaid said: 'My father had his
              own way of bringing us up, which was strict. There was
              nothing I could really choose in life... the only
              thing I chose in life was drugs.' Hanif Ali helps drug
              users kick their habit - most of his clients are

              Both Javaid and Hanif say the community is ashamed of
              the problem so the elders often fail to tackle it.
              Younger members distrust the police. This failure to
              face the problem has left a vacuum, in some areas
              filled by extremists.

              Taji Mustapha of Hizb ut-Tahrir speaks proudly of
              reforming dealers. 'Some of our activists got about
              four of the top drug dealers and got them into the
              study circle to think about Islam ... When these guys
              became in tune with Islam and changed their ways,
              demand has fallen, supply has fallen, so there has
              been a drop in the problem.'

              The terrorists who emerged from my community followed
              this pattern of youthful excess to radical religion.
              Amar Omar Saeed Sheikh, born down the road from me,
              got into trouble for drinking and flings with older
              girls before discovering radical Islam, helping the
              9/11 bombers and being sentenced to death for his part
              in the beheading of the American journalist, Daniel
              Pearl. The Derby-born Hamas suicide bomber, Omar Khan
              Sharif, was expelled from his school for disciplinary
              problems; Hasib Mir Hussein was known for drinking and
              shoplifting before becoming the man who blew up the
              bus in Tavistock Square.

              I believe the future of my community lies in finding
              the right blend of all that is British, Pakistani and
              Muslim. Change can only come from within, but we have
              to accept out faults first. It is from the young
              people, in particular women, that grassroots solutions
              will begin to emerge.

              · Young, Angry and Muslim goes out on Channel 4
              tomorrow at 8pm

              More on London Bombings at:
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