J7 Profile: Mohammad Sidique Khan (Age: 30)
Mohammad Sidique Khan: Alleged to be responsible for the Edgware Road Blast
Khan's Early Life & Career
Mohammad Sidique Khan was born on 20th October 1974 in Leeds, to Tika Khan, a foundry worker and Mamida Begum, both from Pakistan. He was the youngest of six children and grew up in Beeston, attending Matthew Murray High School, now known as South Leeds High School.
Two of Khan's friends from school were interviewed for a BBC radio documentary, "Biography of a Bomber" (MP3 audio, 3.5MB), part of Radio 4's Koran and Country series. The documentary revealed that Khan’s friends were mainly white, that he considered himself Western, that he had returned from a trip to America besotted with all things American, and that he was more commonly known by an anglicised version of his name, 'Sid'.
Ian Barrett remembered that Khan had no interest in religion and rarely went to a mosque:
"The other Pakistani lads would have to go mosque because their families would say 'You're going to mosque.' But Sid didn't go," says Ian. "He didn't seem interested in Islam and I don't ever remember him mentioning religion."
Another school friend, Rob Cardiss, recalled:
“He was very English. 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.”
Note: You can watch a rather contrived interview with Nasrean Suleaman, the presenter of Biography of a Bomber, who appears to have done very little journalism before, or since, this particular episode of Koran & Country, despite being a BBC journalist for 11 years. In fact, the only other case Suleaman appears to have covered for the BBC, aside from the alleged ringleader of the London bombings, happens to be that of Zacarias Moussaoui who was charged in connection with, and jailed for life over, his apparent involvement in 11 September attacks on the US.
According to paragraph 10 of the Home Office account of the London bombings, after leaving school, Khan worked for the government; in the Benefits Agency and later in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). He then decided to leave to study for a degree in business studies at Leeds Metropolitan University (LMU). It was at LMU that he met his wife, Hasina Patel, a Muslim of Indian origin. While still at university, his interest in helping disadvantaged young people appears to have developed and he took on part-time youth and community work before graduating with a second-class degree in business studies in 1996. The Independent reported Khan describing his youth work in a job application:
“As a youth worker I have had extensive experience in managing difficult children. I was approached by a member of the community who told me in confidence [that] his younger brother had been suspended from school and his parents were extremely upset. I began ... a discussion with the child [and] met his parents at their house and the situation was [resolved]."
Khan also detailed a "potentially dangerous" confrontation at a school. "I have an excellent rapport with the youth [community] so ... I targeted the ringleaders and spoke to them, calming them down and offering sympathy as well as empathy. We then approached the teachers and as a large group casually walked together up Beeston Hill which [defused] the situation."
Associates of Khan have confirmed his role as an interlocutor between police and youths.
Khan also described his interventions in the case of a young heroin addict, his help in getting excluded children back into school and how he arbitrated in a dispute between rival gangs. "I feel patience and understanding comes through experience and maturity," he wrote. "I constantly analyse society and speak to people regarding current issues. I consider my ability to empathise with others and listen to their problems as well as offer viable solutions to be one of my strong assists."
Source: The Independent
During summer holidays Khan ran workshops for young people. Afzal Choudhry, a community worker who took part in the summer sessions, remembers Khan was "always ready to get involved." He also said that Khan was not particularly religious when they first met around 1997.
“[He] sometimes got "what we call the Friday feeling" and would go to mosque for Friday prayers, but he otherwise didn't pray much, says Mr. Choudhry.”
Khan accepted an offer from Afzal Choudhry to work on a government-funded study of the drug problems in Beeston.
“In a note appended to the 2001 report, Mr. Khan wrote: "I have tried to support and help local drug users in the past, but at best this has been haphazard. I feel that the knowledge and experience on drugs and community research that I've gained through the training and the field work has been invaluable."
Source: Post Gazette
When designing a brochure on the subject, Khan insisted “The British flag must be part of it. I was born here and I am proud to be British.”
Khan’s mother-in-law, Farida Patel, was the daughter of Ismail Patel, an anti-apartheid activist who died in 1973 after he had been under house arrest for 10 years. She moved to England about 30 years ago and married Abdul-Salaam Patel here in the early eighties. Farida was a co-opted member of the British government's council of religious leaders from 1996 until 2000. Her husband died in April 2004. In July 2004, Farida was a guest at a Buckingham Palace garden party, reportedly accompanied by her husband and her daughter Hasina, although clearly if it is true that Addul-Salaam Patel died in April of that year, he could not have attended this particular party. At the event Farida Patel received an award for her work as a teacher specialising in bilingual studies, although this was not her first attendance at such an event as, in 1998, Farida Patel made history as the first Asian woman to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
Farida Patel's community work also led to an invitation to Downing Street, where she was given an award for her work for the Inner City Religious Council at a ceremony hosted by Tony Blair in 1999. The local newspaper reported that she "rubbed shoulders" on that occasion with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Condon.
Despite some disapproval from their families, Khan and Hasina married on 2nd October 2001 and had a daughter in May 2004. Hasina was pregnant at the time of the London attacks. There were some reports that the marriage had broken down and that Khan and his wife had separated. One has to assume that, even if stories of their separation are true, they are likely to have still had some sort of relationaship since Hasina was in the early stages of pregnancy and had reported her husband missing hours after the blasts.
Khan was aware of the pregnancy and had told friends about it. However, Hasina unfortunately miscarried not long after the London bombings.
Khan’s Work at Hillside School
The couple lived near Farida Patel in Dewsbury. Hasina worked as a community enrichment officer and, in the same year they married, Khan started working as a learning mentor at Hillside Primary School in Beeston. The former head of Hillside Primary School, Sarah Balfour, is married to MP John Trickett, the Labour MP for Hemscott, and in July 2004, Khan was given a tour of the Houses of Parliament as a guest of MP Mr. John Trickett.
The Guardian noted:
“Few men were more popular on the streets of Beeston than the 30-year-old family man. Recognised by his sensible sweaters and neat, coiffeured hairstyle, Khan's respectability peaked nine months ago when he visited Parliament as the guest of a local MP. There he was praised for his teaching work. Even now, those who hang about Cross Flatt's Park describe him as their mentor. He remains the man who coaxed them back into the education system; the bloke who took them on canoeing and camping trips to the nearby Yorkshire Dales; the man who bought them 'loads of extra bullets' when he took them paint-balling. Hussain and Tanweer were among those who idolised Khan from his days as a youth worker in Beeston when he had nurtured their love of cricket and football.”
Source: The Guardian
After the London bombings, Sarah Balfour, said of Khan:
"Sidique Khan was a member of staff at Hillside Primary School and he was employed here between March 2001 and December 2004 as a learning mentor.
"He was great with the children and they all loved him. He did so much for them, helping and supporting them and running extra clubs and activities.
"Sidique was a real asset to the school and always showed 100% commitment."
Source: The Telegraph
A disclosure of Khan’s attendance and employment record at Hillside, including the dates he commenced and terminated his employment were made available through an FOI request. The disclosure showed that Khan was employed on a fixed term contract which was continually extended. He started work on 8th March 2001 and appeared to have a perfect attendance record until January 2003, where he took special leave. The disclosure stated that there was no more leave until early 2004, where there began a few period of sick leave and special leave. He took an unauthorised absence on 1st December 2004, which resulted in him handing in his resignation on 7th December 2004.
Strangely, the Home Office report notes:
“More problematic was his increasingly poor attendance record. This culminated in a period of sick leave from 20 September to 19 November 2004.
The school administration had reason to believe that the absences were not genuine and dismissed him. At the same time, he had in any case, written to say he would not be returning to work.”
According to the disclosure of Khan’s employment record, the period of sick leave ran from 20th September 2004 until 30th November 2004, and then from 1st December 2004 until 7th December, so it is unclear why the date of 19th November 2004 was given by the Home Office report. There is also no record of Khan being ‘dismissed’. Not for the first time, the Home Office report directly contradicts other official information.
Equally confusing is that the disclosure letter in turn contradicts Khan’s personnel record from Hillside. The letter lists dates where Khan either took special or sickness leave and concludes, “Mr. khan did not have any other time absent from work”.
However, there are eight other absences listed in the personnel record which are not acknowledged in the disclosure of Khan’s attendance, one of these being paternity leave taken from 19th May 2004 to 26th May 2004.
The personnel record also contradicts the dates of one period of absence listed in the disclosure but strangest of all is that both the disclosure letter regarding Khan’s attendance and employment record at Hillside and the Official Report state that Khan terminated his employment with the school on 7th December 2004 in writing.
Two documents in Khan’s personnel file seem to contradict this assertion. Firstly, Sarah Balfour, had written a letter to request that Khan’s pay be stopped since he had made no contact with the school regarding his sickness since November 22nd 2004. This letter was dated 9th December 2004. If Khan’s resignation had been received on 7th December 2004, this letter would not have needed to be written and sent as it was. Secondly, the form attached to the resignation letter is dated 17th December 2004. The resignation letter itself is undated. A large portion of the text has, for some reason, been obscured prior to its release, although the words “We are departing next week” are clearly visible. The reason given for the resignation on the attached form is ‘family commitments’.
Hillside Primary School has since been closed and the school's former headmistress, Sarah Balfour, has retired as a headteacher and is now a consultant working for Leeds Education.
Khan's Alleged Trips Abroad
Whether Khan resigned on 7th or 17th December 2004, he was apparently still in England at the time, indicating that wherever he was going and why, it was not until “next week”. Therefore, it is confusing that the Home Office report states in paragraph 43 that Khan and Tanweer had travelled to Pakistan on 19th November 2004 and did not return until 8th February 2005. Khan states his intent in the letter to be travelling somewhere the following week, apparently to do with a family commitment. It is also unclear how he could have handed in his resignation and be in Pakistan at the same time.
Although there is plenty of speculation about the alleged activities in Pakistan, particularly with regard to Shehzad Tanweer, the Home Office report is unable to offer any supporting evidence. The section where the Pakistan trip is referred to - “Were they directed from abroad?” - is punctuated throughout with such phrases as “appears to have”, “it is possible”, “we do not have firm evidence”, “it seems likely”, “it is unclear”, “we assume” and “there were reports in the media…but there is no reliable intelligence or corroborative information to support this”. The report even goes on to admit that extended trips to Pakistan are not unusual among young British Muslim men. Indeed, trips abroad by any second generation British subjects are not unusual, especially where extended familly members are still resident abroad.
On 9th July 2006, an article in The Sunday Times alleged that Khan was linked to those accused of a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in 2003. It stated that fresh evidence had been uncovered linking Khan to Omar Sharif and Hanif Asif, who are reported to have killed three people and injured 50 in 2003 with an apparent suicide attack on a bar in Tel Aviv. This was based on the testimony of Kursheed Fiaz, the owner of an IT company in Manchester, who had not been to the police with his concerns. The article also went on to mention a day trip Khan took to Israel in 2003:
“Accompanied by a group of British tourists and a woman said to be his wife, Khan spent only 24 hours in the country. Israeli authorities have investigated the trip but have been unable to establish whether it might have been a “dry run” or reconnaissance mission for the bombers.”
Source: The Sunday Times
However, the Home Office report stated “There is no evidence of anything suspicious” when referring to the trip to Israel in paragraph 48. Moreover, according to the Sunday Times report, Israeli police confirmed that Khan visited Israel on 19th February 2003, two months before the attack, yet Khan’s personnel and employment record showed that he was only away from work from 27th January 2003 until 14th February 2003. It is therefore unlikely that Khan was in Israel 5 days after his return to work in the UK, else his extended absence from work would have been recorded in his personnel and employment files.
The Home Office report also claims Khan visited Pakistan for two weeks in July 2003; the summer school break which commences in July is considered annual leave for the staff, but most schools do not break up until late in July. Without knowing what date in July Khan is alleged to have travelled on, clear conclusions cannot be drawn. If the trip was literally two weeks in July, this is extremely unlikely. Firstly, because the school would be unlikely to let him take time off in July near the end of term, and secondly because no such absence is noted on his records.
The Home Office report offers no evidence for its speculation into Khan’s activities on this trip.
Gyms in Beeston & Claims of Radicalisation
According to many news reports, Khan was said to have ‘recruited’ the other three men through the setting up of gyms for young Asian men in the Beeston area. Leeds Today described the first as being set up under the Jamia Mosque in Hardy Street in 2000, after Khan was given a £4,000 EU grant through Leeds City Council, via the Pakistan Kashmiri Welfare Association, a Duke of York Community Initiative Award Holder. Another gym was set up in Lodge Lane in the name of the Youth Programme of the nearby Hamara Centre Charitable Foundation.
The gyms appear to have gained a reputation for being hotbeds of extremist teachings by Khan to young impressionable Asian boys. There is also speculation regarding activities which may have taken place in the nearby Iqra Learning Centre and youth clubs which were hosted in various locations. According to the Telegraph:
“A member of staff recently expressed concern that someone at the centre was preaching extremist views to young people, "doing his own thing, radicalising and recruiting".
An acquaintance of Khan's told the BBC that he regularly visited Pakistan and Afghanistan to attend military training camps and had used the centre for recruiting.
The man, who refused to be identified, told Radio 4's PM programme that he regarded Khan as a "fruitcake" who regularly voiced anger over western foreign policy in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Source: The Telegraph
Voicing anger over Western foreign policy in the Middle East is not an alien concept to many people resident in the UK, not just those of Pakistani or Asian descent. There are many protests over this very issue, which millions of people have participated in. It is difficult to see how such views could arouse suspicion, since they don’t appear to be connected to any suggestion that Khan intended to take direct and extreme action. A member of staff speaks of “someone” at the centre “radicalising and recruiting” yet it is not stated that this is Khan; it could be anyone. Furthermore, there is no concrete evidence that Khan attended training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
With reference to the gyms, clubs and bookshop, in paragraph 25 the Official Report states:
“Information about what went on in these places is mixed and incomplete.
Much is hearsay. Accounts from those with more direct knowledge are conflicting. It is difficult to be sure what the facts are. Some have said the clubs, gym and bookshop were well known locally as centres of extremism. For example, that one of the gyms was known as ‘the Al Qaida gym’ because of who frequented it, and that the local bookshop was used to watch extremist DVDs and videos, access extremist websites, and for extremist lectures. Others present a very different picture.”
Consequently, it is hard to apply any great degree of accuracy about Khan’s exact role, aside from that of a youth and community worker. The very different picture presented by “others” would probably include this account of the material seized from the Iqra bookshop, demonstrating the difference between ‘anti-Western’ literature and ‘anti-war’ literature.
Additionally, The Telegraph wrote:
“Although Leaders at the Hamara centre headquarters insisted they had no knowledge of any radical activity at the youth office and there is no suggestion that anyone else there, at the school or the KMWA mosque was aware of any.”
Source: The Telegraph
Much was made in the national and international media about a white-water rafting trip in Wales that Khan and Tanweer participated in on 4th June 2005, along with another youth worker, Naveed Fiaz, which was organised through the Hamara Centre. It was mooted as a “bonding weekend” to toughen the men up for their suicide mission.
However, it was stated by Paul O’Sullivan, the director of the National White-water Rafting centre at Canolfan Tryweryn that they are not a residential centre, and the longest the group could have stayed would have been two hours, making their activities there no more sinister than those of the Manchester United football squad or John Prescott MP, the deputy Prime Minister.
Moreover, outdoor activities such as white-water rafting, paintballing, fell walking and so on, are extremely common in youth work programmes nationwide. They should not, therefore, be thought of as particular activities of potential bombers, suicide or otherwise, else a large chunk of the population of young Western males and females are, by this definition, engaging in suspicious activities. Concluding that such trips are used to ‘groom’ young Muslims into accepting extremist ideals, as some reports have implied, is erroneous, especially when considering that ‘brainwashing‘ can take place in any location and there is no evidence that participating in white-water rafting can contribute to people becoming radical religious extremists. Indeed, the Home Office report admits in paragraph 30, “There is no firm evidence about how such trips might have been used.”
Sally Jackson, who manages a canoeing centre in nearby Llangollen, told The Independent that it was unusual for groups of Asian men to participate in the sport. Kate Blyth, the instructor who was in charge of Khan’s group on 4th June 2005 also commented that the reason she remembered Khan’s group was because it was the first time she had taken an Asian group out rafting.
However, another worker at the centre, John Gorman, said "I cannot remember this group. We get so many people and a lot of Asian men."
In an article published on 24th July 2005, the Sunday Express stated that police had even made a connection between the suspects of 7/7 and 21/7 by the discovery of a brochure for the white-water rafting centre “pieced together” by police from a rucksack ‘bomb’ that did not explode.
Interestingly, Kate Blyth described how two groups of Asian men went rafting at the same time, with her leading one group and a colleague leading the other. She stated that she realised the two groups were acquainted when Khan turned to a man in the other group and began translating instructions for him. Ms. Blyth concluded:
“That’s what convinced me they were all together - that and because they were all Asians. The odds of the centre putting two Asian groups together at random is unlikely.“
However, Paul O’Sullivan stated that a second group were not rafting at the same time, but instead later that day.
Despite some rather bemusing conjecture from locals to the centre and media speculation, it has never been explicitly stated that Khan organised the trip or what his motivations might have been for participating. Kate Blyth remarked that Khan seemed to be in charge, but that he was an “arrogant loudmouth” and the group as a whole were badly behaved, didn’t concentrate on the crucial briefing and did not pay attention to instructions. This suggests the behaviour of somebody not taking the activity seriously and simply out to have fun, rather than a serious precursor to a ‘suicide mission.’
Khan and Converts to Islam
On 24th June 2006, an interview with Martin Gilbertson was published in The Guardian, who told of how he was assigned, by a company called TBB (Technology Bits and Bats Ltd), to work for the Leeds Community School for Muslim convert Martin 'Abdullah' McDaid, a former Royal Marines anti-terrorist operative and Special Boat Service soldier, who left the service after only 18 months.
The full name of TBB is Technology Bits & Bats Ltd, whose shop base 'idooPC' was raided by police in September 2005 in connection with the 7/7 investigation.
The work Mr. Gilbertson was doing for McDaid led to work at the Iqra bookshop, which is actually described on its shop front as a ‘learning centre’ and part of the Iqra Trust, providing not just Islamic literature but media services, youth activities, orphan sponsorship and seminars and presentations. The Iqra Trust is a registered charity with outlets worldwide.
McDaid, who converted to Islam in 2000, had previously worked at another Islamic bookshop, ‘Rays of Truth’, in Leeds. It was here that he met fellow convert James Alexander McLintock, who also appears to have links to the Iqra. A former friend of Khan stated that McLintock - also known as Mohammed Yacoub or Mohammed Yaqub and 'The Tartan Taliban' as a result of his efforts in Afghanistan - had run a series of Islamic study sessions there, before Khan began working there as a volunteer in 2001. When questioned by The Sunday Times, McDaid did not deny McLintock’s involvement in Beeston.
Asian community leaders reportedly asked the police to investigate the links between McLintock and the study groups he ran. Confusingly, McLintock also appears to be known as Anas al-Liby, also with alleged links to al-Qa'ida. Neither Martin 'Abdullah' McDaid nor James 'Mohammed Yacoub/Yaqub' McLintock are mentioned in the Home Office report, despite their interesting connections to terrorism and the reports that McDaid was being monitored by the security services.
Martin Gilbertson says he worked directly with McDaid, Khan, and the two other men who helped run the bookshop; Tafazal Mohammed and Naveed Fiaz, neither of whom could be traced for comment by The Guardian.
Mr. Gilbertson said of Khan:
“I became aware of Sidique Khan, the man the newspapers and authorities call the bombers' 'ringleader'. To be honest, he wasn't the one who stood out. I bumped into him, and he was much like the others - 'Allah Akbar' and all that. But he wasn't the ranting type; what he seemed to want was kudos within the group, and among people on the street outside. Khan's way was to be a 'cool dude'; it was all about kudos in the Muslim community. Khan was well known at the gym round the corner, affiliated to the Leeds Community School and Iqra - known as the 'al-Qaida gym'. So far as I could see, Khan was the one who had to be 're-converted' or 'reverted' - as they say - back to Islam first.”
Source: The Guardian
This testimony regarding Khan does not really corroborate the Home Office report, which states in paragraph 14 that Khan was “serious” about his religion by the time he started his job at Hillside Primary School in March 2001. Martin Gilbertson was not having contact with Khan until 2002. His statements also conflict with those of Martin 'Abdullah' McDaid (pictured left), who claimed that Khan had left the Iqra bookshop before he joined and that he only knew the four suspects to exchange greetings.
In the same interview, Mr. Gilbertson said:
“On reflection, I don't know which way round it was. Whether the people at Iqra were putting Khan up to it, or whether Khan was using them. The path of least resistance is to say that the people at Iqra were creating the atmosphere in which Khan worked. Khan was taking advantage of the atmosphere they were creating, but what I don't know is to what extent the others were aware of what he was doing. I see it as series of pyramids: at the top, the official Muslim community leaders; below that, the pyramid I was working for at Iqra and Hamara YAP, with Khan as a hinge between this and a third tier of pyramids: one of which was the footsoldiers, the bombers.”
Source: The Guardian
However, Mr. Gilbertson never actually states exactly what Khan was doing. It is also unclear who the people were in the pyramid he describes ‘above’ Khan.
A few days after The Guardian interview, while the media were still discussing Mr. Gilbertson’s revelation, Charles Shoebridge, a former detective with the Metropolitan Police, who now writes about terrorism, stated on the BBC Newshour programme:
"The amount of information coming out and the quality of information coming out. The fact that that has been so consistently overlooked it would appear by the security service MI5, to me suggests really only one of two options."
"Either, a) we've got a level of incompetence that would be unusual even for the security services. But b) possibly, and this is a possibility, that this man Khan may even have been working as an informant for the security service."
"It is difficult otherwise to see how it can be that they've so covered his tracks in the interim."
Source: BBC News
It is not inconceivable that a young man prominent in the Muslim community would be asked to undertake work for the security services to identify potential extremist groups. In September 2005, a leaked document detailed plans by MI6 to infiltrate such groups.
The Knowledge of Khan by the Security Services
Just a few days before Mr. Gilbertson came forward with his story, a book by US intelligence specialist Ron Suskind was being publicised, in which he claimed that the CIA discovered in 2003 that Khan was planning to attack American cities and subsequently banned him from entering the US. This claim directly contradicted that of MI5 who denied that Khan had been listed as a terror threat.
Other claims of prior knowledge had been made back in July 2005 by a former terrorist turned informant Junaid Babar. The story was republished in February 2006. For more information on Junaid Babar, please see here under the heading of ‘The prior knowledge of the alleged perpetrators‘.
Since Babar’s claims tied Khan in to Operation Crevice and camps in Pakistan that British authorities still have no evidence that he visited, it is quite remarkable that MI5 can state they did not consider him a threat. It was claimed in the days following the attacks that the suspects were ‘clean skins’; unknown to the security services or police, but French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters that the then Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, had told him that some of the suspects had been subject to “partial arrest” in spring of 2004. They were not charged, in the hope of catching the ‘wider network’ - which apparently never happened. Mr. Clarke strongly denied this.
But, in October 2005, it emerged that Khan had been under surveillance in 2004, and just a few days after this, it was revealed that all four men had been tracked by the security services. The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report into the London bombings described Khan as being “peripheral” to previous surveillance, despite the fact that resources were devoted to photographing him, tracking his car and tapping his phone. Interestingly, the ISC were unable to view the transcripts of the taped telephone conversations, prompting accusations of a cover up by MI5. The Times notes:
"For the ISC report to be more incisive would not have been difficult. It does reveal that there were occasions before the attacks when MI5’s attention was drawn directly or indirectly to Khan but goes to great lengths to play them down. For example, the report notes that in 2003 a known terrorist suspect under investigation by MI5 made calls to a telephone number registered to a “Siddeque Khan".
Source: The Times
Which is interesting, because that was not how Mohammad Sidique Khan’s name is spelled. One wonders how much confidence there can be in the effective surveillance of a person with a different name. It is also strange that Khan managed to allegedly be involved in so many terrorist activities, including the claim that he was involved with the attack in Israel, as mentioned above, on a support worker’s salary while managing to fool so many people in in his own community, who were in shock and disbelief when told that Khan was one of the alleged perpetrators of the London attack. In August 2006 the Yorkshire Post reported that Khan's car was bugged with an electronic tracking device but that the device was only installed after 7th July 2005.
In paragraph 64, the Official Report gives a brief description of Khan’s finances:
“Khan appears to have provided most of the funding. Having been in full-time employment for 3 years since University, he had a reasonable credit rating, multiple bank accounts (each with just a small sum deposited for a protracted period), credit cards and a £10,000 personal loan. He had 2 periods of intensive activity – firstly in October 2004 and then from March 2005 onwards. He defaulted on his personal loan repayments and was overdrawn on his accounts.”
This certainly suggests that if the cost of the London bombings was as low as the Home Office report speculates it was, estimating that it only cost around £8,000, then Khan could have been in a position to finance it personally. However, this does not take into account the still unresolved discrepancy of exactly which type of explosive was used on July 7th. If the explosives were military grade, as the French Interior Minister asserted that they were, these would cost considerably more than a home-made concoction allegedly involving hair bleach and other readily available domestic materials, which the Official Report states still has not been identified entirely. It also doesn’t explain how the other activities abroad that it is speculated Khan was involved in were funded.
The notion that the exact nature of the explosives used was unknown by the time the Home Office account of the London bombings was published, some ten months after the incidents, is entirely ludicrous.
There were even allegations that Khan travelled to Malaysia and the Philippines in 2001 to meet leaders of extremist Islamic group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), an organisation that is closely linked with al-Qaeda. However, the Home Office report concluded in paragraph 48:
“There were media reports soon after the attacks that Khan had visited Malaysia and the Philippines to meet Al Qaida operatives. These stories were investigated and found to have no basis.”
But these stories did not appear to be retracted by the media that published them, leaving those who had read them to conclude that they were based on facts, which is unfortunate.
The report also stated in paragraph 66, when referring to the weeks preceding 7th July 2005, “There are some indications that Khan was worried about being under surveillance during this time.” This suggests that Khan was engaged in unlawful activities, which again begs the question of why he was never detained.
Martin Gilbertson says he contacted the police about his claims in October 2003, but instead of being interviewed or asked to give a statement, he was told to send the names of the men he was concerned about and examples of the material he was producing at the Iqra bookshop. He did so, and heard nothing in response. In fact, when one considers the catalogue of information that the security services had about Khan, the ISC’s conclusion that there was no intelligence failure is rather dubious, to say the least.
7th July 2005 and the Aftermath
Mohammad Sidique Khan is accused of detonating a bomb on a westbound train leaving Edgware Road station and heading towards Paddington. The only person on the train who claims to have seen Khan is Danny Biddle. The details of Mr. Biddle’s testimony change significantly each time they are reported. As well as the accounts mentioned in the link, there is another account where Mr. Biddle describes a man he now believes to be Khan as:
“Sitting with a rucksack over his shoulders and a main bag in his lap over his chest”. Danny watched him look at his wrists several times - as if checking the time. “When he first put his hand in the bag my first thought was medication, or he’s getting something to eat, or he’s a diabetic, whatever. As the train pulled out of Edgware Road station, he put his hand back in the bag, lifted his head and looked up and then there was light like a thousand camera flashes going off.”
Source: Financial Times
The public were told the bombs were in the rucksacks that the men were reportedly carrying, so it is extremely strange that Mr. Biddle refers to a connection between Khan reaching into a “main bag” and the explosion occurring. Furthermore, even in the one CCTV image released of the alleged perpetrators of the attacks, taken from outside Luton station, no "main bag" can be seen. Biddle's other statements, where he refers to Khan pulling “some sort of cord”, contradict the police’s assertion, as reported in The Guardian, that the bombs were detonated with ‘button-like devices‘. It is unclear whether these discrepancies are due to Mr. Biddle having inconsistent recollections of the event or to poor reporting.
It is also worth noting that in instances of crimes where hard and tangible evidence exists to provide an explanation of events, eye witness accounts are generally dismissed owing to the many well documented problems with eye witness recollections of events, particularly in cases where severe trauma is suffered.
Reports implied another passenger on the train, John Tulloch, had also seen Khan, but Mr. Tulloch said:
"I don't know if I did see him…I'm still not sure. In my police report I emphasised that I had a strong impression of someone who looked like him and was sitting opposite me in the Tube, but I can't guarantee that it was that day."
Source: Wales Online
For other discrepancies in the details of the Edgware Road blast, please the J7 Incident Analysis for Edgware Road / Paddington.
Inexplicably, according to the Home Office report, identifying documents belonging to Khan were found two days after the bombings at both Edgware Road and Aldgate. Five days after this, on 14th July, property belonging to Khan was found at a third blast site, Tavistock Square.
Given that Khan is alleged to be responsible for the Edgware Road incident, quite how Khan managed to place his ID in two locations other than Edgware Road, including on a number 30 bus that exploded almost an hour after he is supposed to have killed himself and others at Edgware Road, is yet another in the long line of mysteries that surround the events of 7th July 2005.
Another curiousity is that when the men were first identified, Khan was actually incorrectly named as Rashid Facha, a name very different from his own, despite the fact that every other detail of his family and address was correct.
On 1st September 2005, as questions were being raised about whether the events of 7th July 2005 were suicide attacks, a video was broadcast on the al-Jazeera channel of Khan making a statement which appears to indicate his anger with Western governments and the atrocities they perpetrate against Muslims in the Middle east. In the video he does not state that he intends to attack London, nor does he mention the attack he is accused of perpetrating. This video is discussed in detail here.
Interestingly, in paragraph 40 of the Home Office report, there is mention of a separate Will that Khan left, although it is not clear how this was obtained, nor has this ever been released to the public. The report describes the will as focussing:
“....much more on the importance of martyrdom as supreme evidence of religious commitment. It also contains anti-Semitic comments. It draws heavily on the published Will of a young British man killed during the US bombing of Tora Bora in Eastern Afghanistan in late 2001, and who was married with young children like Khan. He appears as something of a role model to Khan.”
There is no explanation in the report for how it is known that these parallels were intentionally drawn with the other person’s will, and a search by J7 researchers of published wills by British men killed in Afghanistan has so far yielded no results.
The Khan family would like to sincerely express their deepest and heart felt sympathies to all the innocent victims and their families and friends affected by this horrific and evil act.
We are devastated that our son may have been brainwashed into carrying out such an atrocity, since we know him as a kind and caring member of our family.
We urge people with the tinniest piece of information to come forward in order to expose these terror networks which target and groom our sons to carry out such evils.
We have no further comment and do not wish to be approached further by the media.”
The Telegraph reported on 29th October 2005, that Khan’s family had asked for a second post mortem to be carried out on his remains, by an independent pathologist. The Telegraph wrote:
“Exhaustive tests on the remains have already been carried out by forensic scientists to determine what type of explosives Khan was carrying and how they were detonated and it is not clear what further information they will now yield”
Source: The Telegraph
Despite these “exhaustive tests”, the Home Office report was still unable to state what type of explosive was used, or how they were detonated, by its publication ten months later.
The calls by Khan's family for a second post-mortem would suggest that they are not satisfied with the results of the first post-mortem and are still trying to ascertain the cause of death.
No further information has been given about a second post-mortem and, to date, unlike Hussain and Tanweer, there have been no reports of either Lindsay Germaine or Mohammad Sidique Khan having had funerals. The inquests are scheduled to take place in June 2007.
For further information, please the J7 Incident Analysis for Edgware Road / Paddington.