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Frame-up: Do These People Fit The Bill Of Suicide Bombers?

BBC News | July 13, 2005

BBC: Suicide bombers' 'ordinary' lives

Three young men from West Yorkshire were killed in last Thursday's bomb blasts in London. Initially they would have been treated as victims, now it is widely accepted they are the perpetrators of Britain's first suicide bombing.

MOHAMMAD SIDIQUE KHAN, 30, FROM DEWSBURY
Mohammad Sidique Khan had lived in the Beeston area of Leeds until recently, when he moved to Lees Holm in Dewsbury.

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He is believed to have been married with a very young daughter, with newspapers naming his wife as teacher Hasina Khan.

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 both children and parents.

"He was a good man, quiet," said one parent, speaking outside the school.

"When I told my daughter she said 'no, he can't do something like that'. I had to go and buy the paper and show her."


Another parent, Sharon Stevens, told the Press Association how he had been a "big supporter" of pupils and parents.

"He was really understanding and he did work for the children and parents."

Neighbours told how he was not well-known in the Dewsbury Muslim community, but they believed he was a "very pleasant" person.

One neighbour said: "He didn't seem to be an extremist. He was not one to talk about religion. He was generally a very nice bloke."

Despite the tributes, 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.

HASIB MIR HUSSAIN, 18, FROM LEEDS
Teenager Hasib Hussain had been known as a tearaway during his early teens.

Newspapers reported how he would start fights with fellow pupils at the Matthew Murray Secondary school in Leeds.

He left school in July 2003 without attaining a single GCSE.

Around this time, he was sent to Pakistan to visit relatives. He also went on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, grew a beard and began to wear robes.

Despite becoming devoutly religious, he was arrested for shoplifting during 2004.

Neighbours said the 18-year-old had lived all his life in Colonso Mount in the Holbeck area of Leeds. One neighbour described the family as "very nice people".

He said: "We all knew them but I wouldn't say I knew them well. They were just a very nice family."

Hasib Hussain had told his family he was going on a trip to London to visit friends.

But when he failed to return on Thursday, his parents reported him as missing to police.

He had in fact boarded the No 30 bus in London armed with enough explosives to rip the double-decker apart, killing 13 people.

His driving licence and cash cards were found in the mangled wreckage of the bus.

SHEHZAD TANWEER, 22, FROM LEEDS
Shehzad Tanweer, 22, was born in Bradford but lived most of his life in the Beeston area of Leeds - little over half a mile from his friend, Hasib Hussain.

He was a sports science graduate whose interests included cricket and ju-jitsu.

In 2004, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and cautioned.

Newspapers quoted friends who said Mr Tanweer was quiet and very religious but did not express an interest in politics.

The Daily Mail reported he had been to an Islamic study camp in Pakistan at the start of the year.

His father, of Pakistani origin, owns a fish and chip shop near their home on Colwyn Road.

His uncle, Bashir Ahmed, 65, said the family was "shattered" by the revelation that he appeared to have been involved.

"He was proud to be British," he said. "He had everything to live for. His parents were loving and supportive.

"He was a very kind and calm person. He was respected by everyone."

Neighbours described the graduate, who studied at Leeds Metropolitan University, as a "good Muslim". Others said he was a "nice lad" who could "get on with anyone".


Yet Shehzad Tanweer detonated a bomb on a Circle Line train between Aldgate and Liverpool Street stations which killed seven people, including himself, and injured over 100 more.


LINDSEY GERMAINE, FROM AYLESBURY, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
Police sources have said the fourth suicide bomber was a Jamaican-born British resident named Lindsey Germaine.

He is understood to have been living at a house in Northern Road, Aylesbury that police raided on Wednesday night.

Little is known of his background and sources say confirmation of his identity may depend on DNA analysis.

He is thought to be responsible for the Russell Square Underground bomb, where 21 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds more injured.

Some of the remains of the dead are still to be recovered.

Manchester Evening News: Suicide bomber 'had all to live for'

THE family of Britain's first suicide bomber today said they could not comprehend why he had become a mass murderer.

Shehzad Tanweer, 22, was an outwardly ordinary young British man, a university graduate who studied sports science and loved cricket and football.

His father owns a fish and chip shop in Beeston, Leeds where he had lived all his life.

On July 7 he was the first of a four-strong suicide team to die when his bomb exploded on a London Underground train near Aldgate station.

Seconds later his friend Mohammed Sadique Khan, 30, who was from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, blew himself up on a train near Edgware Road and another friend died in a blast on a train near King's Cross.

The fourth bomber, 18-year-old Hasib Hussain, from the Leeds suburb of Holbeck, killed himself in an explosion on the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square.

Tanweer, Khan and Hussain were all British with Pakistani ancestry.

Tanweer's uncle Bashir Ahmed, 65, said the bomber's family were destroyed.

Speaking at the family home Mr Ahmed said: "There is no explanation I can come to. "Our lives have been shattered. It's impossible to describe it.

"He was proud to be British. He had everything to live for. His parents were loving and supportive. They had no financial worries.

"He was intelligent. He went to university. His plan was to go into sports.

"The family is shattered. This is a terrible thing. It wasn't him. It must have been forces behind him."

Mr Ahmed said his nephew went to Pakistan for two months earlier this year to study religion.

Passport

But he denied that his nephew travelled to Afghanistan and took part in training camps.

"There is no way, I have seen his passport," he said.

Police and the security services fear the bombers could have been acting on the orders of an al Qaida mastermind and there may be another bomb team waiting to strike.

Asked whether he believed they were part of a larger cell Home Secretary Charles Clarke said: "A central hypothesis which has to be tested and investigated is that the individuals we know about were working within a wider community."

Mr Clarke, meeting European union interior ministers in Brussels today, also revealed that police were examining telephone records in the hunt for the bombers' accomplices.

He said: "We are looking very, very closely at the relationship between the people who may have committed the offences and the wider network around them.

"The telecommunications data is an important weapon in investigating that."

Mr Clarke is today seeking Europe-wide agreement on the retention of huge amounts of personal mobile phone and email records which would help future anti-terrorist investigations.

Prime Minister Tony Blair was "shocked" to learn the bombers were born and raised in the UK, his official spokesman said.

"But he is determined that we should take on this extremism," the spokesman added.

"It is his view that this is not a problem that is limited to this country, but it is a symptom of a much bigger problem and we need to look at that.

"This problem didn't start in this society, in this country. It started beyond our shores."

The bombers appear to be the security services' worst nightmare, so-called "clean skins", apparently ordinary young men who were below the intelligence radar.

Detectives are working furiously piecing together their lives as neighbours in West Yorkshire told of their shock that suicide attackers had been living in their midst.

Like Tanweer, Khan seemed an unlikely suicide bomber. Friends said he was married with an eight-month-old baby girl and that he worked with disabled children in a primary school.

Hussain lived with his parents and neighbours said he had become "very religious" two years ago.

When he left his home last Thursday morning, with only a few hours to live, he had told his parents he was going to London for the day with friends.

At 10.20pm they reported him missing to the police casualty bureau, providing one of the vital clues which led detectives to Leeds.

In a series of raids in West Yorkshire yesterday, including on the suspects' homes, detectives found an apparent bomb factory and explosives were also found in a car at Luton station.

Detectives

At least three of the bombers are thought to have used hire cars to travel from West Yorkshire to Luton last Thursday morning.

All four men then boarded a Thameslink rail service to King's Cross where they were captured on CCTV just before 8.30am carrying large military-style rucksacks. They then set out to deliver their bombs.

A senior security source, who has viewed the CCTV footage, said: "They were chatting. You would think they were going on a hiking holiday."

Detectives believe the suspects probably lacked the expertise to plan the operation or construct the bombs themselves and were more likely to have been recruited by a more senior figure.

One senior security source said: "Where is the person who had the expertise to organise it all? There is the possibility that it could be al Qaida - someone who would have been sent to the country to do the preparation and then would have left the day before the attack. Is the capability to mount an attack still somewhere else?"

Terrorism lecturer Professor Paul Wilkinson said he believed the men were expendable pawns in an international al Qaida operation.

He said: "I just don't believe this would have been four young men acting on their own.

"There would have been another person who primed and guided them and lured them into extremism."

At least 52 people, including the bombers, died in last week's attacks.

Inquests into the deaths of seven victims opened today.

A total of 51 injured victims remained in hospital today, health officials said.


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