What turns a British-born Muslim into a suicide bomber? Nasreen Suleaman talks to those who knew Mohammad Sidique Khan, the eldest of the July 7 bombers. She tries to unravel the mystery of what turned this well integrated, popular and intelligent young man into a terrorist.For some reason (take a wild guess) this particular episode of the BBC's Koran & Country series is not available via the BBC web site Listen Again service. Prior to its broadcast Suleaman's show was listed in The Times' Entertainment section:
BIOGRAPHY OF A BOMBERSo the myth goes. Maybe The Times journalist listened to a different show to the one that was broadcast.
Nasreen Suleaman has been a journalist with BBC News for 11 years. Here she presents a strong case for being groomed as the service’s next celebrity reporter as she tells the most detailed story I’ve yet heard of a man who, like her, was born in Britain to Pakistani parents and brought up in Yorkshire. On July 7, though, Mohammad Sidique Khan and three other men caught a train to London, where they blew themselves and 52 innocent people to bits. Why? It is a question asked a thousand times ever since — and Suleaman goes a long way towards answering it.
During the Radio 4 'documentary' about Mohammed Sidique Khan, Suleaman claimed that Khan had been paintballing and that paintballing was, "for some, a guerrilla warfare like activity." Note Suleaman's violent and graphic portrayal of paintballing. Paintballing features again in the continuing story of Ms Suleaman -- and the man now known as Usama bin London -- only with a slightly different spin from Suleaman.
Last Wednesday, a Muslim man, Mohammed Hamid, was convicted for apparently organising "al-Qaida style training camps" across Britain. Although nobody has been allowed to know about the conviction until now, owing to extended "reporting restrictions" that are counter to the public interest and any notions of justice that might once have existed. Let's face it, when was the last time you read or heard about the case for the defence in any 'terror' trial that you weren't physically present at? Plenty of coverage of the case for the prosecution, plenty of coverage about the 'evil terrorists' and all their evil terrorist ways and precisely no coverage at all for the defence. Hamid's co-defendant, Mousa Brown, made this point during the trial, a comment which has been interpreted in customarily incensed and emotive terms by the BBC as an, "attack" on journalists.
So deeply immersed in terrorism and terrorist training activity were Hamid and his fellow defendants that the Guardian reports, "The jury heard no evidence of weapons or explosives – the prosecution relied on MI5 surveillance tapes and recordings made by an undercover police officer." MI5 recordings of people speaking are now 'terrorism', at least if you happen to be Muslim, or some other perceived enemy of the State. All of which is rather unlike the U-SUK warmongering efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan which are, of course, peacekeeping missions -- bringing "freedom" and "democracy" to those that never asked for it to be delivered, especially not via bombs, butchery and genocide -- that don't involve any terrorism, nor the world's most dangerous weapons in the hands of the most highly trained terror-mongers.
The accused in the Mohammed Hamid 'Usama bin London' trial had no weapons, no explosives, no money and no terrorist abilities whatsoever, unless you count wielding twigs, rolling around in the mud, somersaults, pole-vaulting and cutting up a melon, in advance of eating the melon, as the acts of hardcore Jihadi terrorists.
Harking back to Nasreen Suleaman, the "journalist with BBC News for 11 years" who, according to someone at The Times, "presents a strong case for being groomed as the service's next celebrity reporter". In her apparent 11, by now 13, years with BBC News, Suleaman seems to have done precious little in the way of reporting. In fact, even the most objective analysis of Suleaman's reportage could not fail to discover that she has done little else other than a provide a small but crucial bit of coverage in relation to two recent major terrorist attacks on Western soil. First up is her reporting on Zacarias Moussaui, who remains the only person ever to be convicted in connection with the events of 11th September 2001 (despite many of the alleged hijackers still being alive). Second up is Suleaman's profiling of Mohammed Sidique Khan, one of four people against whom not a shred of admissable evidence has been presented in connection with the events of 7th July 2005.
In a radical departure from her staple fare, Suleaman has also contributed to the ongoing and entirely baseless demonisation of the 21st century's new Jews, Muslims, while superficially appearing to do the exact opposite. Prior to Biography of Bomber, Suleaman worked on a BBC television documentary called "Don't Panic I'm Islamic", which was shown in June 2005, a month before the Islamic panic began to be manufactured from thin air in earnest. The documentary featured none other than Mohammed Hamid, the man who jokingly referred to himself as Usama bin London.
During filming, Nasreen Suleaman -- who later the same year described paintballing as "a guerrilla warfare like activity" -- and the BBC team filmed Hamid and a group of others as they went paintballing. In fact, it was at the behest of Nasreen Suleaman herself, and the BBC who stumped up the funds for the trip, that Hamid and fellow defendants Muhammad al-Figari (who claimed he had drifted into crime after becoming a chauffeur under contract to the BBC, supplying clients with drugs and "female partners") and Mousa Brown went paintballing at the Delta Force centre in Tonbridge, Kent in February 2005. Mousa Brown went on to have an interesting tale to tell of how MI5 tried to recruit him and now appears to be saying that they failed, yet he was the only defendant acquitted. Hamid, however, was paid £300 by the BBC to take part in the documentary and said he wold use the funds to pay fines he had incurred as a result of a previous misdemeanour - that noble and long-standing duty of the working classes, antagonising the police.
Such was the involvement between Suleaman, the BBC and Hamid & Co., that Suleaman was called to give evidence during Hamid's trial. The Times reported:
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.On 17th November 2005 Ms Suleaman claimed in her Radio 4 'documentary' that paintballing is "for some, a guerilla warfare like activity". Yet two years later she is happy to state, under oath, that paintballing is "harmless", "fun" and not "terrorist training activity", which smacks a little of disingenuousness at the very least, if not perjury.
“There are many, many British Muslims that I know who for the past 15 or 20 years have been going paintballing. It’s a harmless enough activity. I don’t think there is any suggestion, or ever has been, that it’s a terrorist training activity.”
The tale of Mohammed Hamid and Nasreen Suleaman features yet another intriguing twist. Following the non-events of the no-bombs 'bombers' of 21st July 2005, Hamid recognised two of the suspects, Muktar Ibrahim Said and Hussain Osman (aka Rome-Runner Hamdi Isaac) and contacted Suleaman to tell her as much. Suleaman said that she informed "senior BBC managers" of the contact but was not told to approach the police with this information. Suleaman told the court, “I got the sense that he was already talking to the police. I referred it to my immediate boss at the BBC. I wasn’t told that there was an obligation. In fact it was referred above her as well. It was such a big story.” She added: “I don’t think it’s my obligation to tell another adult that he should go to the police.”
Of course, there's nothing odd about that. Why would Suleaman report to the police that someone she had taken on "guerrilla warfare like" training just happens to know a couple of bombers who didn't have any bombs. Nothing odd at all, except when you consider the case of the 21/7 no-bombs bombers. Following the non-events of 21st July 2005, when nobody was killed or injured, the accused, their wives, girlfriends, relatives and associates were all rounded up and locked up -- in much the opposite way that absolutely nobody was rounded up after 7/7 -- and many have since been charged with various misdemeanours, all now considerered terrorism, including, "withholding information and assisting an offender", amongst other things.
Armed with this information, one might be tempted to ask why Nasreen Suleaman and "senior BBC managers" aren't being charged with "withholding information and assisting an offender" and, further, why they aren't also being charged with financing terrorists by paying for the "guerrilla warfare like" training activity of paintballing and donating £300 to Mohammed 'Usama bin London' Hamid, now a convicted terrorist for having done precisely nothing that could be constituted as terrorism.
Technically, both the BBC and Nasreen Suleaman are, -- much like a certain disturbingly regular consultant to the BBC, Mr Peter Power, who happens to be getting upset about his own errant behaviour -- bang to rights.
Note: This article was originally going to finish with a different ending but, given the current climate, an editorial decision was taken that it was probably best not mention Nasreen Suleaman's work alongside FCO representatives because, as William Ehrman, Director General of the FCO wrote:
"Dealing with Islamist extremism, the messages are more complex, the constituencies we would aim at are more difficult to identify, and greater damage could be done to the overall effort if links back to UK or US sources were revealed."Also omitted from this article, a link to a rather contrived and badly managed interview with Nasreen Suleaman plugging Biography of a Bomber and a link to Gonzo Terrorism. Watch out in Nas's interview clip, yet again, for the standard practice of showing CCTV footage from 28 June 2005 as the voiceover talks of 7th July, some 9 days after the footage being shown and from which no CCTV footage has ever been released.
Finally, a clip of Mohammed Hamid and his thoughts on the events of 11th September 2001 was omitted from the above article, just in case anyone was left with the impression that questioning official doctrine might be hazardous to one's health and liberty.
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." -- Alan Bullock