December 31, 2007
December 21, 2007
"OK. So we'll play that one then."
Every one a winner.
The first Tottenham gig worked well too, maybe because we were following some great and varied bands. I still haven't heard the recordings yet but we had lots of spontaneous reactions including random people getting up on stage and shouting etc.
Still a bit ill I got to see Hawkwind the other night at their regular London solstice (ish) bash. Maybe they had the excuse of being a bit flu-ridden too but they weren't very good. All the what people from my way used to call "greebo" biker rock with none of the psychedelia. All the "classic Hawkwind swirlings" were handled by a long haired guy with a Theromin. Now I like theromin but by the fifth or sixth time this guy made kettle boiling noises I really wanted him to stick it up his fucking arse.
The dancers were great, but their costumes were terrible. Maybe the original Hawkwind should stop all their childish feuding and reform. Don't know. Don't really give a fuck. Even the die hard old Hawkwind fan I went with hated it. Don't know what I was expecting having seen what Psychedelia moved onto circa 1994-5 with Juno Reactor et al, and that sounds dated now.
The judge sentencing Malik said her crime was on the “margins” of the offence of which she was found guilty. He said Malik was of “good character”. He added, “The Terrorism Act and the restrictions it imposes on the personal freedom exist to protect this country, its interests here and abroad, its citizens, and those who visit here."
December 20, 2007
Captive Support claims to be a human rights group, monitoring inmates’ welfare and calling for their release.
On Saturday it held its first big conference at Friends House, a meeting venue run by the Quakers in Euston Road.
December 19, 2007
December 15, 2007
Somali-born Kader Ahmed, 20, told a court he went on a trip arranged by preacher Mohammed Hamid, 50, to Scotland at Christmas 2004.
He said they visited Inverness and Loch Ness and added: "I'd never been to Scotland before. It was very cold when we went up. It was snowing.
"It was very beautiful as well. I had never seen reindeer before."
He said they stopped near Loch Ness for a few days, sleeping in their minibus as it was too cold to camp, and tried to spot the elusive monster.
Ahmed, from east London, admits going on camping trips and paintballing sessions with Hamid's group, who included four of the men later convicted of the plot to bomb London on July 21, 2005.
December 13, 2007
December 08, 2007
December 07, 2007
"52 is not even breakfast? How many is breakfast for you Mr. Hamid?"
Mr prosecution finnished in his squeaky, nasal voice. Hunched over, finger and bottom lip protruding throughout he finally sat down slowly and dramatically. After more than two days both he and Hamid had stopped addressing each other almost entirely, turning to the jury instead.
These are the conversations of very British Islamists as recorded by the Police in 2005. I hope they are released and become part of some sort of curiculum. Fascinating.
I think the Old Bailey is a much easier place to follow a case as the public gallery entrance is totally separate. You don't have to walk past lawyers and senior anti-terror Police and you can also take notes. Its been nice to meet some of Hamid's family and a couple of the journalists anyway but for now I've had quite enough. As you can imagine I have lots of stories from those involved which will appear when the jury have reached a verdict.
I suppose the cases against Moussa Brown et al will take us up to Christmas, but err... not for me thanks. I've met Hamid on enough occasions to be interested in his plight and how it connects to Ailla Ahmet. I needed to see how he would explain himself. I don't know the others and would feel I was gawping at their predicament. I'm feeling quite toxic from the whole process now.
December 06, 2007
"Fight only those who fight you."
What did he mean by sacrifice?
"Mr Bennathan (Hamid's QC) is sacrificing by being here when he could be in the Bahama's."
He said many people could attest to the fact that he warned people to stay away from Finsbury park Mosque. He had met top Muslim scholars as well as a Muslim Lord. The trustees of Finsbury park mosque could back him up. what seemed like the most incriminating statements of his he attributed to being talk about drugs, or he said he couldn't remember.
The jury asked for a scholar to verify what Hamid was referring to in the Koran. One of the jury handed up a note which said that Hamid seemed to avoid answering the question, instead going into a sermon about the Koran. Hamid said that a lot of what he was on trial for was attributable to the Koran.
What had he said to Atilla outside the Bridge to China which led Atilla to tell the group to get their story straight? He said he had read an article connecting the 21/7 bombers to training camps in the lake district and was paranoid. If they were arrested he didn't want people to tell fairy tales and give false names etc. He thought he could be sent to the States, or Guantanamo or whatever so he didn't want anyone to be able to say the wrong thing if they were infiltrated.
It was all very hard work and the court, which is usually too cold was way too hot today.
In another part of this dream I was wandering with a group of people who were all naked. We reached a sort of marble platform which had plants intertwined with strange metal structures. needed a dump and told the others it was OK to shit anywhere. Pretty soon there was what looked like big rabbit droppings in amongst the plants. Then a group of people in chefs clothes came and started pouring chocolate onto the plateau. We hadn't realised it was a chocolate making facility and didn't tell them we had shit on it.
What is all that about then?
I have been able to get to the trial a couple of times. Cross examination is supposed to be the most interesting part but in this case it hasn't been. Its all a bit predictable. I would say it was a "boring score draw" between Hamid and the prosecution.
"You are a terrorist recruiter"
"No I'm not."
Hamid appears to be playing himself with his "I can assure you 150 percent"s and "I couldn't tell you pecifically" , I'm not sure who the prosecution guy is playing.
Hamid said he belonged to one of the same "four schools" that 90% of Muslims belong to. He added that Hamza had banned these schools from Finsbury park Mosque.
The day before yesterday was a bit more interesting as we had some live witnesses incliding Phil Rees. I got a chance to speak to him and had a look at his site after, I didn't realise he was behind probably the only "War on Terror" based stuff I have seen on TV that I liked.
Nasreen Suleaman, who had found all of the people who appeared in "Don't Panic I'm Islamic" also gave evidence and appeared in the Sun the next day for her trouble. the most interesting witness was a young Turkish Muslim who took over the witness box and told the court off for holding Hamid, as he was innocent. He said Hamid had always tried to steer him to the correct path, away from drugs and crime which had worked sometimes. He had never been in favour of or tried to recruit him for terrorism. He leaned right in to the Microphone to talk about conspiracy theories etc and didn't want to leave at the end, again protesting Hamid's innocence.
Another bearded young Muslim from Weybridge claimed Hamid had helped him get off alchoholism and lent him the money to accompany his group on a trip to Morrocco. He hadn't paid the full amount back. Cross examined he said that on the trip everyone argued with everyone else. They were angry with him because he snored loudly in the van. The trip was a success in that they achieved their aim of getting to Morrocco and getting back.
A very fetching blonde Irish woman spoke, saying she was an athiest who often talked to Hamid at his dawah stall and over coffee. She said he was frequesntly abused by passers by who called him "terrorist" and that when she was with him, passing Muslims also abused him for talking to her, calling her "Kaffir".
In the afternoon the defence showed the jury some of Hamid's conspiracy theory videos starting with Illuminazi, at which point I left because I've seen them all a long time ago. The Turkish Muslim guy who gave evidence gave me a couple of leaflets which had been on Hamid's stall including Terrorism and Islam: Exploding the Myths.
Yesterday I managed a few hours of cross examination which went back to the You're a terrorist recruiter- No I'm not strand of peculiarity. The prosecution guy is saying he is, Hamid is saying he isn't. For more information click on the links below.
Times, The Sun, The Sun again,The Mirror, Daily Mail, UPI ,etc
All of this has been synthesised from one journalist's work. Cos he is working for an agency he doesn't get credited so I'll credit him here. Well done Paddy.
December 03, 2007
November 30, 2007
November 27, 2007
He was asked about Atilla's deteriorating mental state. Hamid said he was upset that Atilla had done the CNN interview and didn't agree with what he had said. In the Bridge to China he was boasting about how he said the Police, banks, MPs were all targets. He had "let them have it". Hamid said he didn't even invite Atilla and was annoyed to see him there. He said the restaurant wasn't the place to discuss such matters and that they should go to a park or something.
He was asked about the conversation which went on outside with Atilla. He said it was something about a conversation he had with lawyers asking him to give evidence at the 21/7 trial and that he and Atilla helped push a strangers car to get it started. In Belmarsh he and Atilla were on the same wing and he heard Atilla crying and said he was "cracking". He said Atilla accused him of being a spy when he went out of the jail to hospital for his sinus twice. He said there was no way that Atilla thought he was guilty but he had no faith in the justice system.
Hugh Mullan, representing Kader Ahmed got up and asked Hamid some questions.
Between them they agreed that Kader was quiet and helpful. He didn't like Atilla as he was aggressive in tone and criticized other Muslims committing "taqfir" (?). Hamid said that Kader had asked him why Atilla was the emir as he didn't even come camping or turn up on time for meetings.
The cross examination started.
Hamid claimed he had learnt leopard crawling at borstal. There were often teachers there who were ex-military. This training was to defend yourself and to be ready for the time when the madhi comes and Muslims will have to defend themselves.
The judge asked Hamid when this would be.
Hamid answered 30 years? 20 years? 10 years? He didn't know when Iran or Syria was going to be attacked. If Saudi was invaded this was a Holy place for all Muslims who would have to defend it.
The prosecution referred to him saying "Hurry up" on the camera phone evidence of people leopard crawling in the New Forest. He said he was telling them to hurry because he had a low battery on his mobile. Just because people were holding a stick as a gun didn't make it an AK47. The judge stopped the prosecution referring to AK47s and said he should refer to "guns". He said it was training for situations abroad where there were guns like Iraq or Afghanistan which Hamid denied. Hamid said it was not training for terrorist attacks.
The prosecution guy was hunched over saying that Hamid had spoke of knowing trainers in Afghanistan. He said he was exaggerating. He had held an AK47 but hadn't fired it. The prosecution could check for themselves. He was in and out of the refugee camps in two days with no time for training. Before 9/11 it was all legal. He said that if the prosecution could find any incriminating phone call to Afghanistan he would plead guilty. He held his wrists out.
He made a bit of a speech to the jury. The judge asked him to go a bit slower for the stenographer who was having a heart attack. Joel also asked him to slow down. The prosecution guy and Hamid were leaned toward each other, Hamid with crossed arms, angry. The prosecution guy isn't very good. He didn't seem very well prepared and kept loosing his place, taking ages to find his cross-references in his files. He's sort of doing an impression of a crown barrister, but not a very good one.
The judge tried to help make sense of it all, asking to play tapes that the prosecution referred to. Hamid claimed that he only camped 300 feet from the road. They were talking about secrecy because they didn't have a lot of money and the camp sites were closed. They didn't want to get moved on. The news had been full of people accused of Jihadi training in Wales etc. Hamid loved camping and didn't want to stop just because "busybodies" would think they were up to something. Proceedings were halted because a jury member started banging her head on the table feeling unwell.
(UPDATE: Please don't post anything which could be considered extra-judicial evidence below. email me, dave*at*socialistwanker.com and I promise I will post it here when the trial is over- THANKS)
November 26, 2007
The gig was recorded so hopefully some music coming...
November 23, 2007
"Did Atilla mean to encourage people to go out and commit acts of violence that day? next week?"
"Atilla hasn't got an aggressive bone in his body. He doesn't mean any harm to anyone."
He was asked about his stuff about "Taking off heads"
"That is in majority Muslim countries who are ruled over by dictators. You've got to fight them. This is from the Koran- a situation the prophet was dealing with at the time.
There was a lot of stuff about the meanings behind what he and Atilla said.
What was this business about an inner circle?
He wanted to be organised, get a community centre. Do everything legally.
How did this go?
It fell apart the next week. People who lived near somewhere worth looking at didn't even go. People didn't take any responsibilities.
He was asked about Dawood.
"Lovely guy. The best of the best of the people there."
He had a lot of problem with peoples time keeping, and people who said they were going to do things and didn't. Dawood wasn't like this. He was on time, always willing to use his car to pick people up, he would suggest things. He would never accept petrol money from anyone.
"Even seeing him in the witness box I can't feel bad towards him."
At this point all of the Anti-terror guys would have made a great picture. I wonder if they will be looking up into the public gallery to gauge the reaction when Hamid is cross examined.
He was asked about a bit more of Atilla's stuff.
"He means the fight with the tongue. All in the room would have taken it as such. He means when the Mahdi (A sort of messiah figure) comes back ."
He explained this as a time when one third of Muslims would run, a third would die fighting and the remaining third would be victorious.
I hadn't heard it put so well before and was left thinking if Stephen Dawkins, (who I don't usually like) might be right about his "virus of faith" theory. This is that self fulfilling prophesy thing. Get a group of people who believe they will have to fight everyone else to survive at some point in the future, they look for those signs. they prepare for them. Christians do the same. They draw this destiny to themselves and the rest of us are stuck in it. At times like this I sort of think the noblest of the many fractured reasons why I started this come into play. This is what I tried to get to know Atilla for. I want no part in these destinies written in books long ago. Surely inter community relations outside of government is the most important thing at the moment.
The prosecution only interjected twice to complain, once about "What did Atilla intend..." as he can't know someone else's intentions, only what he took statements to mean. The other time was to remind the jury that Atilla had pleaded guilty on the passage referred to. This made a lot clearer to me the tensions joining Hamid and Atilla would create between them. This was a clever move on the part of the prosecution.
Hamid sort of said everything which would appear inflammatory on the tapes was either from the Koran or referring to a spiritual fight. Marble Arch was his front line and he was there six days a week. There was a contract of peace between Muslims and this country as they had total freedom to practice their religion and there was a Koranic ban on suicide or harming innocents.
He explained everything Atilla was saying as referring to protest. He said both of them exaggerate, are unclear and talk plain cobblers sometimes.
"Cockneys call it Cock and Bull".
Late afternoon we got to the interesting bit about his "breakfast" statement
Hamid explained that Atilla had been verbally abusive to his wife which he didn't like to hear in front of his grandchildren and all the others on the camp site. He hadn't heard Atilla singing any Jihadi calypso and earlier when others had complained about filling in forms, he had reminded them it was common practice on all campsites. Atilla was really loosing it.
"When he said "I want to pack it in, walk it where it wants to be walked and let it go " what was he referring to?"
"Would he do this?"
"No. Never. Not ever."
Hamid explained that his reply was an attempt to address Atilla on his level. There was never any point in directly opposing things Atilla said as he would dig his heels in. He was saying- why would you commit suicide? If I wanted to bomb I would use my intelligence and bomb and get away with it like Jack the Ripper. This wasn't stating an intention to bomb. It was telling Atilla not to commit suicide.
As I said the Anti-Terror guys looked really worried, confronted as they were with Hamids simple charm, slightly skewed cockneyisms and "Plepeated Uranium". Remembering the Hamza case it also came across like this at this stage so I wouldn't be thinking he was home and dry quite yet. Hamid is very, very different to Hamza but he is using a similar argument.
The "Britishness" of the personalities of all these fundamentalists is fascinating.
November 22, 2007
OK. I wrote notes in the breaks. Not sure how complete this is going to be but the trade off of being face to face above the jury rather than behind Hamid with the journalists is going OK. The occasional argument with court staff, but its an uncomfortable situation. I'd spoken to Musa and Mrs Atilla about yesterday and both came down rather worried. Joel greeted them and Atilla's two year old daughter warmly totally unaware of who they were. They were certainly unaware it was him who had cast aspersions on Atilla's character the day before. Neither stayed long enough to hear Atilla's name brought up late afternoon.
Anyway from the beginning.
Joel asked Hamid if he had friends who were Jihadi trainers in Afghanistan as he had claimed at one of his house meetings. He said that was cobblers. he had made that up to impress people. He exaggerates things to make himself look better.
We heard this morning of Hamids many trips abroad. Working with an Islamic relief charity over the road from his Islamic book shop in Hackney he picked up enough medical equipment from Kingston hospital to fill 9 40 foot shipping containers. The biggest available. He met these containers at the port in Karachi where it took 9 days to clear them, split them into lorry loads and set off into Afghanistan. This was 2002. (I later heard an excited journalist comparing this to the dates when the Crevice plotters were in Pakistan.)
He drove with the trucks to various refugee camps where they were received by hospitals along with food. Next he spoke of a trip they planned to Grenada. they were detained by anti-terror Police for 9 hours on the way out. One of the Policemen who was OK with them gave them a cup of tea and said that they had been detained too long to attempt a trip to Southern Spain and suggested they go to Bordeaux (?) instead, where the second longest sand dune in the world was. You could camp where you wanted etc. They took this advice, loved it and have been back since. We saw film of them running about, breaking off sticks, running up and down hills. At one point they reach a depression in the ground where Hamid declares an Alien spaceship is going to land.
He also drove to Loch Ness in the snow, which was beautiful. We were introduced to the camping trips Hamid organised to the Lake District. He had found the place the morning after a long and fruitless search which had ended up with them all sleeping in their cars. They drove up in the morning and knocked on the door of what looked like an abandoned property. Unsure what to do they pitched the tent up hill, visible from everywhere so that the owner could see them when he arrived. They also chose to camp on a hill because the ground around the house was fairly waterlogged. This later proved to be fortunate as sometimes young kids who would drink and smoke and shout would camp around the house and neither groups disturbed each other.
They kept coming back to this spot for years. The camping trips were all about discipline. A lot of those who came to Hamid's house meetings were coming off drugs or out of prison. It was very hard to be a Muslim these days. Hard to keep out of the wrong company. If the Police saw people waving sticks, Hamid doesn't buy expensive walking sticks, he breaks a stick off where he finds one and if the Police officers saw someone playing with a stick, they could easily have made a misguided assumption.
Next we moved onto 9/11, 7/7 and 21/7.
Hamid didn't believe 9/11 was done by Muslims as Muslims can't kill innocents, or commit suicide. Why would Afghanistan bomb the US inviting a superpowers wrath when they couldn't even afford food? Things were bad after 9/11 but they were much worse after 7/7. He would take his family to Margate where people would shout "Terrorist! Osama!" and suchlike and spat at him. Musa Brown told him the morning of 7/7 that bombs had gone off and advised him not to take his dawah table to Marble Arch. He didn't follow this advice and went down. All afternoon, with public transport halted, people passed him walking home shouting abuse at him. At one point a Policeman regularly on the beat there advised him to pack up and go home. He took this advice. Explaining his text message that evening "We fear no one except Allah. We cannot change etc" he said this was a common Muslims phrase.
Joel asked him his attitude to training. He said it was part of the Koran. He had spoken to a blonde woman in his shop who turned out to be Bosnian. One morning people who she had previously been at peace with came to her house and dragged her husband out. She escaped with her kids to the woods where she met others and took flight. He was aware of what could happen even in developed countries where populations turned on Muslims. He allowed the BBC to film after they had spoken to him on his dawa stall. They turned this into a documentary called "Don't Panic I'm Islamic."
Next we came to the 21/7 guys.
He knew all of them from visits to his house. They would bring each other on his camping trips. Once when he was on holiday two of them took over his dawa stall. When he returned they stayed about until they had a argument with Police. Hamid said he didn't hear any racial abuse or give any. He lost the case the Police brought against him, a case which the others didn't turn up for. He had had an argument with them about the situation. When one of them turned up with his own dawa stall he chased him off his patch. He didn't see them after that. If one of them was in the proximity of his house on 8/7 and another on 15/7 in might have been because they came to a meeting at his where Muslims were all saying
"How could this happen? Muslims wouldn't do this."
When he recognized the 21/7 guys from the TV a few weeks later he thought "I can't believe these guys have done this."
Next we dealt with the subject of Atilla Ahmet. He had met him when he was brought to his house by someone called Moon? Noon? Something like that anyway. He spoke about the trustees at Finsbury Park being a bad bunch, they were in league with Blair etc. Joel asked him if it was wrong to criticise your fellow Muslim brothers and whether Atilla was committing this sin to which Hamid replied in the affirmative. He said that one of the trustees was his personal friend and that he successfully negotiated between the waring factions to get the Mosque open for Ramadan.
(see Inside Finsbury Park Mosque 1 and 2)
He was asked about his relationship with Islington Borough commander Barry Norman. He said Mr Norman liked him because he knew how to speak to him. He said one of the conditions of the peace which was made was that Atilla didn't bring any more unsavoury media attention on the mosque. He said Atilla was a nice guy, but he was influenced by those around him and broke these conditions with an inflammatory interview. Those around Atilla soon accused hamid of being in league with MI-5 etc, so he left the mosque. Atilla later ( I presume when he was chucked out of Finsbury park) appeared at Hamid's house and said "You were right."
Obviously I am paraphrasing. He said all this in his own very endearing Cockney/Gujaratii isms and looked very relaxed throughout.
I spoke to a court representative (Not Hamids) on the way home. He said that it was often the way things went when one of a number pleaded guilty that they got a bit loaded on and that it was unlikely to affect Atilla's sentencing.
More tomorrow if pos. I'd say more tomorrow insh Allah but I am not a Muslim so I won't.
November 21, 2007
Later Hamid took the witness box and described his early life. Born in Tanzania he grew up in Yorkshire and came to London at the age of 12-13. He got involved in petty crime and was done for stealing some fishfingers. He carried on this life of petty crime to supplement his lifestyle, buying clothes etc and smoked dope, drank and went to nightclubs whilst training to become a mechanic. He also did a lot of camping and backpacking and went to all the Greek islands, Spain. France, Germany and Belgium though he spent most of the time in Greece. He married his first wife who already had one kid. They had two kids together but the marriage didn't work out and they separated, the kids choosing to stay with him.
At some point he got together with another woman who had a habit, he also developed a crack habit for a year. He sent his kids away and sold everything in his house to buy crack. Eventually he couldn't stand it any longer and went to a mosque, then went to see his older brother who helped him to get to India. he said that as soon as he arrived in India it was like he had never taken drugs and he managed to straighten himself out.
He came back and opened an Islamic bookshop on Chatsworth rd in Hackney and started his dawah stall, first in Leicester square and later on Oxford st. He used to go to Speakers Corner as a kid to listen. After 9/11 he went there to speak, mainly to tell people that Muslims weren't involved in 9/11.
He started meetings at his house because Mosques were there for prayer only and people always left straight after and didn't get a chance to talk. He reckoned 300 people, maybe more passed through meetings at his house and in his Islamic bookshop.There's probably more, as I say I can't write notes upstairs. Anyway that was our lot today, more tomorrow.
November 20, 2007
This is us in France. Its all totally improvised stuff musicians can probably tell I'm using a loop player. Geeks might want to know its a Digitech Jamm Man. I'm not sure how much of the trial I can do as we are rehearsing for a gig Saturday. We are the last band on at 3.30. Come if you can.
Fark orf! You are having a Girrafe! If a person downloads something illegal, even if it can't be proved they read it they can still be charged with possessing it.
Something like that anyway. I only caught a bit of the argument twice before giving up in exasperation.
After ten minutes of this the court was dismissed till two o'clock.
In the afternoon the judge made reference to an "Anti Christ cookbook" (not sure what one of those is) and allowed the jury to be told about the conviction of Hassan (unpronouncable African name) which featured in Dawoods evidence about being asked for money for Jihadi training. He was arrested leaving the UK on a one way to Nairobi.
Anyway go back to sleep. More tomorow I think.
Do read about the shenanigans between this lot elsewhere. There is a random selection of links on Socialistwanker. None of these are "the left" they are a distraction. When I realised how bitterly disappointed I was with "the left" after the school kids revolt I decided to take my politics small scale to see if I could relate directly to US Republicans and Fundamental Islamists on my own hence this blog. I suppose in some way I can at least thank these three wise monkeys for some of the inspiration to stay as far away from them as possible.
November 19, 2007
...“If someone has committed acts of violence in the UK they should be stopped and arrested. But Hamza never hurt anyone...
...“The man is disabled. He was not involved in terror training
“Everyone else can go camping, boxing or learn martial arts but, if a Muslim does the same, he is labelled a terrorist.”
He added: “The British should be offering us the hand of friendship.
“The IRA planted far more bombs in the UK than al-Qaida ever have but now they are part of the political process.”
I always got the impression Bakri and Hamza's posse didn't like each other.
November 16, 2007
Off to see the Cardiacs tonight. I don't think I've seen them for more than 10 years.
Later with more beer...
That was fantastic. Really great. I think the support act was an ex-guitar player of the Cardiacs with another band. The Cardiacs were great. They had put in a lot more effort into their stage presence, Tim like a tin-pot dictator flanked by guitarist generale's in sashes and regimented red dressed female backing singers. Songs I hadn't heard live, particularly Sing to God were majestic. Shimmering spectacular wall of sound anthems. To get the Cardiacs you got to see them live. Plenty of people online have made a much better attempt than I can to describe their music so I won't bother. When I saw Killing Joke I noticed how old the audience were and felt my age. A friend saw the Sex Pistols on Wednesday and said the audience were 30s-50s. The Cardiacs have somehow managed to maintain an appeal to a young audience. Maybe half the audience were 25-30? I think they can be justly proud.
November 15, 2007
For the record I contacted the Hamza family through Mrs Ahmet and through Attila's lawyers with an offer to document their side of the story. This offer was turned down. I will of course be interested to hear the satellite phone calls he made to Yemen. I'd love to have done more stuff around those closest to Hamza in Finsbury park as I've found the whole thing fascinating but there you are.
Telegraph, Independent, Times, Express, Australia, BBC, The Spoof, Muslim news, Irish Independent, Jerusalem Post, India etc etc etc
November 14, 2007
I was helping out a very creative friend of mine at her show which was part of the excellent White Mischief on Saturday. I'd never seen a piercing show "in the flesh" as it were. Fascinating. A great night too with some very nice people involved, great punters and really nice bouncers for a change.
November 12, 2007
I've still got a few more of these. This is from when Abdullah (Atilla Ahmet) and co were finally chucked out of the mosque. I called the blog I wrote at the time REVENGE OF THE NORMAL PEOPLE
The films are part of a growing wealth of extremist material being found on video-sharing sites and the internet which promote a radical agenda to young Muslim men.
IslamBase - which is registered in Glasgow but uses a server in the Netherlands - carries speeches by radical preachers such as Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri and Abu Qatada...
Islambase links to some of my videos. The Jawa Report also features "radicalization" videos by these guys.
November 09, 2007
I've been keeping up with the blog reaction to Britz. I think just sparking this much debate is a good reaction, though a lot of the reaction from Muslilms is negative, the director seems to be getting the reaction he wanted from us kaffirs which is his stated target, though he didn't call us kaffirs. My favourite reaction is this one:
...like dem talks wer it shows sum terrorists talkin about jihad dat shit never happens i fink they jus want all da wyt mans 2 fink dats wah happens in mosques. they jus wanna widen da gap dats allready between these comunities derz alredy fukin tension wah da fak they think this programme is ganna du help solve da problem helllll no y dont any of these muverfucers be a partof the movement, but i dont blame any of dese faggits coz wyt peopleaint interested in sein muslims as gud people its more interestin news to wach muslims plannin murders nd all dat fake shit...
I had an interesting exchange of views with a court reporter. He thought Atilla really difficult to listen to as he said the same things over and over.
"The thing I don't get- they praise Bin Laden but then say that 9/11 was a conspiracy... I mean which is it?"
He spoke of a Belmarsh residents "mass abandonment" of Arani solicitors. He had a pretty intense dislike for Mrs Arani and Imran Khan solicitors. He thought they were all about politics and had no real empathy for anyone they were defending. He also declared Joel Nathan, who is defending Hamid to be the "second best barrister I have ever seen."
I really can't "support" Hamid and co's innocence or guilt. I feel for their family members. Its up to them and the jury.
I have no idea. Maybe its me who is an "Absurdist". Looking back on my writings around this subject I can see a certain championing of the absurdities of Finsbury park. A man in a wig being rented to advance an argument that a man is guity vs a man dressed the same who is rented to advance a different argument? Absurd. I have no better idea.
November 06, 2007
Its a bit of a British Jihadi video, but some Afghans seem genuinely pleased to see "us". Also:
“As I speak, terrorists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country,” he said. “They are radicalising, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism.”
Terror plots were being directed from the tribal areas of Pakistan where al-Qa’ida’s “core leadership” is based, “often using young British citizens to mount the actual attack”.
lower down the page:
...the pressure-cooker of the 24-hour newsroom, it is, I am sure, difficult to draw out and explain all the nuances and complexities of a situation. So much as I might have gritted my teeth at some of the more colourful headlines, I am of course aware of what drives them.
and from the other side of the propoganda war we are caught up in:
...The Al-Fajr statement naturally complains about the fact that the
AlJazeera excerpting left out any mention of Bin Laden's warning
against allowing jihadis to participate in the electoral or
parliamentary process, his warning against the "hypocrites" who join
the factions in order to sow fitna, and against listening to the
bought-and-paid-for Saudi clerics, and so on...
November 04, 2007
Joel Bennathan QC, for Mohammed Hamid, 50, the self-styled "Osama Bin London", who denies, among other offence, soliciting to murder, accused the officer of making up parts of his evidence and "spicing up" his records of what the defendants said to each other in front of him during his four month mission.
Dawood has said the accused attended a paintballing trip on June 18 last year which was "preparation for Jihad".
But it emerged that he made a note of Hamid's words just after the trip and transcribed them as "something similar to Jehar".
He changed the last word to "Jihad" when he gave evidence in court, the officer admitted.
November 03, 2007
I read on the front of newspapers that Amy Winehouse lost it a bit on scag, K, coke etc. So fucking what? Its life.
In style as a programme and watching these newsreaders speak I just think - riddled with cocaine, but I suppose even cokeheads can do good shit sometimes.
2. Douglas, Bathgate / 7:59am 31 Oct 2007
It's since been revealed that they were members of the People's Decoration Front.
These undercover copse really earn their money. They couldn't see Dawood for the trees
Report as unsuitable
3. Boy Wonder / 9:05am 31 Oct 2007
#2. Douglas ... couldn't they be in the Front for the Decoration of the People?
As for the polis (Special Branch?) in the trees ... are you sure of that? Not going out on a limb are you? Yes, they've rooted out some saps, but you're barking if you just leaf it at that! And when did they twig to what was going on?
November 01, 2007
OK. Had a good Halloween blast in Peckham. Great party, great people. I don't think its occurred to any of us that it would be a good idea to strap bombs to ourselves and randomly blow up innocents, but nevertheless if you asked most people there if society should change, I think they'd say yes.
This is from my notes yesterday.
Before I went in I had a bit of a quick argument with Hamid's lawyers who err.. wanted a shorter statement to go with the tape they asked for. The Police have at no point asked to see any of them. For the record, had anyone who I have met along the way showed any signs that they might explode in this country I would of course have been straight on to them.
Around the court I don't really feel that I have noticed any Satanic conspiracy. I think resources have been invested in infiltrating groups of people who they think might explode. If I were in charge of such matters I would try and infiltrate them. I was always wondering which of the peculiar characters who hung around Finsbury park, would turn out to have been MI-5.
Concluding tapes from a meeting in Hamid's house we hear Atilla saying that the sisters are stronger than brothers these days. Hamid, who Dawood refers to as “Al-Koran” says it is very important that everyone is there.
The next thing we hear is Dawood talking into his tape recorder about a phone call he is about to make to Hamid about a camping trip to the Jamia al- Islami centre in Sussex. It was chilling to hear his posh accent become fake “street” as he spoke on the phone.
Dawood said that when he arrived at the centre he pitched his tent next to another brother who was also without his family at one end of the place, whilst the families pitched at the other end. He said he didn't approach Atilla with his family and was told it “wasn't right” and that they would meet in the communal area.
He said he was introduced to an older male and his son in law. They all decided to drive to Sainsbury's. On the way Atilla apparently told him that he couldn't travel abroad many places as he was “On a list” though travelling to Cyprus was OK. He spoke of buying land there and the need for Islamists to move to Islamic countries. He said that Muslims must go with the intention of changing countries to live under Islamic law. When they came back they sat under a tree and spoke about a helicopter which was reported to have malfunctioned over Israel. They said they believed it was shot down by resistance.
Atilla spoke of suicide and that there was no reason for doing it. He said that if our leaders had their way they'd massacre all of us. He spoke again of Muslims leaving the west. He also, paradoxically said that Muslims in the UK led a better version of Islam than those in Islamic countries.
All of this information was gleaned from this peculiar “non-leading” way of questioning that prosecutors and their wigs have to get up to. Under his wig, the judge seemed to have had enough of it and told them to just get on and play the bloody tape, much to the relief of the jury I am sure.
I heard Atilla joking about microphones hidden in the trees. The older Muslim guy spoke to Dawood about Abdullah Al- Faisal. He said he had reverted to Islam in Jamaica at the age of 16. Billal Philips had taken him to Saudi Arabia where he stayed for 9 years. He came to the UK, people didn't like what he said. He gave Dawood two DVDs by Kallid Yasser (?) one of which was entilted What is the Purpose of Life?
Atilla speaks about the strength of the Turkish people. They were fighting Russia, as well as the UK and her allies at the same time. The older guy forewarned of a coming attack on Turkey. Atilla said it was difficult to get money to Islamic causes abroad these days. He says it can get you in trouble. He spoke with joviality about his registration number TLB equating to Taliban. He said that the Charity Commision, a bunch of kaffirs were running mosques with “Monafiq's” Why was there CCTV in mosques? Not for the benefit of Muslims. Undercover Police were at all mosques. Trustee's worked with the kuffar to arrest Muslims just like the Apostate leaders of Islamic countries .
If Islamic countries cut the oil the western economies would crash. In the seventies this happened and the US were thinking of invading Saudi Arabia then. These filthy Kaffirs brainwash people to say “get out of our country”. So kick us out. We have the oil. Pick up a sword. Lets fight.
They aren't strong enough to fight Turkey. They would cripple it from within and then send in UN Soldiers to “make peace”. He said it was incumbent upon Muslims to physically stop a thing happening, or if they couldn't do that they should condemn it with their tongue. Even if more Muslims did this you would see a difference. Monafiq's Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Hindu's all compromise their religions. Muslims don't. They die to live for the sake of Allah.
When he got some sort of official power at Finsbury park the monafiqs made a deal with the kuffar and sent 30 riot police, with 400 waiting round the corner. Some brothers were willing to die there and then. (I have tape of Barry Norman, then Islington Commander refuting the use of riot Police.)
The papers joined in and named him as the next terrorist leader.
On 7/7 a lot of papers tried to link him to the story. Someone from the Sun rang him very angrily
“You need to be locked up. You are not a real Muslim. You are scum.”
He said he was laughing and asked them, “Look. Have you got any questions?”
“Give back your passport.” was the retort. “If you were a man you'd give back your passport.”
He answered “You can stick it where it hurts. Tell your government and Tony Blair the same thing. This is Allah's doonya (planet) and you are scum yourself.”
They told him he was very close to being arrested.
At this point the older guy said he should have bought some device from gadgetshop and recorded the conversation for evidence. He said a very good one had come down in price a lot.
“They call us terrorists.” he said and then something about “Conquering the west before we move on.”. He says that if you believe that you get charged with terrorsm act 2000. Muslims were loosing their way. They are obedient to the kuffar but not to their fellow brothers. At this point it is obvious that Atilla is loosing it. Someone ( possibly the son in law of the older guy) is comforting him saying “This is your deen” (the path Allah has chosen for him). He says very emotionally that he has to find a second wife. (In conversation on the phone his wife has confirmed to me that they were having a marital dispute and had sought the advice of their close friends separately.) he carries on.
“Since I have become a Muslim I have been fighting myself. I have become more and more of a pathetic clown. Its payback time.”
I couldn't tell what point Hamid had joined the party, but at this point he interjects, referring to an argument he had with Atilla previously. He says Atilla shows his aggressive side. Everyone knows he can be aggressive, he should instead show his intelligent side. He asked how many people got Shahid (martydom) on 7/7. The answer was four. How many they take out? 52.
“That's not even breakfast for me.” he said. He said he would use his intelligence to commit acts of bombing and get home to sleep with his wife after. Attack like Jack the Ripper. A voice, I would take to be Atilla's “mmm”s in a non-committal manner.
In the Afternoon we hear Hamid talk about a documentary which said that Christians wanted to reestablish Israel so that they could have all of the Jews in one place and kill them all. He said the leaders of the Christians were devil worshippers.
We hear Atilla at a bit of a distance singing “Come Mr. Taliban give me kaffir....” then something about kalashnikov, “Come Mr Taliban, bomb England...implement Sharreah.” this continues at a distance. It sounds like he is swinging his kid about.
He says few proper Muslims believe homosexuals should be told that god didn't create them that way and that if they were living somewhere else they wouldn't be living. He said the media all over the world portrayed them as terrorists because they said this. Obviously still emotional, he says there are many Muslims more qualified than him who don't speak out. They say “What's the point?”
He retells the story about the phone call from the Sun news desk. “When I put the phone down I thought- I got up a kaffirs nose and I ain't even done nothin.”
Another tape. This time, Hassan (?) is near a car asking Dawood to give him money to go abroad. Hamid talks to him about being careful of “Job Centre's” and “Getting Bad jobs. Understand?”
(UPDATE: Atilla's wife called and said Hassan got sentenced to 10 years on Friday. Apparenlty there are others from the Bridge to China raid awaiting trial)
Dawood says that Atilla was singing the song most of the day.
The next tape is Hamid at his dawa stall speaking about his past life, drug dealing etc. and we also hear a tape of Dawood calling Hassan (?) saying that he can't lend him money, but hoping he would be OK.
(Thats what I heard. I called Musa, he got a call from the other line and I spoke to Atilla. In conversation with Atilla and his wife all had said they were incredulous at what Hamid said at the time. They say the Police have a tape where Atilla is asked whether people should bomb here and he says “No, no, no.” Atilla said I have known him a long time and know he wouldn't do these things. I said that the jury would reach a verdict based on the tape and that no one would be representing his interests in court and suggested changing his plea if the wrong information about him is coming out. “The judge isn't going to accept that.” he said.
In later conversation with Musa he said Atilla was rarely at Hamid's house. He said he and his brother were just jokers. This “Bomb England” was a joke. I said they should concentrate on getting him to calm down. This is the time when all of this is coming out, he has to accept that he won't be able to stop his mind racing about all this alone in his cell. Musa answered that he and his brother considered me a friend and that if their tone gets angry they mean no offence.)
I still don't know what to think about all this. Apparenlty Atilla's "Jihad calypso" isn't what he is charged with. Its pretty obvious the Police are going to think they are on the right track sticking around these people and that they have averted an explosion, possibly many. I can see that people will want to see Atilla do time for his Jihadi calypso. Personally I've got no idea. He owes me one free insult of the Prophet? A quick cartoon? Fuck knows.
Speaking to a very interesting legal assistant (not Hamids) he reckoned "objectively" that Hamid has big mood swings. Maybe he was having a bad day. You could bug anyone's room and they'd say something which sounded arrestable. I'm not sure about this logic, but I'm not sure Hamid isn't a Jihadi dreamer. Someone having a bad day thinking about exploding is a bad day for all of us, particularly if they are surrounded by some people who would and that is not to say that those who believe they should drop bombs in Muslim countries are any different. Both do what they believe is right. How do we stop it?
The MI-5 headquarters with the huge big screens was like something from Doctor Who as were the MI-5 characters. They were crap, dramatically up their ass parts with dramatic, crap actors and actresses playing them. Whoever is responsible for this should watch Michael Winterbottoms films more closely.
I don't really reckon this over-dramatisation is healthy for the nation to see in the context of fundamentalism. Having said that I am a bit annoyed that I haven't had a go yet myself. The "cliff hanger" where he is left, solo on the tail of the female suicide bombers whilst the others are congratulating themselves on thinking they have their enemy is stolen from fucking Silence of the Lambs. Bollocks.
UPDATE: I wasn't expecting that. Part 2 more or less completely redeemed the whole thing, I didn't realise it till the last five minutes but yup, that was very well done. Except for the cross eyed French chain smoking Al-Qaeda woman of course who was crap. Its obviously written by a luvie but its a genuine attempt to translate this Jihadi phenomena for a British sofa audience.
Khurshid Ahmed, the chairman of the forum, called on Channel 4 not to air the film, Britz,
I know that there were many exaggerations to make points but it did make me think about the way many young Muslims may feel.
last night’s programme was riddled with so many flaws that it made it difficult to believe that any reasonable-minded person with so much as a percent of understanding about Muslim British women would take the story of Nasima at face value. Some scenes depicted were so unrealistic and absurd that I couldn’t restrain myself from shaking my head in utter disappointment, and I doubt I was alone...
...one message that I do hear loud and clear... is that Muslims like me and you...have to speak up...I honestly believe that if one voice can change two minds, and two minds can change four, then eventually the world will change - slowly but surely.
...I don't mind telling you that, under no circumstance, can I hope to understand what makes someone want to take other human life. Being mentally ill and committing murder is one thing... making a reasoned decision to take the lives of innocent bystanders is another. However... the word 'innocent' was the key word for this magnificent show... but more on that later...
...Nasima angrily telling us, direct and into our living rooms that we may well scoff and wonder why these brutal actions need to be carried out... but we shouldn't wonder why innocent people need to die as none of us are innocent. "As long as you vote this government in" and as long as the war goes on and we "do nothing", we are fair game. This, like nothing else in the show, provided the biggest chill. Firstly, it showed how unrepentant the terrorists are and secondly, how it makes some kind of twisted sense. What else can people do when they've explored all the legal channels?
...I think it was a pretty fair portrayal of both sides up to a point. The brother’s indoctrination into MI5 seemed plausible due to his natural ambition and sense that his country of heritage, Pakistan was still a bit backwards. The sister Nasima's story I found a little harder to mix household products and detonate it in the ‘good plot devices’ section of my brain...
I will bet that to many people that would be a documentary and not a fiction.
It was almost a BNP recruiting film because it confirmed all of BNP propaganda.
I was astounded that it had the racist theme of rejecting the black boyfriend Jude and his treatment at being told he wasn't welcome at the radical's meeting because he was a "Christian" and then the father's reaction because he was a 'negro'.
If I was a Muslim I would have been incensed at the portrayal (betrayal) - but how far away from the reality is it?
Peter Kosminsky came to the front of the theatre, after the
stretch of silence, to answer questions from an audience
which consisted of, surprisingly to me, only four Muslims.
I asked him about why he chose to make this film. He
replied that it was to make people ask more questions about
internal and foreign policy; about spooks as well as
suicide bombers. Indeed, it was to boldly ask the question
whether the effects of personal trauma - in this case
Nasima's best friend who is detained without trial and then
subjected to a control order - , coupled with societal
hostility and a sense of political impotence can lead
someone to the path of violent extremism. And if it can,
are we able to understand? He also commented that this film
was not at all aimed at the Muslim community - quite the
October 31, 2007
October 30, 2007
Dawoods tapes are much better. Very posh voice. Quite camp.
"I thought he was a pooftah" said Hajj when he came up in conversation recently.
Lots of stuff about Muslims not making the effort, Muslims saying that Abu Katadah, Hamza et al were bad Muslims, Muslims who aren't up for sleeping in ditches cos they missed their wives- oh and Atilla says that whilst on holiday he found oil on his land in Cyprus.
In the many short breaks today I started reading Will Self's Great Apes. I think I'm going to give up though. What is it about scag heads and long complicated words? I don't get it.
Also Film jeopardises Hamza Terror trial
October 29, 2007
Apparently both defence and prosecution had complained about bias and fabrication in news articles over the weekend.
In this blog I try not to complain about press or broadcasters or Police for that matter unless absolutely necessary. When Atilla's wife calls me about misrepresentations I told her the press were just informing the public about the case the prosecution were making. My opinions about the continuing coverage? Its written by people who want these people to be guilty. I don't assume skulduggery or conspiracy. It just looks like a better story.
When everyone was let back in I managed to get in myself past the reluctant security guard to find that the court had been phoned by a concerned member of the public with news of a jury member blabbing at length in some hair salon. Rather than suspend the whole process the judge called them in and delivered another strongly worded bollocking to the jury one of whom was obviously red faced, though from my seat I couldn't see them.
He also spoke to them about the difference between what they heard in the court room and what they might have read in the papers.
"I can see a couple of heads nodding..."
It just remains for me, in this spirit of reprimands to deliver a bollocking to anyone who might be reading this. You've been fucking told. Alright?
In the afternoon instead of Dawood we got some forensic computer geek giving evidence about wmv's and pdf's. No one gave him a bollocking though. The Policeman in charge of transcripts asked me how my website was going.
At least someone is reading I suppose...:-)
October 27, 2007
I missed this. Was at a funeral in Hull where I learned the expression "God save us from Hull, Hell and Halifax" which apparently refers to the middle ages use of the gibbet on thieves which was considered barbaric compared to cities elsewhere who just hung them.
October 24, 2007
October 23, 2007
Neither Musa, nor Atillas wife have spoken out in the media before. All this serious journalism about Atilla and they decide to comment on an article called "Pole vaulting for Allah." They are nuts. Both of them.
Atilla Ahmet's wife and brother speak out on Anorak (?) of all places. I'll put up the full text:
Mr. Defence cross examined the guy who made the transcripts about Hamid's referral to the "Magnificent 15" as it had been suggested that he was referring to the 9/11 hijackers. The prosecution stood and said that was no longer the case.
So much for all this.
He also said that whilst he was not acting for Atilla Ahmet, it could be said that he was upset about being called "Al-Qaeda's No 1 in Europe" not boasting about it. I have film somewhere of Atilla complaining when this allegation was first made, a long time ago in the Turkish press if I remember rightly.
I heard a lot of garbled stuff about making a strong brotherhood, and supporting each other financially and how great a trip to Morocco for 100 quid each would be. Without transcripts I can't really help you. Fuck knows what is going on down there really.
October 22, 2007
October 21, 2007
October 20, 2007
(Zephaniah 1:2-6 NLT)
October 19, 2007
Yup. Definitely heard some conspiring today but it was fucking hard work getting there.
"Get your feet off the glass."
"Yes mate. Get the fucking sound working."
There are some very nice staff in Belmarsh, I've heard it is true on the inside as well. The defendants certainly started in high spirits. The staff at the Old Bailey are ten times nicer.
I saw Atilla plead guilty there thanks to Daniel. I called Atilla's wife for confirmation. I had heard a rumor also from Hajj. I brought my girlfriend along to hold my hand as I wasn't sure how emotional I would get. The lovely Barbadian court attendant (Barbadan? fuck knows.) was gushing about how much healthier I was looking, and quick to attribute it all to my beautiful girlfriend. I agreed.
Obviously this "Jihad calypso" upset me, I called his wife who told me it was preceeded by "Just in case the tree's are bugged..." and was a joke, he didn't know the tree's were actually bugged. I got a call back, Atilla's wife puting the phones together I heard a familiar voice.
"Don't believe what they say about me in the papers."
Anyway back to the current story...
Hamid pronounced Atilla the Emir.
Hamid declared the group, who were arguing about a trip to Morocco to be the "Inner Circle." He then went on to say that nothing that was said in the room should be repeated outside it, not even to your wife. Atilla also said words to this effect as did a deep Jamaican voice I took to belong to Mousah Brown. Atilla said that there were brothers who should have been there who weren't and said that you couldn't even get enough brothers around for a good trip to Morocco these days
Mousah said the Police had spoken to them on the way in from France and given them a proper talking to.
A conspiracy is hatched. Whether it is a holiday to Morocco, a terrorist conspiracy or a group of Islamic warriors fighting against a satanist conspiracy I am not sure. I asked for some transcripts but I heard that even some of the defense don't have any.
Looking down from the public gallery as I sank lower and lower into my chair I felt as if the whole courtroom was like the final scenes from Titanic. A sea of people wading and wading through garbled cassette tape. Hamid is fucking impossible to understand. Very dramatic. Atilla is more bassy but further away, Mousah is crystal clear and very bassy.
I couldn't blog about it at the time, when Atilla for whatever reason changed from Aranis representing him to Paul Butcher, I handed over my tapes and had two conversations about my take on the guy. I was told that I couldn't go to the court case, as I was a potential witness which sort of fucked me up documentary wise. I thought Mr Butcher, who has previously tangled with the Fake Sheik, very able to defend Atilla, but I wasn't sure that me appearing in such grand circumstance would particularly help Atiila's case, unless I was allowed to play guitar to the jury or something.
I've had to split my head in two for this one. I don't know Hamid well. I've only met him twice I think. For some reason, Hamza's trial was much easier. I was pretty convinced, after seeing him in the street, that he was against randomly blowing innocent people up in London. He preached this a number of times.
He seemed to think he was shouting his point across, and that he should address the cameras while they were on him so although I never really liked him, nor he I, I thought he was who he says he was in court.
I have yet to hear the evidence from Yemeni phone conversations.
I could see that amongst Muslims Hamza had indeed said some very dodgy things he needed to be held to account for, but on the street in the glare of publicity he cooled all this a fucking hell of a lot, and seemed desperate to ally himself to the majority in this country who he felt opposed the actions of the government. Anyway enough about Hamza.
Without at least meeting Atilla I can't really see how the jury can get a true picture of this conspiracy. He pleaded guilty but to what? Was he the Emir? What was he planning to do?
I must have missed this witness. This is rubbish. As I've said before, Hamid used to come up the mosque very occasionally, but he certainly wasn't part of the tiny "inner circle" around Hamza as far as I could see.
Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck. 3 I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail...
October 16, 2007
Yet the picture is not all bleak. By giving them faces and voices, Hedin said, he believes Sweden - and many other countries in Western Europe facing similar problems - can deal more effectively with the threat such militants pose.
"These are regular guys, in a sense," Hedin said. "By talking to them, by having an open debate, I hope we can stop some of what they're doing, and maybe understand some of their reasons."
Hedin chosen the title "Aching Heart" to underscore how all these "regular guys" have histories that viewers can relate to, histories that might provide some of the keys to solving the problem of Islamic radicalism in the West.
In the morning another Cumbrian cop turned up, to back up his pals description the previous day of seeing the guys training military style. Seems he backed it up a bit too well.
"So you didn't just copy his statement at a later date?" asked Mr defence..
"Can I remind you you are under oath? let me ask that again..."
"I'll read your friends statement, line by line, stopping to let you read a line of yours..."
They matched exactly, all the way through. To the letter.
"And you didn't copy your mates statement?"
We missed the first bit of screened officers giving evidence but when we came in for the second half the defence were making a big deal about the fact that the written statements didn't match up to the photographs and video evidence they provided, which seemed to amount to film of the guys (including Muktar Said Ibrahim) waking up in the morning and scratching their butts etc, and film of them running haphazardly down a slope with a few of them doing sit-ups at the end. There were also 70 photographs of them playing football.
In a written statement one of the covert surveillance guys said that whilst playing football they would often hit the deck and mime throwing hand grenades, or mine holding rifles.
"Go through them slowly and tell me which of the 70 photographs you took show this?"
"None of them."
Also in a written statement they refer to "leopard crawling" and "anti ambush training".
We watched again the tape of the guys running down the hill, some of them slowing down at the back, with maybe three of them doing sit ups, this time with the sound up. You can hear the voice of the officer giving evidence describing this as "Anti-Ambush training".
October 15, 2007
She, during investigations into 7/7 and 21/7 had taken a statement from Hamid about his knowledge of the 21/7 bombers. Of note (to the defence) within it he stated that he didn't believe either 9/11, 7/7 or 21/7 were the work of Islamic extremists and gave her copies of Illuminazi and a 9/11 conspiracy film.
We also heard from a very sweet "Community support" officer who had obviously spent a bit of her time on duty listening to Hamids rants about conspiracies.
"He was quite often depressed?" asked Joel (chief defence)
"Did you think of him as eccentric?"
"No." she answered.
Next we heard from an extremely nervous Cumbrian farmer. I mean seriously, this guy looked like he thought he was going to be dragged off and locked up himself at any moment. During some inordinately long and cruel gaps his eyes darted around the court room, probably in the same manner as one of his sheep when cornered.
"Did you have any contact whilst they were there?" asked the prosecution.
"Did you know why they stopped coming?"
"Did you ask them to stop coming?"
So much for newspaper tales of "My Taliban".
Mr Defence snidely suggested the farmer was running his campsite as a cash business on the side.
We then heard from two Cumbria Policemen, one of whom spoke of seeing three men doing forward rolls with sticks held like rifles, another who saw Asian looking dudes in military formation. He said that he himself was ex-military and had instructed on similar training courses.
One of the defence showed the second cop a video from covert surveillance showing the guys running down a hill and doing sit ups at the bottom.
"If your troop were training like this you'd send them all back up the hill with instructions to do it double time no?"
"Those I saw were much better trained than that."
From the start I thought we weren't going to hear what the witnesses had to say upstairs behind glass because the witness box microphone wasn't switched on. Being a bit too English I took my time asking one of the court staff to sort it, and when it eventually was sorted we had continual trouble with feedback.
Why are these able lawyers and court staff such ludites? Surely everyone knows that if you point a fucking microphone at a speaker you get feedback. I explained this a couple of times, it was relayed downstairs to the court usher who uselessly went over, tapped the microphone and left it in the same position.
After a long lunch I was able to frantically wave directions through the glass. I'd forgotten how tedious court cases are sometimes. I don't know how the jury stay awake.
I'm not sure about all this business about "Jihadi training". Everyone in Finsbury park believed Allah commanded them to train. They train together all the time. They all believed very strongly that some apocalyptic purge against Muslims was coming soon, and they had to be in shape to be able to defend their families. They believed it and it happened- to them. They are a self fulfilling prophesy.
Anyway on the way home I indulged one of my "other" obsessive compulsive habits. Anyone who's read my blog before might know that I collect newspaper advertisements with "double meanings". When I was more depressed and a lot crazier I used to rip out ones that offended me, ones which said RAPE!!! MUGGING!! EXCLUSIVE PICTURES!!! and suchlike.
I had to have this one:
I instantly had an image of an evil cartoon skunk with a mad grin on his face turning on a huge tap.