October 30, 2012


Just finished it, I thought it was going to be good. It was excellent. This obviously contains spoliers, so if you are reading for fun, just buy the book. it is really worth it.

"Corporate American" with a taste for travel off the beaten track gets kidnapped, doesn't take it lying down and in the cross fire of being held as a human shield for not a short time either, she finds a rugged cool headed survivalist in herself and lives to tell the tale. Not only lives, but reappraises her life and follows the story of her kidnap wherever it may lead.

Obviously I was reading it, and if I was a journalist would have read it ages ago for the cross over with this blog. Her meeting with Hamza in Finsbury park is very interesting, she obviously arrived before they closed down the mosque, just before my interest in this story began. I will be very interested to hear her testimony in a New York court, as I will be to hear how much invovlement Hamza had over satellite phone in her kidnap.

The really interesting stuff for me was her encounter with Shahid Butt, and Hamza's sons Mustafa  and Mohssain Ghalian. It seems like she spent about the same amount of time as I did with them but in very different circumstances, as she spoke to them in a Yemeni jail. She seems in no doubt that they were on a mission to bomb British interests in Yemen, although she says that Hamza told her that he didn't know his sons had gone and told her he was angry with them.

She definitely saw a different Shahid Butt than I did, not surprisingly I suppose, but she reads a lot more into Mohssin's reticence than I did. I thought he was just a bit shy and didn't even realise he was part of the group I was being introduced to. I couldn't make any comment about either of them really, or about the merits of British relationships with Yemen whether they are a good thing, a bad thing or if Muslims should be doing something about it. I would imagine if you believed they were a bad thing and you believed in your religion as a Muslim it would feel like it was incumbent about you to do something about it, and according to the CIA training manuals the Encyclopedia of Afghan Jihad is based on, bombing strategic buildings and boats would do the trick, and if you were caught in the process your mates would probably kidnap some Westerners. I know Hamza has preached from the Koran about such things.

Mary Quinn is a great writer about this stuff. I sort of wish she would become a War on Terr-r journalist as she is way better than most of them. She says what she thinks about things no problem but she also tries to understand situations from all perspectives which is the best part of reading her story.

Mary Quin: Woman set to testify against 'terror' preacher Abu Hamza ..

No comments: