5 August 2006

The Asian News: 7/7 "Cock-up or Conspiracy?"

Last week The Asian News, a monthly pick-up newspaper published by the Guardian Media Group, published an editorial review of my book, The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry. It describes the book as "a polemical grenade". Full review posted below:

"Cock-up or conspiracy?"

THE ASIAN NEWS

By Steve Hammond, Editor

THE British Muslim community is now transfixed by strident allegations and counter allegations over its outlook and ideology.

Right-wing newspaper critics accuse it of harbouring the most desperate terrorist plotters while organisations including the Islamic Human Rights Commission charge the authorities of launching a full scale witch-hunt against innocent Muslims.

Meanwhile we read that a staggering 100,000 candidates (presumably overwhelming Asian and Muslim) applied for the 400 jobs the internal security service M15 want to recruit 600 new employees to monitor - crudely put, spy on - UK Muslims. Ironically, Al Qaida sympathisers are said to be trying to infiltrate M15 according to a recent Guardian front page lead.

What a circus of controversy the 7/7 atrocities unleashed and therefore all the more important to grasp what really happened on that fateful day just over a year ago, and what circumstances led up to the tube and bus bombings.

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed’s 'The London Bombings' throws a polemical grenade into this debate by suggesting the terrorist attack was brought about by the British authorities themselves.
His thesis - that in the years leading up to 9/11 and 7/7 the British security services, the Foreign Office and American government organisations including the CIA, fostered so-called Islamic extremists, including al Qaida, because it suited their Cold War purposes in the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa.

He argues further that this policy included encouraging and monitoring home-grown extremists. But concludes that there was "blowback", as he puts it, with the extremist turning to bite the Western hand that fed it.

Some of this is incontrovertible. It is well documented that the CIA via the Pakistan secret service and military massively financed, armed and supplied the uprising against the Afghani Communist regime and that the ensuing chaos led to the Taliban and Bin Laden. But the precise allegation that the tube bombers were nurtured by the authorities in the UK, is shocking not to say sensational. Ahmed claims, that because of this background, British government and security forces are stubbornly resisting calls for an independent inquiry into 7/7, an event that Ahmed suggests, that was not all that it seemed.

He starts by questioning the official version of what happened on that sunny, summer's day. For example the assertion that the bombs were suicidally detonated inside the tube train carriages. He quotes witness statements that describe the floor of the tube carriage erupting as if bombs had been placed underneath. Such an operation would have been far more sophisticated than a suicide bombing.

To buttress this speculation he turns to early statements made by police and security service personnel to newspapers and the electronic media that the explosives appeared to be military grade material that originated from the Bosnian conflict where British and US sponsored Islamic extremists, including some from Britain, fought alongside indigenous Muslim forces against the Serbs.

Ahmed says the sophisticated-explosive line was dropped mysteriously in favour of assertions that the explosives were simple and home made. Yet he points out that the authorities claim they are still investigating what type of explosives were in fact used a year later. He also picks out other anomalies that have led to a raft of conspiracy theory websites about 7/7.

For example the claim that the four bombers got the 7.40am train from Luton to arrive at Kings Cross for 8.23am in time to be captured on CCTV there at 8.26am. But, says Ahmed, Thameslink, which ran the trains that morning, say there was no 7.40am train but one at 7.42am which arrived at Kings Cross at 8.39am, after the bombers were supposed to have been caught on camera.

So far so puzzling.

Ahmed now introduces a new strand to his argument. He challenges the view put about by the police, security services and the government that no-one knew anything about the four bombers or other extremists operating in their circle.

He gives a detailed account, culled mainly from security service reports at home and abroad, to suggest MI5 and MI6 knew of these extremist circles, and indeed had double agents inside them, including the much tabloid-pilloried Abu Hamza al-Masri of Finsbury Park Mosque infamy (who has now, very conveniently in Ahmed's view, been allowed to slip out of the country to Libya from where the British authorities have made no attempts to get him extradited) and his side-kick Omar Bakri Mohammed who has himself boasted of providing the security services with information.

[the reviewer, Steve, seems to be confused on this point, as it was Omar Bakri who was allowed to go to Lebanon, not Libya, where he is now outside the jurisdiction of British law and therefore cannot be arrested or prosecuted for possible involvement in the 7/7 attacks; Abu Hamza was recruited by the British security services along with Bakri in the mid-1990s to get British Muslims to go to Kosovo, and appears to have remained an MI5 informant for the duration of his inflammatory terror-sponsoring career (Nafeez)]

He quotes from reports naming the bombers as men who were being watched and individuals who were in frequent contact by mobile phone with senior al Qaida leaders in Europe. He says their membership of Bakri's al Mahajiroun organisation, which claimed to recruit Muslims for training and fighting in Pakistan and Afghanistan, was well known to the authorities and points out that the blatant urgings by Hamza and Bakri to use violent means to further their cause were well known to the authorities and obvious grounds for prosecutions under half a dozen laws. Yet the authorities did nothing.

He says the staggering tolerant attitude of the British authorities towards these circles prior to 7/7 was dictated by a twin policy of appeasement - i.e. because home grown and foreign terrorist had been given sanctuary in the UK there was an understanding they would not attack the home country, and, because there had been a history of collaboration with such circles in the past arising out of the war in Afghanistan and Bosnia. He quotes from several security sources to sustain this alarming suggestion.

Since the publication of his book some of Ahmed's claims have been substantiated particularly his challenge to government claims that the bomber probably acted alone and were "home grown". After the video featuring one of the bombers gloating over the destruction he would cause was released by al Qaida, the Home Office have conceded that there was outside directions of the operation.

The rest of the book examines just how, in order to overthrow communist regimes and to "dominate and control" the resources of the Balkans, the Middle East, the oil-and-gas-rich Caspian area and North Africa, the British and US authorities often worked closely with Islamic fighters. This thesis is recommended by the journalist John Pilger and praised by the left-wing American author Gore Vidal, a consistent critic of the US political establishment. [interested readers may wish to follow up this line of inquiry with my previous book which explores the subject fairly comprehensively, The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Nafeez)]

Readers should be aware that extraordinary conspiracy theories can be erected on seeming anomalies in official accounts that turn-out to be nothing but a reflection of chaotic events at the time and not evidence of some dastardly plan by the evil men and women who wield power. In other words the cock-up theory not the conspiracy theory.

But strange things do happen. During the IRA bombing campaign security services and police working on two of the worst terrorist attacks (in terms of loss of life), the Birmingham and Guildford pub bombings, managed to arrest, apparently frame and jail two groups of men and women who, after more than a decade behind bars, were released after the original guilty verdicts were declared unsafe.

Incompetence or conspiracy? We will be nearer the truth about the tube bombings surely if Ahmed's call for a full, independent public inquiry is heeded.

"The London Bombings, an independent inquiry" by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is published by Duckworth, £8.99 paperback.

4 comments:

  1. Hey Allah Nakbah,

    Please tell your buddies that if the US or India or Israel suffer a nuke attack, the "holy" cities of Mecca (and the Kabbah), Medina and Qom would shortly become as hot as the surface of the Sun.

    That means NO HAJJ EVER AGAIN.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sirs (Urban 75 site),

    I'd like to protest your censoring of a recent post by author Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed. I just finished reading his book THE WAR ON TRUTH, probably the best thing in print about 911 and the war on terrorism. I am vastly impressed by Ahmed's scholarship -- hence I would very much like to have read the post you deleted.

    Why are you depriving your readers and members the views of this important scholar?

    Mark H Gaffney, author

    ReplyDelete
  3. Please read, "BIN LADEN IS MOSES REBORN"

    GOOGLE it. Type in "BIN LADEN IS MOSES REBORN.

    It is evident that the top 2% of the human race deliberately choose to control, enslave and exploit the bottom 93% who are truly sheep in the most insulting way.

    It is evident that the vast majority are mentally unable to think on a level that would allow them to make decisions based on critical thinking and all the education and experiance necessary to be "winners" in a tough complex world.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just read Nafeez's excellent piece in the Independent on Sunday.

    Why aren't our leaders this sensible?

    ReplyDelete

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