News Commentary – April 30, 2007
Five people, including a man revealed to have links to the 7/7 bombers, were found guilty on Monday of planning a bombing campaign on mainland Britain three years ago intended to hit ”strategic assets” and kill British citizens.
All five of the convicted bomb plotters were sentenced to life imprisonment, and will not be considered for parole for at least 17˝ years. While alleged ringleader Omar Khyam will not be considered for parole for 20 years.
Sentencing the men, Sir Michael Anstill, the judge, said their selection of potential targets showed ”the spectre of suffering and horror” that they were prepared to inflict, and described them as ”cruel and ruthless misfits”.
However it was the revelations about Mr Khyam’s contacts with the 7/7 bombers, and the extent to which they were not fully investigated by the police and MI5, which prompted renewed calls for an independent inquiry into the 2005 terror attacks.
In the wake of the verdicts it was revealed that Mr Khyam had met Mohammed Sidique Khan, viewed as the ringleader of the 7/7 bombers, on several occasions while under surveillance by British security services. In total Khyam or his associates met the alleged 7/7 terrorists five times.
Many observers veiw Mohammed Sidique Khan
as a patsy at the very least and maybe even a MI6 asset.
The four alleged 7/7 bombers are said to have carried out suicide bombings in London in 2005 which killed 52 people.
Opposition politicians demanded to know why the government had said, in the wake of the 2005 outrages, that those involved were not known to the security services when in fact some had been under surveillance.
For their part the security services have strongly denied an intelligence failure but have not yet addressed questions about Mohammed Sidique Khan actually being an intelligence asset.
Nor have they addressed issues raised by some disaffected intelligence insiders, who have spoken out claiming that the intelligence services had been involved in the 7/7 bombings
The verdicts were handed down at the Old Bailey Monday at the end of one of the biggest and most expensive terrorism trials to be held in the UK.
Jurors took nearly four weeks to reach their verdicts, believed to be the longest deliberation period in English legal history.
Predictably, Home Secretary John Reid has rejected calls for a public inquiry into the 7/7 bombings that these latest revelations have prompted.
Although MI5 has acknowledged that it knew that Mohammad Sidique Khan had attended a terrorist training camp with Omar Khyam in 2003, it says that it regarded Khyam’s associates as nothing more than petty criminals and therefore they were not accorded a high priority for investigation.
So what turned Omar Khyam, an ordinary British Muslim from a London dormitory town into an international terrorist? Was it radical Islam? Or has the trial been a drama contrived by British intelligence, assisted by the mainstream media, to create the illusion of Muslim terror.
After all, the Omar Kiyam and his friends were under surveillance for years before the security services finally arrested them. They were filmed, photographed and their conservations recorded, and now as if to emphasise the threat supposedly posed by radical Islam, the mainstream media is replaying this “evidence” repeatedly.
So were the security services just “gathering intelligence” or were they recording what was to become another episode in the illusion of the threat posed by Muslim extremists?
Shehzad Tanweer (left) and Mohammed Sidique Khan (right) caught on surveillance cameras meeting at a service station.
Last updated 02/05/2007