The Cult of the Suicide Bomber

Keeping an eye on the media coverage of July 7th, and taking the media to task over their inaccuracies, mis-leading statements and distortions. Post all your complaints and responses here! If you spot inaccuracies in the media coverage, here's the place to tell us about it.

The Cult of the Suicide Bomber

Joined: 04 Dec 2005, 17:55

11 Sep 2006, 12:23 #1

The Cult of the Suicide Bomber
8:00pm - 9:00pm
Channel 4

Former CIA agent Robert Baer returns for a second incisive and frightening examination of what makes men and women turn themselves into human bombs. Here he looks at the four "home-grown" suicide bombers who killed 52 people on the London transport network on 7 July last year. Baer visits Leeds and ponders how seemingly integrated and easy-going young men became hardened radicals, psychologically isolated to the extent that they were prepared to kill themselves and total strangers in pursuit of a cause. He visits their bomb factory - an unremarkable flat in a suburb of the city - and talks to friends and associates of the men. It's an unsettling picture of a seemingly unstoppable tide of angry and dispossessed young Muslim men, radicalised by American and British foreign policy and prepared to destroy themselves and others in pursuit of "martyrdom". Concludes next Monday.
Follow the numbers.

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

11 Sep 2006, 20:30 #2

Well I suppose we should expect the CIA to know the subject in depth.

HMTD and not TATP?

The 'marytrdom videos' were 'made in the bomb factory', a couple of days previously, but differ from other martyrdom videos as they have no symbols or guns etc. How were they then delivered to Al'Q?

Have we ever seen any proof btw that they bought an 'industrial sized fridge'? No mention of receipts or delivery in the official report. Should be easy to produce evidence for that you'd think.

147 (?) phone calls to Pakistan by Khan in the couple of days beforehand. yet they cannot trace who to.

What amazes me is how he claimed that these two young men can meet Ayman al-Zawahirii on the borders of Afghanistan and yet the combined intelligence services cannot find him.

And poor Hasib's unmarked grave.
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti

Joined: 04 Dec 2005, 17:55

11 Sep 2006, 21:01 #3

Thanks for the report, Bridget. I'm afraid I nodded off in the middle of it but it started with the Mike's Place bombing. This Guardian report raises a few questions. I have the usual suspicions.
Mystery of the last hours of failed suicide bomber found dead in sea

Relatives' DNA used to identify would-be British attacker in Israel

Chris McGreal in Jerusalem and Jeevan Vasagar
Tuesday May 20, 2003
The Guardian

The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and Clarifications column, Monday May 26 2003

In this article we said both men involved "slipped into Israel... over the Allenby Bridge border..." They passed through Israeli security and immigration there but actually entered the occupied territory of the West Bank.


The DNA carried to Israel by British policemen answered one question about the rapidly decomposing corpse found floating off a Tel Aviv beach a week ago but it raised many more that may never be resolved.

Israel's state forensics institute yesterday confirmed a week of speculation that the body hauled out of the sea was that of the missing British suicide bomber, Omar Khan Sharif, the 27-year-old father of two from Derby who slipped into Israel, strapped several pounds of explosive to his body three weeks ago and then fought with the people he had been trying to kill when the bomb failed to detonate. After that he ran off into the darkness.

Sharif's accomplice was more successful. Asif Hanif, 21, from London, killed himself, two musicians and a waitress at a bar called Mike's Place on the Tel Aviv waterfront.

The identification of Sharif's corpse ended a nationwide manhunt which had baffled police because there had not been a single sighting of the wanted bomber despite his passport picture peering from every Israeli newspaper and the nightly television news. Now the security services are trying to discover how Sharif's body came to be floating within sight of the bar he tried to blow up.

Dr Yehuda Hiss, the head of the forensics institute who confirmed Sharif's identity with DNA delivered to Israel by two British detectives, recorded the cause of death as drowning. The police obtained a court order to prevent Dr Hiss and other officials from discussing details.

That has not stopped security officials speculating. One theory has Sharif running into the sea to escape after the failed bombing only to be swept away by the area's notoriously strong currents.

Another has him drowned by his accomplices to prevent his arrest and exposure under interrogation of the network that brought him from London, and his contacts in the Palestinian territories.

Or perhaps Sharif could not face the shame of failing in his mission and decided to commit suicide another way.

Radical Islamists in Sharif's home town have their own theory. They suspect Israeli security forces murdered him.

Sharif and Hanif were known to MI5 before they set off on their suicide mission. Sharif was a supporter of the radical Islamist group, Al-Muhajiroun, and had been spotted handing out its leaflets outside a Derby mosque. He had links to the controversial Finsbury Park mosque in north London.

Hanif, a former Heathrow airport worker from west London, mixed in similar circles. The pair made several trips to the Middle East, including Syria. The two men slipped into Israel as tourists over the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan.

Israel's defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, claimed the explosives were smuggled from Jordan hidden in copies of the Koran. He gave no clue as to how the Israeli government knows this now if it did not at the time. Security experts are sceptical. They note that it would be highly unusual for a bomber to bring his own explosive.

The two men headed for Gaza. The army and immigration service control the single border crossing into what many of its residents consider the world's largest detention camp. But, again, neither man raised suspicion. There are not many real tourists to Gaza these days but most foreigners who enter the strip claim to be just that, whether they are aid workers or peace activists. Sharif and Hanif are now known to have met Hamas militants.

They also went along to a meeting of the International Solidarity Movement, a peaceful protest group against the occupation. The two called themselves "alternative tourists" and gave no hint of their real mission, but the ISM has paid the price of the fleeting association and is now effectively a banned organisation.

Sharif and Hanif crossed back into Israel hours before they hit their target, a bar on the Tel Aviv waterfront close to the US embassy and popular with Israel's "Anglos" - those who speak English as a first language - and foreigners.

Hanif's bomb detonated, Sharif's did not. Instead, he was pounced on by terrified, angry people and in the ensuing fight dropped his passport as he ran off.

Twelve days after the bombing, a corpse was spotted in the sea not far from the beach next to Mike's Place.

"Our guys hauled it out of the water. It was so badly decomposed that you couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman," said a police spokesman, Gil Kleiman.

The forensics institute answered that question, but the face was unrecognisable and there were no fingerprints left so the Israelis asked the British authorities to obtain DNA samples from members of Sharif's family in the UK. His brother, sister and wife all face charges under the terrorism act.

While the confirmation of Sharif's death was met with approval and relief among Israelis, in Derby there was shock and sadness. Councillor Abdul Rehman, who knew Sharif's father Mohammed, a successful entrepreneur, said: "I am really shocked. This is terrible news for his family and his two young children. It's sad news for the local community."

But the London-based Islamist group, Al-Muhajiroun, yesterday continued to parade Sharif as a role model for would-be British suicide bombers. Last night Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, leader of Al-Muhajiroun, was travelling to Derby to host an Islamic seminar. The cleric, who said both men had come to him for Islamic instruction, claimed Sharif remained a role model for "martyrs".

"The fact that he took this step towards paradise makes him an example for many Muslims, to consider how somebody could think seriously about life and the meaning of life, and sacrifice his life for the sake of God."

Omar Abdullah, the Al-Muhajiroun spokesman in Derby, said many Muslims believed Sharif may have been killed by the Israeli security services. "People are unsure how he could have ended up drowned and many have speculated whether he may have been captured, tortured or even killed by the Israeli security services. To die through drowning is still an act of martyrdom, we believe," he said.
The brother, sister and wife of Omar Sharif were all acquited, as I recall.
Follow the numbers.

The Antagonist
Joined: 25 Nov 2005, 11:41

11 Sep 2006, 23:08 #4

Robert Baer's very good. If he is to be believed, English people with English as their mother tongue, who go abroad and speak their mother tongue of English, aren't just English speakers, they're setting up 'a cover for action'. Who'd have thunk it? How cunning a cover an English speaker speaking English abroad would be, now that visiting countries in the Middle East has become an unlegislated criminal offence.

As for 9/11 5 years on, Donna Marsh O'Connor, whose daughter died in one of the Towers on September 11th 2001, points the finger at Dick Cheney.
"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown

Joined: 07 Dec 2005, 15:21

13 Sep 2006, 15:22 #5

Wasn't this programme on back in the summer? Will they be wheeling it out on every anniversary of every terrorist attack? I am absolutely certain this programme's been on before. Does anyone know for sure?
"We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in which human society oscillates between open and brutal tyranny and a lying freedom." - Errico Malatesta, Democracy and Anarchy 1924

Joined: 04 Dec 2005, 17:55

13 Sep 2006, 15:58 #6

Kier @ Sep 13 2006, 03:22 PM wrote:Wasn't this programme on back in the summer? Will they be wheeling it out on every anniversary of every terrorist attack? I am absolutely certain this programme's been on before. Does anyone know for sure?
I think there was an earlier film (2004) / DVD (2006) of the same name by Baer. ... -dvd.shtml
Robert Baer
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Robert "Bob" B. Baer (born July 1, 1952), is an author and former case officer at the CIA.

Reared in Aspen, Colorado, Baer aspired to become a professional skier. After a poor academic performance during his freshman year at high school, his mother sent him to Indiana's Culver Military Academy. In 1976, after graduating from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Services and entering the University of California at Berkeley, Baer decided to join the CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO) as a case officer. Upon admittance to the CIA, Baer engaged in a year's training, which included a four-month paramilitary course.

He unsuccessfully urged the Clinton Administration to back an internal Iraqi attempt to overthrow Saddam Hussein in 1995 with covert CIA assistance. Baer quit the Agency in 1997 and wrote the book See No Evil documenting his experiences while working for the Agency.

Baer offers an analysis of the Middle East through the lens of his experiences as a CIA operative. His political outlook does not hew exclusively to either conservative or liberal viewpoints. Through his years as a clandestine officer, he gained a very thorough knowledge of the Middle East, Arabian world and former Republics of the Soviet Union. He speaks Arabic fluently. He has been over the years a strong advocate of the Agency's need to increase Human Intelligence (HUMINT) through the recruitment of agents.

In 2004, he told a reporter of the British political weekly New Statesman, regarding the way the CIA deals with terrorism suspects, "If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear – never to see them again – you send them to Egypt."[1]

Baer's books See No Evil and Sleeping with the Devil were the basis for the 2005 Academy Award winning Warner Brothers motion picture Syriana. The film's character Bob Barnes (played by George Clooney) is loosely based on Baer. For this role Clooney won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. To better resemble Baer, Clooney gained weight. When Baer learned of this, he was inspired to get back into shape.[2] Baer has a cameo appearance in the film.

Baer was also interviewed in the Robert Greenwald documentary Uncovered: The War on Iraq.

In an interview by Thom Hartmann, when asked "Are you of the opinion that there was an aspect of 'inside job' to 9/11 within the U.S. government?", Baer responded, "There is that possibility, the evidence points at it."
Follow the numbers.

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

13 Sep 2006, 17:01 #7

[quote=""kier""] Wasn't this programme on back in the summer? Will they be wheeling it out on every anniversary of every terrorist attack? I am absolutely certain this programme's been on before. Does anyone know for sure?[/quote]

The series certainly started August 2005, but this one had both Khan and Tanweer's videos so must be current as Tanweer's video wasn't released until the 1st anniversary.

Channel 4
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti