The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry

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 London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry

Joined: 27 Jun 2006, 22:55

28 Jun 2006, 10:47 #1

Hi everyone

i'm new on this forum. am just alerting you all to the publication last week of my new book, The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry, out from Duckworth.

This is a real achievement for the 77 truth campaign, as Duckworth is a reputable mainstream publisher that's been around since the 18th century. My book is a reasonably comprehensive analysis of the holes in the official narrative. I don't speculate or offer any theories of what happened, as i prefer to leave it to readers to make up their own minds. but I do show that the govt's stories about the explosives, nature of explosions, alleged bombers' movements, their intelligence connections, etc., are riddled with inexplicable inconsistencies. i also discuss in great depth the evidence that the british and american governments have used "al Qaeda" networks as tools of covert (and even overt) operations to secure strategic and economic interests in the balkans, central asian and northwest africa, an unholy alliance that continues to this day.

we need to call for an independent public inquiry, and the best way to do that is to generate awareness of what is happening. my book collects together in a single volume most (not all, due to space limitations) of the major questions and anomalies. i believe that this is a book you can give to your friends and families, send to your MPs, and use as a resource to convince people that something's up, and we need to have disclosure of the evidence via a meaningful independent public inquiry.

also see my blog at

best wishes

Joined: 07 Dec 2005, 15:21

28 Jun 2006, 11:08 #2

Hello, Nafeez and thanks for taking the time to join the forum. I've just started your book and on the basis of what I've read so far, can recommend it above other books which seem to claim to give a definitive account with a minimum of research.

The purpose of the J7 site is also to highlight the gaps in the story, as shown here and here.

We believe it is far more important to present the information without speculation, question these anomalies and seek clarification for the obvious errors, than claim to offer an explanation where there is such a glaring absence of facts.

We are also seeking an Independent Public Inquiry, which doesn't invoke the Inquiries Act 2005 - in line with many legal, civil and human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, The Law Society of England and Wales and the Finucane Family Campaign. If public inquiries are subject to state approval, they cannot be truly independent. The public have been fobbed off enough as it is, with the narrative and its ambiguity.

Thanks again for joining and letting us all know about your book.

"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: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

28 Jun 2006, 11:23 #3

Hi nafeez

Hello and you are very welcome here, thanks for joining.

I have received an advance copy of your book which I unfortunately haven't had time to read. We were intending to revew the book on our website, hopefully over the next week or so.
�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: 19 May 2006, 12:17

28 Jun 2006, 19:49 #4

Well, hello there.

I have read David Ray Griffin's books on 9/11 and have now started reading "911 Synthetic Terror: made in the USA" by Webster Tarpley.

Yours will be the next book on my reading list.

Joined: 19 Jan 2006, 21:24

28 Jun 2006, 20:54 #5


Thank you for coming to this forum. You can see from another thread that I have been looking forward to the publication of your book.

I have to admit to some disappointment with your blog. It seems to focus heavily on information provided by anonymous sources in the security services to the mainstream media. Why are you so certain that all these leaks contain true factual information? (You give me the impression you are certain of this, if I am mistaken I apologise). It seems to me that these "leaks" may be conveying just as much, if not more, disinformation as the official, on-the-record statements.

I won't let this put me off, though, especially given Kier's recommendation.
Innocent until proven guilty

Joined: 04 Dec 2005, 17:55

29 Jun 2006, 22:18 #6

Lenin at length...
Sunday, June 25, 2006
"The London Bombings": an independent review. posted by lenin

Prefatory notes.
Saturday's Guardian had a story about a man named Martin Gilbertson who supposedly worked with the 7/7 bombers and tried to warn police about them - a terrifically inflated story, if you ask me, and one buttressed by various discredited media accounts of goings on at the Iqra bookshop and so on. Basically, it comes down to Gilbertson having produced some websites and political material for a group of young men who - while apparently suffused with "religious racism" - allowed Gilbertson, neither a co-religionist nor a co-ideologue, fairly close access to their alleged activities. Except that these activities appear to amount to little more than involvement in the 'Mullah Crew', a local religious outfit that got young men off drugs and defended the community against white racists, and reading and disseminating entirely truthful accounts of Western crimes in Iraq and Palestine, interpreted as a war on Islam. This guy may have sent a package to the police, but what he says it contains is hardly evidence of involvement in criminal activity, terrorist or otherwise. On the other hand, today's Sunday Times meanwhile reveals that Mohammed Siddique Khan's car was bugged. There have been a number of reports suggesting that the men who are said to have carried out the bombings were actually tracked by intelligence for some time. How to interpret all this?

Well. I have been offered to preview books about five times now, and I generally don't respond since I am not in the business of doing publishers' work for them. However, when the book in question is what promises to be an inquiry into the London bombings by reputed author Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, I'll suspend my puritanical disdain. For, whatever else might be said, the case for an independent inquiry into what happened on 7/7 is overwhelming. Ahmed has been positively reviewed by Pilger, Vidal and others, and his new book has been reasonably well received in The Times (albeit tagged as a 'conspiracy theory' and lumped in with some reactionary drivel by Melanie Phillips). The book has a number of themes: inconsistencies and downright falsehoods in various police and government narratives of 7/7; British intelligence involvement with radical Islamist groups; the consequences of this strategy as 'blowback'; the consequences of this relationship for proper investigation into what happened. As the news broke, some people may have remembered as I did the New Statesman article indicating that British intelligence allowed radical Islamist groups to operate in the UK since under such a covenant they wouldn't attack the UK. Fox News made use of this sort of claim to suggest that MI6 was appeasing terrorism. Ahmed may, then, provide a useful counter to this sort of reactionary wheedle.

'Al Qaeda' or Amateurs?
Does he? In the first instance, I want to summarise the opening part of his book. He cites various sources (which, upon checking, seem reliable) to suggest that the initial opinion of police, intelligence and bomb experts was that this was an attack using military expertise and explosives, including C4 shipped in from the Balkans. He then charts an apparently very sudden shift to saying that the attacks were really a home-made, amateurish business involving TATP. Problems? Well, TATP isn't a thermochemical explosive - rather it releases sudden, large amounts of gas that should not leave people with internal and external burns or leave charred remains, as details from bombing scenes and eyewitness accounts suggest there were. On the other hand, TATP can be used alongside C4, which is how Richard Reid intended to blow up an aircraft. Part of the reason for asserting that TATP was the substance used was the apparent discovery of the stuff in a bath in Leeds - the person who rented the house was famously arrested in Egypt, but quietly released after three weeks. Ahmed says that the person was not interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives (citing a Daily Mail interview with the man), and he was certainly never identified by police as a suspect. The veracity of the claim that TATP was the substance discovered hasn't been confirmed as yet. Similarly, there has been considerable vagueness in media reports about the alleged discovery of bombs or bomb-making equipment and whether this was found in Lindsay's red Fiat or in Tanweer's hired Nissan Micra.

Ahmed also details the claims made about the bombers' movements. There are some notorious inaccuracies and discrepancies in various accounts here. Police appear to have released contradictory evidence about the train the men boarded (07:40 or 07:48). The official Home Office narrative says the men were on a train that left at 07:40, while CCTV footage appears to show them arriving at Kings Cross at 08:26. Problem is, the 07:40 was cancelled, and the 07:48 left late and arrived at 08:42. Plausibly, they got on the 07:24, which left a minute late and arrived at 08:23. (As Rachel North points out, this is not the only inaccuracy in the narrative). The narrow point is that the information given to us is unreliable and often false, while the wider point is that the movements of the bombers suggests some involvement in 'terrorist networks' connected to 'Al Qaeda'. Ahmed fluffs up a little here by suggesting the the atrocities committed in Spain were by 'Al Qaeda' - in fact, they appear to have been conducted by an autonomous Moroccan group with some connections to Spanish intelligence.

'Al Qaeda'...
What about Britain? Is the British government right to minimise the likelihood of Al Qaeda involvement? Well, following the attacks a claim of responsibility appeared on a website from an organisation called Qaeda al-Jihad, which Juan Cole suggests was written by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later appeared in an edited tape featuring Khan warning of an attack. Omar Bakri Mohammed, of what used to be known as al-Muhajiroun (now split into the Saviour Sect and Abu Ghurabaa), appears to have warned in late 2004 of an attack by Al Qaeda in Europe on London - he later is quoted as saying that the 'covenant of security' with the British state had been broken by the government's 'anti-terror' legislation. On the other hand, of course, many people knew an attack was on the way, and intelligence services had predicted that the war on Iraq could easily produce an attack on London. And here, the book becomes rather lazy. Several sources are adduced to illustrate the claim that large, radical Islamist organisations operated from and through Britain - albeit from the same sources (police and media) which have proven so unreliable elsewhere. Glen Jenvey, a "private intelligence professional" who alleges he had some role in getting information that led to the sentencing of Abu Hamza al-Masri, is cited as saying that Bakri is a 'prime suspect'. Well, Jenvey is a reactionary Islamophobic bigot who thinks everything that moves and has brown skin is Al Qaeda, so I don't trust him and don't see any reason you should either. I have found no corroboration of Jenvey's alleged role in Hamza's arrest and sentencing, and at any rate, Hamza has not been found to have been involved in terrorist activity as Jenvey claims - the only conviction under the Terrorism Act is his possesion of an Encyclopaedia said to have been written by bin Laden's network. It has to be noted that the first of a few blanked out passages emerges here - 'section removed for legal reasons'. Ahmed further cites the claims of an alleged al-Muhajiroun member and confessed 'Al Qaeda sleeper' named Muhammad Junaid Babar, who says that intelligence were watching Khan. He has, since being caught, become an 'informant' for intelligence. Ahmed cites an unnamed 'investigator' who alleges that Hamza was closely connected to Al-Muhajiroun, which in turn was suspected of links to 'Al Qaeda' through Bakri. The source this time is a URL which turns out to be a story in the Queen's Chronicle. (Quite a few of the footnotes, unfortunately, are URLs, without article titles or authors.) The attempts to trace a connection between the 7/7 bombers and 'Al Qaeda' at this point are extremely sloppy and unconvincing.

There follows a discussion of Bakri and his organisation's alleged involvement in terrorism, all sourced to this testimony from Andrew Dismore MP. I'm afraid the idea that a pathetic clown like Bakri has ever been a serious figure in these movements is unconvincing, and Dismore's claims are poorly sourced. Often they amount to Bakri mouthing off. Hamza is cited as seriously believing that the 9/11 attacks were a Zionist plot - not an unknown belief, but a curious thing to come out with if you're a defiant and proud supporter of Al Qaeda and a member of an organisation that will later refer to the 'Magnificent 19'. Ahmed also takes seriously the claims of Hassan Butt, a former member of al-Muhajiroun, who boasted that 60% of the fighters in Afghanistan were recruited from Britain by his organisation (Butt was also the source of the New Statesman story, by the way). Hassan Butt is described as having been arrested under the Terrorism Act but "unaccountably" released - one possibly is that he is an obvious fantasist. This story which cites the ultra-right Heritage Foundation and an unnamed US defense analyst, is adduced to bolster the claims. Similarly, an article on the hard-right Newsmax is referenced for a claim that the group is connected to Zarqawi, citing unnamed "French and German officials". I'm afraid that much of the evidence cited in connection with these claims is like this - nebulous, poorly supported information, drawn from untrustworthy sources.

...And Amateurs
The next part of the book is devoted to 21/7. Ahmed doubts claims made by the British government and police that these failed explosions were designed to kill, or that they were linked in any way to the previous attacks. Hussein Osman's testimony has it that his rucksack was filled with flour, hair product and nails, which is a non-fatal combination under most circumstances. The police and the government have it that the bombs were designed to be lethal, and that they were the work of a related group, if not the same group as that which carried out 7/7. Osman, when he was extradited, was arrested under the Explosive Substances Act of 1883 and has been charged with attempted murder. Ahmed cites an unfortunately unaccessible story from the Agenzia Giornolistica Italia which suggests that the Italian court panel which approved Osman's extradition confirmed part of his story (namely that flour and nails etc were involved), but which adds that either TATP or HMTD was found on the detonator. Ahmed comments that if this was the detonating material, the substance that was supposed to be detonated was not an impressive combination. In fact, it is extremely difficult to know what the case is with the bombs since precious little information has been released beyond the police's claims (which may or may not hold up in court) that the bombs were devised to be lethal. Whatever the case, the fact that the bombs failed, and that Adiesu allegedly abandoned his device, at the very least suggests an amateur operation. Nevertheless, they did hold extreme views, and did belong to al-Muhajiroun at some point and so, Ahmed wants to know, how is it that one of the 'cell' was monitored prior to the failed attacks in Pakistan only for him to slip under the radar because Pakistani intelligence said he wasn't doing anything significant? Surely, given Pakistan's previous 'sponsorship' of Al Qaeda, one wouldn't 'blindly' accept their word? This isn't particularly persuasive: the British presumably had intelligence-sharing with the Pakistani government, since the latter is a client-state of the West. The idea that Pakistan would conceal nefarious activities against the West isn't plausible. Similarly, why were warnings unheeded? Or if they were heeded, why does the government claim to have had no warning? This point, too, would be more impressive if the cited source didn't stipulate that the warnings were heeded: Ahmed suspects more could have been done, but it is unclear what. It is not even clear if the Mirror's story is accurate. Ensuing claims are often similarly tentative - drawing from this story, he suggests that because Luai Zakra, allegedly one of the five most important people in Al Qaeda (not the 'number five man' as Ahmed has it), testified that he didn't know about 21/7, then it was conducted without Al Qaeda supervision. The conclusions seems right, but the supporting logic is extremely poor. At any rate, this is a curious 'Al Qaeda' leader who doesn't like to pray, but fancies a drink. Is it possible that Turkish intelligence are simply making shit up?

"a marked man..."
On the Menezes shooting, Ahmed emphasises the possibility of wrong-doing higher up the chain of command, and hints that something is amiss in the very presence of the SRR. He cites claims that the Special Reconnaisance Regiment, an outfit with an appalling record in Northern Ireland, had identified Menezes as IC1 - a 'white European'. He actually points this out twice. This is interesting, but unfortunately the source he cites makes it clear that he was thus identified by the SRR soldier who was taking a piss at the time, who added 'it would be worth someone else having a look'. Ahmed cites a Sunday Times article which quotes an unnamed Whitehall official saying that those who carried out the shooting "were led by senior officers to believe that he was a terrorist". He cites revelations that some officers in the team which shot Menezes knew that he was not a terrorist or acting suspiciously. He notes the attempt to alter the log to make it look like the SRR team had not wrongly identified Menezes as the suspect: who in fact did give the positive ID, he wonders. He notes that even the brutal Operation Kratos procedures were violated if Menezes was allowed to board a tube carriage before being addressed in any fashion whatsoever. He notes that the police have, instead of adapting or abandoning these procedures, actually widened them so that they may now shoot-to-kill in the case of stalking or domestic violence. That story had completely passed me by. He notes that the police resisted investigation by the IPCC and blocked the handover of hundreds of documents. He suggests that this is because "the threat-perceptions of officers on the ground were manipulated by senior officials for reasons that so far remain difficult to fathom". Menezes was "a marked man", but we don't know why. This portentous speculation, which substitutes for evidence or even discernible logic, is one of the most irritating aspects of the book.

In an old Northern Irish comedy skit, an impersonator has Gerry Adams indicate that members who owe dues in arrears to the IRA will receive "a warning shot to the back of the head". By their own account, this is the kind of warning that the British security services received. Not so, says Ahmed: Whitehall documents revealed a "thousand-strong groundwell of al-Qaeda sympathisers in the UK" in 2004, including white British nationals and "those of West Indian extraction"; similarly, the head of MI5 suggested that Al Qaeda might and could attack the UK at some point using some means; Pakistan had warned of potential attacks (those untrustworthy guys?); France had made similar warnings as had the US and Saudi Arabia. The Saudi warning "remarkably" contained "very specific information" - the target was the Underground, the cell contained four people (unnamed) and the month was July 2005 at the latest. Unfortunately, Ahmed omits the bit about the target being "the Underground or a London night club" and the timescale being "within six months". Similarly, Ahmed mentions the Spanish interception of a message ordering attacks on Europe - he neglects to add that the putative authors of the message, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade, are not the most reliable bunch. In fact, since this alleged group has taken responsibility for almost every recent terrorist attack including in London and Madrid, it is a matter of some doubt that they actually exist. Then there is the infamous Israeli warning, some moments before the attack. Ahmed acknowledges that the story was denied, but not that the original source (AP) retracted it. He cites Tommy Preston of Preston Global as confirming the story that at least one person in London was warned moments before the first explosion, and that this warning was passed to Netanyahu. Ahmed cites the preposterous Zionist propaganda site Israel Insider which supposedly 'confirms' a similar story (it cites a German newspaper story which claims that the bombing was linked to one in Tel Aviv). But if Mossad were warned, so Ahmed infers, then intelligence must have been on the case for a long time, in which case they surely had more detailed knowledge than they let on. This is neither deduction, nor induction - it is reduction to absurdity. Based on retracted reports, the dodgiest of sources and pure rumour, Ahmed leaps to the most auspicious conclusions. He claims his analysis is supported by Stratfor, but it cites unconfirmed rumours. Ahmed cites "inexplicable" bomb scares prior to the attacks such as this one - yet, he goes on to describe its explicability: there was a suspect package, and someone had made a prank call. Two days later, there was another in Scotland, near the G8 summit. Another suspect package. "In any case", Ahmed avers, this "should have heightened security concerns around the country". This is a 'warning'?

How about this theory? Abu Hamza was on trial that morning - perhaps the attacks were aimed at disrupting that for all of six months? Apparently, "terrorist trials are a traditional 'watch date' for security service", especially as 9/11 happened "on the same date as the conviction of al-Qaeda operative Ramzi Yousef ... 11 September 1996". Bollocks. Yousef was convicted on September 5th, 1996, not September 11th, 1996 - he was also convicted on other dates for other offenses. Why does he do this?

Intelligence assets and connections
Two weeks before the London bombings, Special Branch noticed something funny: a Pakistani on a terrorist 'watch list' entered the country through a sea port. He left by air shortly before the attacks. No one knows what he was doing, but intelligence deemed him low risk. End of anecdote - or so you'd think. Later, it was alleged that the man had "visited the bombers in Leeds and identified targets on the Tube". Anonymous security sources are inclined to "believe" many things, as Ahmed would be the first to point out, but the next story is a bit more concrete. We now have a name: a British national named Haroon Rashid Aswat, 30, who has been accused of terrorism and whom a US intelligence expert named Loftus has described as an associate of MI6. His accusers, however: "unnamed American counterterrorism officials". Later, ITN news reported that Aswat has phone links with two of the bombers, (although Ahmed might have noticed that ITN was merely summarising what had been in some of the papers that day). Again, however, it is unnamed security sources: unnamed security sources tell me that the Times is full of shit. Well, at any rate, Aswat does seem to have some history of involvement in radical Islamist activity, so it is not impossible. Why, then, was he considered 'low risk'? Presuming unnamed security sources aren't fabulating, who gets their balls rolled for that one? Similarly, what kind of feeble denial is it when Whitehall officials deny 'any knowledge' that Aswat was potentially an MI6 agent? I like to think, boys and girls, that if I was a state official asked to confirm or deny such a claim, I could do better than that. Loftus, as I say, makes the charge, and is supported in it by John O'Neill, a former FBI counter-terrorism agent. Unfortunately, Loftus displays a certain amount of ignorance in his claims, alleging that Al-Muhajiroun "got started" when the British decided to recruit "some Al Qaeda guys" to "defend the Muslim rights in Albania and in Kosovo". That particular sect "got started" in 1996, when it split from Hizb ut-Tahrir. The claims that this group was connected to Islamists operating in Kosovo are supported by Dismore's earlier cited claims before parliament, as well as a Times article in which Hamza is said to have boasted to court that he was involved in Bosnia and urged followers to fight in Kosovo. More on this a bit later.

Abu Qatada is a man alleged to have ties with the Algerian GIA and Osama bin Laden, although he has denied this himself and although he was arrested in February 2001 by British police, he was released without charge. It is claimed that the failure to arrest him is a result of the fact that he is a double agent for MI5, although he is presently locked up in Belmarsh, having been held for two years without trial. These claims appear to come from a variety of sources - chiefly, European intelligence officials, Qatada's lawyer and Qatada himself. It was said in 2002 that he was being protected in the north of England by British intelligence. His lawyer is cited by Ahmed is saying that he was being monitored by intelligence and that "his actions had a large degree of tacit approval". However, Ahmed's source actually has Qatada's lawyer stipulates Qatada's opposition to and non-involvement in terrorism. The "tacit approval" alleged by Qatada's lawyer is actually for lawful, 'spiritual' activity. (The constant, and completely unnecessary, misrepresentation of sources by Ahmed is extremely discouraging). Nevertheless, a leaked document from the Special Immigration Appeals Commission does provide evidence of Qatada's connections with intelligence, and it includes reference to that Qatada was actively involved in supporting terrorist groups. The nature of the relationship, according to the cited intelligence officer, is that he was expected to use his influence to curtail the ambition of the 'hotheads'. For this reason, he was recruited to MI5, protected from the law and allowed to contribute to overseas radical Islamist groups.

Back to Abu Hamza. Ahmed notes that he was alleged to possess the Encyclopedia of the Afghani Jihad, produced by bin Laden's network, and for making threatening and insulting speeches. It "quickly emerged" says Ahmed, that "all 16 ioffenses for which he had been charged had occurred with the tacit consent of British police", who "made no effort to shut him down". Reda Hassaine, an agent for MI5 in Finsbury Park mosque, is cited as giving warnings "in no uncertain terms" of Hamza's terrorist threat. Hassaine says that MI5 thought he was a "clown", even if he was sending people to fight overseas: provided he did not try to launch an attack in the UK, he was not going to be arrested. However, Hamza's prosecution contained only one 'terrorism' charge - possessing the Encyclopedia. Ahmed suggests that the police tacitly approved of his possession of this book because they confiscated it and returned it to him, citing a Sean O'Neill article from The Times which is now no longer available. However, the charge was made under the Terrorism Act of 2000, and the book had been allegedly taken and returned in 1999. Hamza certainly advocated violence, but there is no proof available that he was organisationally involved with terrorism. Ahmed relies on the claims of the Times reporter and avowed former spy, Reda Hassaine, who says he burgled documents from Hamza's office showing that he had received contact from GIA activists. Elsewhere he says that Hamza was "the first spiritual leader of the GIA", and he claims to have witnessed the 'recruitment' of Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui by Qatada (although in fact, the two are said to have become active long before Hassaine says he began his spying). He later alleged that two Egyptian-born men alleged to have surveyed a potential training base in Oregon were terrorists and "direct subordinates" of Hamza. On the basis of these claims, which remain entirely unsubstantiated (although they certainly merit investigation), Ahmed asks why police and the CPS refused to use this "abundant evidence" obtained by Hassaine for the prosecution against Hamza. Later, he says "Hassaine's evidence is merely the tip of the iceberg". For instance, there were allegations by intelligence officials (those mendacious guys?) of AK-47 training at Finsbury Park. There are claims by US intelligence agencies that Hamza ran terrorist camps with the assistance of British ex-soldiers, (from testimony by captives in Guantanamo Bay). And then there is an embittered rant from David Blunkett in The Sun (quoted from a Times article), who claims that he could have stopped it if only liberal bobbies hadn't been so soft. (At this point, Ahmed is once more extremely sloppy, claiming that if Blunkett had used his extensive anti-terrorism powers, Hamza could have been arrested seven years before his conviction in 2006 - Blunkett became Home Secretary in 2001.)

For a truly independent inquiry...
The pattern traced by Ahmed's account is one in which the 7/7 bombers are connected to Al Qaeda via Finsbury Park notables, who are in turn British intelligence agents. Warnings are inexplicably unheeded, while known terrorists allowed to operate very publicly and loudly - indeed they are given assistance and protection. Unfortunately, Ahmed relies on tendentious sources, tentative reasoning, and sometimes straightforward misrepresentation. It is a pity because even when you discount for all that (and I have necessarily focused on those aspects of the book that I want to challenge or scrutinise most), there remains a strong case for an independent investigation, reasonable suspicions about the use of Islamist activists and groups by intelligence and serious misgivings about the official account provided by the government. There is an account of the relations between states and Islamist groups which use terror, drawing on the same kinds of media and internet sources that characterise Ahmed's book throughout, which is useful if equally tendentious. Some smaller criticisms. Aside from Ahmed's propensity to omit important bits of information, make glaring, lazy howlers, and proceed to colourful conclusions from inconclusive evidence, there is the odd annoying verbal tic - sources "confirm" information that Ahmed believes to be the case (even where it is rumour or unsubstantiated claim), while they "say" or "claim" what he does not. The book is often not as concise as it could be, lacks an index, and is lazy with its sourcing. However, you'll find useful information collated here in a way that you might not find elsewhere, and Ahmed's style is clear enough. If you have nine quid spare, and a bit of time free (but not enough to do your own Google research exercise), you could do worse than buy it. Sorry to Duckworth publishers - that's the best I can do. ... eview.html
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Joined: 04 Dec 2005, 17:55

29 Jun 2006, 22:44 #7

and there are 93 comments.
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