Britains first suicide bombers
first part - full film available on journeyman http://vod.journeyman.tv/s/Road+to+Martyrdom
below truthtube version is down
Britains First Suicide Bombers aka The Road to Martydom is yet another great documentary by the awesome Chameleon TV, who also gave us On the edge of the city (not available online, but discussed in a prior post).
Thanks to mira for directing my attention to this one!
World - Road to Martyrdom - 52 min [30 May 2007]
What prompts a young, well-educated, affluent Westerner to become a suicide bomber? This groundbreaking documentary traces how one ‘kind, really nice boy’ from England became the first Westerner to carry out a suicide bombing.
What prompts a young, well-educated, affluent Westerner to become a suicide bomber? This groundbreaking documentary traces how one ‘kind, really nice boy’ from England became the first Westerner to carry out a suicide bombing. We follow his journey from radicalisation in England to training with Al Qaeda and being recruited by Hamas. It’s a story which illuminates the Jihadi networks linking Hamas, Al Qaeda and the London bombers. Riveting viewing.
Decked in Hamas’ banners, a ‘martyr’ proudly records his final message. “It’s a great honour to kill these people. It’s a great honour”. This could be any one of countless martyr videos. Except the man, Asif Hanif, is speaking in English, with a strong Northern accent. Shortly afterwards, Asif and his friend Omar Sharif, also from England, walked into the packed Israeli bar, Mike’s Place, and detonated their explosives.
“Omar was just an ordinary young lad”, recalls one of his teachers. “He had a sort of innocence”. As a young boy, Omar was too busy to attend classes at Mosque or learn to read the Koran. It was only at university that his radicalisation began. “He was approached by Hizb Ut Tahrir, which was active in university campuses”, recalls a teacher. “They talked about Jihad very often.”
Amongst the other students attending Hizb Ut Tahrir’s lectures was Tahira Tabassum. “Suddenly, out of the blue”, Omar and Tahira decided to marry. Omar dropped out of university and they moved to London, praying at the infamous Finsbury Park Mosque. Here Omar joined disaffected Muslims. They listened to talks by Abu Hamza on how; “We will fight to kill in the cause of Allah until there are no enemies left”, and watching propaganda videos. “He was really fond of Abu Hamza”, recalls a friend. “He looked up to him”.
Omar also came under the influence of Mohammed Sidique Khan, who would later achieve notoriety as the leader of the London Bombers. Together, they set about attempting to recruit other young Muslims. “The impression that we got was that they were looking for gullible people”, states one man. Recruits were told by Sidique; “in order to learn the new ways of Islam, you may be asked to go to Afghanistan or Syria.” “At that stage, the lads said ‘hold on a minute, what’s going on?”
In the wake of 9/11, Omar traveled to Afghanistan to fight against his own countrymen. “He asked us to pray for him that he may become a martyr”, recalls Mohammad Ali Qureshi. “He appeared to be someone who’d already received training”. But to Omar’s disappointment, all foreign fighters were ordered to return home to avoid the US bombing. “When he returned, he was completely transformed”, recalls a friend. “He would cry ‘Allah, you are annoyed with me and that is why you have not granted me martyrdom”.
But Omar would be given another chance of martyrdom. After the invasion of Iraq, he traveled to Syria with his old friend Asif Hanif. “He was talking about fighting in Iraq”, recalls an acquaintance. But when they arrived in Damascus, they were passed into the hands of Hamas and given a new mission. “They didn’t know a lot about Palestine or about the Palestinian issue – nothing at all”, recalls one Palestinian. “They were just raw”.
When Israeli police found two British passports at the scene of the bombing, they didn’t believe they were genuine. “It seemed impossible that someone born in England would come here to carry out a terrorist attack”, stakes Maj, Genm Yosef Sedbon. In Britain, the victims of Mike’s Place were soon forgotten. But Britain’s first suicide bombing was also an inspiration to fellow Jihadis. Eighteen months later, Omar’s friend, Mohammed Sidique Khan, recorded his own farewell message to the world.