« | »

UK Muslim Bomb Plotters “Just Ordinary Boys”

From the UK’s Daily Record:

A British police officer, second right, stands by as Muslim men attend Friday prayers at a mosque in the Walthamstow area of north east London, near where a number of homes were raided by police, Friday Aug. 11, 2006.


11 August 2006

By Lucy Thornton

NEIGHBOURS of the 24 men arrested last night spoke of their shock at the police swoops on their homes.

They had looked on stunned as the men – including two cricket-loving brothers, a university student, a builder, a pizza worker, a businessman and a dad-to-be – were hauled away.

Some of the men came quietly and calmly after the raids in Walthamstow, High Wycombe and Birmingham, one giving the thumbs-up to his distressed family.

Others bolted and were chased down by anti-terror officers, some of them armed.

Last night, the suspects’ loved ones and friends all insisted they were ordinary men innocent of any terrorism plot.

And residents were left in disbelief at the drama which had come to their normally peaceful areas and the lives of their neighbours.

The sister of 23-year-old suspect Waheed Zaman, a bio-medical student from Walthamstow, told last night of how officers came for her brother.

Safeena Zaman, 24, said they had heard a commotion outside their house at 2am and she peeped out of the window.


She said: "As I did, police banged on the door. I opened it and asked what on earth was going on. Waheed was behind me.

"They told my brother they were arresting him.

"They said they had to search our house. It was 2am and our father is in his 90s. He’s frail and they turfed him out of his home."

Zaman is a well-known political activist and head of the Islam Society at London Metropolitan University.

Safeena said: "I know he’ll be okay because he turned and gave us a thumbs-up as he was driven off. He knows he’s done nothing.

"He is a very normal boy. He preaches moderation."

Afriend of Zaman’s was arrested nearby after officers battered his door down at 11 pm on Wednesday.

Muslim convert Oliver Savant, aged 25, who changed his name to Ibrahim, was also taken away from his family home.

Savant, whose father is of Indian descent, is said to have converted to Islam two years ago after falling in love with a Muslim woman.

As uniformed police stood guard outside his home, his brother Adam said: "He’s married – a newly-wed expecting a baby.

"There’s nothing that makes me think he’s linked to this and I’m confident that, given enough time, the police will let it go and realise this has been a huge cock-up."

Two of three men arrested in Albert Road, Walthamstow, were also said to be friends of Waheed Zaman.

A neighbour said one was a pizza shop worker, adding: "They’re only kids."

In High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, dozens of homes were evacuated and another young British convert to Islam was among those arrested.

It is believed that among those arrested in the town were also two sets of brothers.

AbdulWaheed, 21, who changed his name from Don Stewart-Whyte when he converted to Islam in the last year, married a Muslim girl just six weeks ago.

Neighbours said he had had a troubled life, including being expelled from school at 14 for smoking cannabis.


But one added: "Once he converted, he became a really decent boy. He seemed a lot more peaceful in himself.

"He told me everything seemed to have clicked into place."

A friend of Waheed’s, Wasim Kayani, a taxi driver, was also arrested during the raids. One neighbour said Waheed was held when he and his wife, who is believed to be Moroccan, drove up to their home at 10.30pm on Wednesday.

An officer smashed the driver’s window and dragged the suspect from the car.

One of the other High Wycombe raids centred on a home in Walton Drive where married brothers Assad and Amjad Sawar are understood to l ive with their wives and parents.

The pair are both believed to be passionate about cricket.

Former friends said the men used to be well-known in the area but had not been seen very much in recent years.

One, Philip Redfern, said: "They used to go out and play football with us in the park when they were about 18 or 19. As we got a bit older, we went our separate ways."

A friend, Ashiq Raful, said: "They’re good mates. One has a baby girl and loves his wife to bits. These guys would never do any terrorism."

The second set of brothers are known locally as wealthy car importers aged 27 and 24, who owned their own homes.

A former classmate said of one: "He was never interested in religion as far as I was aware and I can’t imagine him as a terrorist."

Police in Birmingham were last night still combing a row of lock-up garages after two men who run a confectionery business in Belcher’s Lane were arrested.

One witness said: "I saw at least 20 police officers chasing a group of men."

Arrested ... Don Stewart-Whyte, who neighbours said had converted to Islam and changed his name to Abdul Waheed

Abdul Waheed (ne é Don Stewart-Whyte)

These kids sound great, don’t they? Butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths.

But man, don’t those cops sound like a bunch of thugs?

And here’s a nice touch from the UK’s Sun:

Suspect ‘met Galloway’

TERROR suspect Waheed Zaman met controversial MP George Galloway many times, his sister said last night.

Safeena, 24, said of her 23-year-old brother: “ He saw it as his duty to stand up for his community and that’s what led him to know George Galloway. He has a lot of respect for him and has met him many times.”

A spokesman for MP Galloway, left, said: “Waheed Zaman is not a name that George is familiar with. He is not known to him on a personal level.”

There is no suggestion Galloway is an associate of Zaman.

No, they’re just as they say "good friends."

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, August 11th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

22 Responses to “UK Muslim Bomb Plotters “Just Ordinary Boys””

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »