Monday 3 October 2011

New 7/7 Video by Tom Secker, 7/7: Crime and Prejudice

A recently released film about the subject of 7/7, based on the researches and investigations of J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign, which includes details of the British State's history of collusion and complicity in previous terrorist attacks, coverage of related news and stories, as well as information about the proceedings that took place at the 7/7 Inquests:
A brand new investigative and analytical documentary from the maker of 7/7: Seeds of Deconstruction. It explores the 7/7 cold case via new evidence from the recent inquests and discusses the war on terror in the context of numerous miscarriages of justice and acts of violence committed by the state.

The first section of the film examines the history of the British state's use of double agents, from the Victorian Anarchists through WW2 to the war in Northern Ireland. It concludes by examining contemporary cases of injustice and violence carried out as part of the war of terror against Muslims. 

The second section of the film is a multi-dimensional study of the new evidence made available at the recent inquests. It looks at the evidence of a wider conspiracy and the fundamental flaws in the official narrative and the police investigation. It also discusses why the dialogue about 'intelligence failures' itself fails to address the very real possibility of state involvement in the attacks. 

The final section of the film returns to the Anarchists and the case of Martial Bourdin, Britain's first suicide bomber, in 1894. The mythology surrounding Bourdin is used as a foundation for examining the numerous films, tv shows training exercises and real life events that either predicted 7/7 or were influenced by the attacks. The question of conspiracy theories is addressed through an original analysis unique to this film. 

7/7 Crime and Prejudice combines a presentation of the cutting edge of July 7th research with a deeply contextual analysis that casts light on largely unexamined aspects of the war on terror. 

For further information about 7/7 please visit the website of the July 7th Truth Campaign and their dedicated 7/7 Inquests blog:

Thursday 7 July 2011

6th Anniversary of 7/7

On the 6th anniversary of 7/7, J7 are once again forced to reiterate our demand for a fully Independent Public Inquiry held outside of the constraints of the Inquiries Act 2005.

At the conclusion of the 7/7 Inquests, Lady Justice Hallett named the 4 accused, Khan, Tanweer, Hussain and Lindsay as the perpetrators of the events of 7/7, despite the clear legal constraints that apply to Coroners and their ability to apportion guilt. Hallett concluded the inquest proceedings by refusing to resume the Inquests into the deaths of the 4. As part of our efforts to get to the truth of 7/7, J7 submitted a clear, detailed and reasoned submission to the inquests outlining why the resumption of these Inquests was imperative. J7's submission for resumption can be read here

As we stated in our submission:
  • The lack of representation of the families of the 4 men allowed any and all of the evidence presented to go unchallenged, meaning no witnesses called to the inquests were cross examined on behalf of the families of the accused.
  • The Inquests sat without a jury.
  • The Metropolitan Police investigation, Operation Theseus, was deemed to be outside the scope of the Inquests and thus the entire investigation behind Ian Blair's "largest criminal inquiry in English history" remains unexamined and unquestioned.
  • The Inquests for the 4 accused, in which a verdict of suicide would require a criminal standard of proof, were not resumed.
There are many glaring holes in the evidence that was presented to the Inquests, as detailed on the J7: 7/7 Inquests Blog which we set-up specially to report on the inquests, yet these potential showstoppers for the official narrative of events went unreported in the mainstream media. The absolute pressing necessity for a fully independent Public Inquiry is now greater than ever in order to enable anyone to have any confidence in the evidence by which the guilt or innocence of the four accused might be established. To date there has been no proper legal scrutiny of this evidence. Furthermore, in cases of alleged suicide, the intent to commit suicide must be proven and this burden of proof has not yet been met.

Without a full Public Inquiry, it remains the case that:
  • The bodies of Tanweer and Khan were not included in the 'Life Extinct' body counts carried out on 7th July by Dr Morgan Costello.
  • The police viewing of the Luton Station CCTV footage was conducted as early as 10th July, despite the official account clearly stating that the men were identified on CCTV at King's Cross Thameslink on 11th July, and that it was this discovery that led the investigation to Luton as a possible site of interest.
  • There exist no sightings of three of the men, Khan Tanweer and Lindsay, after the footage from King's Cross Thameslink, some way from the Underground tube network. Apparently the temporary CCTV system that was installed at King's Cross underground malfunctioned for the 20 crucial minutes between 8.30 and 8.50. Additionally, there are no recordings of the three from any other cameras. This means that there is absolutely no CCTV evidence that shows three of the accused anywhere on the London Underground network on the morning of 7 July 2005.
  • No CCTV from the pre-explosion tube carriages has been released, despite this CCTV apparently existing, and despite it being crucial evidence which could confirm or deny that three of the men boarded the carrriages they are alleged to have boarded. This CCTV should also have been made available to Colonel Mahoney when the expensive modelling of likely injuries sustained by the deceased was conducted to make up for the lack of any internal post mortems on the victims.
  • No CCTV exists from McDonald's showing whether Hussain actually used the premises to insert a new 9v battery into his apparently malfunctioning bomb, as it was revealed during the inquests that the store manager can be seen on CCTV (oh the irony) turning off the CCTV system before Hussain entered.
  • No CCTV exists of Hasib Hussain on either of the buses he is alleged to have boarded. There is no footage of Hussain aboard the number 91 bus, nor the number 30 bus he is alleged to have destroyed, nor is there any street or traffic camera footage showing him boarding either bus.
  • There is a huge discrepancy between the explosives allegedly used, as given in sworn evidence to the Jean Charles de Menezes Inquest, and the evidence that Clifford Todd gave to the 7/7 Inquests.
  • There is strong evidence in the public domain to suggest that at the heart of the story behind 7/7 lay at least three operatives for both the British and American Intelligence services, one of which served an insanely short period in a US prison, for greater crimes than those his testimony put behind bars for far longer terms, before being quietly released.
These questions and many more can be found on the 7/7 Inquests blog.

Six years on from an event with the largest single loss of life in London since the blitz can the Metropolitan Police, with it's long track record of complicity in facilitating Miscarriages of Justice -- and given the recent revelations that it is implicated in the Murdoch News of the World phone hacking scandal -- be allowed to offer a 'narrative' which is so deeply flawed and suspect? How about a 'narrative' which has remained unexamined and unchallenged except by J7? A 'narrative' that has ascribed guilt to four men without their families having the opportunity and legal representation to question, particularly when the four accused have been denied their own Inquest proceedings? Or a 'narrative' deemed outside the scope of inquiry by the 7/7 Inquests, and a 'narrative' which has led to the demonisation of the Muslim population? This is the same flawed and unproven narrative that has been the basis for the questioning of multi-culturalism and a 'narrative' which has done much to fuel the race-hate and bigotry of the far-right neo-fascist organisation, the EDL.

Current Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced not one but two inquiries into the ongoing criminal exploits and activities of the press and police, just as news was breaking that the families of 7/7 victims were also victims of phone hacking at the hands of Murdoch media. This means that, as if we woke to find outselves in the midst of a Kafka novel, it is apparently right and proper to investigate whether or not the families of 7/7 victims had their mobile phones hacked, but it is not right and proper to  have a full, in-depth, independent public investigation into how those same families of the 7/7 victims lost their loved ones.

J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign continue to say NO! This will not stand! Only a fully Independent Public Inquiry held outside of the constraints of the Inquiries Act 2005 has the vaguest chance of getting to the truth behind the 'narrative' of 7/7.

J7 will be writing again in the near future to ask for your continued support in our joint campaign for the truth about 7/7, and we will provide a few suggestions for ways you can help us pressure the government into commissioning an independent public inquiry.

For truth and justice,
J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign

Monday 14 February 2011

A cat amongst the [stool] pigeons - Mohammed Junaid Babar [Re-post]

An article in today's Guardian asks some of the questions that J7 posed to the 7/7 Inquests when we sent our submission on Preventability to the coroner and counsel in July 2010.

In light of the Guardian series of articles regarding this issue, we reproduce below our submission listing the serious issues that arise from the role that Mohammed Junaid Babar has played in the events of not only 7th July 2005 but also the so-called 'fertilizer bomb plot', apparently scuppered by Operation Crevice, and also the incarceration of Fahad Hashmi:


Without the testimony of 'Supergrass' Mohammed Junaid Babar at the Crevice trial, would there have been enough evidence against these men to merit the 40 year life sentences they received? Especially given the statement read on behalf of these men at the end of the Crevice trial explicitly denied that there was any plot to attack the UK:
This was a prosecution driven by the security services, able to hide behind a cloak of secrecy, and eager to obtain ever greater resources and power to encroach on individual rights.
There was no limit to the money, resources and underhand strategies that were used to secure convictions in this case.
This case was brought in an atmosphere of hostility against Muslims, at home, and abroad. One stoked by this government throughout the course of this case.
This prosecution involved extensive intrusion upon personal lives, not only ours, but our families and friends.
Coached witnesses were brought forward. Forced confessions were gained through illegal detention, and torture abroad. Threats and intimidation was used to hamper the truth. All with the trial judge seemingly intent to assist the prosecution almost every step of the way.
These were just some of the means used in the desperate effort to convict. Anyone looking impartially at the evidence would realise that there was no conspiracy to cause explosions in the UK, and that we did not pose any threat to the security of this country.
It is not an offence to be young, Muslim and angry at the global injustices against Muslims."9

The section in the Provisional Index of Factual Issues entitled “Preventability” comprises by far the bulk of the index. Further, the bulk of areas outlined in points 13-23 relate directly to just two of the accused, Khan and Tanweer, and their interactions with others connected to Operation Crevice, notably, and mostly, Omar Khyam. There are wider connections over and above those between Khan (now deceased) and Khyam (serving a life sentence, received in no small part due to the testimony of the prosecution's 'star witness'14 Junaid Babar), featuring individuals that appear to create and facilitate links between disparate individuals and groups across continents, and we outline these for informational purposes below. Many of these individuals appear to have protected status in that they have either never been arrested or have miraculously evaded prosecution over a period of time when many lesser figures were rendered to the torture chambers of Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay.

Much is made of the failings of West Yorkshire police and the security services to properly investigate and/or assess Khan and Tanweer, particularly in the two years prior to 7th July 2005. However, there is an important question to be asked here:

How would Khan and Tanweer have known that they were not under investigation given the following facts:

29 March 2004: Momin Khawaja was arrested in Canada in the culmination of what was reported as a “a month long sting operation”

30 March 2004: Eight arrests were made of men who were known to Khan and Tanweer as part of Operation Crevice.

June 2004: news broke that the FBI had been holding Mohammed Junaid Babar in custody in New York since April 2004. It was reported that he was negotiating a plea bargain with the authorities.

Junaid Babar, a US citizen had being widely reported since November 2001, declaring support for the 9/11 attacks and announcing he was recruiting fighters to fight against US forces in Afghanistan:
As the TV camera rolled Mohammed Junaid Babar’s eyes shone indignantly behind nerdish glasses: “There is no negotiation with the Americans. I will kill every American that I see in Afghanistan, and every American I see in Pakistan.”15
Jon Gilbert, who conducted interviews with Junaid Babar, later mused:
“The conundrum still remains, though. Why did Babar talk to me so willingly in the first place? It’s a question that I’ve been asking myself for more than six years. Some suggest that he may have already been an FBI agent.“16

Despite making inflammatory and widely publicised pronouncements about being an Islamic warrior, despite seemingly declaring war on Americans, and despite his being a key facilitator in the alleged “terror training camps” in Pakistan (akin to the U.K equivalent of 'Q', Mohammed Quayyum Khan, also a part-time taxi driver), Junaid Babar appears to have been allowed to travel freely between Pakistan and the UK, as shown by the Operation Crevice timeline compiled by the Metropolitan Police17.
· Pakistani-born Mohammed Junaid Babar leaves his home in the USA, just days after 9/11 and travels to Pakistan to live

Spring 2003
· Mohammed Junaid Babar meets Omar Khyam and Waheed Mahmood in England.

January 2004
· Mohammed Junaid Babar travels to England and subsequently meets Omar Khyam, Waheed Mahmood, Jawad Akbar and Anthony Garcia
The results of a joint BBC Radio 4 File on 4 and Newsnight investigation also revealed that, “We understand that Siddique Khan was also seen with this man [Junaid Babar] in Leeds in 2003.”18

Hassan Butt, who first facilitated Junaid Babar's stay in Pakistan19, describes a meeting between Babar and Khan in Leeds, held after attending a barbecue to raise money for 'training camps' which is attended by a number of prolific propagandists and provocateurs for 'extremist' 'Islam'.
Butt reveals that after the jihadist barbecue he drove to Khan’s home near Leeds with another guest, Mohammed Junaid Babar, who would shortly become a supergrass. Babar’s testimony helped to secure the conviction last week of five members of the Crevice gang, who had planned to blow up — among other targets — the Bluewater shopping mall in Kent and the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London.

Although Babar describes the barbecue in his testimony, he does not refer to the drive north, nor to some of the guests named by Butt.
The host was a long-standing activist of Al-Muhajiroun, the group set up by Sheikh Omar Bakri in 1996
The guest list included men who were later to become notorious. Among them, claims Butt, was Mohammed Quayyum Khan, a part-time taxi driver from Luton who is alleged to have sent Mohammad Sidique Khan to the Malakand training camp on behalf of Al-Qaeda.

Butt, who had borrowed his brother’s navy blue Audi TT to get to the party from his home in Manchester, decided it was time to head back north. Babar asked to be dropped off near Leeds. ..

As the sun rose, Babar directed Butt to a terrace house in Batley, West Yorkshire, 15 minutes from the M1. A man in pyjamas came out to greet them. It was Mohammad Sidique Khan.

Butt had met Khan before. Babar had introduced them in 2002 at a gathering at Butt’s flat in Islamabad. Khan now recognised Butt and asked him if he wanted to come in.20
How likely is it that the joint intelligence services of the US and UK were not tracking Babar or Butt in the UK, particularly given Babar's high profile? Which of these two individuals was being tracked and to what extent? How was it possible that Junaid Babar was allowed to travel so freely between Pakistan and the UK?

FOI requests to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office submitted by J7 have been refused in respect of attempts by independent researchers to assess this information.

On Babar's second visit to Britain, he stayed with Fahad Hashmi in London and left behind some waterproof socks and a pair of night vision goggles. Junaid Babar went on to become the State's star-witness for the prosecution in the Crevice and Khawaja trials, and his testimony also resulted in a 15 year sentence for Syed Fahad Hashmi, who had previously been extradited to the US from the UK on the basis of the “glorified camping equipment”21 that Babar had left at Hashmi's residence. This was then reported as:
Hashmi, who moved to Britain from Queens in 2003, allegedly allowed his London flat to be used to store supplies and money that Babar was shipping to Abdul al-Hadi al-Iraqi, then head of al Qaeda operations in Afghanistan.22
Hashmi spent over 3 years under SAMS, extreme measures which included total isolation whilst facing a life sentence for this 'crime'.

Babar was also the source for the aluminium powder which featured in the Crevice trial.
The government would further prove that the defendant purchased and attempted to purchase the aluminum powder and ammonium nitrate that he knew would be used in explosive devices in the bombing plot in the United Kingdom, and that he did this throughout from December 2002 through March of 200423.
On 6th April 2004, Babar returned to the US but was not arrested or detained until 10th April 2004 when he was picked up by the FBI whilst on his way to a 'taxi school' in Queens, NY.

This is just a week after the Operative Crevice arrests; was his work now done? How did he manage to escape the 'no-fly list' to re-enter the US, given his well-publicised running and facilitating of 'terror training' in Pakistan?


9 J7: The July 7th Truth Campaign - The People's Independent Public Inquiry into 7/7 -
13 THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA v MOHAMMAD MOMIN KHAWAJA [2007 FC 490] Ottawa, Ontario, May 7, 2007 [PDF]-
15 The supergrass I helped to create - Times Online -
16 Ibid.
17 OPERATION CREVICE, Timeline and facts and figures - Metropolitan Police Service -
18 BBC - Press Office - Newsnight/File on 4 investigation -
20 The jihadi house parties of hate - Times Online -
21 U.S. student pleads not guilty in terrorism case - World news - Terrorism - -
22 Focus: Is the Islamist group al-Muhajiroun waiting to strike again? | World news | The Observer -

To reiterate some of the questions that J7 posed to the Coroner that now require urgent answers if we are to understand what truly happened on 7 July 2005, how it happened, why it happened, and who made it happen:
  • How likely is it that the joint intelligence services of the US and UK were not tracking Babar or Butt in the UK, particularly given Babar's high profile?
  • Which of these two individuals was being tracked and to what extent?
  • How was it possible that Junaid Babar was allowed to travel so freely between Pakistan and the UK?
  • [Babar entered the US] This is just a week after the Operative Crevice arrests; was his work now done?
  • How did he manage to escape the 'no-fly list' to re-enter the US, given his well-publicised running and facilitating of 'terror training' in Pakistan?
Ms Gallagher has raised some of the issues presented in the Guardian articles during this morning's Inquests hearings. She spoke on behalf of Mr Foulkes, father of David Foulkes, who was interviewed by the Guardian and quoted as saying "the terms of reference of the inquest are too narrow to deal with such questions and thinks that it should be suspended while they are re-evaluated":
.. He's asked me to make clear that his concern is not that scope is too narrow and, indeed, the scope ruling fully encompasses the issue of preventability and it's going to be explored next week, but what he does want to ensure is that the inquest has all relevant information and is in a position to fully explore this issue, including the potentially new information referred to in the article and the material that he's seen. Mr Foulkes is, of course, aware that there are PII materials which we haven't seen. It may be that this wasn't a new issue to the Inquest team and to you, my Lady. It may be that this is covered in bundle A and bundle B, which the legal teams and the families haven't seen. But Mr Foulkes' concern is this: he wishes to ensure that the Security Services give a clear statement to the inquest: (a) that they're not aware of any basis for the suggestion that Babar had been an informant for the authorities for any country prior to his detention in New York City in April 2004; and (b) that they've provided to the Inquest team and the coroner all information which they have in respect of Babar and US/UK communications in respect of him, and Mr Foulkes' comment to the press --
LADY JUSTICE HALLETT: As relevant to these proceedings.
MS GALLAGHER: Precisely. Mr Foulkes' comment to the press was intended to suggest that, if the Inquest team didn't have those assurances, then suspension might be required, and it's an understandable and defensible comment which he made at the time in those circumstances.

Monday 7 February 2011

The Conspirators and the "Conspiracy Phones"

This previous post raises an interesting question regarding quite how the four accused men had avoided detection to such an extent that the security services had no idea of their alleged plans. What with travel tickets, handwritten documents laying their plans bare and receipts recovered both from the homes of the accused and the Alexandra Grove 'bomb factory', their behaviour suggests that these men were not in the least bit concerned about their alleged plans being discovered yet the narrative tells us 'Khan was worried about being under surveillance during this time.

'This time' plainly refers to the supposed planning of the events of 7/7, since just above this statement, it is also written,
Other things suggest discipline and meticulous planning with good security awareness including careful use of mobile phones and use of hire cars for sensitive activities associated with the planning of the attacks.

The 'careful use of the mobile phones' was explored on the 4th day of the inquests during the testimony of DS Mark Stuart of Counter-terrorism command. DS Stuart confirmed that 'a certain number' of phones were recovered. What we also discover from DS Stuart, is that the police referred to the phones the accused men were using that day as 'operational phones' (as opposed to their personal phones) - which Mr. Hugo Keith QC later interchanges with the intriguing term 'conspiracy phones'.

These phones are claimed by DS Stuart to have been a way to 'avoid detection' by being changed on several occasions:
A. [DS Stuart] There were a series of operational phones. The earliest operational phones began in May, the middle of May, 2005, sir.
Q. [Hugo Keith QC] How many times were the phones switched or how many times were a new set of operational phones introduced into their usage?
A. For three of the subjects, four times, you're looking at data for the last, fourth, operational phone. For Lindsay, there were three, sir.
DS Stuart confirms later in the proceedings that the total number of 'conspiracy' phones used by the men was 15. One could argue that if a phone is changed four times, as three of the men are alleged to have done, this equates to five phones in total each - meaning that with Lindsay's four phones, the total amount of changes stated equates to 19 phones. This may seem a trivial point, but it is indicative of the confusing nature of DS Stuart's testimony. Another example of this is his account of the recovery of Khan's 'conspiracy' phone:
Q. In particular, investigators found in the wreckage a phone subsequently determined to belong to Khan?
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. When that phone was examined, did it have any readable data on it?
A. No, sir, it was damaged beyond --
Q. Officer, could I ask you to keep your voice up a bit?
A. Sorry. No, it was too damaged to recover data from.
Q. So when that phone was examined, it wasn't possible to extract any relevant information from it?
A. No, sir.
Q. Was there also recovered from the Russell Square tunnel a phone subsequently determined to belong to Lindsay?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. When that phone was recovered, was it found to have information on it?
A. It was, sir, yes.

So very early on, we find that no data could be extracted from Khan's phone, which was recovered from the Edgware Road site, due to the damage it sustained. The implication thereafter is that the only way any data relating to Khan can be examined is through looking at incoming calls or texts on the other phones recovered from the day, in particular, the phone attributed to Lindsay, from which information had been extracted. However, a little later in his testimony, DS Stuart seems to contradict his earlier statement:
Q. Could I just run very briefly through why you are so sure that these phones relate to these people? In relation to Khan and his operational phone ending 254, were there a number of pieces of evidence which demonstrated that that phone was indeed his?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Could you very briefly, please, summarise why that conclusion was reached?
A. The handset for that phone was discovered at the Edgware Road scene where Mohammed Sidique Khan's body was recovered. DNA from Mohammed Sidique Khan was recovered from the handset as well. The phone was routinely cell-sited in and around his home address. It was cell-sited in Luton on the 7th where we know from CCTV Mohammed Sidique Khan was. It only ever rang the other three. It was never rung by another number attributed to Mohammed Sidique Khan. That was the principal evidence, sir.

How could this data regarding Khan's phone be known if it wasn't extracted from the phone which DS Stuart had earlier stated 'was too damaged to extract data from'? DS Stuart does not enlighten us to any alternative method used to gain access to the phone's data.

Curiously, DS Stuart never states whether or not Shehzad Tanweer's phone was also recovered in the same way as the other three, at the scene of the explosion at Aldgate. We should note claims by both the narrative and Hugo Keith QC in his opening speech to the Inquests, that Tanweer had lost his mobile phone on the evening of 6th July, during a game of cricket.

However, DS Stuart confirms that a call was made at 00.03.59 on July 7th 2005, from Khan to Tanweer. If Khan's phone is too damaged, then we must assume that this particular data came from Tanweer's phone. But Tanweer lost his phone on the evening of July 6th ; we cannot know if it was his personal or 'conspiracy' phone, we cannot know if he or someone else - found it, and cannot know if a phone attributed to him was found at Aldgate. We further cannot know from which phone this information was extracted as we are not privy to the contact schedule cited by DS Stuart.

When explaining how the 'operational' number for Tanweer was attributed to him, DS Stuart tells Mr. Keith:
This was a number which was provided by Shehzad Tanweer on the rental agreement for the Nissan Micra subsequently left at Luton train station. Again, it was only rung by the other three and not by Tanweer himself. Generally cell-sited in the area of his home address.

So in contrast to the identification of the other three phones, which occurred due to their being recovered from the respective blast sites, Tanweer's 'conspiracy' phone number is identified because he provided it to the car hire company which supplied the Nissan Micra. Why should this be?

The car hire company provides another example of contradicting the idea that attempts were made by the men to avoid detection; Tanweer provided the First 24-Hour Car Rentals Limited with his family home address, confirmed in the statement of an employee of the company who called round to the Tanweer home when the car had not been returned as agreed.
By today, Tuesday, 12th, I was very concerned at the whereabouts. I decided to visit his home address and I went to the vicinity of the address and I saw a police cordon. Having explained why I was there I then provided the rental agreement.

In another statement, it is revealed to the Inquests that another First 24-Hour Car Rentals employee had attempted to contact Tanweer on 7th July, despite the fact that his rental agreement was until 8th July. Why would the car hire company attempt to contact Tanweer the day before he was due to return the car? Again, this is not revealed. The statement from the car hire company contradicts Hugo Keith's claim that they rang Tanweer's phone on 7 July, although the unreleased schedule showed this call:
[First 24-Hour Car Rentals] "Following 8 July, when the vehicle had not been returned as agreed, I rang the mobile number given by him on at least two occasions. However, the phone was off. I can only say, if I saw the man again, I would definitely recognise him."
[Hugo Keith] My Lady, we know that the last entry on the schedule prepared by Mr Stuart at your direction is that there was a call on 7 July, in fact, two minutes to 3 from First 24-hour Car Rentals to Tanweer's number.

Neither was the cell siting for Tanweer's mobile phone disclosed, which would have identified whether this phone was at Aldgate or, if lost, at least identified the location.

DS Stuart had also disclosed that the contact schedule only relates to calls made from 27 June 2005 onwards:
Q. Notwithstanding the fact that there were many thousands of calls made to and from any number of potentially relevant phone numbers, you prepared a schedule showing all the calls between the four men from 27 June onwards?
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. In essence, the most relevant days leading up to the events of 7 July?
A. Yes, sir.

It isn't stated at which point the accused are supposed to have switched to their final set of 'conspiracy phones'; only that this occurred in the last few days before 7/7. Later in the proceedings, Ms. Caoilfhionn Gallagher, representing bereaved families, pushes for analysis of all the 'conspiracy' phones. DS Stuart may yet be called back to give further testimony on these, and we may yet receive clarification regarding how (or even if) Tanweer's phone was recovered.

Germaine Lindsay was said to have purchased and originally registered the phones, then transferred them to each of the others at a later time. DS Stuart makes it clear in his answers that although there was 'some slight mixing' in the use of the 'operational' phones, in that personal phones may have been used to ring an 'operational' phone number, by the time the accused were using their final set of phones, they were used solely for 'operational' purposes or calls to service providers.

Again, the implication is that this, along with clarification by DS Stuart that the use of the phones showed that the men were taking care over communications by buying prepaid unregistered phones and changing them regularly. Yet strangely, the behaviour of Hasib Hussain regarding his phone contradicts this assertion. Having earlier described how the top-up card for his 'operational phone' was found at his home address and the SIM card holder in a bag upon which Hussain's fingerprints were found, under questioning by Max Hill QC, DS Stuart details how the police knew about Hussain's personal phone:
Q. Secondly, in relation to Hasib Hussain, you analysed data relating to mobile number ********805, and two points again in relation to that. Firstly, that number was not used by Hussain on 7 July?
A. No, sir.
Q. But, secondly, through analysis of items recovered, including a SIM card, a mobile phone SIM card, found at Tavistock Square where Hussain's body was found, a download -- in other words, interrogation of the information held within that SIM card -- showed the 805 number saved within the SIM card under the title "My number"?
A. Yes, I believe that's the case.
Q. That goes towards attribution of that as a personal phone for Hussain, but one that you can say was not used on 7 July?
A. Correct, sir, yes.

If Hasib Hussain was only using this phone in the 'last few days' leading up to 7th July, then why take the trouble to program in his own personal number? Why would someone trying to 'avoid detection' do this anyway? Moreover, Hussain's personal phone was found by his brother, Imran, to contain not only Lindsay's number, but that of the keyholder for 18 Alexandra Grove, Dr Shakir Al Ani. Why program these numbers into his personal phone, if he was also in possession, at various times, of four (or more) 'conspiracy' phones. When asked by Lady Justice Hallet how the police were able to distinguish between the personal phones belonging to each men and the 'conspiracy' phones, in terms of usage, DS Stuart responds:
There was a distinct difference between the usage of the two types of phone. The personal phones all appeared to be unrelated, a lot of different people rung by them, but the enquiry showed that they were people that were known, historical friends and family. So that's why I can't remember there being anything which jumps out as being operational from a non-operational phone, my Lady.

If this is the case, why did Hussain have the 'operational' numbers found on his 'non-operational' phone by his brother, which in turn, according to the Daily Mirror, led him straight to the Alexandra Grove 'bomb factory' If Hussain was seriously trying to cover his tracks, he had made a pretty poor fist of it.

In summary, we've learned the following from DS Stuart's testimony regarding what Hugo Keith prefers to call the 'conspiracy' phones:
  • Khan's 'conspiracy' phone was too damaged to extract data from, yet counter-terrorism investigators appeared to have managed to do just that.
  • We do not know whether Tanweer had a 'conspiracy' phone with him on July 7th, because although DS Stuart mentioned calls being made from other phones to the phone attributed to Tanweer, he never mentions calls being made from that phone, nor does he mention that his phone was found at the Aldgate scene in the same way that the phones attributed to the three other men were found at the other blast sites.
  • We know that Tanweer lost his phone on 6 July but we do not know whether this was his personal phone or 'conspiracy' phone, or whether he found it before the next day. The cell siting of the car hire company call on either the 7 July according to the schedule or the 8 July according to the car hire company, would reveal the location of this phone but was not disclosed to the Inquest.
  • The four accused were trying to avoid detection to such an extent that they routinely left incriminating evidence, either in their own homes or the Alexandra Grove flat, provided a genuine address even when using a 'conspiracy' phone to arrange car hire and Hussain in particular, found a way of leading detectives straight to his personal number from his 'conspiracy' phone.
  • There may have been 15 or 19 'conspiracy' phones in total, but we have only been provided with testimony with the final 4 phones used. We were not allowed to see the contact schedule; this was "not for publication".
  • DS Stuart defines the "trade craft" use of the "conspiracy phones" thus: "Taking care over your communications, buying prepaid unregistered phones, changing them regularly to avoid detection ultimately" yet later states that Tanweer's phone, at least, was purchased, and registered, by Lindsay using a false name. Why would Lindsay go to the trouble of registering the phone at all, when an unregistered phone could so easily be purchased with a pre-paid SIM?

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Saturday 29 January 2011

7/7 Inquests: Open Justice or No Justice?

"I thought this was about open justice but now it seems to be more about getting any sort of justice."
- Clifford Tibber, legal representative for six bereaved families

On Thursday 18 November, the 7/7 Inquests will be delayed while the Appeal Court hears Home Secretary Theresa May's challenge, on behalf of the Intelligence Services, to Lady Justice Hallett's decision to hear evidence in open court. Hallett's decision to sit without a jury has already pre-empted any opportunity for 'ordinary members of the public' to see the evidence.

Her apparent 'concession' to view the evidence with the families of the bereaved and their legal representatives, without the public or press present at the hearings, appears to be the issue. The state, it would appear -- which itself could require the signing of the Official Secrets Act (or non-disclosure agreements similar to that undertaken by survivors when viewing the site reports, or those with access to the Lextranet evidence base [p17: 6] ) - by any witnesses to the evidence -- has no desire for anyone to see any of the evidence, not even those who suffered the pain of bereavement on 7 July 2005 and have had to also bear the injustice of waiting five years for the inquests while the state pursued one tenuous prosecution after another:
Most, if not all, of the relevant material can and will be put before me in such a way that national security is not threatened.

"I am all too aware, given the events of the weekend, of the unenviable task facing the Security Services. I repeat, sources may be withheld, redactions made.

"I do not intend to endanger the lives of anyone. I do not intend to allow questions which might do so. I do not intend to allow questions which I know to be based on a false premise or which I know to be misleading. There may be times when the parties will simply have to accept my ruling without demur. I may have to forbid certain questions. I may have to rephrase them.

"Finally, I wish to emphasise I do not intend to make findings adverse to the Security Services which I know to be false."

Justice Hallett appears to have already decided the parameters of the questions that will be allowed and what the outcome should be. Despite this, the Home Secretary obviously knows that there is evidence which cannot be allowed into even a very limited 'public domain'.

This raises the issue, and the spectre of Tony Blair's promise to "bring together all the evidence that we have and we will publish it so that people, the victims and others, can see exactly what happened". Wasn't all the evidence already presented to the Intelligence and Security Committee? Wasn't all the evidence contained within its final report, completed in July 2008 and eventually published in May 2009? Hallett is content to have names redacted - redactions which already exist within the ISC report - so what could the Intelligence Services possibly have known prior to the events of 7 July 2005 which cannot be presented to the public even in redacted form?
The Review addresses the many unanswered questions which arose following the conviction of the 2004 fertiliser bomb (CREVICE) plotters. In making our judgements about whether anything was missed or overlooked, we have focused on the information available at the time.

The Review contains some highly sensitive intelligence and an unprecedented level of operational detail. As a result, there are some instances where we have agreed that information must be redacted from the published version of the Review in order that individuals are not put in danger, that current operations are not compromised and that our enemies do not learn of the capabilities of the UKâ??s intelligence and security Agencies. There are also some instances where the courts have ruled that information cannot be published. These redactions have been agreed with the Agencies, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and government departments. We wish to note that the Security Service, the Metropolitan Police Service and West Yorkshire Police not only co-operated fully with our inquiries, but were helpful in seeking to ensure that we could publish as much material as possible and thereby provide the public with as full an account of these matters as possible.

It became clear that West Yorkshire Police hadn't 'co-operated fully' with the ISC when it was revealed at a pre-Inquest hearing in April 2010 that they had two set of Khan's fingerprints on file:
POLICE have only just discovered that they held the fingerprints of the ringleader of the July 7 bombings on file before the attacks, it was revealed today.

West Yorkshire Police said it "recently" found two sets of Mohammad Sidique Khan's prints in its archives - one of which dates from when he was arrested aged just 11.

The force has launched an inquiry into the records as it prepares for the upcoming inquests for those killed in the 2005 London atrocities.

West Yorkshire Police took Khan's prints for the first time when he was arrested in April 1986, aged 11, for being involved in receiving stolen goods.

The second set of prints was taken by the force in February 1993, when Khan was arrested for assault.

The records came to light after Scotland Yard contacted West Yorkshire Police last month to check whether they had the July 7 bomber's fingerprints on file.

Details of the discovery emerged at a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to decide what form the inquests should take.
West Yorkshire Police said in a statement: "In preparation for the inquests into the events of July 7 2005, West Yorkshire Police recently found two sets of fingerprints in its archives belonging to Mohammad Sidique Khan, of which it was previously unaware.

Max Hill QC, counsel for the Metropolitan Police, stressed that this was not the first time that Scotland Yard asked West Yorkshire Police for detailed information about Khan.
Source: Daily Mail
"What Have They Got To Hide"
Clifford Tibber, one of the lawyers representing families, said the decision was "outrageous".

"The coroner has already said that there are no circumstances in which she will allow the personal safety of any member of the Security Service or the interests of national security to be put at risk," said Mr Tibber.

"The prime minister and the deputy prime minister are both on record as supporting a public inquiry. The Government have twice failed to introduce legislation to hold inquests in secret and now they are trying to introduce it through the back door. What have they got to hide?"

The families of the bereaved have been refused legal aid to be represented at this hearing despite being awarded exceptional funding by the Legal Services Commission to be represented at the 7/7 Inquests.

Exceptional funding was denied to the families of the four accused men, and they now have to sit in silence while accusations of the accused's involvement go unchallenged and unquestioned. Despite Inquest law forbidding the apportioning of guilt or blame, the four accused men should rightly have remained the 'alleged' or 'apparent' bombers rather than being described as the de facto bombers. Only when or, more realistically, if the Inquests reopen into the death of the four accused - Khan, Hussain, Tanweer and Lindsay - is there likely to be an opportunity for their families to question witnesses or examine the evidence. And, even if the inquests were to be opened into the four accused, based on its decisions regarding the inquests to date, it is unlikely that the Legal Services Commission will make the same 'exceptional funding' available for them to have legal representation.

Do there exist any lawyers, many of whom have made a pretty penny on the back of so many trials of supposed 'terrorists', who would be prepared to represent the families of the accused men on a pro-bono basis or better still, for free?

Meanwhile, the families of the bereaved, all of whom have waited over five years for these Inquests to commence, rightly feel outraged at the machinations of the State in its endless attempts, cloaked beneath the all pervasive banner of 'national security', to prevent them from knowing the truth.
"The Security Service have this 'get out of jail' card to trump all others when they say it's a matter of national security. They have tried this so many times it's like crying wolf."
- Graham Foulkes, father of David Foulkes

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Monday 24 January 2011

J7 7/7 Inquest Blog: July 7th Inquests - 'Life Extinct'?

Originally posted on the 7/7 Inquests Blog: July 7th Inquests - 'Life Extinct'?

On the afternoon of November 3rd, at the 7/7 Inquests, a Dr. Morgan Costello gave evidence via a videolink from Ireland. In his testimony, Dr Morgan Costello confirmed that, as a result of his work for the Metropolitan Police Service 'providing medical services and medical assistance'...' in relation to deaths in custody', in July 2005, he was asked to attend two scenes, Edgware Road and Aldgate, for the 'purposes of certifying the extinction of life'.

Dr. Costello confirmed (page 3, lines 9-11) that 'It was very clearly described to me by the officers on the scene that they didn't want anything other than for me to pronounce life extinct on the victims'.

Dr. Costello confimed that, in July 2005, he was a consultant psychiatrist, who specialised in a specialty of psychiatry, who then went on to work full-time for the police undertaking extra qualifications in forensic and legal medicine.

Why a consultant psychiatrist was asked to pronounce on the extinction of life is not clear. Dr Costello's previous work as a consultant for the MPS, in relation to 'deaths in custody' would seem to have little bearing on the identification of numerous victims in the aftermath of an explosion, particularly in such extreme circumstances. Dr. Costello appears to have missed the 'part of a body...In fact a human spine' noticed by one of the first on the scene at Aldgate on 7th July, off-duty/plainclothes Police Sergeant Neil Kemp (transcripts Page 46, lines 7-15, 27th October pm) . The 'piece of spine' found at Aldgate was not insignificant according to the statement of Mr Nathaniel Carey read on 3 November 2010 (afternoon session, Page 16, lines 9-25).

Dr Costello confirmed that he visited the Edgware Road scene at 00.59 on Friday 8th July, and then the Aldgate scene at 08.40 on 8th July. Dr Costello also confirmed that 'there were difficult considerations to be taken into account at the time and I was very much led by the crime scene manager, and there was difficulty accessing some of the bodies or even seeing them clearly'. The crime scene manager was DC Andrew Meneely, who in his testimony given on the morning of 3rd November (Page 66) stated that he was 'attached to the Counter-terrorism Command and New Scotland Yard' as a 'forensic scene examiner' but who now works in the [Australian] Bomb Data Centre.

Dr Costello then goes on to confirm, being prompted and led by Hugo Keith through the list, that he identified (by code numbers of the bodies involved) six bodies at Edgware Road and seven bodies at Aldgate scenes as 'life extinct'.

The numbers identified by Dr. Costello should have been seven bodies at Edgware Road and eight bodies at Aldgate, if the alleged 'bombers' bodies were included. It seems incredible that Dr. Morgan Costello should miss a 30cm x 14cm x 10cm piece of spine weighing 1.852kg, particularly if this is the 'piece of spine' to which Neil Kemp makes reference to seeing on the morning of 7th July. Further, Hugo Keith is directing Dr. Costello to his two statements dated 27 September 2005, rather than to any contemporaneous records that Dr Costello may have kept on two days in July.

Despite the numbers of lives extinct pronounced at Edgware Road and Aldgate missing the alleged perpetrators in their totals, the Metropolitan Police appeared to be one step ahead of the medical professionals, or a couple of steps behind. In a period of thirteen minutes at around 6pm on the day of 7 July 2005, the Metropolitan Police issued two bulletins citing the number of deceased at each of the incident locations. The timings here, as with the entire story of 7/7, are important to note. An 18.03 bulletin claimed "there five [sic] fatalities" at Edgware Road. Yet, an update issued at 18.13 (just ten minutes later) but claiming to be based on "Latest from New Scotland Yard at 18:00" (three minutes prior the previous Metropolitan Police update) was claiming the number of victims as "7 at Edgware Road".

Also worth noting is that there is no evidence/testimony provided by Hugo Keith as he links the 'life extinct' bodies with the Edgware Road/Aldgate victims names/identities. There is no mention of the 'Identification Commission' nor any mention of any death registration particulars/rulingsby the presiding coroner, Dr Andrew Reid, in July 2005.

In fact the issue of the victims identifications are going to be 'outside the scope of the proceedings':
("3/11/10 am transcripts, Page 67")
15 Q. The issue of the bodies and their recovery and their
16 treatment is outside the scope of these proceedings by
17 order of my Lady earlier in these proceedings
This means that there will never be scrutiny of the identification issues, relating to any and all of the victims, including the alleged bombers.

Given that one of the tenets of the purposes and functions of an inquest is to establish 'who has died', we must ask:

What sort of an inquest is this?

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Wednesday 12 January 2011

7/7 Inquests: The Alleged Identification of Shehzad Tanweer


Originally posted on the 7/7 Inquests Blog: The Alleged Identification of Shehzad Tanweer

In a previous post we examined the alleged 'disintegration' of Shehzad Tanweer in the explosion on Circle Line train 204 at Aldgate/Liverpool Street, and the way in which the number of deceased at the location was consistently numbered as 7, a figure that didn't include the alleged perpetrator as one of the deceased.

It is also worth noting the following information in relation to the identification and naming of Tanweer as the alleged perpetrator of this explosion.

As we can see from the timeline above, the Pathologist report into the 'spine' was carried out on 11 July 2005. This was mentioned by pathologist Nathaniel Cary in his testimony, although during this testimony to the inquest no date was given for this examination. [Transcripts p16 lines 8]

Forensic scientist Andrew McDonald did give a date for his examination of the alleged remains of Tanweer when he noted that he had received:
"Between 13 July 2005 and 28 July 2005, 80 recovered body part samples associated with the bombings of a London Underground Tube train at Aldgate on 7 July 2005 together with 20 reference control samples from individuals known to have been present at the time of the explosion were received at the laboratory. All items were received in sealed packages.

"I was asked to carry out STR profiling tests to determine whether any of the recovered body part samples received in this case could have originated from Shehzad Tanweer. STR profiling is a sensitive DNA analysis technique. An STR profile obtained from a human body fluid, such as blood or saliva, or human body tissue can be compared with an STR profile of a given person. If the profiles are different, then the body fluid or body tissues cannot have originated from the person in question.

This ties in with the timeline given in the ISC report above -- although we now know that the viewing of the accused on CCTV at Luton station occurred some time before 12 July 2005 -- which states that the DNA analysis confirmed all four accused on 13th, 15th & 16th July.

So, let's presume that the person identified by DNA on 13 July 2005 was Shehzad Tanweer, although we cannot be certain of this, and ask ourselves how the following statement given at a press conference by Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations, Andy Hayman of the Metropolitan Police, could have been made a day earlier:
Tuesday July 12, 2005


'As regards the man who was reported missing, some of his property was found on the Route 30 bus in Tavistock Square.

'Property in the name of a second man was found at the scene of the Aldgate bomb. And in relation to a third man property in his name was found at the scene of both the Aldgate and the Edgware Road bombs.

'We also have very strong forensic and other evidence, that it is very likely one of the men from West Yorkshire died in the explosion at Aldgate. This, of course, is subject to formal confirmation by the Coroner.

What forensic evidence did the Metropolitan Police Service obtain to confirm the presence of Shehzad Tanweer by 15.47 on 12 July if, as demonstrated above, the forensics were only just beginning to be carried out a day later on 13 July 2005?

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