Bomb plot: Suicide videos modelled on 7 July ringleader
Monday 08 September 2008
The defendants modelled their suicide videos on a recording made by 7 July ringleader Mohammad Sidique Khan.
The Edgware Road bomber's chilling recording was first aired on Arab television six weeks after the 2005 attacks on London.
Tapes and videos of Khan were found at the homes of Umar Islam and Waheed Zaman.
They hoped their violent messages would send similar shockwaves around a world still reeling from the mid-air atrocities.
But instead the Walthamstow bedroom recordings were a gift to police and provided damning evidence.
One counter terrorist source said the videos were "hugely significant" in the prosecution case against the men.
Officers first realised so-called martyrdom tapes existed when the bug at 386a Forest Road picked up Umar Islam recording his video on August 9.
When they swooped on the gang that evening they found seven videos, two in Assad Sarwar's car and the rest in the garage of his High Wycombe home.
Each recording was set up in an almost identical way to Khan's tape, which was possibly produced while he was in Pakistan.
An almost identical video by his fellow bomber Shehzad Tanweer was released on the first anniversary of the bombings.
The east London gang all wore a similar black overcoat and traditional headscarf to Khan, with a black and white flag covered in Arabic script in the background.
The simple style echoed dozens of al Qaida videos made by jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan circulated on fundamentalist websites.
In common with Khan's video, the men attacked Western foreign policy, talked of their own self-sacrifice and referred to other terrorist fighters following their example.
Importantly, and like Khan, none of the men speak directly about what they planned to do.
Six of the defendants recorded videos: Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Ibrahim Savant, Waheed Zaman, Tanvir Hussain, Umar Islam and Arafat Waheed Khan.
Waheed Khan recorded two tapes, probably because his first was short, unconvincing and riddled with mistakes.
Ringleader Ali recorded the longest video and directed the efforts of the other five men from behind the camera with a laptop autocue.
His comments set the tone, style and content and he encouraged the others to work hard on their scripts.
He said: "Sheikh Osama warned you many times to leave our lands or you will be destroyed, and now the time has come for you to be destroyed.
"And you have nothing but to expect that floods of martyr operations, volcanoes and anger and revenge and raping among your capital.
"And yet, taste that what you have made us taste for a long time, and now you have to bear the fruits that you have sown."
Ali added: "We will take our revenge and anger, ripping amongst your people and scattering the people and your body parts and your people's body parts responsible for these wars and oppression decorating the streets."
The videos also included curious British references, with Ali accusing people of showing more concern for animals than Muslims by organising foxhunting demonstrations.
Islam said the British were too busy watching Home and Away and EastEnders, or complaining about football, to care about foreign affairs.
The jury failed to reach verdicts on Savant, Khan, Zaman and Islam today.
They had argued their videos were hoaxes.
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