HELL'S ANGELS, THE TARTAN TALIBAN, AND THE SBS
A former Hell's Angel who worked at the Iqra bookshop in Leeds, Martin Gilbertson, claims that the most vocal of all those he worked with was not any of the four accused but a white convert to Islam; ex-SBS soldier and anti-terrorist operative Martin 'Abdullah' McDaid. Gilbertson said,“Martin 'Abdullah' McDaid did most of the talking, most of the ranting and raving; and as an ex-Marine, he knew about matters military.”24Given his background, McDaid has featured surprisingly little in connection with the story of 7/7. McDaid's apparent volte-face conversion from one of the highest levels of Defence of the Realm to 'radical Islamism', is still something of an unexplained and largely uninvestigated mystery. Also in close proximity to the four accused is another white convert to Islam, James McLintock, also with links to the Iqra bookshop. McLintock is a former fighter with the Mujahideen, also known by the Islamic name Mohammed Yacoub/Yaqub, and who has been arrested on separate occasions “on suspicion of terrorist activities”25, usually in the vicinity of Afghanistan/Pakistan border.
Have any of these individuals been questioned by police in connection with 7/7?
Gilbertson told a Guardian journalist,“I spent a lot of time repairing their PCs, and clearing viruses they had picked up from Jihad websites, put there, I think, by the Americans. When the Jihad sites were closed down, they were often replaced by pornographic sites, again - I think - by the Americans. At one point, the police took McDaid's Laptop computer and stripped it down - I had to repair it. Naveed also had his home computer taken by the police, and I helped him build a new one.”26In a separate interview with BBC Newsnight's Richard Watson, Gilbertson revealed that the seizure of computers happened in early 2004.27
Why has there never been any mention of the police seizure of computers from the Iqra in early 2004? When did this raid take place? What prompted the raid? What information and data was garnered from these computers and how was it acted upon?
24 'When I heard where the bombers were from I felt sick' | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
25 Profile: James McLintock - Times Online
26 'When I heard where the bombers were from I felt sick' | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited
27 YouTube - 7.7 London Suicide Bombers
Martin Gilbertson's claim that he was so concerned about the goings-on at the Iqra bookshop in Beeston -- a claim which played out in the media to include Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer -- that he contacted West Yorkshire Police in 2003 was thoroughly discredited by counsels to the Inquests, the bereaved and West Yorkshire Police. Gilbertson's statements to the police, one of which was taken over two days in a hotel because Gilbertson 'feared for his safety', and his testimony to the Inquests, came under close scrutiny and sustained attack until he was eventually asked by Mr Beggs, counsel for West Yorkshire Police:
Q. Is that because, Mr Gilbertson, the sad truth is that you are an egocentric self-publicist, a fantasist, exaggerator, speculator, irresponsible individual?Whether Gilbertson did or did not attempt to warn West Yorkshire Police in 2003 about the Iqra bookshop in Beeston is truly a red herring, particularly if information revealed to the Inquests during his testimony is correct. Hugo Keith informed Gilbertson and the public of the following:
Q. It's a significant issue, Mr Gilbertson, you must be aware, because although it's perhaps less important now because my Lady and the parties in these proceedings are now aware that McDaid was known to the Security Service and West Yorkshire Police since at least 1998, and suspected of being involved in extremist activities since then, you have alleged repeatedly, outside these proceedings, to the press and elsewhere, that you attempted to bring your concerns about radical extremism to the attention of the police.[ibid p52:8]West Yorkshire Police and the 'Security Services' knew all about Martin McDaid and Iqra, so why the need for this farce? Instead of the media covering Gilbertson's 'warning West Yorkshire Police' over the 5½ years since 7/7, why haven't we been hearing about what they already knew and what they had apparently known for some 7 years before 7th July 2005?
Richard Watson reporting on BBC Newsnight 9th May 2007.
Mark Hargreaves, a youth worker who gave evidence to the Inquests prior to Gilbertson, described how he began working with Martin McDaid in 2001, as well as a previously unmentioned individual, Max Gillespie also known as Abdul Rahman:
Q. In your statement to the police, you describe how, when you did start to work with them at Tempest Road, you worked in a room in the rear of the building and you saw hateful, deeply offensive pictures and videos, and these were shown to you by the person you knew to be called Martin McDaid. Is that right?Rewind to the outlining of Preventability issues at the Inquests and Martin McDaid's name is first mentioned in connection with Beeston and Iqra by Hugo Keith on 2 February 2011:
Q. Did you see where this material was coming from or where it was going?
A. As far as where it came was concerned, I have no idea, but there were a number of times when they told me they were travelling of a weekend to other cities to distribute this material to other Iqra bookshops indeed.
Q. When you say they told you, who were they?
A. That would be Martin McDaid and Max Gillespie, who was also known as "Abdulraqman"*.
Q. Did you gain any understanding of where precisely the material was being distributed, which parts of the country, for example?
A. Two that I recall clearly. One was Glasgow and the other one was Birmingham. [ibid p6:16]
Q. In summary, you describe in your statement how it was obvious to you that this individual, McDaid, was whipping up hatred. Is that a view that you adhere to now, you're still of that view, that that was what was being done?
A. Yes, definitely. [p13:4]
* the name given by Hargreaves was definitely Abdul Rahman
My Lady, may I now turn to the issue of preventability? This issue concerns whether the atrocities on 7 July could reasonably have been prevented by way of some sort of intervention by the Security Service or the police, in essence the state. [p88:20]This at least fills in some of the redactions (perhaps) in the ISC II report:
.... West Yorkshire Police to a number of people, including a suspected extremist called McDaid on account of their joint attendance at a training camp in the Lake District in January 2001. Mohammed Sidique Khan had also attended the camp and a photograph was taken of him but a source to whom West Yorkshire Police subsequently showed the photo failed to recognise or identify him. Some time after the camp, in April 2003, McDaid was seen briefly to get into a car that subsequent checks established was a car registered to a Mr Sidique Khan of 11 Gregory Street. [p98:1]
A joint West Yorkshire Police and MI5 operation named Operation Warlock was active in the area from at least January 2001. Although McDaid was known to MI5 and West Yorkshire Police as far back as 1998, the two people we can surmise from Inquests evidence that were under surveillance were Tafazal Mohammed and Martin 'Abdullah' McDaid. This is the same Tafazal Mohammed that set up and ran the Iqra bookshop and learning centre at which ex-SBS McDaid was 'whipping up hatred'. Did West Yorkshire Police and MI5 really need Gilbertson's DVDs and evidence to know what was going on there?
According to the ISC timeline above, checks were carried out on Khan's BMW on 16 April 2003 after he was seen giving a lift to the 'known extremist' McDaid. Khan was assessed as having no significance following a two day joint West Yorkshire Police/MI5 surveillance operation, Operation Honeysuckle, which ran on 14/15 April 2003. By coincidence. or perhaps not, the very same date a camping trip run by Max Gillespie/Abdul Rahman, and attended by at least Tafazal if not McDaid also, took place:
Were photographs taken of this camp in the same way that they were during the 'Operation Warlock' Lake District camp in 2001? Note that Operation Warlock apparently failed to identify Mohammed Sidique Khan, despite the image below, seemingly excised from video surveillance footage captured on a 3-hour long tape.
Information garnered during 'Operation Honeysuckle' was adduced in a summary prepared for the Inquests by West Yorkshire Police. The summary identifies 49 Bude Road, the Iqra bookshop and charity, and shows the association with McDaid is clearly known:
The West Yorkshire Police summary also highlights that the charity registration details and the trustees of the Iqra charity were investigated. Mohammed Sidique Khan was an Iqra trustee in 2003, so once again his name was also known:
Information passed to J7 revealed that the 'security services' tipped off a newspaper in 2002 with information about Martin McDaid. Although the original article is not available online, it was referenced in a Times article of June 2006 which examined Gilbertson's story:
Contrary to the government’s claims, this hotbed of extremism had not gone unnoticed by MI5. In early 2002 a source within the security services was sufficiently concerned about McDaid to tip off a journalist on this newspaper about him. The source alleged that young Muslims were being taken on outdoor pursuits courses as part of training for possible terrorist attacks. Inquiries were made but nobody in the local community was willing to talk.The tip-off was that McDaid, the ex-Special Boat Service soldier cum 'radical' 'extremist' convert to Islam, was training people in the countryside. However, the security services refused to provide a picture of McDaid to accompany the story, suggesting that the security services were happy for the legend about a 'Muslim' 'extremist' "training for possible terrorist attacks" to be known, but without anyone being able to identify him by appearance. J7's source believes that McDaid's name (without an accompanying identifying photograph) was only passed to the newspaper to provide cover and credibility for McDaid within the local community.
From the ISC report we also note that between Operation Warlock (2001) and Operation Honeysuckle (2003) another operation began in late March 2003. This was Operation Crevice, which was to lead, a year later, to the arrests and prosecution of the 'fertiliser bomb plot', a prosecution in which Mohammed Junaid Babar played a central part by testifying against the accused. At around the same time (Spring 2003 according to the Metropolitan Police Service) Mohammed Junaid Babar was engaged in his second trip to the UK during which he apparently met with Mohammed Sidique Khan in Leeds. This was in April 2003 according to Hassan Butt. Who else did Mohammed Junaid Babar travel to Leeds to meet? Was Babar in the locality around the time of Operation Honeysuckle, the 14-15 April 2003?
Operation Crevice was initially and apparently an investigation into Mohammed Quayyam Khan aka 'Q'. J7 also highlighted the dubious credentials of 'Q' in our submission to the Inquests regarding issues of Preventability:
During the 2007 trial of the Crevice suspects, it was claimed that the mysterious figure known as 'Q'7, later identified as Mohammed Quayyum Khan, had recruited both Mohammad Sidique Khan and Omar Khyam; the latter of whom is the alleged ringleader of the fertiliser bomb plot investigated via Operation Crevice. Questions were asked after the Crevice trial regarding why 'Q' was not arrested along with the others.Information about Operation Crevice contained within the ISC report directly linked Mohammed Sidique Khan to 'Q' through a number of July 2003 phone calls to a phone registered in Mohammed Sidique Khan's name to 49a Bude Road. 49a Bude Road is of course the address of the Iqra bookshop of which, in 2003, Mohammed Sidique Khan was a trustee.
BBC Panorama reporter, Peter Taylor, challenged DAC Peter Clarke with the following questions during an episode entitled 'Real Spooks'8, broadcast in May 2007:TAYLOR: Why was 'Q' never arrested?A simple, “No.” from Clarke might have sufficed if indeed it was the case that 'Q' had no connection to the police or security services.
CLARKE: Decisions are made during the course of investigation based upon the evidence that's available, and the decision as to who should be arrested is based entirely upon what evidence is available at the time.
TAYLOR: Was 'Q' not arrested possibly because he was working for you or MI5?
CLARKE: I'm not prepared to comment on any speculation like that. It's pure speculation.
TAYLOR: Where is 'Q' now?
CLARKE: I said I'm not prepared to talk about 'Q'.
Was Mohammed Quayyum Khan ever questioned or investigated in connection to 7th July? Why wasn't he included on the blacklists of al-Qaeda financiers
7 Bomb plotters' al-Qa'eda 'link' still in Britain - Telegraph
8 BBC NEWS | Programmes | Panorama | Real Spooks: transcript
As Gilbertson found out to his cost, 'only the truth stands up under scrutiny'. The same goes for MI5 when their chosen Corporate Spook is called to give testimony next week.