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INQ10105-4 Map showing Asda and Gazelle Travel, Bradford
Bombs toll may reach 74, Blair tells MPs Published Date: 12 July 2005
But the Prime Minister went out of his way to reassure British Muslims, following a string of arson and damage attacks aimed at community targets across England, including a mosque in Leeds and the Pakistan consulate in Bradford.
The Mazhirul Uloom mosque in Mile End, east London, reportedly had 19 windows broken, and damage resulting from an arson attack was caused to the door of the Pakistan consulate in Bradford, where a 27-year-old man was later arrested.
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Marcus Read is the explosives officer who was tasked with the care of the explosives found in the Nissan Micra
Meet the Metropolitan Police Terrorism Command – Implications in the run up to 2012 2010-06-09 18:00 - 2010-06-09 20:00
With Britain's terrorist threat level raised from "substantial" to "severe" and with the 2012 Games around the corner please join us for a Briefing Seminar at New Scotland Yard. With guest speakers Marcus Read , Explosives Officer, Detective Constable Clive Holland , Hostile Reconnaissance and Detective Sergeant Paul White , Counter Terrorism Security Adviser all from Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command.
Marcus Read has been a bomb-disposal operator since qualifying in the British Army in 1986. He served 20 years in the army, with operational tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. He joined the Metropolitan Police Anti Terrorist Branch in 2005 as an Explosive Officer. During his time with the police he has attended a series of major terrorist incidents including the clearance of the vehicle and bomb making factory used by the 7/7 Bombers.
Detective Sergeant Paul White is the Principal Counter Terrorism Advisor (CTSA) for the Metropolitan Police Service within the Counter Terrorism Protective Security Command. As such he leads the MPS team of CTSAs providing protective security advice to business and the public sector pan London. He has over 30 years police service and has worked within Counter Terrorism for over ten years. He has also served with the UN mission policing in Bosnia Herzegovina. Paul has a first class honours degree in Politics and History, having specialised in Irish history/politics and terrorism. He also holds a PGCE in Adult Education and is member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.
Detective Constable Clive Holland is a serving police officer with over 14 years experience in the Metropolitan Police Service. He joined the Metropolitan Police Anti Terrorist Branch in July 2002 and has worked extensively on investigations both here in the UK and abroad. He was involved in the initial investigation into the Bali nightclub attack, UK Embassy in Turkey and the London bombings in 2005. Much of his work has also involved working closely with other police agencies from USA/Canada/Australia/Europe and The Middle East. Clive has also carried out extensive investigations into bomb hoax calls across the UK as part of Operation Scope, focusing primarily on the activities of the Irish Republican Army. He joined the Operation Fairway team in 2004. The remit of this unit is to detect, deter and disrupt terrorist activity and has particular responsibility for hostile reconnaissance; potential vehicle borne improvised explosive devices and the use of forged documents.
Venue: New Scotland Yard, 8-10 Broadway, Westminster, London, SW1H 0BG Time: 18.00 - 19.45 (Registration 18.00-18.45, presentations & Q&A: 18.45 - 19.45) Price: There is no charge for this event Dress code: Business attire
Samara is a place in Russia and there are several companies with variations on that name. However the one in London is right next door to the BMA building where the explosion happened, and is owned by a British Navy veteran, described as head of the wealthiest family in Israel. This may mean nothing as there are lots of Israeli and Jewish-linked companies in the square, and the City of London generally.
"Samara" also crops up in a newspaper article as a misspelling for Hamara, the health/drop-in centre in Leeds linked to some of the 7/7 suspects and the funding group identified in that thread.
Sammy Ofer was reported to have died recently, amid a scandal where he was blacklisted by the USA for allegedly dealing with Iran in violation of sanctions (the company claimed this was with the blessing of the Israeli regime). The Sunday Times picked up a story by an American blogger called Richard Silverstein (who seemingly has Mossad sources) alleging that Ofer's ships were conveying Israeli helicopters to Iran to spy for Mossad. (The Sunday Times often spins for intelligence services).
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7 Jul 2005 Bid to stop under-cover footage fails Channel Four Dispatches resists injunction to prevent broadcast of covert filming in schools programme
The High Court yesterday rejected an attempt by two 15-year-old school children to ban footage of them appearing in a Channel Four Dispatches programme looking at discipline problems in English schools.
Alex Dolan, a supply teacher, had secretly filmed in four schools, two in Islingon (Highbury Grove School and St Aloysius Roman Catholic College) and two in Leeds (Intake High School Arts College and John Smeaton School). The footage from the two Leeds' schools and from Highbury Grove showed appalling discipline problems, including fighting in the classrooms and swearing at teachers.
The two pupils, who attended John Smeaton school in Leeds - one of the school featured in the programme - contended that broadcasting secret filming of them at school would be an infringement of their privacy. They asked the Court to restrain Channel Four from including any covert filming of them in the programme.
Channel Four resisted the injunction on the basis that the identities of all pupils on the programme had been masked and that the public interest in the subject matter outweighed any privacy interests of the two pupils.
The Judge, Mr Justice Munby, sitting at Newcastle High Court, viewed the proposed programme. He described the programme as a "serious documentary" and said that the footage of what had taken place in the classrooms of the three schools was "shocking". Refusing the injunction, he held that although the applicants did have a legitimate expectation of privacy whilst at school, those privacy rights were outweighed by the substantial public interest in the programme.
The programme, Undercover Teacher, is due to be transmitted tonight at 9pm on Channel Four as part of the Dispatches series.
5RB's Matthew Nicklin (instructed by Olswang) represented Channel Four.
A Channel 4 documentary this week claims to expose bad behaviour in inner-city classrooms, caught on hidden cameras. Tony Mooney visits one of its targets and finds a school fearful of the likely damage to its hard-won reputation
Tony Mooney The Guardian, Tuesday 5 July 2005 02.03 BST
On Thursday night, as part of its current affairs series Dispatches, Channel 4 will show a programme that the makers claim "investigates the quality of education in typical inner-city schools and the problems and pressures that both teachers and pupils face on a day-to-day basis". As part of her research, Alex Dolan, a qualified science teacher, took on supply work at 16 schools in London and Leeds and secretly filmed activities there. Four schools, two in Islington and two in Leeds, feature in the final programme.
One of the Islington schools is Highbury Grove, a purpose-built 1960s comprehensive. For a month (in the other schools, filming took between four and eight days), Dolan covertly took a camera into her classroom and those of other teachers. She has left behind a school that feels demoralised and betrayed by what it considers a distorted portrayal of how it functions.
Truda White, Highbury Grove's headteacher, is scathing about what happened: "The values and beliefs we promote at this school are centred on honesty, integrity and generosity. I will have a hard job explaining to the children that all of these were disregarded by one of their teachers, whether she was temporary or not. We are an open school with nothing to hide and all of us feel betrayed by a fellow colleague who came among us and threw our trust in her back in our faces."
Chameleon Television, which produced the programme, has written to the four school heads telling them that the issues covered will include "classroom disruption and poor pupil discipline, the inspection process and the pressure on schools to improve their comparative listing in examination league tables". The schools have been reassured that the identities of pupils will be protected, but the schools will be named. All four have been given the opportunity to "provide a spokesperson for interview to comment on the issues raised" or to "provide a written statement reflecting the school's position on these matters". None of the schools has been given the opportunity to see the film.
The letter sent to White claimed "fighting between pupils in class and in the corridors was a daily occurrence" when Dolan did her research earlier this year. "Classroom disruption preventing learning and teaching was rife" not just in Dolan's classes but in those of permanent staff.
The programme-makers claim there was no consistently applied behaviour policy at the school and that "one of the reasons that pupils behaved badly was that they knew they could get away with it".
I have not seen the film. But having been the chair of governors at a neighbouring school for the past 16 years, I can say that none of these claims is consistent with my experiences of Highbury Grove, or anecdotal evidence from parents of children at the school. The message from them is that Highbury Grove, with its nearly 1,200 pupils, has improved greatly under the leadership of White, who arrived there five years ago, two years after it started to switch from being boys-only to co-educational.
An Ofsted report in 2002 said it was an effective and improving school and an inspectors' visit to the maths department a year later reported that student behaviour and attitudes were good and discipline was not an issue.
Despite serving one of the most disadvantaged parts of Islington and hav ing 52% of students eligible for free school meals, it was named as one of the 50 fastest improving schools in the country at key stage 3. Perhaps the most revealing statistics come from an anonymous questionnaire filled in by parents last September. On a whole raft of issues, parents registered 90% strong approval.
I approached White about the possibility of verifying or disproving Channel 4's claims for myself and writing about what I found. Without hesitation, she agreed. I could wander around the school and talk to anyone. The only proviso was that I would need to have a minder in the background, because I had not been police checked.
As an ex-headteacher, I knew I needed to talk to children first. Even if they have been told what they should say, it is not difficult to provoke children into indiscretions about their school. With this in mind, I met a group of 13 pupils from years 7 to 10.
Without divulging information about the programme, of which they seemed unaware, I presented the pupils with the allegations. Every one of them seemed shocked when I suggested there might be widespread misbehaviour in the school and that not much action was taken to deal with it. Year 7 pupil Antony Middlebrook questioned the claim that some members of staff felt "senior management at the school weren't doing enough to address the problem of disruption and indiscipline or to set clear parameters for pupils".
"The deputy heads get involved a lot," he said. "They are around the corridors chasing pupils into lessons and there are always teachers on patrol. We need signed passes to be out of lessons."
Mark Feltham, also year 7, added:"If a piece of equipment goes missing in a science lesson, a deputy head is there within minutes trying to find out if it has been stolen and who has got it."
When I suggested that the school's behaviour policy was not clearly understood by pupils or staff, I was met with looks of incredulity. "The policy is in our homework diaries and it is posted around the school," said Joel Edward, a year 9 pupil. "At the beginning of each year, we have long discussions in tutor groups about the policy and how it works," added year 10 pupil Nathan Rosel.
If there is widespread misbehaviour at Highbury Grove, the pupils I talked to were not aware of it. They admitted that there were arguments between pupils and that sometimes tempers became frayed; as Alex Stokes in year 8 observed: "There are occasional fights in the playground, but these are soon broken up by senior teachers."
Channel 4's concerns about Highbury Grove were news to parents, too. Rosie Walden, headteacher of nearby Drayton Park primary, sent her son to the Grove in 1999. He is now doing A-levels at the Islington Consortium. "[He] has never mentioned any disruption in classrooms, although he would occasionally talk about problems in the playground," she said. "We would not have kept him at the school had there been any major problems. The minor ones that have occurred have always been sorted out quickly."
These sentiments were echoed by Emine and Mehmet Giritly, the parents of Cagdas, who is in year 10. "There might have been a problem with violence at the school years ago, but Cagdas has not come across it while he has been here," said Emine.
Dullette Forrester, whose niece Whitney is at the Grove, dismissed claims that staff and pupils were not clear about the behaviour policy. "We as guardians are certainly made aware of what the school is about and what it stands for. The policy highlights the responsibilities of pupils, parents and teachers."
My day in Highbury Grove confirmed what I had been told. I waited in corridors to watch lesson changes. I stood outside lessons to listen for disruptive behaviour in class. I entered classrooms to watch lessons being taught and kept doubling back on myself to make sure people were not just putting on a show. During break times and lunch, I talked to pupils, with my minder at a discreet distance. I kept asking children whether there was widespread disruption in their classes, or fights in the corridors. Unless I visited the school on an atypical day, I can truthfully report that what I saw gave me much pleasure.
Though they had to walk quite a way from one faculty to another, pupils generally arrived at their lessons on time and with a minimum of fuss. Lessons started quickly and a working atmosphere was prevalent. This was especially so in the impact centre, where misbehaving pupils are sent when they disrupt other lessons. At no lesson did I hear any noise I would not expect from a normal group of pupils.
The nearest I got to poor behaviour was in a science lesson, when a 13-year-old boy was being mildly disruptive by seeking attention from his mate when the teacher was talking. When I questioned him, he apologised and explained he had not slept and had not taken his medicine. His teacher later told me he was being treated for attention deficit disorder.
Remarkably, I heard only one swearword all day, from a pupil who muttered "oh shit" about a mistake he had made in his written work.
My questioning of pupils of both sexes and different ethnic backgrounds leads me to believe that the great majority find Highbury Grove safe and enjoyable. A teacher patrol system, with staff in contact by radio, means that when fights do occur, they are dealt with quickly.
So why did Dolan see such a different picture? She was in the school for a month; I was there for only a day. She did her research in the depths of winter; I did mine on a warm summer's day (like some adults, children can be depressed by lack of daylight and become fractious). Dolan was also a supply teacher and, rightly or wrongly, supply teachers are treated differently from other teachers. Schoolchildren like continuity, so they feel let down when their permanent teacher is absent, no matter the reason.
But our views of the school are so different that one has to ask the two questions that were constantly put to me by the staff of Highbury Grove. Did Dolan's teaching abilities affect how she related to pupils and them to her, and did the purpose of her mission alter how she interpreted what she saw? Much has been written about how researchers affect the dynamics of a situation, and this has to be taken into account when viewing Thursday's programme.
Many of the staff believe their school was not randomly selected. Islington is where Tony Blair used to live; he famously turned up his nose at its secondary schools and sent his children elsewhere. It does seem curious that, of all the inner-city schools in London, Islington provided two for the programme. The Channel 4 press office told me that Islington had been targeted because of its improving GCSE results.
"You get used to living in a goldfish bowl in Islington schools," says White, "but you just have to keep working at it for the sake of the children."
Bill Clark, director of school services at CEA@Islington, the private company that provides education services in the borough, says: "Delivering effective teaching in an inner-city school is an extremely demanding task. In our opinion, a person who is engaged in another, conflicting role - such as undercover filming to expose indiscipline in the class - is not in a position to manage a class."
CEA says it intends to report Dolan to the General Teaching Council, which regulates the profession.
A Highbury Grove statement to Dispatches echoes these concerns. "The programme-makers have refused to allow us to see the footage of our school ... before responding, making it extremely difficult to address the issues raised. The undercover journalist has betrayed the confidence and trust that was placed in her, not only by the school's management, but by the individual members of staff who welcomed her as a professional colleague," it reads. "Secret filming of this kind can only offer a highly selective view of the school, coloured by the agenda of the programme-makers. A supply teacher is not a passive observer of events, but an active and highly influential part of the environment being filmed."
For a school that is supposedly handicapped by persistent bad behaviour, Highbury Grove is able to recruit and retain some talented teachers. Nicola Garrard, an English teacher and former researcher at Cambridge University, arrived in 2002.
"I only came to gain some experience before I moved on," she says, "but I have enjoyed it so much I cannot see myself leaving."
David Hatchett is an Oxford maths graduate and was born and brought up not far from the school. "I came here because I was impressed with the diversity and the committed and positive nature of the staff," he says. "I knew the school was going in the right direction and improving the chances of very disadvantaged pupils. Despite the disadvantages, the great majority of children are good and well behaved. There may be boisterousness in corridors, but much of it is play acting and exuberance."
Recognising that some of its children have more profound behavioural needs than might be found in other schools, Highbury Grove has built up facilities to support them and recently won an award for the work it does in its centre.
The improvements are acknowledged by long-serving members of staff. Roger Digby and Brian Clancy, who between them have notched up nearly 50 years at the school, say it is much calmer than it used to be. Digby says: "Gone are the days when pupils are going to do serious damage to each other. Altercations these days are mainly of the cussing variety and easily broken up."
"Attendance, especially in the upper school, has improved markedly in recent years," adds Clancy. "There was often in the past an attendance rate of about 50% in years 10 and 11, but those days are long gone."
The ramifications of Thursday's programme could be serious for Highbury Grove. Parents can be fickle and the slightest whiff of controversy can lead to a fall in numbers applying to a school.
"Those who know the school will just not believe what they see," insists White. "But from what we have been told about the programme, for others it will merely reinforce the stereotype of the inner-city school."
As the school's statement to Dispatches points out: "Next week, the programme makers will move on to another target, and our school, our students and our community will be left to deal with the consequences."
In defence of Dolan
A spokesman for Channel 4 defended the programme and the use of undercover filming. "The film shows that children are being let down and betrayed every day of the week. The programme shows some shockingly bad behaviour, but more worrying is the failure of the inspections system.
We are absolutely satisfied that Alex [Dolan] was doing a very good job. Teaching was her priority every day she was in the school. When you watch the film, she is quite obviously a good teacher." Dolan taught for two years before moving into television, though she "kept her hand in" with supply teaching. "Her experience in supply work led her to want to make this film."
· Dispatches: undercover teacher is on Channel 4 on Thursday evening
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Originating from a working class /ethnic background and despite achieving moderately at school, Hanif Malik has progressed to become the Chief Executive of the Hamara Healthy Living Centre in Leeds.
He has served on a number of strategic boards at a local and regional level and is described as ‘a leading community figure in Leeds.
Hanif is a strong advocate of the Third Sector and has a keen interest in sport and in enabling individuals and community organisations to be given the opportunity to enhance participation and achieve excellence.
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Further links at source
JC apology to Tafazal Mohammed
Friday, 14 October 2011 15:48
The Jewish Chronicle has printed an apology to Tafazal Mohammed for a defamatory front page article by political editor, Martin ‘The Great Koran Con Trick’ Bright, which falsely branded Mohammed a ‘jihadist’ and attacked the organisation Forward Thinking for hosting him at a parliamentary event in 2009. The article also lambasted the Jewish philanthropic organisation, The Pears Foundation, for giving financial support to Forward Thinking’s work.
The original article (now removed from the website) stated that,
“Forward Thinking, a charity which claims to promote "greater understanding" between "the diverse grassroots Muslim communities and the wider society", invited Tafazal Mohammad, who attended a training camp with the bomber, to a reception in Parliament in 2008. “The organisation's latest published annual report thanks the Pears Foundation for funding.
“Mr Mohammad was last week named in the coroner's report into the 7/7 attacks as someone viewed by MI5 as a "suspected terrorist sympathiser". He was a trustee of the jihadist bookshop Iqra in Beeston, Leeds, which acted as a hub for extremists.”
However, as Bob Pitt at Islamophobia Watch has written,
“If you actually take the trouble to look through the material on the 7/7 inquest website none of this holds up. It is true that the coroner's report did include Tafazal Mohammad among a list of individuals she described as "suspected terrorist sympathisers". But the senior MI5 officer who gave evidence at the inquest was far more circumspect. He stated only that Mohammad had been identified as an "individual of interest" based on his presence at an "outward bound" camp in the Lake District in January 2001 attended by 40 young Muslim men, one of whom was later found “to be Mohammed Sidique Khan.
"This was one of a series of such camps that had been placed under surveillance by MI5 and West Yorkshire Police because some of the individuals involved had been identified (with what accuracy we don't know) as extremists. But Tafazal Mohammad, who had previously been unknown to the police or the security service, wasn't one of them. Furthermore, a submission to the inquest by MI5 stated: "There had been no indication of illegal activity seen on any camps and no intelligence to suggest that such activity was a likely development."
Mohammed has never been charged with any criminal offences relating to terrorism or otherwise and all accusations against him have not held up under scrutiny.
The JC has today printed the following retraction:
"On 13 May 2011 we published articles which suggested that Tafazal Mohammed was a Jihadist who may have supported violent extremism. We accept that this is not the case and that Mr Mohammed unequivocally condemns acts of violence, including the 7/7 bombings. We are happy to put this right and apologise to him for any distress caused."
The apology appears in a tiny paragraph at the bottom on page 3 of today’s paper and hardly does justice to the fact that the original articles were front page news.
This wouldn’t be the first time that the JC attempted to demonise British Muslims and cast unwarranted aspersions on their credentials. In 2009, Martin Bright attacked the appointment of Asim Hafeez as head of intervention in the Office of Security and Counter Terrorism stating that the appointment had caused ”serious concern among more moderate Muslim advisers across Whitehall. It is seen as a sign of a shift in the government’s policy on radical Islam away from engagement with more moderate groups.”
Of course we know Bright and the JC’s idea of “more moderate groups”.
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Magdy El Nashar, pictured holding one of his sons with his family in Cairo, says his name remains on an Egyptian blacklist and he has been banned from most travel. Courtesy of Magdy El Nashar
Egyptian biochemist wrongly accused over London attacks living in limbo
CAIRO // More than seven years after an Egyptian biochemist was wrongly accused of being the mastermind behind the 2005 suicide attacks in London, his life remains in limbo from the stigma of that association.
Magdy El Nashar, 40, became tangled up in an international security alert when he unwittingly helped rent a flat in Leeds, England, where he was studying for his doctorate, to 19-year-old Jermaine Lindsay before leaving on a six-week holiday to Cairo. Two weeks later, on July 7, Lindsay was one of four suicide bombers who blew themselves up in attacks they planned on the London Underground and a double-decker bus that killed 52 passengers.
Police said the flat was used as a bomb-making lab and began a global manhunt, suspecting Mr El Nashar was the brains behind the operation.
Mr El Nashar said he was arrested because his mobile number was found on Lindsay's phone. He said he was introduced to Lindsay through mutual friends who thought he could help find him a flat.
In the ordeal that followed, he was interrogated, jailed in isolation and, even though his name was eventually cleared by police, banned from most travel because his name remains on an Egyptian government blacklist.
He and his family have tried to move on with their lives and have applied to immigrate from Egypt to Australia. But the stigma of the wrongful association seems to haunt the family, whose immigration application was sent to national security last year. Mr El Nashar has yet to receive an answer, which he attributes to the false accusations.
Mr l Nashar and his wife, a British convert to Islam, are also struggling financially because the travel ban has limited his career opportunities. However, he has secured some work as an associate professor.
"I'm not achieving what I'd like to achieve with my career and its stressful financially," said Mr El Nashar, who now has three young children all born in Egpyt. "We're struggling."
While his role in the London attacks was just a footnote, he is haunted by the experience.
Mr El Nashar was arrested on July 14, 2005, a week after plainsclothes police took him from a Cairo mosque where he was praying.
"They took me away in their car, I had no idea where they were taking me and I couldn't speak. When I asked where they were taking me they put a blindfold over my face and told me not to speak again," Mr El Nashar said.
He only realised the extent of the trouble he was in when the interrogators turned on a television, which showed footage of crowds in London carrying banners with his name and photo. "When they told me what was happening, I said 'it is impossible'," he said.
"All I saw was people on the street holding photos of me with awful names, saying I'm a monster and things like 'the beast' and 'gang leader'."
Threatened with the death penalty if found guilty, Mr El Nashar was bombarded with questions from a host of interrogators.
"They didn't do anything physically wrong, but mentally it was really, really hard," he said. "It was inhuman the way they treated me, it was very humiliating and the way they questioned me made me feel it was the end of my life."
He said the interrogators repeatedly accused him of trying to evade their questions and called him a terrorist, banning him from calling a lawyer or his family.
Two days later, he was transferred to an isolation cell where he spent the remainder of his 28 days in a Cairo prison with little outside contact.
"At one point I gave up hope and thought to myself: 'I know many people jailed in Egypt for many years without knowing the reason and I thought I'd be just another one of them. I might as well forget about a future'," Mr El Nashar said.
At one point, he was told the British investigation had cleared him of all charges but he was not released for another five days.
"I thought now the Egyptian authorities would let me go, but the next day nothing happened and I thought, 'I'm going to die here'," he said.
Egypt's prisons, under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, were notorious for holding prisoners believed to be connected with or part of radical Islamist groups without charges for many years.
In 2010, human-rights groups estimated that there were more than 10,000 people in detention, some of whom had been held for over a decade.
Even after his release, officials from London's Scotland Yard visited him in Cairo and at one point requested DNA samples from him to prove he was not involved in the bombings.
In a 2010 letter Mr El Nashar received confirmation from Scotland Yard that his DNA was "not found on any item that is designated as significant to the investigation. It is fully accepted that you had no criminal role within the investigation and became unwittingly involved without any knowledge as to what was to take place."
It became clear that the connection to Lindsay was nothing more that one neighbour helping another find a flat, he said.
"If you Google my name now all you see are these headlines related to the terrorist attacks and of course employers see this," he said.
"When I was released one journalist asked me a question which has stuck in my mind: 'Are you being punished just for helping someone?' Actually, that's what it feels like it."