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Monday, August 09, 2004

Connections among terrorists?
Britain is shocked!

The Sunday Mirror (UK): A photo of a young man cradling an AK47 rifle was found inside the London home of Osama bin Laden's UK suspected UK terror chief. The extraordinary image shows a grim-faced Palestinian with staring eyes cradling a Kalashnikov rifle.

The camouflaged gunman, whose face is obscured for legal reasons, stares coldly into the camera. Behind him the wall shows a map of the Middle East with Jewish place names replaced in Arabic.

The shocking picture was found in the grimy, one-bedroom flat where al-Qaeda's suspected UK chief Abu al-Hindi and four other men were arrested on Tuesday. The picture could be of al-Hindi himself - or one of those arrested with him over an alleged truck bomb plot on Heathrow airport.

It had been abandoned along with other photographs and personal papers belonging to the men now being quizzed by anti-terror police.

Three of al-Hindi's flatmates in the dingy £780 a month, ground floor flat in Willesden, North London, were Palestinian asylum seekers.

Laptop computers seized from the rooms were last night being examined by police computer experts and Arabic translators.

Today we can reveal that:

  • One man had been ordered to train as a suicide bomber with Islamic terror group Hamas.
  • Another had got through the first interview stage for a job building Heathrow's Terminal 5 extension.
  • The third once lived in a notorious Beirut refugee camp linked to terror groups.

Yesterday the flat - home to a succession of young Arab and Asian men in recent months - lay abandoned, its windows and doors still smashed open after the raid.

Inside, the living room wall is decorated with a black Palestinian flag and literature about Palestinian politics is scattered about.

The Sunday Mirror has learned that one of the men is a 19-year-old Palestinian who claims his father is a senior PLO official and friend of its leader Yasser Arafat. He claims he fled Lebanon after being tortured and forced to join the militant Islamic group Hamas - where he was ordered to train as a suicide bomber.

Another, aged 25, was from the Sabra refugee camp in Beirut - a notorious recruiting ground for Palestinian suicide bombers.

The third, aged 22, had got through a first round of interviews to work on the construction of the new Heathrow Terminal 5.

Yesterday security chiefs hailed the arrest of al-Hindi - who operated under a variety of names - as a major blow against al-Qaeda's UK cell. They claimed that he had organised detailed surveillance of key bombing targets in the UK and US and compiled dozens of detailed drawings and diagrams.

They also suspect he may have been involved in planning the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.

The official report into the tragedy refers to al-Hindi as Issa Al Britani and claims he was sent to the US in early 2001 to identify key Jewish and economic targets in New York. It is thought the US authorities will now seek his extradition.

You should read it - the whole thing sounds phenomenally naive. I want to say, well of course the Palestinians are involved with al Qaeda, of course they have maps of Israel as an Arab entity, of course they are identifying Jewish targets, of course they seek (and have) jobs at the airport. What did you think?

As more and more people start to wake up to the war that is upon us, I have to bite my tongue and not castigate them for oversleeping. Better that I should only say, Boker tov . . .

Good morning.