Shehzad Tanweer

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Shehzad Tanweer
Born Shehzad Tanweer
(1982-12-15)December 15, 1982
Bradford, West Yorkshire UK
Died July 7, 2005(2005-07-07) (aged 22)
Circle Line train between Liverpool Street and Aldgate, City of London, London, UK

Shehzad Tanweer (December 15, 1982 – July 7, 2005) was one of four men[1] who detonated explosives in three trains on the London Underground and one bus in central London during the 7 July 2005 London bombing. 52 people were killed and over 700 wounded in the attacks.

Tanweer was named by Scotland Yard as the man who detonated a bomb while travelling eastbound on the Circle Line between Liverpool Street and Aldgate, killing both himself and seven of the 52 killed in the attacks.[2] The other three men were identified as Hasib Hussain, Germaine Lindsay, and Mohammad Sidique Khan. All four homegrown terrorists were killed in the explosions.

Biography[edit]

Tanweer was born in St Luke's maternity hospital, Bradford to Parveen Akhtar, whose husband, Mohammed Mumtaz Tanweer, was originally from the Faisalabad region of Pakistan. In 1984, the family moved to the Beeston area of Leeds, then to Colwyn Road (also in Beeston) when Tanweer was seven. Known as Kaka (little one) by his family,[3] he attended Wortley High School, where he was described as politically moderate by his friends, who knew him as an outstanding sportsman, excelling at cricket, triple jump, long-distance running, football, and ju-jitsu.[1] .[4] He then attended Leeds Metropolitan University, where he studied sports science before leaving for Pakistan in 2004 to attend a course in Islamic studies.

At the time of his death, Tanweer is believed to have worked occasionally in his father's fish and chip shop. His father had previously owned a curry takeaway and a butcher's shop and was respected locally as a prominent businessman.

Tanweer attended several mosques including Bengali and Stratford Street mosque in Beeston, where two of the other London bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan and Hasib Hussain, are also believed to have worshipped. He also frequented the Hamara Youth Access Point, a drop-in centre for teens, alleged to have been used as a recruitment centre by Khan.[5]

Police have confirmed that Khan and Tanweer went on a two-hour rafting trip together on June 4, 2005 at the National Whitewater Centre in Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Forensic evidence found in rucksacks after the abortive July 21 London attacks has linked those attacks to a second group of young men of Asian appearance who booked a rafting trip there on the same day as Tanweer and Khan [6][7]

Relatives in Pakistan have said that Tanweer had boasted of wanting to die as a "holy warrior" and that he was enamoured with Osama bin Laden. They noted that incidents such as the Qur'an desecration controversy of 2005 had "always been in his mind".[8] Tanweer's body was buried at the shrine of a local Islamic saint in Tanweer's ancestral village in Samundari, Pakistan on October 27, 2005.[9]

Trip to Pakistan[edit]

After completing the hajj earlier in the year, Tanweer travelled to Pakistan for a course in Islamic studies at a madrasa. The Pakistani government has released footage of Tanweer arriving at Karachi International Airport with Mohammad Sidique Khan, believed to be the ringleader of the London bombers, on Turkish Airlines Flight TK 1056 on November 19, 2004. Tanweer and Khan stayed in Pakistan until February 8, then flew back to London together. The youngest of the London cell, Hasib Hussain, arrived in Karachi from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on July 15, 2004 on Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight SV 714.[10]

Intelligence sources say the school was located in Muridke, Pakistan, 20 miles outside Lahore, named Jamia Manzoorul Islam and is believed to be connected with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a banned militant Islamist group. The madrasa has denied any connection with Tanweer.

It is believed there was a meeting in Faisalabad between Tanweer and Osama Nazir, a suspected member of Jaish-e-Mohammed, who has since been arrested for his role in a grenade attack on a church in Islamabad that killed five. Investigators also believe that Tanweer may have met Zeeshan Siddiqui, who is associated with a number of militant groups and who was arrested in Pakistan two months ago.[citation needed]

London bombing[edit]

2005 London bombings

Main articles
Timeline of the 2005 London bombings
7 July 2005 London bombings
21 July 2005 London bombings
Jean Charles de Menezes
Reactions to the 2005 London bombings
21 July 2005 London bombings trial

7 July bombers
Mohammad Sidique Khan · Shehzad Tanweer
Germaine Lindsay · Hasib Hussain

21 July bombers
Yasin Hassan Omar · Osman Hussain
Muktar Said Ibrahim · Ramzi Mohammed

Locations
London Underground
Aldgate · Tavistock Square
King's Cross · Liverpool Street · Oval
Russell Square · Shepherd's Bush
Warren Street

Related articles
September 11 attacks
2001 shoe bomb plot
2002 Bali bombings
2004 Madrid train bombings
11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings
2006 transatlantic aircraft plot
2007 London car bombs
2007 Glasgow International Airport attack
2008 Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing
Saajid Badat · Richard Reid
Attacks on the London Underground
2010 Stockholm bombings
2011 Norway attacks
Boston Marathon bombings


A few days before the bombing, Tanweer rented a red Nissan Micra from a local car-rental agency, and at around the same time, dyed his hair and eyebrows light brown, according to friends; this was due to the strong bleaching effect given off by the bombs' ingredients .

On 7 July Tanweer, Khan, Hussain, and Lindsay are believed to have picked up the bombs from a house in the Burley area of Leeds, hiding them in large rucksacks, then to have driven to Luton, Bedfordshire in the red Nissan, which he left parked in Luton railway station car park.

In Luton, the men boarded the 07.48 Thameslink train, arriving at King's Cross in London at 08.20 hours, where they went their separate ways and detonated their bombs.

London Underground Ltd has confirmed that the three underground bombs exploded within 60 seconds of each other at 8:50 a.m.

Tanweer travelled eastbound on the Circle line from Kings Cross, detonating his bomb on train number 204 between Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations, also killing at least seven people. He was identified from body parts found in the carriage he blew up.[2]

After the bombings, police found 16 other bombs in Tanweer's car, several of them so-called "initiators" for the rucksack bombs: plastic bottles turned into nail bombs, containing a detonator attached to an electrical cable. Felt-roofing nails were fixed to the outside of the bottles with their tips pointing outwards, apparently intended to cause maximum soft-tissue damage. The devices would then have had cakes of high explosive packed around them.

Video statement[edit]

On 6 July 2006, a video statement by Tanweer was broadcast by Al-Jazeera. In the video, which included remarks by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, Tanweer said:

"What have you witnessed now is only the beginning of a string of attacks that will continue and become stronger until you pull your forces out of Afghanistan and Iraq. And until you stop your financial and military support to America and Israel." Tanweer argued that the non-Muslims of Britain deserve such attacks because they voted for a government which "continues to oppress our mothers, children, brothers and sisters in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya" [11][12]

Tanweer's statement was therefore clearer in making this link with British foreign policy than that of Mohammad Sidique Khan, the presumed lead bomber. The video has also served to solidify speculation that both Khan and Tanweer had contact with Ayman Al-Zawahiri and other senior figures in the Al-Qaeda organisation while in Pakistan.[13]

The video also featured a segment by Adam Yahiye Gadahn.

Assets[edit]

Tanweer left behind £121,000, but left no will. A spokesman for the probate department at the High Court said: “The net amount figure of £121,000 is the realisable figure which is what is left after taxes and debts on the estate have been deducted."[14]

Girlfriend[edit]

Tanweer's religious credentials as a serious Islamic extremist were cast in a questionable light when, in 2011, evidence emerged that he had a 'secret girlfriend' with whom he had been intimately involved until the very end, for a period of three years beginning in 2002. This evidence seems to cast Tanweer in a somewhat contradictory light, as sex outside of marriage is deeply frowned upon in even the most liberal Islamic circles, being assigned the label of a major sin in traditional Islamic Jurisprudence."[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Suicide bomber profile: The cricketer". London: Daily Mail. 2005-07-14. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  2. ^ a b Bennetto, Jason; Herbert, Ian (2005-07-13). "From Leeds to London via Luton: the deadly mission of a suicide squad". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  3. ^ Parker, Mushtak (2005-07-14). "Police Step Up Hunt for London Blasts Mastermind, 5th Suspect". Arab News. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  4. ^ "Aldgate Shehzad Tanweer". The Times (London). 2005-07-14. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  5. ^ Laville, Sandra; Gillan, Audrey; Aslam, Dilpazier (2005-07-15). "'Father figure' inspired young bombers". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  6. ^ "British police look into rafting trip". CNN. 2005-07-25. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  7. ^ Carter, Helen (2005-07-25). "Police fear fifth bomber at large". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  8. ^ Cousin listened to boasts about suicide mission by Daniel McGrory and Zahid Hussain, The Times, 22 July 2005
  9. ^ "London suicide bomber buried in Samundari village". Daily Times. 2005-10-28. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  10. ^ Harding, Luke; Cowan, Rosie (2005-07-19). "Pakistan militants linked to London attacks". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  11. ^ Fresco, Adam; McGrory, Daniel; Norfolk, Andrew (2006-07-06). "Video of London suicide bomber released". Times Online. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  12. ^ "Video of 7 July bomber released". BBC News. 2006-07-06. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  13. ^ Oneill, Sean (2006-07-06). "Analysis Tanweer video gives credence to alQaeda link". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  14. ^ Tube suicide bomber left mystery £121,000
  15. ^ 7/7 Bomber's Girlfriend tells Court About Secret Affair

Further reading[edit]