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Bombing suspect claims innocence

Failed bombing suspect claims innocence; say action was simply form of protest
Last modified: 10 Mar 2013 22:39

When the email from a friendly contact popped into my inbox last autumn it grabbed my interest straight away.

There was just one line. It read , Want to talk to me about the 21/7 appeal?"

Of course I would . Partly because I simply couldn't imagine what could undermine the seemingly rock solid evidence that put a bunch would-be mass murderers in jail for 40 years.

Anyone living in London in July 2005 remembers it as an extraordinary time for the UK capital. 

A total of 52 people died in a bomb attack on the city's transport system. An innocent man wrongly identified as a possible suicide bomber was shot dead by police as he took his seat on a train carriage.

And on the 21st July a team of five bombers carried out what appeared to be an entirely inept attempt to kill dozens more commuters.

But as I found out, there does appear to be a flaw in their convictions for conspiracy to murder.

Even in their original trial the attackers claimed there was never an intention to kill, but simply to carry out a protest against UK involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And I was to be given a close look at the evidence.

My contact asked me to meet him. In a darkened casino bar in East London. And over two lemonades he told me a story.

Mukhtar Ibrahim, the leader of the 21/7 the plot wanted to tell his story. And be wanted me to write to him.

"Mukhtar only wants to talk to you guys. He wants to explain what happened and why. He's convinced that he's been unfairly treated"

So, in a lengthy process I started a correspondence with one of the most reviled people in the UK. And his case is simple. Vital evidence that should have been passed to his lawyers was not passed on. It would have shown that the bombs he built could not have exploded. And that in their desperation for a conviction the authorities covered this up.

These are extremely serious allegations with echoes of what happened to suspected Irish Republican Army suspects in the 1970s.

But who is telling the truth is very hard to discern. That job falls to the Criminal Cases Review Commission which will decide later this year. There could be a new trial. Or Mukhtar Ibrahim and his group could face the prospect of decades more in jail.