Thursday 1 April 2010

Mother-in-law of terror group leader speaks out

THE mother-in-law of the ringleader of the July 7 suicide bombers has spoken publicly for the first time about how her life "came falling down" following the terror attacks in London.

A respected community and charity worker, Farida Patel, from Dewsbury, revealed her family were forced to leave their home and some relatives cut their ties with her "in case they got linked to the bombings".

Fifty two innocent people died when four men, led by Mohammed Siddique Khan,exploded their rucksack bombs on London's transport network on July 7 2005.

Mrs Patel described the moment armed police swooped on her home in the Thornhill area of Dewsbury after her son-in-law's part in the plot was revealed.

She told an anti-racism conference in Bradford: "When they walked in I asked 'why are you here?' "They said they were investigating the July 7 bombings and they would need to search the premises.

"They told me, my son and my daughter-in-law to take a few essentials and find alternative accommodation for a few days."

Khan, 30, who was nicknamed Sid, had lived a seemingly westernised life in Lees Holm with his wife and their baby daughter, having grown up in Beeston, Leeds.

But his veneer of respectability was shattered after he and friends 22-year-old Shehzad Tanweer, also from Beeston, and 18-year-old Hasib Hussain, from Holbeck in Leeds, drove to Luton on July 7, where they met Jermaine Lindsay, 19, originally from Huddersfield, and took a train into the capital to unleash their devastating attack.

Police originally believed the four men were victims but quickly realised they were responsible for the atrocity.

Mrs Patel, whose pregnant daughter, Hasina, was separated from Khan at the time of the bombings, never returned to her home.

The community activist said she was too scared to go back after photos of the property appeared in newspapers and on TV.

Mrs Patel, the daughter of a famous anti-apartheid activist in South Africa, told a conference: "I consider myself to be a British Muslim and England is my home. I do not take for granted the freedom and rights that I enjoy in this country because I have seen how oppressive other regimes can be."C

Mrs Patel said she had worked "tirelessly" for 30 years to help build community relations.


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