Secret girlfriend of 2005 London bomber to help in inquiry

Monday, January 17, 2011

LONDON - A secret girlfriend of 2005 London train bomber will give evidence to an inquiry next month, a media report said Monday.

Shehzad Tanweer of Pakistani descent met the woman in the weeks leading up to the suicide attack, in which the 22-year-old blew himself up on a London Tube train, killing seven passengers, the Daily Mail reported.

The woman insists she had no idea what he was planning, the report said.

She has now told police about her conversations and meetings with Tanweer in the days before his attack.

She says even her own family do not know she had a relationship with Tanweer, and the authorities have granted her anonymity amid fears of reprisals from relatives or extremists if she is unmasked.

The pair began a relationship in June 2005, shortly after Tanweer returned to his home in Leeds from a terror training camp in Pakistan.

Her existence came to light at the inquest into the deaths of the 52 victims, where she will be known only as “A” when she gives evidence.

Coroner Justice Hallett said: “She can assist these proceedings with information about Tanweer having gone to Pakistan some time before the bombing, that he seems to have returned from Pakistan, if what he told her was true, not long before she met him in June 2005, and she can also describe meetings or conversations with him in the days leading up to the actual bombings.”

According to the daily, the woman, who is expected to give evidence to the inquest next month, had co-operated with police “in confidence”, and the coroner said she would not want others to be discouraged from doing the same.

Tanweer’s father Mohammed Mumtaz Tanweer shook his head and said “no comment” when asked about his son’s secret girlfriend.

Tanweer senior emigrated from Pakistan and ran a chip shop in Leeds at which his son occasionally worked in the weeks before the attack. Tanweer is buried in his family’s village in Pakistan, where celebrations have been held to “remember him as a martyr”.

The July 7, 2005 London bombings (often referred to as 7/7) were a series of coordinated suicide attacks on the people using the city’s public transport system during the morning rush hour. On that morning, four terrorists detonated four bombs, three on London underground trains in quick succession, a fourth bomb exploding an hour later on a double-decker bus. Fifty-two people were killed in the attacks and around 700 were injured.

Of the four bombers, 30-year-old ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan and 19-year-old Jermaine Lindsay were married. Hasib Hussain, 18, was single.

Filed under: Terrorism

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