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Don't panic, I'm Islamic

Discussion in 'The Members Lounge' started by Grieg, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    From: littlegreenfootballs.com

    BBC Knew of Terrorist Activity, Didn't Tell Cops
    Wed, Dec 5, 2007 at 9:45:13 am PST

    Yes, the BBC can still cause our jaws to drop; the Times reports that the Beeb paid for a paintballing excursion as part of a program to make Muslims look cuddly and friendly called “Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic.”

    Small problem. Three of the friendly Muslims who went on this trip turned out to be terrorists, involved in the failed bombings of July 21, 2005. Oops.

    And when the BBC learned about this connection, they did not report it to the police:


    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3001102.ece


    The BBC funded a paintballing trip for men later accused of Islamic terrorism and failed to pass on information about the 21/7 bombers to police, a court was told yesterday.

    Mohammed Hamid, who is charged with overseeing a two-year radicalisation programme to prepare London-based Muslim youths for jihad, was described as a “cockney comic” by a BBC producer.

    The BBC paid for Mr Hamid and fellow defendants Muhammad al-Figari and Mousa Brown to go on a paintballing trip at the Delta Force centre in Tonbridge, Kent, in February 2005. The men, accused of terrorism training, were filmed for a BBC programme called Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic, screened in June 2005. The BBC paid Mr Hamid, an Islamic preacher who denies recruiting and grooming the men behind the failed July 2005 attack, a £300 fee to take part in the programme, Woolwich Crown Court was told.

    It was alleged that Mr Hamid told a BBC reporter that he would use the corporation’s money to pay a fine imposed by magistrates for a public order offence.

    Nasreen Suleaman, a researcher on the programme, told the court that Mr Hamid, 50, contacted her after the July 2005 attack and told her of his association with the bombers. But she said that she felt no obligation to contact the police with this information. Ms Suleaman said that she informed senior BBC managers but was not told to contact the police.

    Ms Suleaman told the court that Mr Hamid was keen to appear in the programme. She said: “He was so up for it. We took the decision that paintballing would be a fun way of introducing him. There are many, many British Muslims that I know who for the past 15 or 20 years have been going paintballing. It’s a harmless enough activity. I don’t think there is any suggestion, or ever has been, that it’s a terrorist training activity.”

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    A nice example of slanted writing - and also a nice bit of selective posting by whoever sent you that text.


    For the former - The BBC sent a bunch of Muslim guys paintballing. So what? They turn out to be linked to terrorists - but the BBC did not know that until after the actual attack. Yet to read the piece, the BBC deliberately sent terrorists paintballing - in fact, that is what the headline states
    :roll:

    For the latter - yes, not telling the police immediately was frankly dumb. But...

    Again, until you reach that paragraph, it reads as though the BBC was deliberately covering for the guy.

    Should I also point out that the guys in question are currently 'charged' and therefore not yet guilty? Is the Times jumping the gun rather?


    Somebody at the Times really wanted to put the knife in, eh. :roll:
     
  3. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    Informing the police ,who are actively investigating a crime, of knowledge that one has, possibly related to the crime is not a matter of conviction by a court of law.
    One only needs to suspect, not prove guilt in a court of law. That is the job of the courts. The police's job is to investigate and the public's (and presumably the BBC's) responsibility is to aid the police in that investigation if they have information related to the case.
     
  4. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    As you read through the full article, yes. But if you read the headline - and even the first couple of paragraphs - that is not at all how it is presented. It is written in a highly alarmist and accusatory way, which I find unprofessional and distasteful (and would do so if the BBC were returning the favour to the Times)

    Yes, and she was under the impression that he was talking to them as well (again from the article). But that is very much a side issue (see below)

    Did you miss the bit where I said it was "frankly dumb"?
    In my original response I was not excusing the BBC, but lambasting the Times for churning out crappy journalism in order to discredit a media rival as much as possible.

    I'm not sue what you mean here, particularly given the comment it was a response to. The point I was making is that the Times seems to have forgotten the cherished right of 'innocent until proven guilty'.

    Contradictory statement. Unless you mean that it is the court that decides guilt rather than the Times - in which case I am bang alongside you.

    Yes. Again, remember that I said they were dumb not to tell the police immediately. However, see above about the point of my original response.
     
  5. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    She stated that she felt no obligation to report it to the police as I recall not that she thought that they already knew about it. In addition she consulted her superiors at the BBC as to whether or not she should report it and they said no. Again, not consistent with someone who thinks that the police already have this information.

    Right. I would call that obfuscation of the issue. See my above remarks about deflecting the issue by attempting to make the Times the issue.

    Not contradictory at all. You brought up the innocent until proven guilty phrase but the point is that when one reports suspicious activity to the authorities it is done on the basis of mere suspision alone. The investigating authorities decide whether or not to proceed based on a standard that is much less strict than proven beyond a reasonable doubt (which is the flipside to the innocent until proven guilty language)
    Innocent until proven guilty refers to the way that a defendant is treated by the courts not whether an investigation is warranted.
    IMO just saying it was "dumb" not to tell the police is excusing the BBC of their responsibility. A better question is was it mere "dumbness" that prevented them from contacting the police or did they have less "dumb" motives? Would their involvement in these activities with proven terrorists make them look foolish and misguided? Especially in light of what the mesage behind the "Don't Panic, I'm Islamic" program was supposed to represent? Did they attempt to cover up their involvement even if in so doing they withheld potentially valuable information from the investigating authorities?
    If you had concluded that the BBC was irresponsible in this case rather than putting it off to dumbness (what would that mean, actually?...dumbness) I might tend to agree with you.
     
  6. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    I have turned nothing around - you posted the original article without comment or point, so there is nothing to turn. I commented on the content of the article.


    ahem.

    She said that she felt no obligation to tell him to go to the police, and was not told by her boss that she had any obligation to report it herself (though IMO she should have anyway)


    What issue - see above. You are welcome to comment on the original post and I will give my opinion on the actual event, but please don't try to attack me for comments I did not make and intentions I did not have.

    I think that this has gone a bit off track - my original purpose her was that the Times was appearing to attempt to portray the BBC as consorting with actual terrorist trainers (Headline - 'BBC took terrorist trainers paintballing'), when in fact they once had men on their show who are now suspected of being connected with terrorism.

    I think that you have run into British understatement.
    It was dumb = it was a stupid thing to do. I make no comment on their reasons, except to note now, for the record, that whatever they were (pure incompetence or trying to hide the connection) it was the wrong thing to do.
     
  7. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Oh, and it feels good to be having an actual debate again :D
     
  8. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    The point of the original article seemed too obvious to need explanation.
    Did you really think that the point of the article was an analysis of biased and sloppy reporting by the Times?


    I find her statements contradictory. She "got the sense" that he was talking to the police about it yet she consulted her bosses and she adds the rationalizing statement “I don’t think it’s my obligation to tell another adult that he should go to the police." Such contradictory statements IMO are evidence of damage control, after the fact.


    I saw your comments as attempts to deflect or obfuscate the obvious issue. That was my view which is , of course, an opinion. Furthermore it refers only to your argument and not to you personally. That kind of "attack" is fundamental to debate IMO.

    On that we can agree. However it should be pointed out that the two situations are not the same as one case is an omission (failing to report it due to incompetence) and one is a commisssion (attempting to conceal the BBC connection despite knowledge that it could be important to the investigation of Hamid).
     
  9. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    I agree.
    Sometimes one has to risk being seen as confrontational in order to get a response, though. :wink:
     
  10. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Not at all, but I was annoyed enough by it to comment.


    While I don't find them contradictory, I do find them rather... puzzling.
    I can understand thinking that he might be talking to the police. I can understand asking her boss anyway. But she actually hasn't said what her boss said - just what he didn't say. And also, she apparently felt no need at all to approach the police herself anyway.
    Unfortunately for debate :wink: , I agree with you that it smells fishy.

    Sloppy wording on my part - 'don't attack arguments I am not making' would have been better

    What makes me the most suspicious is that there is as yet no mention of this from the BBC. To be fair to them they do tend to be more open than most about reporting their own screw-ups. Delay in that makes one think that there is some serious damage-limitation work going on.
     
  11. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    As far as i know there is no legal obligation to report suspicions to the police, so they actually havent done anything wrong, but one has to wonder about what on earth was going the heads of the BBC...

    I presume the object of the excursion was to encourage religious tolerance, and promote a more peaceful image of Islam.

    ... So they decide to go paintballing.

    Have i missed something? :-?
     
  12. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    nah, as long as they didn't use a paintbomb attack, i don't see what the problem is :p :grin:
     
  13. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    I was thinking about this over the weekend, and realised that if I heard a similar story about where I work, my first assumption would be that she passed it up to her manager, ho passed it up to his, who passed it up to his... and nothing ever came back down the chain of command. And she spent so long waiting for guidance that it was just too late to bother (in her view) or she'd forgotten).
     
  14. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    paintball guns are used in the usa for police and military training for close in house to house fighting , ie. the quick and the dead ...teaching angry muslims this skill at uk government expense seems a folly to me ...
     
  15. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Um, they did not choose 'angry Muslims' - they chose a bunch of guys.
    They did not 'train' them in any way, just bought them a day at a paintball site - which any private citizen can do themselves (I have)
     
  16. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    That's fine, Ricky, but to do so at taxpayer expense? I mean, it's not like they were a group of underprivileged kids; paying their way in I could understand.
     
  17. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Why not? The BBC is given a budget to make programmes with - how they choose to allocate the money within the production of those programmes (provided there is no blatant fraud) is their affair.
     
  18. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    well ,one day of paintball is not training and if it was a mixed crowd of guys then the bbc is blameless of any wrongdoing imo .
     

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