'Diary of British jihadi'

'Diary of British jihadi' August 9, 2005

Times Online

A diary that purports to reflect the anger, boredom and loneliness of a young British Muslim who wanted to wage holy war has been found in Pakistan, according to The New York Times.


The newspaper claims in today’s edition that the 35-page type-written diary of Zeeshan Siddique was found in a small house outside the city of Peshawar in north west Pakistan, where Mr Siddique, a 25-year-old man from Hounslow, West London, was reportedly arrested by Pakistani security officials on May 18. 

The near daily entries in the document are short and bitter. On March 10, 2005, the writer confides: "All alone in a strange land… I can trust no-one except Allah," according to the newspaper.

Two weeks later, the diary wonders how Muslims can live in London, the "vital organ of the minions of the devil", now that the "kufr," or unbelievers, have transformed the world into "a battlefield for the Muslims."

In the more cryptic extracts, the diary refers to "the guys" and "the wagon" and "the relaxing place", passages which Pakistani security officials have reportedly told The New York Times may refer to other extremists and plans for terror attacks.

On March 11, for instance, the writer apparently visited friends and learned "bad news." "The relaxing place was done over," he wrote, and "7-8 of the guys taken whilst asleep."

"Told guys need 2 make a move soon," he added. "Cant stik round."

Then, just four days later, the diarist was told that "the situation is really bad" and that he should "just sit tight & wait it out until things get a bit better".

Frustration appears to grip the writer. On April 5, typing in block capitals, he vows to undertake "an all out immense effort" to "rejoin my contingent".

According to The New York Times – which quoted Pakistani security officials involved in the investigation into ties between Pakistani militants and the July 7 bombings in London – Mr Siddique is being held because of suspected contact between him and an al-Qaeda member.

Pakistani security sources say that he has told his interrogators that he first travelled to Pakistan in February 2003, with a man later arrested for involvement in a failed terror plot against London in 2004, the paper reports. He claimed to have spent the last two years fighting in Afghanistan and Kashmir, says The New York Times.

As a schoolboy growing up in West London, Mr Siddique attended Cranford Community College. The Times revealed last month that at Cranford he knew Asif Hanif, the 21-year-old Londoner who became Britain’s first known suicide bomber when he blew himself up in a bar in Tel Aviv in April 2003.

Officials in Hounslow say that Mr Siddique was an "ordinary, average" student at Cranford from 1992 to 1997. The statement confirms that he and Asif Hanif knew each other. "We think they were friends," said Philip Sutcliffe, a Hounslow spokesman quoted by The New York Times.

As well as venting his anger against America, London and those Pakistanis who "claim 2 b Muslim" but "don’t get it thru there thik heads" that it is their "fard", or religious duty, to wage jihad, the writer also uses the diary to complain about his new neighbours in Pakistan.

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