Department of Whiskey Tango Echo Foxtrot (“what the everloving …”): It has been reported (H/t: Running Bare) that the “underpants bomber” (a.k.a. “great balls of fire”) led “antiwar” seminars in London:
Keying off an article in the UK Times Online about Northwest Airlines flight 253 bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab organizing an antiwar seminar called “War on Terror Week”, I did some quick research before the links get scrubbed.
According to isocnews.com, an online magazine for Muslim students, War on Terror Week at University College London was one of the events of the year in 2007. There was a slick video advertisement for the event, an eye-catching poster and packed lecture theatres for five days of discussions about Guantánamo Bay, allegations of torture and the subject of “Jihad v Terrorism”.
The website reported the week of talks as “informative, relevant and always entertaining — the audience got involved with a good mixture of Muslim and non-Muslim attendees asking tough questions of the speakers”. In a corner of the poster, the event is declared to have been “approved by Umar Farook, president of UCLU Islamic Society”. The speakers advertised included George Galloway, the Respect MP; Geoffrey Bindman, the human rights lawyer; and former Guantánamo Bay detainees.
The Nigerian student who organised “War on Terror Week” in January 2007 is now better known as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be suicide bomber who tried to blow up a transatlantic airliner last week.
Mr Galloway said last night that he did not attend any of the events in War on Terror Week and had no record in his parliamentary diary of any contact with UCL Islamic Society. Mr Bindman, a visiting professor at UCL, said that he could not recall the event or meeting Mr Abdulmutallab.
Go read the whole thing. My main reservation: “Umar Farooq” is a pretty common Arabic name combination, and I would want to see evidence that the London Times has done its homework. Still, it’s generally pretty careful at least by Legacy Media standards….
UPDATE: More here (H/t: Naomi Ragen)