Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Saturday, 16 July 2005 15:59 UK

Suicide bombers' 'ordinary' lives

Three young men from West Yorkshire were killed in last Thursday's bomb blasts in London. Initially they would have been treated as victims, now it is widely accepted they are the perpetrators of Britain's first suicide bombing.


Mohammad Sidique Khan had lived in the Beeston area of Leeds until recently, when he moved to Lees Holm in Dewsbury.

Mohammad Sidique Khan (Photo: Guzelian/The Times Educational Supplement )
Mohammad Sidique Khan was respected by pupils and parents

He is believed to have been married with a very young daughter, with newspapers naming his wife as teacher Hasina Khan.

The 30-year-old had been a teaching assistant at Hillside Primary School in Leeds since 2002.

Parents at the school told the BBC the teaching assistant had been highly regarded by both children and parents.

"He was a good man, quiet," said one parent, speaking outside the school.

"When I told my daughter she said 'no, he can't do something like that'. I had to go and buy the paper and show her."

Another parent, Sharon Stevens, told the Press Association how he had been a "big supporter" of pupils and parents.

"He was really understanding and he did work for the children and parents."

Brith certificate of Mohammad Sidique Khan
Mohammad Sidique Khan was born in Leeds in 1974

During its last Ofsted inspection in 2002, the school's learning assistants had been singled out for special praise in dealing with a transient pupil population from a socially deprived area.

Mohammad Sidique Khan spoke about his work to the Times Educational Supplement at the time. "A lot of [the pupils] have said this is the best school they have been to," he said.

He added he believed it would be years before government regeneration cash could transform the deprived Beeston area of Leeds.

Neighbours told how he was not well-known in the Dewsbury Muslim community, but they believed he was a "very pleasant" person.

One neighbour said: "He didn't seem to be an extremist. He was not one to talk about religion. He was generally a very nice bloke."

Despite the tributes, Mohammad Sidique Khan detonated enough explosives on a Circle Line train to kill seven people.

Documents belonging to him were found near the Edgware Road blast.


Teenager Hasib Hussain had been known as a tearaway during his early teens.

Hasib Hussain (police pic)
Hasib Hussain became devoutly religious after a trip to Pakistan
Newspapers reported how he would start fights with fellow pupils at the Matthew Murray Secondary school in Leeds.

He left school in July 2003 without attaining a single GCSE.

Around this time, he was sent to Pakistan to visit relatives. He also went on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, grew a beard and began to wear robes.

Despite becoming devoutly religious, he was arrested for shoplifting during 2004.

Neighbours said the 18-year-old had lived all his life in Colonso Mount in the Holbeck area of Leeds. One neighbour described the family as "very nice people".

He said: "We all knew them but I wouldn't say I knew them well. They were just a very nice family."

Hasib Hussain's birth certificate
Hasib Hussain was born in Leeds in September 1986
Hasib Hussain had told his family he was going on a trip to London to visit friends.

But when he failed to return on Thursday, his parents reported him as missing to police.

He had in fact boarded the No 30 bus in London armed with enough explosives to rip the double-decker apart, killing 13 people.

His driving licence and cash cards were found in the mangled wreckage of the bus.


Shehzad Tanweer, 22, was born in Bradford but lived most of his life in the Beeston area of Leeds - little over half a mile from his friend, Hasib Hussain.

Shehzad Tanweer. Photo: Ross Parry
Shehzad Tanweer's uncle said his nephew was 'proud to be British'
He was a sports science graduate whose interests included cricket and ju-jitsu.

In 2004, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and cautioned.

Newspapers quoted friends who said Mr Tanweer was quiet and very religious but did not express an interest in politics.

The Daily Mail reported he had been to an Islamic study camp in Pakistan at the start of the year.

His father, of Pakistani origin, owns a fish and chip shop near their home on Colwyn Road.

Shehzad Tanweer's birth certificate
Shehzad Tanweer was born in Bradford and brought up in Leeds

His uncle, Bashir Ahmed, 65, said the family was "shattered" by the revelation that he appeared to have been involved.

"He was proud to be British," he said. "He had everything to live for. His parents were loving and supportive.

"He was a very kind and calm person. He was respected by everyone."

Neighbours described the graduate, who studied at Leeds Metropolitan University, as a "good Muslim". Others said he was a "nice lad" who could "get on with anyone".

Yet Shehzad Tanweer detonated a bomb on a Circle Line train between Aldgate and Liverpool Street stations which killed seven people, including himself, and injured over 100 more.


Police sources have said the fourth suicide bomber was a Jamaican-born British resident named Lindsey Germaine who, newspapers report, was a Muslim convert.

Lindsey Germaine
Lindsey Germaine was Jamaican-born and brought up in Huddersfield

He is understood to have been living at a house in Northern Road, Aylesbury that police raided on Wednesday night.

Sources say confirmation of his identity may depend on DNA analysis.

Some of the papers say that he was 19 years old.

He is believed to have gone to school in Huddersfield.

Newspapers report that he changed his surname to Jamal when he converted to Islam.

It is also reported that he was married to a white woman named Samantha, also an Islamic convert, and that the couple had a young son.

A 39-year-old neighbour said: "I have not seen him for well over a week but I saw her the other day.

"There has been nothing to suggest anything odd was happening at their house."

Conservative MP for Aylesbury David Liddington said Germaine had attended the local mosque.

"From my conversations with members of the Muslim community in the town, what I'm finding is that, though he did go to the local mosque, he was not a regular attender," he said.

"He wasn't seen as an integrated part of the Muslim community."

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