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BBC: Blackburn resistance duo claim terror video was "a mockery"
[May 10, 2010]

BBC: Blackburn resistance duo claim terror video was "a mockery"


May 10, 2010 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- In an exclusive interview with Donal MacIntyre's BBC Radio 5 Live programme, on Sunday 9 May at 7.30pm, two of the three members of the suspected terror group the "Blackburn Resistance" claim they were guilty of nothing more of having a laugh, comparing themselves to characters in Chris Morris's Four Lions.



The "Blackburn Resistance" - Abbas Iqbal, 24;his brother, Ilyas Iqbal, 23; and Muhammed Ali Ahmad, 26 - were arrested in 2008 on suspicion of terror offences, following the discovery of a video which mimicked al-Qaeda terror films.

The three young Muslims filmed themselves posing with air rifles and knives and dressed in camouflage, undertaking what looked like military training in Corporation Park, in Blackburn.


However, Mohammad Ali Ahmad, who was cleared of preparing an act of terrorism earlier this year, and Ilyas Iqbal, who was sentenced to 18 months for possession of a document likely to be useful for terrorism, claim their terror video was just a joke and they were merely paying homage to their childhood heroes, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

Ilyas Iqbal says: "If you've lived in Blackburn for any significant time you'll notice there isn't really anything to do round here.

"So, when I was off [work], the only thing I wanted to do was play with my knives, dress in camouflage and have a right good laugh what happened to freedom of speech? If we was non-Muslims, this wouldn't even have been looked at by the police." Mohammad Ali Ahmad claim the video was a spoof on the Eighties children's programme The A-Team: "Abbas wanted to make a video a bit like a Muslim A-Team - he decided to make a montage out of it, he put some music in the background and put some pictures after the video, pictures of us posing, and there was pictures of Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Qutub, who is a dead Chechnya fighter. It was basically a mockery." Donal MacIntyre reporter Afi Khan also interviewed the pair for research he undertook for Chris Morris's film Four Lions, a black comedy depicting British Muslim suicide bombers, and the pair openly admit they provide inspiration for the film's main characters.

Mohammad Ali Ahmad says: "Real terrorists have real weapons, we had nothing except a good sense of humour if you watched that film Four Lions - that was us." Ilyas Iqbal claims he doesn't know how Islamic extremist films, including one depicting beheadings, were found on his home computer, adding it was a family computer used by various people and the films are available "on legal websites all over the internet." Both men, however, say that their experience of prison, rather than rehabilitate them, has hardened their view of the British justice system.

Ilyas Iqbal says: "If prison was ever to rehabilitate someone, they've got the wrong idea. If anything, it's turned me more and more against the system. You can't drop someone in prison, humiliate them, disgrace them, degrade them and expect them to change." Mohammad Ali Ahmad continues: "All that it has done is given me a strong hatred for the so-called justice system. The fact is I served 13 months in prison for nothing. I lost my job. I was supposed to get married 36 days after I was arrested. But, instead, my plans were destroyed.

"You know, I regret that I never actually broke the law in the first place. At least that way I would have served a sentence for something." The full interview can be heard on Donal MacIntyre, BBC Radio 5 Live, Sunday 9 May, 7.30-8.30pm.

If you use any material from this release please credit Donal MacIntyre, BBC Radio 5 Live.

You can listen to 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra via DAB radio, online at bbc.co.uk/5live, Digital Freeview, Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media and 909 & 693 AM.

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