July 7 ‘helper’ played cricket with Aldgate bomber
James Sturcke and agencies, The Guardian, 21 May 2008
A man charged with helping the July 7 bombers to plan their attacks told a court today of the last time he saw his childhood friend Shehzad Tanweer.
Waheed Ali said Tanweer, the Aldgate bomber who killed seven people, played cricket with him on the evening of July 6 2005, the night before the attacks on three London tube trains and a bus.
“On that day, he made a bit more of an effort, looking back,” he said.
The pair, who were once very close, had seen less and less of each other as Tanweer, whom he knew by his nickname, Kaki, spent more time with the July 7 ringleader, Mohammed Siddique Khan, Kingston crown court has heard.
Ali, 25, from Beeston, Leeds, told the jury his friend had given him no clue about what was being planned.
He said Tanweer told him they were “doing something for the brothers” and asked Ali to stay away from them.
Ali said he was happy his friend had come to talk to him on July 6, and thought things were getting back to normal.
“I thought they had finished what they were needed to do and we’d start chilling again,” he said.
“This was the last time I saw my best friend alive, and I wouldn’t change that for all the tea in China. I can still remember it vividly – I think he knew that this was the last time he was going to see me.
“It’s difficult, because he had been my friend since I was little and I had a lot of love for him. But what he did was unbelievable.”
He told the court the world would “always remember” Tanweer for what he had done.
“I can never justify what he did – I’m not going to try to justify what he did, but I’ve got my story about Kaki,” he added. “There are two different stories.”
Ali is charged, along with Mohammed Shakil, 31, and Sadeer Saleem, 27, both also from Beeston, with conspiring with Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Jermaine Lindsay, Hasib Hussain and others unknown to cause explosions between November 17 2004 and July 8 2005.
They all deny the charges. The trial continues.