Thus the headline to report in the Independent. And what exactly is the link between Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and the mosque in question? The Independent explains that “associates claim he visited the East London Mosque, which has attracted criticism for hosting Muslim hardline preachers, three times”.
Yup, that’s what “link” between Abdulmutallab and the East London Mosque consists of. While he was studying mechanical engineering at University College London between 2005 and 2008, Abdulmutallab visited the East London Mosque three times! This really is investigative journalism at its best.
The East London Mosque has issued a statement saying that it is “appalled that it should be associated with such heinous acts”. The statement continues:
“The Mosque cannot comment as to whether this individual attended the mosque. Over 20,000 people, of Muslim and other faiths, visit the Mosque every week. They use the mosque for many different purposes including worship, weddings, and to use any of the 30 different projects and services that are based at our institution.”
Update: The Telegraph (29 December) quotes security sources as saying that Abdulmutallab had “attended the East London Mosque in Whitechapel” and heads its report “Suspect’s link to mosque confirmed”! Unlike the Independent, the Telegraph avoids undermining its scaremongering story by mentioning that Abdulmutallab attended the mosque on three occasions over three years.
This report has now been withdrawn from the Telegraph website. It has been replaced by one headed “East London mosque condemns Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab“.