Relatives of July 7 bomber hold PARTY at his grave to 'celebrate his life'

7/7Daily Mail 

It was three years to the day since the July 7 bombers brought carnage to the heart of London.

In Britain yesterday, families of the victims wept for their loved ones.

In a village in Pakistan, a banquet was held to honour one of the young men who committed the murderous crimes.


Tribute: Family and friends of those killed in the 7/7 bombings gather at King's Cross Station to mark the tragedy's third anniversary

Relatives of Shehzad Tanweer, who is buried there, staged the feast to 'celebrate his life' and 'remember him as a martyr' on the third anniversary of the terror attacks which killed 52 people and injured many more.

Yesterday the families of the victims reacted with outrage to the secret ceremony held at the village where 70 guests gathered to offer prayers and blessings for the suicide bomber whose grave is considered to be a 'shrine of a big saint'.

Bradford-born Tanweer, whose father emigrated from Pakistan and ran a chip shop in Leeds, detonated his bomb at Aldgate station on July 7, 2005, killing seven innocent people as well as himself.

7/7 third anniversary

Solemn: A crowd remember their loved ones


Together with Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, Hasib Hussain,18, and 19-year-old Jermaine Lindsay, the four bombers blew up three Underground trains and a bus.

As thousands mourned in Britain yesterday, in Pakistan there were prayers uttered for his soul and verses of the Koran were read out.

At the commemorative dinner held by Tanweer's uncle, 42-year-old property developer Tahir Pervez at his home in Samundari, guests were treated to two courses of sweet rice and salted rice with curry and beef prepared by a renowned local chef.

7/7 third anniversary

Pain: Family and friends of the dead share their grief

And to mark the occasion, rice was distributed among villagers. For the last two years, the family gathering has been held in secret at his grave, but this year police urged the family not to hold a memorial at the site.

His headstone - the largest in the cemetery of the village - bears the phrase 'La ilaha il Mohammed dur rasool Allah' which means 'There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger'.

Local police officer Zafar Iqbal said: 'At least 60 to 70 guests, who included villagers and close relatives, were invited. They recited the holy Koran inside Tahir's home and prayed for his soul. We told them not to celebrate the anniversary of his death publicly and call many guests. We also told them to avoid going to the graveyard.


Flowers at Tavistock Square in memory of the 52 people killed

'During the last two years there was a big celebration and people in the area have accepted his grave as a shrine of a big saint. That is why this time we told his uncle to avoid a big celebration.'

But despite police requests, some villagers insisted on laying flowers at Tanweer's grave.

One villager was reported as saying: 'The party is kept secret from people outside the village but everyone knows it happens every year.'


Shehzad Tanweer.

Insult: The family of bomber Shehzad Tanweer held a party at his grave


The celebration happened on the same day that hundreds of mourners gathered at the four sites, Russell Square, Aldgate and Edgware Road Tube stations, and Tavistock Square, where the bombers struck.

Yesterday relatives of the victims condemned the celebration.

Pamela Bond, whose son Jamie Gordon, 30, died in the Tavistock Square blast, said: 'It's so bad I can't take it in. To celebrate a "martyr"? It's just too horrible. But we can't do anything about it.

7/7 third anniversary

Respect: A relative wipes a tear from her eye after visiting the memorial garden

'If his family lived in England they would see the hurt it does to celebrate something like this, but in Pakistan they obviously have a different view of things.'

Sean Cassidy, whose 22-year-old son Ciaran died in the King's Cross bombing, said: 'This is glorifying terrorism no matter how you look at it. It is encouraging other people to carry out attacks and it's not right, especially on a day like today.

'It is insensitive and inappropriate to hold this on the third anniversary. The government should not even have done him the courtesy of returning [Tanweer's] remains to Pakistan.'

7/7 tribute with Boris Johnson

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, pictured with Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Olympics, gather at King's Cross station to commemorate the victims of 7/7


His daughter Lisa added: 'It's really upsetting. At a time when Muslim people are trying to gain people's respect and put an end to prejudice, it doesn't paint them in a positive light.

'I feel it is extremely insensitive what's going on in Pakistan. They are obviously not thinking about those 52 who were murdered or what this man actually did.'

Stacey Beer, who lost her brother Phil, 22, in the King's Cross explosion, said: 'It's disgusting. I really can't believe it, although nothing surprises me any more about these people.'

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson at the wreath-laying ceremony


Yesterday a low-key ceremony was held at the railway station where the four suicide bombers set out on their mission of terror. London mayor Boris Johnson joined the capital's minister Tessa Jowell and transport chiefs to lay flowers outside King's Cross at 8.50am, the time when the first three bombs went off. There were also a number of private meetings for survivors and victims' families.

Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon, said: 'Five people from five different ethnic and religious groups died from my constituency on July 7, 2005, and this is a damning insult to their memory and their family members.

'Most Muslims would be absolutely horrified, as I am, that Shehzad Tanweer is being remembered by some people as a martyr.'

The scene three years ago after a London bus was hit by a bomb attack in Tavistock Square, London


Roses left at the gates at King's Cross station

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