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Home > News > Specials

The Rediff Special/ Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore

Exclusive: Haneef Mohammed's interrogation in Australia

July 26, 2007

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When was the first time Dr Haneef Mohammad saw his daughter's photograph? While his relative Imran Siddique, who has flown down to Australia, claims that he was the one who showed Haneef the pictures first, the latter had said in his 6.32-hour long interrogation on July 3, 2007, that he had first seen her photograph prior to his departure to India on July 2.

Haneef, who was picked up in Australia for his alleged role in the UK terror plot on July 2, was interrogated the next day at the Australian Federal Police headquarters at 203, Wharf Street, Brisbane by Detective Sergeant Adam Simms attached to the Joint Counter Terrorism Team. Also present during the interrogation was Federal Agent Neil Thomson.

The interview, which was tape-recorded, commenced at 11.01 am on July 3 and lasted till 5.31 pm; in all Haneef faced 1,616 questions ranging from his personal life to his links with the others alleged to be involved in the UK terror attack. has in its possession a copy of the transcript of Haneef Mohammed's interrogation.

On his daughter: While probing extensively into his travel plans, on page 68, question number 719, Haneef was asked about his daughter.
Simms: Can you tell me what your travel plans were last night (July 2)?
Haneef: I was on my way to visit my family. My wife had a child.
Simms: What did you end up having?
Haneef: A daughter.
Simms: Daughter? Very nice.
Haneef: Thank you.
Simms: And haven't you seen her as yet?
Haneef: I just got a photo, I was about to visit them yesterday (July 2).

On his travel plans: Haneef during the interview said his father-in-law Ashfaq Ahmed, in Bangalore, had booked a one-way ticket for him. He was to take the Singapore Airlines flight SQ246, land at Singapore at 8 am on July 3. From there he was to take the next flight to India.
Simms: Why a one-way ticket?
Haneef: I mean... ah... he said he would book a one-way ticket for now and when I go there (Bangalore), he said we could book the return ticket.
Simms: Do you care to comment on that? It would have been cheaper to book a one way ticket.
Haneef: I don't know about such a thing.
Simms: He didn't ask you how long you would be staying in Bangalore?
Haneef: No, no. I just got seven days leave approved.
Simms: The chief executive officer of the Gold Coast Hospital has stated that you were supposed to commence work tomorrow (July 4). Do you care to comment on that?
Haneef:: No, I filled out a form and handed it to the medical administration.

On jihad and religion: During the course of the interview, Haneef was asked on his thoughts about jihad.
Simms: Do you mind if I asked you about your religion?
Haneef: No, not at all. Why should I?
Simms: Have you undertaken any religious training?
Haneef: No.
Simms; What is jihad?
Haneef: Jihad to my understanding is a struggle. That is the basic sort of understanding I have. Nothing else. It is often misquoted and misunderstood. But in my knowledge, it is a struggle, that's it. I learnt this from religious scriptures.
Simms: Do you know anyone who misquotes it?
Haneef: No.
Simms: You said you were Islam (sic). Do you ascribe to any sect? There are many beliefs under Islam, I believe. Is that correct? Like Sunni, Shia kind of thing.
Haneef: Well, that is a created thing. I am basically a Muslim, that's all.
Simms: Do you have any views on the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Haneef: I do not like to comment on that.

The mysterious Ilian: Haneef's SIM card was allegedly used by one of the suspects in the Glasgow terror attack. Haneef said he changed his mobile phone after his instrument got damaged as he had dropped in water.

He said the earlier phone was a Motorola Slim while the new one is an Atom XDA and the service provider, Optus. He said the new connection was used only by his wife when she was in Australia.

Apart from this his laptop and phone were used by a person named Mohammad Ilian, a native of Pakistan who had stayed with Haneef for 10 days starting June 13.

Haneef said Ilian was his aunt's son-in-law.
Simms: What was the purpose of his visit?
Haneef: Er... he just wanted to look around. He is an accountant basically. He wanted to look at some universities and do some course. He also went to Griffith University.
Simms: Did he use your computer?
Haneef: Yes he did. He used it to chat with his wife.
Interestingly towards the end of the interview, Haneef is asked once again about Ilian. Haneef replies, "I don't know him at all.

On Dr Sabeel Ahmed, Kafeel's brother who was detained in Britain:
Simms: Do you know Dr Sabeel?
Haneef: He is a distant cousin of mine from my maternal side.
Simms: Did you believe that Sabeel was involved in the attack?
Haneef: No, I didn't believe that.
Simms: When was the last time you spoke to him?
Haneef: On chat. He had congratulated me on having a daughter.

On Kafeel Ahmed, who allegedly drove the flaming jeep that crashed into the Glasgow airport terminal on June 30:
Haneef says Kafeel is a distant cousin.
Haneef: He was doing his PhD at Cambridge University. I visited Cambridge University in June or July 2004 and once more after my exams in November 2004. I stayed in his room. He had rented a room. I visited him to see him and take a look at Cambridge. First time I stayed four to five days and the second time one day. I had failed in my exams. I was feeling a bit low and I did not have anyone else. So I visited him.
Simms: Were both the brothers political?
Haneef: Both the brothers were moderate Muslims. They used to pray five times a day. I don't know if they were political people.
Simms: When was the last time you spoke to Kafeel?
Haneef: The last I spoke to Kafeel was through chat.

On Bilal Abdulla, who participated in the Glasgow attack:
Simms: Do you know Bilal?
Haneef: I just met him when I went to meet Kafeel at Cambridge. I didn't know his name was Bilal. He just asked me how to prepare for the examination.
Simms: Do you remember how he looks like?
Haneef: I cannot remember exactly how he looked.

The UK terror plot:
Simms: What information do you have about the attempted bombing in London [Images]?
Haneef I don't know anything about that.
The question was repeated five times. On all five counts, Haneef said he was unaware of anything. He also claimed that he had not seen any kind of explosive devices with the persons he knew in the UK.
Simms: How did the situation in the UK make you feel?
Haneef: Well, every drop is human blood and I feel for every human being.
Simms: Did you see any kind of explosive material?
Haneef No.
Simms: Have you undergone any training in firearms?
Haneef: No.

At the end of the interview which lasted over six hours, Haneef was asked by Simms whether he was under any sort of pressure, to which the reply was no. The interview breaks off at least thrice. Twice when the tapes had to be changed and once for lunch.

Simms asks Haneef whether he wanted to say anything more.
Haneef: I am clear from any of the things (I am clear of everything). I haven't done any of the crimes. Just want to let you know. And I don't want to spoil my name and profession. That's the main thing. I have been a professional until now and I haven't been involved in any extra activities, the sort you have been discussing earlier. And I just want to live like a professional in the medical profession. That's what I want.

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