Friends say religion, anger over Iraq drove bomber. From the Winnipeg Sun, with thanks to Anthony.
LEEDS, England — Shahzad Tanweer, the 22-year-old son of an affluent Pakistani-born businessman, turned to Islam, the religion of his birth, a few years ago.
The transformation was gradual, but then his relentless reading of the Qur’an and daily prayers became almost an obsession, his friends told The Associated Press. He became withdrawn and increasingly angry over the war in Iraq, according to those who knew him best.
The U.S.-led war was what likely drove him to blow himself up on a subway train last week, said his friends.
“He was a Muslim and he had to fight for Islam. This is called jihad,” or holy war, said Asif Iqbal, 20, who said he was Tanweer’s childhood friend.
Another friend, Adnan Samir, 21, nodded in agreement.
“They’re crying over 50 people while 100 people are dying every day in Iraq and Palestine,” said Iqbal. “If they are indeed the ones who did it, it’s because they believed it was right. They’re in heaven.
“Have you ever been inspired in life?” he asked…
Friends Iqbal and Samir claimed ignorance as to how their friend became involved in Islamic militancy and how he became a prey to terrorist recruiters.
“All Muslims are connected,” Iqbal said.
Where would Tanweer and his co-activists meet or plan their attacks?
“How do football fans get together and talk about football? It’s the same thing,” said Iqbal.