On Monday the BBC is interviewing Babar Ahmad, “the godfather of internet jihad” who pleaded guilty to providing material support for the Taliban. For years there have been unanswered questions about Ahmad’s links to Sadiq Khan. Khan insisted Ahmad was innocent, their meetings in prison were bugged by the spooks, and Khan infamously changed his story about their relationship three times. Will this interview finally provide us with some answers?
In the New Statesman today, Khan admits he has met Ahmad twice since he was released from prison last July. He also claims he was never “close friends” with Ahmad:
“We never went to each other’s houses. We weren’t close friends but we knew each other growing up – we’d see each other at mosques. When you see people at the mosque you don’t discuss politics and stuff. It’s, ‘How you doing? How’s things?’ You may play cricket together, as most kids do at the park and stuff. I can’t remember having an argument about his views in detail.”
Yet this version of events is directly disputed by Ahmad’s sister, Sara. She says:
“Sadiq Khan has been a friend of Babar’s since they were boys and a wonderful supporter since his arrest.”
Monday’s BBC interview must surely ask Ahmad whether Khan is telling the truth when he says they were never friends. What did Khan say to the self-confessed terror supporter when they met in the last eight months? It is also a chance to clear up once and for all whether Ahmad has any further connection to Khan, be it by blood or marriage, that has not yet been declared publicly. Five years since Guido first asked, these questions have never been answered…