The parents of Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the four London suicide bombers, say they believe the 30-year-old primary school teaching assistant may have been ‘brainwashed’.
In a statement released on Saturday they said: “We are devastated that our son may have been brainwashed into carrying out such an atrocity, since we know him as a kind and caring member of our family.”
The family went on to appeal for fresh leads in the investigation: “We urge people with the tiniest piece of information to come forward in order to expose these terror networks which target and groom our sons to carry out such devils.”
Mr Khan, who was married with a daughter, is believed to have carried out the bombing on the Circle Line at Edgware Road.
Reports have suggested that last year MR Khan, who lived in Lees Holm, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, visited the British parliament as a guest of Labour MP Jon Trickett and met cabinet minister Hilary Benn, then international development secretary.
The comments from Mr Khan’s family follow those on Friday from the family of 18-year-old bomber Hasib Mir Hussain who said they were ‘devastated’ by the news of what had happened. They described his as a ‘loving and normal young man’, adding: “We had no knowledge of his activities and, had we done, we would have done everything in our power to stop him”.
Meanwhile a joint statement issued by muslim leaders from around the UK meeting in central London described last Thursday’s events as ‘utterly criminal, totally reprehensible, and absolutely un-Islamic’.
The leaders went on: “It is incumbent upon all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims, to help the authorities with any information that may lead to the planners of last week’s atrocity being brought to justice.
”The pursuit of justice for the victims of last week’s attacks is an obligation under the faith of Islam.”
Police on Saturday said another victim of the bombs had died from their injuries, taking the number of dead to 55.