It has emerged that 27-year-old Khuram Butt, one of the three men who carried out the London Bridge terror attack, was featured in the 2016 Channel Four documentary The Jihadis Next Door. The killer was seen briefly in the film unfurling the Isil flag in a public park. Here is the original Telegraph review of The Jihadis Next Door
It is hardly unusual these days to see men in beards preaching radicalism and hatred on our TV screens. But it is unusual, as in The Jihadis Next Door (Channel 4), to see such a man waving the flag of Islamic State in his Walthamstow garage, knowing that from there, two years later, having fled to Syria with his family, he went on to become suspected of being at the center of a horrific murder video by the so called Islamic State in Syria.
This shocking footage of Siddhartha Dhar (aka Abu Rumaysah), now known in certain sectors of the press as “Jihadi Sid”, filmed two years ago, may have been the most publicity-garnering in Jamie Roberts eye-opening film about extremist hate preachers in the UK. But it was not the most repulsive.
That shame undoubtedly went to a segment featuring the two men who where the chief focus of the film, Abu Haleema and Mohammed Shamsuddin, leaders of the London-based recruiting and propaganda group of which Dhar was once a leading light. Haleema and Shamsuddin spent much of the film denying that they supported Isis while spouting sentiments that would suggest otherwise.
But actions always speak louder than weasel words and in one scene Roberts caught them gleefully tucking into supper while watching – and laughing at – online videos in which innocent men were being murdered by members of the so-called Islamic State in Syria.
At one point Shamsuddin, 39, laughed, “It's a horrible way to die,” before adding: “The guy is foaming at his mouth, you know what I mean. Wow.” Haleema, meanwhile, giggled: “That’s HD quality bruv, 4K or something.”
Such repulsive attitudes might, of course lead one to think that these men are nothing more than delusional idiots. This endless provocation, the hero-worship of alleged murderers and a death cult, almost always couched in the breathless hypocrisy of victimhood, could sometimes seem like the work of total fantasists.
But it was heartening to see in this film how truly despised the extremists were within the Muslim own community. “This is a front for recruiting for Isis,” shouted one Muslim man clearly angered and repelled by the hatred being spouted in the name of his religion. “Go and live in Syria,” shouted another. These were men who were not afraid to tell the truth as they see it.
For these reasons alone it can only be a good thing for films like this to be made and aired. Roberts’s film made the crucial connection by showing how, left unchecked extremist words can end up being turned into actions. This was the point that the film drove home repeatedly and clearly. That some of those radicalised, will end up as Siddhartha Dhar is alleged to have, becoming terrorists. The reality is that the hatred of these horrible, cowardly men can inspire others to action.
“It is clear in the journey of [Dhar],” said Roberts in conclusion, "that the connection between non-violent extremism and terrorism is absolute.”
On this evidence few would disagree.