12/08/2016 Newsnight


On the programme, a German suicide bomber's therapist speaks, Derek Hatton on the Labour leadership, inside Aleppo with an English professor, and Steve Smith's Olympics.

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Tonight a unique insight into the mind of a suicide bomber,


Mohammed Daleel, the Syrian who detonated himself in Ansbach


last month had been seeing a pyychotherapist in


He was looking up with open eyes, even when he should relax


and breathe a little deeper, because he said the pictures,


the bad pictures can start running the moment the eyes are closed.


We'll be discussing the psychology of lone wolf attackers.


Jeremy Corbyn says today's Appeal Court decision that Labour


party members who joined in the past six months can't


vote in the leadership election is undemocratic.


I'll be asking Derek Hatton, famously expelled from


the Labour Party, whether it's the 80s all over again.


Images taken by a professor of English who doggedly goes to work


at the university to teach students equally determined to keep learning


I will not leave until I lose my soul.


Of course sometimes yes, when we were under siege,


sometimes I hold my daughter and I ask her for forgiveness,


And surfing Newsnight's Olympic sofa tonight, comedian Jenny Eclair.


I'm hoping that the very large y-fronted underpants aren't


What goes on inside the mind of a suicide bomber?


The messages they leave behind tend to be crude Jihadist propaganda.


And for obvious reasons, you can't interrogate them.


But tonight we can get a real insight.


Mohammed Daleel, a 27-year-old refugee from Syria,


blew himself up in the little Bavarian town of Ansbach last month,


In the 18 months before he wounded eighteen people and then killed


himself, he had been receiving treatment for mental illness.


Newsnight has learned that a psychological


evaluation of Daleel, sent to the German authorities last


year, described him as an "extreme character" and one who had


the potential to attempt suicide in "spectacular" fashion.


That assessment was written by the person who perhaps knew him


best, the therapist who treated him over the period of a year.


He's been speaking to Gabriel Gatehouse for Newsnight.


It was war that drove Mohammad Daleel to Bavaria


on a journey from Syria to provincial Germany.


But did he come to escape conflict or instead to bring violence


with him, to inflict it on the very people who gave him refuge?


What motivated this man to blow himself up in this beer garden,


one evening last month, claiming to do so in


To think that he come with that intention, it doesn't fit for me.


In January 2015, he slashed his wrists after he was told he would be


deported to Bulgaria, the country where he first entered


When he come the first time he has bandages around his arms,


They put him into a psychiatric clinic for ten days,


and then they left him, then Foreign Office said "OK,


you must go back to Bulgaria", then he promised to take gasoline,


pour it over him in front of the Bundesamt and set fire.


Mohammed Daleel spent dozens of hours in this chair,


Along with his wife Gisela, he runs a trauma therapy


Over a period of 12 months, Axel and Gisela gained a deep


insight into the mind of a future suicide bomber.


Mr Daleel, who claimed to be an opposition activist,


told them he had been brutally tortured in Aleppo.


For example, they fix him to the wall so tight that his veins


were still swollen here, and when you stand there,


every five minutes you get an electric shock so you cannot


Traumatisation has very typical symptoms.


If you talk to somebody and he describes the symptoms


you can say he has that post-traumatic stress disorder.


And did he have post-traumatic stress disorder?


He once said - I made a relaxation exercise with him later


in the therapy, I asked him "Please close your eyes."


He always was looking up with open eyes, even when he should relax


and breathe deeper, because he said the pictures,


the bad pictures can start running the moment the eyes are closed.


After their first session last year, Axel von Maltitz wrote


an extensive psychological assessment.


Daleel, he said, was a man filled with anger and hopelessness,


and in an observation that now seems prophetic he wrote...


Mr Daleel is an extreme spirit, and it's possible that he even


puts his suicide into a spectacular scenery.


In 2013, Daleel gave an interview to Bulgarian television.


He told reporters he had been injured in a rocket attack


on his home in Aleppo, an attack in which his wife


He also alleged he had been mistreated in Bulgarian detention.


Von Maltitz's psychological assessment made its way to the


They quietly dropped their threat to deport Daleel, who continued


living at a hostel in Ansbach while receiving treatment


Then, on 13th July, he received another deportation notice.


Ten days later, he would blow himself up.


Most important that happened was that he got a letter telling,


Sure, because that is always what he promised.


That is what I warned the officers for.


"Be careful with him if he has to be deported to Bulgaria."


It is impossible to say whether Mohammed Daleel's


imminent deportation acted as some sort of trigger.


Investigators have told me they are not ruling out


the possibility that he may have been in contact with Jihadist groups


But they do say that his communication online with people


purporting to represent Islamic State was a relatively


recent development, and that in the minutes before


he detonated his bomb he was communicating with


The German security services are working to identify two


different types of potential Islamic State attack.


One, co-ordinated, IS-led, of the type we saw


The other, the self-radicalising lone wolf.


Mohammed Daleel, they believe, falls into the second category.


Mohammed Daleel managed to kill only himself.


From an Islamic State point of view, this was a botched operation.


But if he had managed to get through into this square,


which at the time was packed with 2,500 concert goers,


if he had managed to detonate his bomb properly,


this could have been a very, very deadly attack indeed.


And that is why Germany is feeling so vulnerable right now.


For many Germans, last summer's outpouring of good will


towards refugees has given way to suspicion and resentment.


For his therapy, Mohammed Daleel travelled from Ansbach


He used to ride his bike along the shores of the lake.


Across the water, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein.


His next session was pencilled in for 1st August.


Across the water, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein.


Across the water, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein.


His next session was pencilled in for 1st August.


Much of what he said in the therapy room cannot be verified.


His role in the opposition, the torture, the wife and child.


Did you get a sense you believed him?


Mohammed Daleel was the first Islamic State-inspired suicide


But everyone who knew him said he never seemed particularly religious.


So, are we giving too much credence to IS for an attack they may have


We don't know all the facts, and we probably never will,


but from what we do know, it is clear that Mohammed Daleel


He was neither just a would-be Jihadist mass murderer,


nor was he simply a mentally disturbed victim of war.


His case raises difficult questions for German society


and beyond about attitudes to refugees, about violence


and mental health, and about what it means to call something


Now I'm joined by Sajda Mughal, a 7/7 survivor who became


a de-radicalisation expert, and Andrew Silke, who has advised


Good evening. Unpicking this idea of no simple biepryes Is there a


profile a psychological profile who for someone who has radicalised to


the point of an tact? There isn't a single profile and people will love


if there was, that clearly described every terrorist and suicide bomber


but there isn't oneches and instead what we have is a series of profiles


and so we have different types of terrorists, and because of that, we


don't have a single root cause for why people become involved. Mental


illness gets flagged up in cases like this, but the reality most


terrorists don't have a history of mental illn't so we can't look at


that and see this is the key reason. I have to agree there is not one


single factor that leads someone to radicalisation. I have been working


on this issue and I have worked with a large number of individuals who


have been at risk of radicalisation, mainly young people and I know


people who have been radicalised and there are a number of factor,


whether it is socioeconomic or whether it is personal grievance.


What I was going to say, but there is a big difference, between someone


who is suicidal and someone intent on committing suicide and taking


people with them. There is a difference for but when we look at


this specific case, there were obviously mental health issues there


and the questions that I have been left with, when watching the


documentary was in terms of of the support the individual was


receiving, where they receiving adequate support, there are


questions round that, but also questions round who the person was,


they were calling in Saudi, and also the internet, you had one of the


authorities I think the representatives from Bulgaria who


mentioned the internet. Again, with my own experience and research, the


internet is playing a part in terms of radicalisation.


Do you think IS has changed that, changed the way that radicalisation


happens, changed the modus operandi. I think that IS are trying to


exploit the internet and opportunities. They are


opportunistic. And claim credit for anyone that they can.


Do you think in your experience that they focus on people vulnerable? I


think that IS are very, no the in the sense of a Machiavellian paster


mind in trying to reach and manipulate vulnerable people,


looking at the UK experience, ten, 12 years ago, we had the type of


charismatic recruiters who were active and out there in society in


some places but they have disappeared and shifted into the


background. That is very much with IS. I don't think that they have


recruiters trying to manipulate people. They are producing


propaganda and hoping that an audience receives it.


It is hard to work out the depths of the radicalisation. Yes, somebody


says that this is for IS but no idea how it is a late radicalisation, or


if it was one at all? With this case it was at later stage but I disagree


with Andrew in terms of IS and vulnerable groups with my own


experience of working with groups of people at risk and publishing a


paper on extremism in 2012 we say that there are vulnerable groups


that recruiters such as IS pick on. So those with mental health issues,


young people, women, and university students.


Andrew? I disagree. I think a lot of people with mental health issues are


flagged up. There could be 40 or 50% that Channel are working with have


mental health issues but people committed with mental health Irishes


very few have these problems. People with mental health issues are


flagged up with concern but few make it all the way to become terrorists.


They are people who are in a sense easy to pick on as being vulnerable.


But then there is a decision about the different methods used to


counter this. Would you say that the prevent strategy of ideology is a


reasonable one? I say we have to look at ideology. To look at it, yes


why. There are some individuals who have been radicalised and are at


risk. I have worked with them, they have possessed incorrect Islamic


ideology. So we have to look at ideology and factors, international


grievances, the rise of Islamophobia, alienation, to look at


radicalisation broadly and look at mental health. Especially those


suffering from mental health. Why? Because if you have a group


providing an individual with a sense of belonging, a sense of importance,


they can be drawn into that. What is the best way in your view? I


agree to look at a range of factors. It is not a one factor problem.


What about ideology? It is a facilitator but necessarily


important. For me the post important thing is identity. Where the


individual's sense of identity lies. It tells me about the vulnerability


toed a cadisation than necessarily the ideology that exists. Many of


the convicted terrorists I have met with video a poor understanding of


the understanding of the cause it is simple, naive in many respects. But


what is key is the sense of identity and a sense of connection to the


cause. Thank you very much.


Lawyers will be the real winners in Labour's endless court battles


to sort out who can and cannot vote in the leadership contest.


As of tonight, people who joined the Labour party after January 12th


Today, three Appeal Court judges ruled in favour of the NEC


and overturned the previous ruling that swept away a ban on recruits -


estimated to be 125,000 - who joined the party after January


Members of Mr Corbyn's team said it was the wrong decision,


Well, watching all this from the sidelines, in a week


where Labour's deputy leader has complained


of "Trotskyite infiltration" - a claim vehemently denied


The former deputy leader of Liverpool City Council


was expelled from the party in the early 80s for being a member


Good evening. Thank you very much for joining us. What do you make of


the ruling? When you think about it, 130,000 people joined the Labour


Party. A letter from the General Secretary, and told that they could


vote for the leader. Then that decision was changed.


Now it was changed for a reason reason--the reason being that they


thought that the vast majority of them would vote for Jeremy Corbyn,


probably true. But for them all of a sudden to say democracy is OK as


long as it is the right way, is verging on political corruption to


be honest. This week, Tom Watson said: Old


hands twist young articles. That's how Trotsky's interests operate. Are


trots ski infiltrating the Labour Party? I really don't know what


happened to him. I think he has lost it. The reality is that we are


talking about hundreds of thousands of people. They don't get their arms


twisted. They are people delighted that they are seeing a Labour Party


going in a particular way. Where they have seen in the past it has


gone the wrong way, now they are in a position to say that there is


light at the end of the tunnel. That is encouraging.


Why is he saying that? I don't understand. I whole lot of MPs are


getting worried. They are seeing the writing on the wall. Not only MPs.


But the media are getting worried. What makes me laugh is that we are


told all the time that Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable. If that is the case,


then the likes of the Mail, the Express, to the Daily Telegraph, and


to a degree the BBC, who have supported the Tory policies, that


they would be saying this is great, allowing it to happen... Let's talk


about your position as far as the Labour Party is concerns, would you


like to be part of it? The reason why they are vicious on the attacks


on Jeremy Corbyn is because they see that he is electable and pushing


forward policies that they are frightened off. My position? I tried


to join the Labour Party after 31 years, when was it just after the


general election. I got a letter saying "yes", I was a member. I got


a membership card. Then three weeks letter saying it had to go to the


NEC. I am waiting. But at the end of the day the reality is for 30 years


I have never voted for anyone else but Labour never joined another


political party, nor campaigned for another party that is the case.


Do you want back in? Being a member is irrelevant. The support is


important. I have never supported anyone other than the Labour Party.


Does Jeremy Corbyn want you back in? Ask him. I have not spoken to him


for a good while. Do you see parallels as to what is


happening now and the 19-80s? There are. But then Neil Kinnock bullied a


lot of people in the councils to go against people in the '80s. Now


there is no Neil Kinnock. And B, there is not one council. But an


entire movement. That is a very different situation. They are trying


everything, bullying through the courts, bullying by using the press


and at the end of the day more and more people are joining the Labour


Party. And ironically enough, that up until the time that the MPs


started this coup, Labour was starting to get to a position where


it was starting to tie with the Tories, increasing in popularity.


And people saying yes, Jeremy Corbyn is electable, he could be the next


Prime Minister. That frightens so many people.


Derek Hatton thank you very much for joining us.


When we see film of Aleppo, the biggest city in Syria,


it's hard to comprehend the visceral hardships, the hunger


As a young doctor there told Newsnight last week,


it's almost impossible to sleep, not least because you worry that


But people are desperate to have some normality,


and one such person is Abdulkafi Alhamdo,


a professor of English at Aleppo University.


He still tries to get to work, and his students too,


all the while in fear of a barrel bomb attack, or an air strike.


I spoke to him on Skype earlier this evening,


and we asked him to take some photographs for us this afternoon


Of course, we and many academic people here decided to stay and


teach those people who could not have a chance to study in other


places. All of those people who wanted to live here, who decided


that it would be a challenge to the situation.


So I will keep teaching here at the university. I will teach these


students who need someone to teach them.


Tell me, how dangerous is it for you to get to university each day? Yeah,


I mean, when I get to the university, my wife will get worried


until I am back. Of course when I get out to the university I will be


worried about my wife and my six-month-old daughter.


Tell me about the difficult journey that the students make to get to


you. How difficult is it for them? Some students have to walk an hour


to arrive at the university. Some of the bombs are cluster bombs. Even


when they were doing their exams, many bombs, many rockets fell


aboutside us. Are other areas of the city not so


badly bombed? I can say that my why exactly is not that dangerous


according to the other quarters. Because my quarter is so close to


that front line. By the way my ball Connie is open to air snipers.


We understand that there are 15 doctors left in the area of Aleppo


for 300,000 people. Even the normal things for your daughter getting


sick at the age of six months, you must pray that does not happen? I


want to tell you something, the day before yesterday when the chlorine


attack, me and my wife, my daughter, we were affected by the attack. But


I couldn't go to that hospitals as they were full of the attack. About


100 people were injured. So I could not go as I know that people would


not help me. Give me a sense of the route you


sent us, a route you would take to buy food. What is it like to go


along the street to get food? My road, everything is destroyed. Some


people live in this area. But every now and then I would hide as the


plane is above me. How do you live with death so close


the whole time? We used to living with such danger. Death is


everywhere. Now we wake up in the morning and I open my mobile to see


and read that my friend died, that my colleague died, my student died.


I take it as usual things. I go to those people. I say sorry to their


families. And then I continue my life. This is how we live here.


You sent us an image of a little boy looking happy eating a raw


vegetable. Tell me about that picture. What does it say about


Aleppo? Today I could eat for the first time in 40 days, I could eat


tomatoes, I was so happy I could take a selfie with the tomorrowatow.


All of the people here are so happy as for 40 days, imagine I could not


even see a vegetable or a tomato. A vegetable, of any kind. So all


people are happy to see that and to eat and taste such a thing. I think


these are the most delicious vegetables and fruits that I have


eaten in all my life. Obviously this three-hour aid


corridor is important. Especially for the children to get nourishment?


Russia is said that they will have a ceasefire of 40 hours. But we don't


have this ceasefire. They are continuing to bomb every now and


then but still the cars could come into Aleppo.


Tell me if you could leave, would you, or would you stay in Aleppo?


What we want only is freedom. We will not runaway. We will not leave


this land for other people. Of course, sometimes yes. When we were


under siege, sometimes I hold my daughter and I ask her Forsythe


giveness as I have to stay here. I tell her -- I ask her for


forgiveness. I have to stay here. She is only six months but I have to


stay here. I will not leave her to know that I ran away simply. I


stayed here as I wanted to stay. Maybe this affects her future but I


can't leave and people will not leave, by the way.


Thank you very much. Now, breaking news of a very happy


kind. Bradley Wiggins has won gold along with his team in the men's


cycling team pursuit. He has now won more medals in Great Britain Olympic


On BBC2 now, a long time performer who's slumming it


I'm sorry - that's actually tomorrow night, when I'll be reporting


No, tonight, I'm afraid it's more from the burger-flecked bean bag


of our Olympics correspondent, Stephen Smith.


He's been sampling Brazilian cocktails with comedian Jenny Eclair


My favourite bit is the Olympic flame.


It is like the whole world getting together round a barbecue isn't it.


Caipirinhas today, which is the national


That will see me through a few hours of Olympic watching.


I am hoping that the very large y-fronted underpants aren't


Paxman, you know, when he complained about the elastic going.


Very few women go back to the Olympics


You feel sorry for the ones at the back.


If I were her I would pretend to fall.


Who is going to claim the gold medal in Rio,


up to the line and the gold medal goes to Great Britain.


It is a science, isn't it, with this.


The old man has talked to me about this, and it sounds like this.


Have you ever played to a half-empty house?


Do you know, I have played so many half-empty houses they've had


to say to me "We just had a change of venue.


You know, like you were meant to be in the big hall tonight?


We have put some chairs out in the foyer, are you OK with that?"


That was uncharacteristic, that landing.


There's not enough badly dismounted finishes being covered up.


Their position is well and truly dominating here.


These women will always be able to wear sleeveless.


As long as they keep up a little bit


Great Britain's Glover and Stanning defend their Olympic title


I've enjoyed it so much, thank you for coming.


Can't drink any more though, because I've got my middle-aged


I am going to squeeze into a leotard so I will say thank you very much.


The fabulous Jenni Eclair and Steve Smith.


That's all we have time for - goodnight.


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark.

On the programme, a German suicide bomber's therapist speaks, Derek Hatton on the Labour leadership, inside Aleppo with an English professor, and Steve Smith's Olympics.

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