This is the face of the undercover reporter who infiltrated Global Aid Trust (GAT) for the ITV documentary Charities Behaving Badly, writes Roshan Muhammed Salih.
Several sources have confirmed to 5Pillars that the name the undercover spy went by was “Kabir Cheema,” a Pakistani who applied for a job at GAT, although this is not thought to be his real name.
The documentary, which supposedly revealed extremism at the charity, led to the resignation of its CEO, the TV presenter Rizwan Hussain.
5Pillars has decided to reveal Mr Cheema’s image so that he will not be able to infiltrate any other Muslim institution. This is because we have consistently reported on establishment spying and monitoring of the Muslim community, the damage it has done and the paranoia it has engendered.
According to information that 5Pillars has seen, when he approached GAT Cheema said he was looking to “utilise my varied skills and expertise to build on my previous voluntary work in the charitable sector and make a career in fundraising and aid.”
He said he was a student at Brunel University, London, and had studied at Macquarie University, Sydney, and had gone to school in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Cheema said he had participated in earthquake relief in Pakistan in 2005 and had worked at Duncan & Lewis Solicitors in London.
In a letter dated June 2014 he described himself as a university student currently on summer holidays. He also expressed particular interest in what was going on in Syria and said he felt what was “happening to the Ummah in Shaam was terrible.”
Meanwhile, the former charity worker who was at the centre of Mr Cheema’s sting, Shaffiq Shabbar, has also revealed the undercover journalist’s face in a YouTube video.
At one point in the ITV documentary, the reporter was introduced to Mr Shabbar, who told him of his admiration for the Al Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki.
Mr Shabbar told the reporter: “They spread loads of lies about him… He’s a scholar and basically he was imprisoned and after he came out of prison he started to incite hatred and telling the Western Muslims to bomb. He incited bombings basically. Bruv, he was a brilliant guy though.”
Mr Shabbar was also covertly filmed making controversial comments about the Syria conflict.
But in his YouTube video Mr Shabbar said: “This is the man who pretended to be a Muslim and riled me up by using the suffering of the Syrian people as leverage. A truly vile human being. This in my opinion is pure entrapment, pure wrong and was driven by malicious intent…. I pity his parents for having such a vile animal for a child.”
He added: “I am only showing this image so that he cannot ruin any more lives.”
In the 17 minute video Mr Shabbar also says that his words were taken out of context and he had been misrepresented.
“I was there (GAT) for two months on a temporary contract. During this time I was filmed discussing the Syrian conflict and a controversial Islamic scholar. This guy prayed with me, opened and closed his fasts with me and worked alongside me sometimes.”
Mr Shabbar said his comments were made when he was in a relaxed setting speaking freely and not articulating himself well.
He said he was speaking about Anwar al Awlaki “prior to his radicalisation” and had told people not to go to Syria. But he admitted that some of his words were “driven by passion about the plight of the Syrian people.”
He added that he was speaking in jest when he told the undercover reporter that Al Qaeda could help people who wanted to go to Syria. He said Al Qaeda is a “western-sponsored second rate terror organisation who are being beheaded by ISIS for not being hard core enough.”
“Ultimately I have not committed a crime and I have not caused anyone harm and I don’t intend to,” he continued. “However, this programme has caused a lot of distress to me, my personal life and my family. Anyway, I have had lots of people who’ve supported me because they can see through the media manipulation and believe I was misinterpreted…
“There was an agenda to this programme and there will be an agenda to the next one too. I was used as a fall guy and I refuse to go down.”
Mr Shabbar said he had reported the incident to the police in December, had answered all their questions and was told he was free to go. He no longer works at Global Aid Trust.
5Pillars has contacted “Kabir Cheema” for a response and is still awaiting a reply.
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