Perhaps the fella with the toned delts and chiseled triceps finishing up another set of Romanian Deadlifts isn’t just the hottie you’re too neverous to approach — perhaps he’s a terrorist. Turns out, more than a few of our unwelcome jihad soldiers had gym memberships. Whether they got locked into a 12-month contract to tone their adductors or network with other terrorists is not, necessarily, a mutually exclusive decision.
The British government recently published its Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005. It reveals that three of the four members of the 7/7 cell seem to have become radicalized in gyms rather than in mosques. Mohammed Sidique Khan, leader of the cell, worked on his protÃ©gÃ©s in “informal settings,” primarily at a local Islamic bookshop where they watched radical DVDs and at local gyms, some of which were based in rooms below mosques. According to the report, “Khan gave talks [at the gyms], and worked out.” He set up two gyms, one in 2000 with local government money–which means that government officials unwittingly funded one of the settings for his efforts–and another in 2004. Shehzad Tanweer, the 22-year-old who seems to have been the second-in-command of the 7/7 cell, “got to know [Khan] again (having known him a little as a child) through one of the gyms.” Indeed, Tanweer was as much a fitness fanatic as he was a religious one. Shortly after 7/7, one of his former friends told the Guardian: “Shehzad went to a few mosques around here but he was more interested in his jujitsu. I trained with him all the time. He is really fit.” Jermaine Lindsay, another of the 7/7 bombers, has also been described as a “fitness fanatic.” A report published by the Terrorism Monitor at the end of July 2005 said that he “met his fellow bombers while attending one of the gyms set up by Khan.”
We’re not saying you need to be wary of the ravishing bloke seated next to you in the sauna, but when you’re back at your place and he mentions how much he wants you to explode, it might be wise to think twice.
Killer Workout [Slate]