THE gloating killer of much-loved shopkeeper Asad Shah is spreading sickening boasts about the murder from the comfort of his prison cell – through a preacher thousands of miles away.
Taxi driver Tanveer Ahmed, 32, drove from Bradford to Glasgow to murder Mr Shah just hours after he wished his customers a happy Easter.
The crime rocked Scotland and led to an outpouring of emotion, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joining shocked community members for a vigil in Mr Shah’s honour, while a campaign for his family quickly raised more than £100,000.
Ahmed was locked up in Glasgow’s Barlinnie Prison for carrying out the despicable attack.
However, a Sunday Post probe has now obtained video footage apparently revealing how unrepentant Ahmed has been bragging about his crime to an influential Pakistani religious cleric from his cell.
Our footage shows white-bearded Islamic preacher Khadim Hussain Rizvi – whose online sermons influence thousands – recounting an embellished version of the horror crime that bears little resemblance to the account relayed to the High Court in Glasgow earlier this year.
In it, Rizvi is filmed before a delighted crowd of followers claiming to have been speaking to Ahmed by phone, a detail which will no doubt concern the authorities, who are believed to be closely monitoring all of his prison communications.
In a five-minute oration in Urdu, which we’ve had translated by specialists, Lahore-based Rizvi labels Ahmed a “lion” and hails him for his gruesome slaying of the popular 40-year-old shopkeeper. The wheelchair-bound cleric – described in Pakistani media as a prominent religious figure who has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media – also gives graphic details about the cold-blooded killing of Mr Shah and mocks those who battled in vain to save him.
Posted in July and viewed thousands of times, Rizvi claims the killer told him it’s easy to call from prison.
He gloated how he “took a knife” to the shop of the man who claimed he was a prophet and “used to sell sweets” before “stabbing him once in the neck”.
According to the religious leader, Ahmed then claimed he followed Mr Shah into a gym where “English people were doing their exercises”.
“When the English people saw the knife in my hand, they all attacked me with their exercise equipment,” Ahmed is claimed to have recounted.
“They kept beating me with the exercise equipment but the Lord gave me so much power that I picked up these men one by one and threw them away.”
At this, the audience chants “Allah is great, Allah is great” while the smiling religious figure continues. According to him, Ahmed said: “They tried to snatch my knife… but I did not let them take my knife away. They beat me up… but I felt as if someone was giving me a massage.
“I chucked away eight Englishmen and I went with my knife to the place where he (Asad Shah) was hiding. Earlier I had stabbed him twice. Then I stabbed him 27 times.”
Amid clear jubilation, Ahmed’s alleged account adds: “I rubbed my foot on to his face and I said: ‘Dog! You call yourself a prophet! Only our Master and our Lord is the Prophet. Who are you?’
“I smashed his face and then I stood there for an hour-and-a-half and no one dared come near me. I invited the people closer but no one came. They shivered and quivered in fear like this.
“I said to them nothing will happen, you fools. This man has mocked the Prophet.
“We are not terrorists. But yes, we are the guards of the Prophet Muhammad and if someone will insult him, he will not find safety anywhere in the world.”
The version differs greatly from that put forward by prosecutors.
Ahmed admitted the murder when he appeared in court in July, around the time this footage was shot. The court heard that he stabbed the pillar of the community in his shop before chasing him outside and attacking him again.
Mr Shah’s brother Athar and another passerby, Stephen McFadyen, attempted to intervene but the ferocity of the attack was too much. Stunned police officers arrived at the scene and found Ahmed sitting quietly at a bus stop just yards from Mr Shah’s body.
The Sunday Post has been unable to verify for certain the content of any phone call between Ahmed and Rizvi. However, it is known the Scottish Prison Service is monitoring the killer’s calls.
It also emerged this month that Police Scotland is investigating how phone messages from the murderer ended up on YouTube. The messages were apparently recorded from Ahmed’s phone calls from jail and posted on the site.
Footage of the chilling Pakistani
sermon was passed to The Sunday Post by London-based anti-extremist organisation Faith Matters.
It is likely Police Scotland will now want to examine the footage and translation.
Faith Matters director Fiyaz Mughal OBE said: “Seeing the video, we were shocked to see how Tanveer Ahmed is lionised and how religion is intertwined to justify actions against people regarded as ‘blasphemers’. It is serious and deadly in its nature. This is why we must all remain vigilant. It’s frightening stuff.”
Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone believes the powers-that-be should look into the footage carefully.
He said: “This kind of vile and hateful language has no place in our society. It’s inexcusable and despicable to celebrate such a heinous crime. I hope the authorities are able to take very firm action.”
We tried to contact the preacher to
verify exactly what Ahmed is said to have told him, but he did not respond to our queries.
Remorseless Ahmed was sentenced to 27 years behind bars for the crime.