I have just been watching the Breakfast programme on BBC1, and they have a reporter in Leeds, where it appears three of the four London bombers originated. During the course of his report(which you can watch here) Graham Satchell says he has been speaking to neighbours in the streets surrounding the houses raided by police yesterday; as a result he reveals the names of three men who lived in the houses in question with the obvious implication that these are the terrorists responsible for the murders in London. Satchell stresses, however, that these names have not been confirmed by the police.
Is it just me, or is that a disgraceful and irresponsible piece of journalism? At this stage this information is just speculation, and should we really be speculating about the identity of the murderers? What if the information is inaccurate, that the names provided are incorrect due to mischief or vindictiveness on the part of those interviewed by Satchell? Innocent men could have been maligned by association with Thursday’s horror.
More likely the information is correct, but still, before the police have released these details into the public domain the families of the men concerned are seeing their sons’ names splashed across national television. Like the other people who have lost family or friends in the London bombings they are just coming to terms with the fact that their loved ones are dead; except in this case they are also having to accept that their sons or brothers are suicide bombers, and murderers.
It seems a pretty appalling way to act to me, unless you think that the sins of the son should be visited on the father; and I don’t.
UPDATE: The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph also name the suspects, as I now suppose the rest of the media must have done. Perhaps the release of this information has been sanctioned, but it does appear to have come from neighbours rather than from official sources, and as such the whole thing still seems a bit dodgy to me.