"Madeleine McCann could have been abducted by Berbers from North Africa, working in PdL in May 2007, who overheard people talking about Maddie and thought they were talking about the future mother of the coming 'Mahdi': A McCann Team theory

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"Madeleine McCann could have been abducted by Berbers from North Africa, working in PdL in May 2007, who overheard people talking about Maddie and thought they were talking about the future mother of the coming 'Mahdi': A McCann Team theory

Post  Tony Bennett on Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:58 pm


The commencement in September 2013 of the final phase of the Doctors McCanns vs Dr Goncalo Amaral libel trial has unleashed a raft of unlikely stories of how and why Madeleine might have been abducted from her holiday apartment in May 2007.

One of the unlikeliest theories of all, however, was being discussed by the McCann Team itself within days of the McCanns’ return from Portugal on 9 September 2007, two days after they had been declared arguidos - suspects - in connection with their daughter’s disappearance. Or it might even have been discussed by the McCann Team before that.

The theory being discussed by the McCann Team is that a Muslim working temporarily in Praia da Luz overheard the McCanns, or friends of theirs, saying the word ‘Maddie’.

So, the theory went, the Muslim thought that maybe the McCanns were talking about the Muslim end-times figure known as ‘The Mahdi’.

Just as the Christian Bible speaks (310 times altogether) of the bodily return of Jesus Christ at the end of time, so the Muslims who put together the Koran – after Mohammed died in 632 AD – developed the idea of a similar, Muslim figure, who would also arise at the end of time. Unlike the Bible’s description of the return of Christ, which is consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments, the ‘Mahdi’ legend takes many different forms.

I have had in my possession, for some three years, drafts of parts of a proposed book written by McCann Team insider Gary Hagland, which he kindly posted to me. Hagland was employed for about six months by the McCann Team, September 2007 to March or April 2008. Hagland’s expertise was financial regulation, compliance and money-laundering. In the Financial Times Director, 30 March 2001, an article about him described as:

“Gary Hagland, a consultant with law firm Wragge & Co. He advises clients on the active management of compliance risks, including money laundering. He works with the Institute of Directors' board consultancy department on the ‘Compliant Board’ initiative that aims to guide company directors through the labyrinth of regulations and procedures that successful compliance demands. Mr Hagland paints a broad picture of the type of non-financial services businesses that may well be targets for the money launderer”. 

I append below, in an Appendix, a Wikiepdia entry about ‘The Mahdi’ in Muslim religious literature.

Hagland was very certainly a member of the McCann Team from early on - September 2007 - see also here:




The details he has given me about his time in the McCann Team have been checkable and I think in substance he told me the truth about his involvement there. Whether he really believed in his ‘Mahdi’ theory is another matter.

Apart from that, verbatim as it came to me direct from Gary Hagland, this is what he wrote about Maddie and ‘The Mahdi’. The emphases in what follows is Hagland’s not mine:


Helping To Find Madeleine (HTFM) was a remarkable asset for me, for the effort. Both Kennedys [Brian and Patrick – T.B.] hugely underrated it, though, seeing it as no more than a glorified Tupperware party for bored housewives. Crippling chauvinism aside, from the perspectives of strategy and logistics, the group worked wonders. For example, the fact that I could mull in my mind the question of Madeleine being abducted-to-order by a wealthy Arab family of the Berber tribe, and conceptualise in my mind’s eye a poster on Phillipine tagalog, describing Madeleine, urging Filipino maids working in the United Arab Emirates to call-in to Metodo 3 if they saw her, and that a reward was on offer, was all well and good - but it was HTFM which translated it into reality.

Design, translation, production, distribution, HTFM was a one-stop shop. Any administration required en masse, the HTFM team was on tap, 24/7. In-between, it ploughed its own supportively rich furrow. The integrity of HTFM and the altruistic endeavours of its management got me thinking about charity [PASSAGE SNIPPED]…HTFM was, as far as I was concerned, a true charity in design, form and action.

It was with the support of HTFM in mind that I began to research and anlayse Morocco as a realistic target destination for Madeleine. This was against a backdrop not just of investigative resource but fading resource. The Septemnbr2007 sighting of a white, fair-haired small girl seen being carried papoose-style on the back of a Moroccan peasant woman near the town of Zinat, whose snatched photograph by Clara Torres, a tourist from Albacete, Spain, was splashed across British newspapers with the strap-line: Could this be the face of Madeleine McCann?, focussed  attention that fair-skinned, blonde offspring are not unusual in this region, and that Madeleine could more easily be assimilated and absorbed, than not. It also triggered Brian Kennedy flying to the area in the belief that the sighting was Madeleine.


[NOTE by TB: This incident (Brian Kennedy flying out to Morocco allegedly just to check on a sighting) is dealt with on page 278 of the hardback version of Dr Kate McCann’s book, ‘madeleine’. She says in the book: “On 25 September, we heard that a little blonde girl resembling Madeleine had been spotted with a group of Moroccan peasants. We received a photograph, taken by a Spanish tourist, in which the child was being carried on a woman’s back. Although she did look like Madeleine, our first reaction was that she appeared to be too young…Brian Kennedy called us later that evening to ask if we should like him to fly out to Morocco to find out for certain. We weren’t sure if this was necessary or wise, but at the same time, of course, we were desperate to know. So off Brian went in his plane to northern Morocco”.

The little blonde girl turned out to be Bouchra Ben Aisa, a relative of the peasant woman carrying her.

There was a burst of publicity about Madeleine being in Morocco five days later, on Sunday 30 September. The Daily Mail’s headline ran: ‘Madeleine: McCanns' investigators follow sightings to Morocco’. The Mail report told us: “The McCanns are ramping up the hunt for Madeleine in Morocco following a string of sightings. The latest sighting - each triggering an ‘emotional rollercoaster’ for parents Gerry and Kate - was ruled out this week when a tourist’s holiday snap was revealed to be a farmer's daughter. But private investigators are going to North Africa to re-interview witnesses in three other sightings. And the advertising campaign is going into overdrive with TV adverts in Arabic appealing for sightings. The team [of] private investigators is being paid for by double-glazing magnate Brian Kennedy…”

On the same day, The Times filed a report headed: ‘McCanns send sleuths to Morocco’, telling us: “The parents of Madeleine McCann have hired a team of private investigators to search for her in Morocco…on the 150th day since Madeleine disappeared, it emerged that a millionaire benefactor is paying tens of thousands of pounds a week for a private security firm to re-interview witnesses and investigate paedophile networks in Morocco.  The McCanns are convinced that Madeleine could have been smuggled to north Africa after four independent sightings of a girl matching her description…The team of private investigators in Morocco is being paid for by Brian Kennedy, the £350m home improvements tycoon, who last week pledged to fund their fight-back. Kennedy himself travelled to Rabat last week for a progress report [my italics]”. 

So, did Kennedy fly out to Rabat to see if Bouchra Ben Aisa was Madeleine, or, as The Times reported, for a ‘progress report on what his men were doing in Morocco?’ The latter seems more likely, since The Times report told us that Kennedy was already ‘…paying tens of thousands of pounds a week’ for ‘a private security firm’ to ‘re-interview witnesses and investigate paedophile networks in Morocco’. Kennedy, it seemed, may already have had people on the ground in Morocco. 

And indeed, that was confirmed by a report in the Daily Mail on 5 November. It featured one of Kennedy’s men in Morocco, Ali El Bouazaout. The Mail told us: “Tourist guide Ali El Bouazaout, who speaks seven languages, is just one of the men to become involved with the search and has travelled more than 1,000 miles scouring the country for the little girl. ‘I have been all over Morocco looking for Madeleine - to Marrakesh, to Fez, even to the Sahara, showing her picture to people, hoping someone will recognise her’, he said. ‘And if I find her, I will be rich. I have been promised I will never have to work again, maybe £1 million’. The tourist guide joined the hunt after Mr Kennedy went into Morocco after a suspected sighting in Zinat, in the Rif mountains. ‘Brian flew into Morocco in his private jet looking for Madeleine’, he said. ‘I was waiting outside the Hertz rental car company office by the airport and that is where I met him [my italics]. I worked as his guide and translator. I went with him to Zinat to look for Madeleine, but it was not her. Then I went with him to Rabat to the British Embassy. I know him very well. [my italics]. I have been all over the country, more than 1,400 kilometres [900 miles], showing Madeleine's pictures.

Then Kennedy spoke to the Daily Express: “…Mr Kennedy, 47, confirmed the Moroccan tour guide was involved with the hunt: ‘I know Ali. He is a sweet guy. Yes, I promised him a reward [£1 million], but that is not the reason he is doing this…he was the guy who was involved with the first sighting in Morocco. He was the man who went with us to find the girl in Zinat, who turned out to look like Madeleine but was actually a Moroccan girl”.
From the above, it seems certain that before he took his flight to Morocco on 25 September 2007, Kennedy had already made arrangements to meet  Ali El Bouazaout outside Hertz car rentals. The would have already known Ali El Bouazaout, either directly or through an intermediary. Possibly Bouazaout was someone that Método 3 had already contacted and who had agreed to work for Kennedy. There is, in short, doubt as to whether Kennedy flew to Morocco on 25 September, as suggested both by Gary Hagland and Dr Kate McCann.

Now back to Gary Hagland’s draft book… ]


Last edited by Tony Bennett on Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:07 pm; edited 2 times in total


                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"

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Re: "Madeleine McCann could have been abducted by Berbers from North Africa, working in PdL in May 2007, who overheard people talking about Maddie and thought they were talking about the future mother of the coming 'Mahdi': A McCann Team theory

Post  Tony Bennett on Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:05 pm


Now back to Gary Hagland’s draft book…


It wasn’t Madeleine; the child, Bouchra Ben Aisa, was a relative of the woman who was carrying her. The sense that Madeleine was there remained with me however [PASSAGE SNIPPED].

From a religious perspective, Morocco’s Islamic eschatology [prophecies of the end of the world] is concerned with the ‘Last Judgment’. Eschatology relates to one of the six articles of faith of Islam according to the Sunni traditions. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches the bodily resurrection of the dead, the fulfillment of a divine plan for creation , and the judgment of the soul…About one-third of the Koran deals with these beliefs, with many hadith – narrations concerning the words and deeds of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed – elaborating on the themes and details…Among many hadith related to sign of the [approaching] day of judgment, one the most famous hadith is the ‘Hadith of Gabriel’, which says:

“One day while the Prophet was sitting in the company of some people, [the angel] Gabriel came and asked: ‘What is faith?’ Allah’s Apostle replied: ‘Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, [the], Meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in the Resurrection’. Then he further asked: ‘What is Islam? Allah’s Apostle replied: ‘To worship Allah alone and none else, to offer prayers, perfectly to pay the compulsory charity [‘Zakat’] and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan’. Then he further asked, ‘What is Ihsan’ [perfection]?’ Allah’s Apostle replied: ‘To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you’, Then he further asked: ‘When will the House be established?’ Allah’s Apostle replied: ‘’The answer has no better knowledge than the questioner. But I will inform you about its portents: 1. When  slave (lady) gives birth to her Master, and 2. When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings. And The Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah’.”

Hagland then continues:

In both Shia and Sunni eschatology, the Mahdi, or ‘The Guided One’, is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on earth before the Day of Judgment and, alongside the Christ, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. In Shia Islam, the belief in the Madhi is a powerful and central religious idea and closely related to the ‘Twelfth Imam’, Muhammed al-Mahdi, whose return from occultation is deemed analagous with the coming of the Mahdi.

‘Maddie’ intones as ‘Mahdi’, and her coloboma eye is regarded in Berber culture as strongly talismanic – a good omen, a positive portent, similar to the power of the eye of Horus who was the chief deity of the ancient Egyptians. The concept of the all-seeing eye straddles many traditions; not least, it can be seen on the reverse of the Masonic-designed U.S. 1-dollar note. The Eye of Providence, or the All-Seeing Eye of God, is a symbol showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light, or a glory, and usually enclosed by a triangle. It is sometimes interpreted as representing the eye of god watching over humankind, [Hagland then supplies four illustrations, one is a photography of Madeleine’s coloboma; this is then compared with  the other three, being the Eye of Horus, the Imazigen Flag,and a design of the Phoenix.  They are marked Figures 7 to 10 in his book. Hagland then continues…]

Was it possible that a nomadic Berber - Berber groups are first mentioned in writing by the ancient Egyptians - seeking or having secured holiday-season work in Praia da Luz, first heard ‘Maddie’ being called, but hearing it as ‘Mahdi’, then, on closer scrutiny, seeing her coloboma eye?


Was it plausible?


The talsimanic aspect was further underscored by the later ‘Hadith of Gabriel’ line: ‘When a slave (lady) gives birth to her Master’.

Could this be the plan, to abduct her in all her talismanic glory, and keep her to child-bearing age in an endeavor to fulfil prophecy?

It was not only plausible - it was possible.



APPENDIX: Extract of Wikipedia entry on ‘The Mahdi’:

In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi (Arabic: مهدي‎ / ISO 233: mahdī / English: ‘The Guided One’) is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine or nineteen years (according to differing interpretations) [1] before the Day of Judgment (yawm al-qiyamah / literally, the Day of Resurrection) [2] and will rid the world of evil. [3]

The Mahdi's tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isa), who is to assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal (literally, the "false Messiah" or Antichrist). [4] Jesus, who is considered the Masih (Messiah) in Islam, will descend at the point of a white arcade, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes with his head anointed. He will then join the Mahdi in his war against the Dajjal, where Jesus will slay Dajjal and unite mankind - Sahih Muslim, 41:7023

Sahih al-Bukhari, 3:43:656: Narrated Abu Hurairah:

Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until the son of Maryam (Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler; he will break the cross, kill the swine, and abolish the Jizya tax. Wealth will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it."

Jesus Christ has been foretold to return at near the end of the world. The Koran says: [5]

"And [Isa] shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.” [Koran 43]

The Sunnis view the Mahdi as the successor of Mohammad. The Mahdi is expected to arrive to rule the world and to reestablish righteousness. [6]

The Mahdi is frequently mentioned in Sunni hadith as establishing the caliphate. Among Sunnis, some believe the Mahdi will be an ordinary man.
Muhammad said: “The world will not come to an end until the Arabs are ruled by a man from my family whose name is the same as mine and whose father’s name is the same as my father’s”. [7]

The second civil war (680-692) marks the true birth of the messianic figure of Mahdi. The term Mahdi was first used in a messianic sense during the rebellion of Al-Mukhtar in Kufa in 683 on behalf of Muhammad al-Hanafiyyah. By the time of the Abbasid revolution in the year 750, Mahdism was already a known concept. Evidence shows that the first Abbasid caliph assumed the title of the Mahdi for himself… [REST SNIPPED]













                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"

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