Thursday, July 28, 2005

BBC NEWS | Politics | The last days of 'Londonistan'

BBC NEWS | Politics | The last days of 'Londonistan'

By Paul Reynolds - World Affairs correspondent, BBC News website

Massari's case highlights difficulties the UK government faces

The London bombings have spurred the British government into proposing a series of new laws designed to put an end to the reputation of the capital as "Londonistan", a centre for militant Islam.
It wants to create offences such as "indirect incitement to terrorism", "acts preparatory to terrorism" and using the internet for terrorist recruitment and training.

It also wants to make it easier to deport foreign nationals who openly preach jihad and violence.

However, one attempted deportation shows how human rights legislation and its interpretation by the judiciary can prevent the executive in a Western democracy from simply exercising its will.

At a time when al-Qaeda and its associates are showing a resilience and ability to strike at widespread targets in London and Egypt - let alone Iraq - the government feels such legal protections must be looked at again.

The Massari case

The case in point is that of Muhammad al-Massari, an exile from Saudi Arabia, who runs a website that shows videos of suicide bomb attacks in Iraq, including one in which three British soldiers were killed.

An extended interview with Mr Massari was shown in a BBC television documentary about how the internet is an integral part of the far-flung al-Qaeda network, of which the Iraqi insurgents led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are part.

[Mr al-Massari] opposed the Saudi royal family from an Islamist point of view... The royal family was not greatly amused

British official

In the 1990s, Mr Massari ran a group in London called the Committee for the Defence of Legal Rights. At that time, he specialised in sending faxes into Saudi Arabia to promote his cause.

According to a British official who has tracked the case, the Saudi government told the British authorities at the time that he was more Islamic militant than human rights activist.

"He opposed the Saudi royal family from an Islamist point of view. He thought, and probably still does, that it was not Islamic enough, that it was corrupt and decadent," the official said.

"The royal family was not greatly amused."

Attempt to deport

During the Conservative government of John Major, a high-level assurance was given to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah that Britain would send Mr al-Massari back.

That is when the legal problems began.

The case was handed to an unusually senior British official, a sign of how important it was deemed.

For the next 18 months, this official spoke to almost every lawyer in the government but was blocked at every turn.

The issue was that of the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, which says in Article 32: "The Contracting States shall not expel a refugee lawfully in their territory save on grounds of national security or public order."

Government lawyers said that British national security was not sufficiently engaged, even though the then-Home Secretary Michael Howard argued that British interests in the Gulf were at risk from Mr Massari's activities.

The Dominica solution

Eventually, another route was explored.

"We looked at whether another country might take him," said the British official. "We narrowed it down to about 10. They all said that they would like to help but always added that their relations with Saudi Arabia might be jeopardised. Finally it came down to one - Dominica."

"Other countries have managed perfectly well, consistent with human rights, to expel people who are inciting in other countries

Tony Blair

Dominica, a former British colony, is a volcanic dot in the Caribbean, one of the lushest of the West Indian islands and about as far away from the Middle East as you can get.

It had been run for 15 years by a tough prime minister named Eugenia Charles, an admirer of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Dominica agreed to take the Saudi exile.

"Massari appealed and the court upheld his appeal," said the official.

" It held that although Dominica had signed the 1951 Convention, this was not incorporated into its domestic law, so there was a chance he would be sent on somewhere else. We could not get rid of him."

The promise to the Crown Prince could not be fulfilled. The Saudis were not pleased.

Guardian journalists condemn sacking of radical Muslim

Guardian journalists condemn sacking of radical Muslim - Brand Republic

by Gordon MacMillan Brand Republic 28 Jul 2005

McCall: NUJ has condemned her sacking of Aslam

LONDON – Guardian journalists have condemned the sacking of Muslim journalist Dilpazier Aslam, who was revealed by bloggers to be a member of the anti-Semitic Islamic group Hizb'ut Tahrir.

His sacking was discussed at a National Union of Journalists meeting, at which Aslam was present. According to political blog Harry's Place, part of Aslam's defence was his surprise at the outrage caused by his 7/7 article in The Guardian, in which he called the suicide bombers who killed 52 people "sassy".

Aslam said that he had worked closely on the piece with Guardian comment editor Seumus Milne, who he said had suggested certain phrases that appeared in the controversial article.

At the NUJ meeting, Aslam is understood to have been asked several pointed questions about the anti-Semitism of Hizb'ut Tahrir. Aslam is reported not to have given satisfactory answers to these questions.

Despite this, the meeting still narrowly backed him and condemned his sacking by Guardian Newspapers chief executive Carolyn McCall.


News | This is London - Suspect paid thousands in benefits

Suspect paid thousands in benefits

26 July 2005

One of the would-be suicide bombers who tried to blow up a London Tube train had been handed thousands of pounds in taxpayers' money.

Yasin Hassan Omar, 24, was given 75 pounds a week in housing benefit to pay for the one-bedroom flat where he has been the registered tenant since February 1999.

His housing benefit stopped in May but he may have been given up to �24,000 over the last five years.

The flat, on the ninth floor of a 12-storey tower block in New Southgate, north London, is believed to
have been used as a bomb factory by the suicide team who unsuccessfully targeted the London transport network last Thursday.

Explosives experts were examining material found inside.

Neighbours said another suspected bomber Muktar Said-Ibrahim, 27, had also been staying at the flat.

And they described seeing men lugging boxes into the flat only a few weeks ago. The men said the boxes contained wallpaper stripper.

More London bombers 'had 16 unexploded bombs'

London bombers 'had 16 unexploded bombs'

27/07/2005 - 15:45:52

The London bombers left a stash of 16 unexploded bombs in a car, some packed with nails, it was revealed today.

Security experts believe the July 7 plot, which killed 56 people, may have been much larger and the explosives intended for a second strike.

The bombs were recovered from a car believed to have been rented by suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer, according to ABC News.

The vehicle was found five days after the attacks in Luton, where the bombers boarded a train to London.

Exclusive pictures obtained by the US network show some of the bombs flat-packed like pancakes, while others were packed with nails to use as shrapnel.

An X-ray picture of one of the bombs shows nails bulging out of the side of a bottle-shaped bomb.

Security analyst Robert Ayers, told ABC: "Bombs don't kill by concussion. Small bombs, they kill by the blast effects of fragments of glass or metal, and this is designed to kill people."

He said he believed the explosives were left for a second strike.

The first pictures of the bloody wreckage deep in the London underground tunnels have also been obtained by ABC.

The extent of the devastation at Edgware Road station and on the train between King�s Cross and Russell Square, where 27 were killed, was shown on World News Tonight.

Mr Ayers said you could see how the bomb had blown out the train�s sides, and the roof had been blown to bits."


27 July 2005

BY THE time four young British Muslim men had turned themselves into human bombs and murdered 52 innocent people, I'd left London behind.

At dawn on July 7, the city was still basking in the glory of winning the bid to host the 2012 Olympics. The spirit of optimism was palpable.

London was definitely looking up. Two weeks later, it feels as though I've been through a time warp.

The capital is now a dramatically different place. But for all the tragedy, carnage and mayhem I'm not altogether sure that it's a worse one. The picture is crystal clear and the enemy exposed.

We're in no doubt now about the kind of terrorist we're dealing with. Not illegal immigrants or refugees raised on a diet of hatred and fear but young men who appeared, on the face of it, to be polite and courteous citizens.

They've enjoyed, as much as anyone else in Britain, opportunities to make a decent life for themselves. The state, it now emerges, was even bankrolling two of them.

Fugitive bombers Yasin Hassan Omar, a 24-year-old Somali, and flat-mate Muktar Said-Ibrahim had been living rent-free in their council flat and receiving income support. You can't say fairer than that, can you?

And yet still the woolly liberals wring their hands and wonder where we all went wrong. The truth is, we didn't.

The suicide bombers of July 7 came from backgrounds that were no more or less dysfunctional than your average child in Britain today.

Some grab their chances with both hands to succeed in life. Others succumb to the super-chav ambition of acquiring designer clothes and breeding a succession of illegitimate babies.

This lot turned, instead, to religious extremism and embraced the insane, impossible dreams a jihad offered them, of martyrdom and heavenly virgins.

Intellectual or political reasoning has nothing to do with their cause. The foreign policy of the West is a useful weapon of propaganda but at the heart of their terrorism is the desire - irrational though it may seem to us - that we should live by their religion.

For years, they've worshipped at the altar of mad mullahs like Omar Bakri and Abu Hamza, both of whom have been allowed to preach their messages of hate and pure venom in this country, with impunity.

What's happened in Britain is a wake-up call. A shocking reminder that we're not exempt from the brain-washed, murderous young man trained to deceive and groomed to kill.

I wonder how many of us, as we grieve for those killed by car bombs in Sharm-el-Sheik, spared a thought for the 40 people who also lost their lives in an Iraq blast - all victims of a lorry containing 500lb of explosives driven into a police station.

Al-Qaeda, make no mistake, holds no mercy for Iraqis, who are, in the main, Shia Muslims.

The dreadful, appalling fact is that we needed an atrocity to truly understand the horror other nations have suffered for years. (Let's not forget that it was in 1993 - long before the war in Iraq - that al-Qaeda set off a truck bomb in the World Trade Center.)

And, more importantly, we needed it to recognise that what's happened in Britain these past two weeks has been simmering for just as long. Finally, the government has woken from its slumber to do something about it. Proposals to outlaw acts preparatory to terrorism and the "indirect" incitement of violence should have been in place long ago.

Had they been, imams able to poison the minds of young recruits - now in place to carry out their suicide missions - would have been silenced.

Yes, like everyone else in London, I feel anxious on the underground and buses. I'm also furious to be robbed of the freedom we've all taken for granted.

We should be entitled to go round the city without looking over our shoulders. Instead we travel in nervous silence, staring at the floor and looking suspiciously at young Asian men carrying rucksacks.

But I feel a lot less nervous knowing our police are visible and will employ a shoot-to-kill policy, that finally our immigration services will do their job more rigorously and that the mullahs who refuse to condemn terrorism will be deported.

We are no longer sleepwalking into a disaster. We've faced the nightmare.

Now we just have to get through it.

Pakistani is a bad word in Britain

Pakistani is a bad word in Britain

July 25, 2005

It has been thirty years since I first set foot in London, and I can't help musing over the changes that have been wrought in those decades. You can no longer ask your taxi driver to take you past Downing Street, the men at the immigration counter peruse you much more intently (though they are still as polite), and there is a definite chill in the air which has nothing to do with London's famously gloomy skies and everything to do with how one looks. Until they are reassured that I am a (Hindu) Indian and not a (Muslim) Pakistani, there is a wariness everywhere.

'Paki' has long been a term of abuse in Britain (though not in the United States). It goes back at least twenty years to the days of the infamous race riots. But where it was once mere tinged with contempt there is now more than a little loathing and hatred too.

"Don't be fooled by the apparent normalcy," was the grim warning delivered by a senior figure in the police services, "London has changed after the blasts, and so has Europe." And it all has to do with the apparent role of the 'Pakistanis' in the London blasts. The quotation marks are deliberate since the criminals who carried out the explosions were not really Pakistanis, but British citizens of Pakistani origin. That is a significant difference.

In the past, so the wry quip goes, they were born in Pakistan and would come to Britain for higher studies; today they are born in the United Kingdom but make the trip to Pakistan to finish off their education. My interlocutor may have been speaking tongue in cheek, but I cannot imagine such a comment being made three decades ago.

The old illusion that the terrorists are simply a misguided minority is fast giving way to the new conventional wisdom, namely that the terrorists are simply the most visible face of militant Islam. The second point being hammered away by the security forces into the heads of their political masters is that the most advanced colleges of terrorism, their Oxford and Cambridge as it were, are all in Pakistan. Hasib Hussain, Mohammed Sidique Khan, and Shahzad Tanweer -- three of the four suspects in the London blasts -- were either of Pakistani origin or attended some institution in that country. Other British citizens of Pakistani origin are being questioned in connection with the case.

The three men named above died in the July 7 blasts they are suspected of having set off, and cannot speak for themselves. In the popular imagination, however, the voice of Islamic fundamentalism was heard loud and clear across the Channel in The Netherlands. Muhammad Bouyeri is on trial for murdering Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh (a distant relative of the famous painter) because the director had been critical of some Islamic customs in one of his films. (Never having seen the film, I am not sure what the fuss was about.) Confronted with the victim's mother, Bouyeri contemptuously told her that he could feel no pity for an 'infidel.' He followed this with the defiant proclamation, 'If I'm ever released, I'd do the same again. Exactly the same!'


Mark Steyn: Wake up, folks - it's war!

Mark Steyn: Wake up, folks - it's war!


A couple of items from Tuesday’s papers. On the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian pilot programme for the Met’s new shoot-to-kill policy, the Daily Telegraph reports:

‘A Home Office spokesman last night admitted that it had not yet identified his immigration status: “We are looking into the case and will provide more information as soon as we are able to do so.’’’

Meanwhile, the Times includes this background information on one of the thwarted bombers of the 21 July attacks — Yassin Hassan Omar, a Somali ‘asylum-seeker’:

‘Omar, who was last seen vaulting a barrier at Warren Street station, has been the registered occupant of the flat since 1999. Ibrahim, who was last seen in Hackney Road, East London, after his failed attempt to blow up a No. 26 bus, shared it with him for the past two years. Omar received £88 a week in housing benefit to pay for the council property and also received income support, immigration officials say.’

So here’s how things stand:

1) Four days after Mr de Menezes became the most famous foreigner in the United Kingdom, Her Majesty’s Government is unable to give a definitive answer on his immigration status.

2) Four years after 9/11, British taxpayers are subsidising the jihad — in Mr Omar’s Bounds Green council flat and in many other places.

There’s a pleasant thought the next time you’re on a bus when some Islamakazi self-detonates: it’s on your tax bill; P-A-Y-E — pay as you explode.

Number One comes at a time when the relevant department, the Home Office, not content with being unable to run its existing records system for foreigners, is determined to inflict an expensive and cumbersome bureaucracy on every non-foreigner in the land. Indeed, the Home Secretary has now upgraded it into a fundamental human right: ‘Just let us put in place our hierarchy of rights,’ Charles Clarke told MEPs just before the second attacks. ‘The right to live. The right to go to work on the Underground. The right to have an ID card.’ Human rights-wise, that last one is right up there with the right to be subject to confiscatory taxation.

And Number Two isn’t some stunning shocking development, either. In The Spectator of 29 December 2001, I noted the likes of Zac Moussaoui, the French citizen who became an Islamist radical while living on welfare in London, and wrote:

‘If you’re looking for “root causes” for terrorism, European-sized welfare programmes are a good place to start. Maybe if they had to go out to work, they’d join the Daily Mirror and become the next John Pilger. Or maybe they’d open a drive-thru Halal Burger chain and make a fortune. Instead, Tony Blair pays Islamic fundamentalists in London to stay at home, fester and plot.’

I wasn’t the first to notice the links between Euro-Canadian welfare and terrorism. Mickey Kaus, an iconoclastic California liberal, was way ahead. But, after three-and-a-half years, one would be entitled to assume that a government whose fortunes are as heavily invested in the terrorist threat as this one’s might have spotted it, too — especially given the ever greater numbers of British jihadi uncovered from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Israel and America.

That’s why I regretfully have to disagree with the editor of this great publication in his prescription of the current situation which appeared in these pages a week or two back under the headline ‘Just don’t call it war’. As you’ll have gathered, the boss objects to the language of ‘war, whether cultural or military.... Last week’s bombs were placed not by martyrs nor by soldiers, but by criminals.’

Sorry, but that’s the way to lose. A narrowly focused ‘criminal’ approach means entrusting the whole business to the state bureaucracy. The obvious problem with that is that it’s mostly reactive: blow somewhere up, we’ll seal it off, and detectives will investigate it as a crime scene. You could make the approach less reactive by a sustained effort to improve scrutiny of immigration, entitlement to welfare and other matters within the purview of government. But consider those two snippets from the Tuesday papers and then figure out the likelihood of that happening. A ‘criminal’ approach gives terrorists all the rights of criminals, and between British and European ‘human rights’ that’s quite a bundle. If it’s a war, you can take wartime measures — including withdrawal from the UN Convention on Refugees, repeal of the European Human Rights Act, and a clawback of sovereignty from the EU. But if you fight this thing as a law-enforcement matter, Islamist welfare queens will use all the above to their full extent and continue openly promoting the murder of the Prime Minister, British troops, etc. with impunity.

Softly-softly won’t catchee monkey. Slo-mo conflicts are the hardest to win, in part because in advanced societies the public finds it hard to stay focused. Granted, there are exceptions to that rule: the government, battling the commies in Malaya, went the Boris Johnson route and declined to call it a war; and the eventual victory in the Malayan ‘Emergency’ might tend to support his thesis. It was said that London was reluctant to use the term ‘war’ for reasons of home and business insurance, but it’s also a broader kind of insurance: it lowers the stakes, it softens the people up for a non-victory — as in the Irish ‘Troubles’. Sometimes, as in Malaya, you happen to win one of these ‘emergencies’ or ‘troubles’, and that’s a bonus. But the point is, by designating something as other than a war, you tend to make it peripheral, and therefore loseable.

That’s not an option here. Madrid and London — along with other events such as the murder of Theo Van Gogh — are, in essence, the opening shots of a European civil war. You can laugh at that if you wish, but the Islamists’ most often-stated goal is not infidel withdrawal from Iraq but the re-establishment of a Muslim caliphate living under Sharia that extends to Europe; and there’s a lot to be said for taking these chaps at their word and then seeing whether their behaviour is consistent.

Furthermore, there’s a lot more of the world that lives under Sharia than there was, say, 30 years ago: Pakistan adopted it in 1977, Iran in 1979, Sudan in 1984.... Fifty years ago, Nigeria lived under English common law; now, half of it’s in the grip of Islamic law. So, as a political project, radical Islam has made some headway, and continues to do so almost every day of the week: since the beginning of the year, for example, some 10 per cent of southern Thailand’s Buddhist population have abandoned their homes — a far bigger disruption than the tsunami, yet all but unreported in the Western press. And whatever one’s opinion of the various local conflicts around the world — Muslims vs Buddhists in Thailand, Muslims vs Hindus in Kashmir, Muslims vs Jews in the Holy Land, Muslims vs Russians in Chechnya, Muslims vs Christians in Africa — the fact is that the jihad has held out a long time against very tough enemies. If you’re not shy about taking on the Israelis and Russians, why wouldn’t you fancy your chances against the Belgians and Spaniards?

If the jihad has its war aims, maybe we should start thinking about ours. What would victory look like? As fascism and communism were in their day, Islamism is now the ideology of choice for the world’s grievance-mongers. That means we have to destroy the ideology, or at least its potency — not Islam per se, but at the very minimum the malign strain of Wahabism, which thanks to Saudi oil money has been transformed from a fetish of isolated desert derelicts into the most influential radicalising force in contemporary Islam, from Indonesia to Leeds. Europeans who aren’t prepared to roll back Wahabism had better be prepared to live with it, or under it.

Mustering the popular will for that sort of struggle isn’t easy. But the longer you leave it the harder it becomes. Whether or not one accepts the Johnson line that Iraq is irrelevant to the war on terror, it requires a perverse genius on the part of Tony Blair to have found the political courage to fight an unpopular war on a distant shore but not the political courage to wage it closer to home where it would have commanded far more support.

On a couple of very fleeting visits to London and Belfast in recent weeks, I had the vague feeling that Britain is on the brink of a tragedy it doesn’t quite comprehend. America’s post-9/11 muscular nationalism was easily mocked by Europeans, but its absence in London is palpable: try to imagine Mayor Giuliani uttering half the stuff Ken Livingstone said in the last fortnight (‘The bombings would never have happened if the West had simply left the Arab nations alone in the wake of the first world war’). Even if he’s right, the message it communicates is weakness: bomb us, and we apologise — or at the very least go to comically absurd lengths to distinguish terrorism against London from terrorism against Israel. Tony Blair, in his recitation in the House of Commons of nations afflicted by terrorism, couldn’t even bring himself to mention the Zionist Entity. Boris Johnson, in his call to non-arms, began with an elaborate riff on the difference between Brits and Jews in these matters:

‘If we were Israelis, we would by now be doing a standard thing to that white semi-detached pebbledash house at 51 Colwyn Road, Beeston. Having given due warning, we would dispatch an American-built ground-assault helicopter and blow the place to bits. Then we would send in bulldozers to scrape over the remains....’

More - UK 'blocked bomb plotter' arrest - Jul 28, 2005

UK 'blocked bomb plotter' arrest

British police continue to make arrests in July 21 incidents

Thursday, July 28, 2005; Posted: 7:44 p.m. EDT (23:44 GMT)

Police detained nine people in an early morning raid in south London on Thursday.

Nine more arrests in connection to July 21 failed bombings. (4:34)

Four suspects arrested in Birmingham (5:32)

(CNN) -- About a month before the July 7 bombings in London, British authorities balked at giving U.S. officials permission to apprehend a man now believed to have ties to the bombers, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Haroon Rashid Aswat, 30, of Indian heritage, is currently in custody in Zambia, U.S. and Zambian officials told CNN.

U.S. authorities wanted to capture Aswat, who was then in South Africa, and question him about a 1999 plot to establish a "jihad training camp" in Bly, Oregon.

According to the sources, U.S. officials had located Aswat in South Africa weeks before the July 7 attacks that killed 52 bus and subway travelers and the four bombers.

U.S. authorities had asked South Africa if they could take Aswat into custody. South Africa relayed the request to Britain, but authorities there balked because he was a British citizen, the sources said. While the debate was ongoing, Aswat slipped away. (Full story)

British authorities now suspect Aswat lent support to the July 7 bombers.

According to U.S. officials, Aswat was an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorist camp case, which resulted in a guilty plea in 2003 by the main defendant, James Ujaama, of Seattle, Washington. (Full story)

Meanwhile Thursday in Britain -- one week after failed attacks on London's transit system that appeared to imitate the July 7 bombings -- a nationwide manhunt focused on three of the suspected terrorists.

Authorities have taken 20 people in custody, including one of the suspected bombers, as part of the investigation into the July 21 attacks on three Underground trains and a double-decker bus.

Nine men were arrested in the Tooting area of south London early Thursday -- six at one address and three at another, according to Metropolitan Police. Searches at the addresses were ongoing.

But as those arrests were announced, the country's top police official said more attacks were possible if the three other suspects in the attempted bombings remained at large.

"It does remain possible that those at large will strike again," Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair said. "It does also remain possible that there are other cells who are capable and intent on striking again."

As part of its investigation into the attempted bombings, police have taken 1,800 witness statements, have received 5,000 calls to the terrorist tip line, and are examining 15,000 closed-circuit television tapes.

The British government also announced that the Brazilian man mistakenly shot and killed by police at an Underground station last week had a false stamp on his passport and had been in Britain for two years with an expired visa. (Full story)

Police arrested three women Wednesday night on suspicion of "harboring offenders" in connection with the July 21 plot.

They were taken from a south London apartment raided by armed police and remained in custody Thursday in central London.

Three neighbors told CNN that one of the suspected would-be bombers -- the one who allegedly tried to set off a bomb at the city's Shepherd's Bush Underground Station -- lived there, having recognized him in a new photo released by police.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Dutch Filmmaker's Killer Gets Life Sentence - Yahoo! News

Dutch Filmmaker's Killer Gets Life Sentence - Yahoo! News

Dutch Filmmaker's Killer Gets Life Sentence

By ANTHONY DEUTSCH, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 43 minutes ago

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A Dutch court sentenced the killer of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh to life in prison Tuesday, the harshest sentence possible for a murder that heightened ethnic tensions and raised concerns about homegrown Islamic terrorism.

Mohammed Bouyeri, 27, had mounted no defense at his two-day trial earlier this month for the Nov. 2 slaying of Van Gogh, whom he accused of insulting Islam, and told the court he would do it again if given the chance.

Presiding judge Udo Willem Bentinck said life in prison was the only fitting punishment for a crime that sought to undermine Dutch democracy and the political system. He said the three-judge panel had concluded there was no possibility for Bouyeri to return to society, citing his lack of remorse.

Bouyeri, wearing a black and white checkered headscarf, showed no emotion as he shook his lawyer's hand following the verdict. He had earlier told the court he had intended to die in the action and become a martyr for his faith.

Bouyeri has two weeks if he wants to lodge an appeal, but that appeared unlikely.

He was convicted of the murder, described in the judgment as a terrorist attack, the attempted murder of bystanders and police officers, illegal possession of firearms and of impeding the work of a member of parliament, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whom he had threatened to kill in a letter impaled in Van Gogh's chest.

The judgment said Bouyeri had shown "a complete disregard for human life." Van Gogh was "butchered mercilessly," it said, and it was "a miracle that only two bystanders were hit by stray bullets."


14 July 2005


Matt Roper

THREE years ago Muhammed Yusuf was approached by two strangers who tried to recruit him as a suicide bomber.

The 18-year-old has already informed anti-terrorist police about his encounter with the hardliners at a North London mosque. Here he tells MATT ROPER what happened:

THEIR words, spoken with calm and conviction, were powerful and persuasive. But as I realised they wanted me to become a martyr for the cause of Islam I felt sick to the stomach.

"You'll go instantly to heaven," they repeated. "All the problems and pain in your life will go away. You'll be rewarded for all eternity."


For two weeks two men had befriended and groomed me. I was just 14, naive yet idealistic, and I had no idea why they were so interested in me. But after days of observing me, the moment had arrived to finally come clean.

They wanted me to avenge the deaths of my Muslim brothers and sisters around the world.

And they cynically exploited a time of turmoil and confusion in my life to convince me to end it - not shamefully but gloriously - by blowing myself to bits in a terrorist attack.

I was prime recruitment material. I was young and malleable, I had never been in trouble with the police and I'd never had anything to do with extremist groups.

I attended a good Muslim school and came from a respected family from north London.

But my father, a pillar of the community and a regular at our mosque, had recently passed away suddenly and I was trying to come to terms with my grief.

After my father's death I had started attending the local mosque more regularly. I wanted to know my dad better and lead the same exemplary life he'd lived.

I started going to prayers five times a day, even getting up early to attend the 6am prayer meeting.

I also got involved in many other activities at the mosque, such as teaching groups and day trips.


Terrorists Have Feelings Too

The American Spectator

Terrorists Have Feelings Too
By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

Published 7/14/2005 12:08:07 AM

LONDON -- Well, in less than a week it appears the British authorities got them! But what are they? The BBC last week edited out the word 'terrorist' in its coverage of July 7th's subway and bus bombings in favor of the word 'bombers.' The BBC believed that the word would be less offensive to certain aggrieved British groups. Yes, terrorists have feelings too. Now that the men who committed these grisly crimes appear to be Islamicists with terrorist sympathies and suicidal intent, can we call them terrorists? Can we call them Muslim terrorists? Can we call them Muslim suicide bombers and terrorists?

London was stalwart and inspiring last week. In the aftermath of the, dare I say, terrorist attacks, the Londoners went about their business, vowing to apprehend the criminals and otherwise carrying on just as they had during the War whose victory they celebrated on the weekend -- German sensibilities be damned. But the longer I am in London, the more I discover that there are unsettling undercurrents within the government and among elites. One is the application of politically correct rules to coverage of the news. Another is to outlaw free speech as it relates to the treatment of Islamofascism and the bloody consequences of Islamofascism.

They have been very effective. As Mark Steyn pointed out in the Daily Telegraph, "In most circumstances it would be regarded as appallingly bad taste to deflect attention from an actual 'hate crime' [last week's bombings] by scaremongering about a non-existent one." Yet apparently this has been going on for some time, and now Prime Minister Tony Blair is hustling through Parliament a so-called Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. If passed it would send a person to jail for seven years if he is accused and convicted of authoring words found offensive by aggrieved religious and racial groups, for instance, I suppose, aggrieved terrorists. Opponents argue that would protect Satanists and other unusual believers.

How would it affect another journalist writing recently in a British paper, Charles Moore, former editor of the Sunday Telegraph and London's Spectator? Recently he quoted from a Saudi imam welcomed to Britain by Mohammed Abdul Bari of the East London Mosque. The Rev. imam a couple of years back in Mecca described Jews as "scum of the earth," "rats of the world," "monkeys and pigs who should be annihilated." When the imam is criticized by the likes of Moore, Abdul Bari furiously defends him. Moore went on to quote the local Muslim Weekly's Sheikh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi writing that parliamentary democracy in Britain must be replaced by "a new civilization based on the worship of Allah," and he described the leader of the Tory party as "an illegal Jewish immigrant from Romania." He also referred to the "near-demented Judaic banking elite.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Terror Strike- London!

There are a lot of links to the London events at this url:

Terror Strike- London!

BBC NEWS | UK | London blasts: 'People were screaming'

Last Updated: Thursday, 7 July, 2005, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK

London blasts: 'People were screaming'

The blasts caused panic across London

At least 50 people have been killed and hundreds injured, some seriously, after a series of explosions on London's underground network.

BBC News website reader Scott Wenbourne was on the train travelling in to Aldgate station when there was an explosion in the carriage in front of him.

It was about 8.50am when it happened. I was one carriage down from where it happened and had my back to the carriage door.

All of a sudden there was a loud bang and a flash of bright light. It threw me to the floor in the middle of the train.

At first some people thought it wasn't serious, perhaps just a minor derailment, although some people were screaming.

But straight away, as soon I hit the floor my first thought was 'it's a bomb', although I can't be sure.
It all happened in slow motion, I thought the windows would blow through.


Suspect in Dutch filmmaker's murder makes dramatic court room confession

Tuesday July 12, 9:51 PM

Suspect in Dutch filmmaker's murder makes dramatic court room confession

The man accused of killing Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh confessed to a Dutch court that he acted out of his religious beliefs, saying he would do 'exactly the same' if he were ever set free.

'I take complete responsibility for my actions. I acted purely in the name of my religion,' 27-year-old Dutch-Moroccan national Mohammed Bouyeri told the court in Amsterdam on the final day of his trial.Prosecutor Frits van Straelen demanded a life sentence for Bouyeri for killing Van Gogh on an Amsterdam street on November 2, 2004. He recalled the particular brutality of the murder in broad daylight saying Bouyeri not only shot Van Gogh 15 times but also stabbed him and finally slit his throat.

According to the prosecutor the murder of Van Gogh, an outspoken columnist who often criticised Islam and the multi-cultural society, deeply shocked Dutch society.

The killing -- which happened in plain view of more than 50 witnesses while the filmmaker was cycling to work -- stoked ethnic tensions and sparked a wave of reprisal attacks primarily directed at the Muslim community here.

In addition to a life sentence, the prosecution also demanded that Bouyeri be stripped of his right to vote or stand for election for the rest of his life, 'to literally place him outside of our democracy'.

After the prosecution's closing statement Bouyeri, who had refused to say anything about his motives during the trial, took the opportunity to make a final statement.'I can assure you that one day, should I be set free, I would do exactly the same thing.