Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Somali gang members arrested in shooting of policewomen after robbery of Pakistani travel agency- public asked to help find fugitives
Somali gang members arrested in shooting of policewomen after robbery of Pakistani travel agency- public asked to help find fugitives
Is police shooting terrorism related? Are the Somali gangs the M13 of the UK ?
November 21, 2005
MIM: The UK police launched an unprecedented manhunt to catch the suspects which involved helicopters and roadblocks. When the suspects were captured within record time they were transported under what amounted to a military escort. Which begs the question as to if terrorism is involved - since the details of the story point to this being more then a routine robbery. In the first place why would 3 people go into a business at the same time to rob it,(armed with guns,knives and machetes) while others waited outside in a getaway car? Why would they go out shooting everywhere like "in the wild west" knowing that the policewomen who came the scene were unarmed ? It is clear that they felt they had nothing to lose if they were caught ,while it is hard to imagine that they believed they would really be able to avoid capture for any length of time As in the case of the M13 gang in Boston being linked to Al Qaeda, who are known for horrific and brutal attacks, it is a given that the Somali gangs ,who are known to be involved in arms and drugs dealing are linked to terrorist activity as well.
"...All six suspects are understood to be members of the Somali community who have lived in Britain for a number of years and have links to the Thamesmead area of southeast London. Police have released few details about the suspects in case they are eventually charged..."
MIM: The details of the police shooting of a policewoman by five people robbing a Pakistani travel agency where the proprieters wired money to Pakistan makes no sense in the context of a simply robbery gone bad - especially in that there were 6 suspects involved in robbery who shot two unarmed policewoman who posed no threat to them. In addition, it is just absurd to think that 3 armed robbers could have simply expected to having been able to get away, especially since they were not wearing masks - as they had posed as ticket buyers.The presence of police armed with machine guns at the scene of the shooting also indicate this situation involves more then just a robbery which escalated into a police shooting by fleeing criminals.
The security precautions taken after the suspects were in custody were akin to the transport associated with terrorism cases, not with a simple robbery even in the case where a police shooting is involved. The implication is that the suspects were part of a bigger network,and it is also curious that they targetted a Pakistani (Muslim) travel agency, and one wonder if anyone inside the agency was in on the robbery.
(In 2004 a Dutch member of the Hofstadgroep Samir Azzouz, was involved in the robbery of a supermarket. The thieves were assisted by another Muslim who worked there and opened the security gates.)
Armed robberies and drug dealing have become a major source of terrorist financing, which could explain why the robbers had no hesitation about shooting a policewoman in the course of getting away, since if they would have been captured they knew that the police would have uncovered other criminal activities.Another theory is that the shooting was an attempt to instill fear in the public in another case of 'terrorism denied'.
The reaction of the Muslim shopkeepers, was also noteworthy since they seemed more upset at the inconvience of losing business then the death of the policewoman,while local residents said they were shocked and frightened.
"...Mohammed Bashir owns a restaurant inside the cordon. He said: "The restaurant has been closed and we can't go in and my food is there... (the policeman) can't let me go in and set all the foods up." His colleague Yasin Khan added: "The loss of the officer is sad and as a community we condemn this. Obviously it's affected the businesses and at the weekend we have a lot of trade."
The mobile phone shop where Akeel Ayub works was open, but he said the local business community was shocked. "I think crime has come down around the area and it was getting better and a pleasant place to stay. So it is quite upsetting and disturbing to hear that something has happened where we trade." Sulseis Bucas, a Lithuanian university teacher studying English in Bradford said: "I don't feel safe here. Other regions are safer, but especially after the bombings in London, I don't feel safe here at all." A former Spanish policeman studying in Bradford did not want to be named but felt officers in the UK should be armed. He said: "It's really unfair just to see this kind of situation where someone is killed because they are not able to wear a gun like in most of the European countries. "I do not understand why they are not able to do it... I wish all the best to the police officers here, working without their proper tools in the 21st century." Supermarket worker Michelle Simmon, who added a bouquet to the growing number of floral tributes, said: "I'm frightened that it's so close to where I work and where I live. "I couldn't believe it. It's not something that happens round here... it's frightening when it happens on your doorstep."
.MIM: If this murder does turn out to be terrorist related it brings to mind the murder last year of a policeman who was stabbed to death by an Algerian terror suspect (Kamal Bourgass) after police raided an apartment in connection with a ricin poison plot.Bourgas must have known he could not have gotten away, and the killing of the policeman was an act of terror -not an escape attempt. http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/544 n
MIM: Education by murder. A 40 year UK veteran of the police force says he sees "no alternative" then arming police in the UK.
The murder of WPC Beshenivsky, who is the first policewoman to be shot dead in the line of duty since Yvonne Fletcher was murdered outside the Libyan embassy in 1984, has led to calls for the return of the death penalty and for the arming of police officers. Lord Stevens, a former head of the Metropolitan Police, wrote yesterday that: "I never thought I'd say this, but I am now convinced that the monster who executed this young woman in cold blood should, in turn, be killed as punishment for this crime. For the first time in my life, despite 40 years at the sharp end of policing, I finally see no alternative..."
MIM: This is the report depicting the transportation of the suspects, which indicates that the police feared that there will be others belonging to a group linked to the killers who might attempt to attack the police convoy. "...The convoy transporting the five suspects north set off early yesterday and travelled 215 miles through morning mist. The heavily guarded motorcade included five police vans, one for each suspect, two support vans, and was flanked by seven police cars and a number of police motorcycle outriders. In the sky a police helicopter remained on constant vigil. Officers had closed every slip road as the convoy moved from the capital to West Yorkshire under armed guard. A number of unmarked police vehicles were also in the convoy, which had a 'rolling roadblock' at its front and rear. A sixth male suspect was detained for questioning in London, while the other five suspects, including one woman, were yesterday taken to a police station in Yorkshire for interrogation. The six suspects were arrested in London during three separate incidents on Saturday, after police traced a car that had been parked outside the Universal Express travel agency in Morley Street, Bradford, before the robbery, which took place at 3:26pm on Friday..." "...Yesterday, the entire street where the crime took place had been sealed off by a plywood fence, the perimeter patrolled by black-clad officers armed with sub-machine guns.
Crimestoppers offered a £50,000 reward today for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky.
The 38-year-old officer was gunned down in Bradford on November 18 as she and a colleague responded to an armed raid in Bradford.
Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan, from West Yorkshire Police's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said he believed there were people who knew the whereabouts of those who had committed the crime.
He said: "The investigation team welcomes the use of the reward offered by Crimestoppers. We are continuing to receive a lot of support from the general public. This was an horrific crime.
"It may be that you have some information which will help us but, for whatever reason, you are unsure about coming forward.
"If you ring Crimestoppers, you do not have to leave your name and your call will be completely anonymous. If your information leads to the conviction of the people responsible for this crime, then you could claim this reward."
Help us find these men, urge murder hunt police By Paul Stokes (Filed: 26/11/2005)
Police hunting the killers of a policewoman during an armed raid on a travel agency have identified three men wanted in connection with the crime.
They have warned the public to report immediately any sightings of Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah, 24, who is of Asian descent, and the Somalis Mustaf Jama, 25, and his 19-year-old brother Yusuf Jama.
Yusuf Jama, Mustaf Jama and Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah
The three are the prime suspects in the murder of WPc Sharon Beshenivsky, 38, who was shot after being called to the scene of a robbery in Bradford, West Yorks.
All three were legally allowed to live in Britain. They are known to police and considered "very dangerous".
Shah was born in the UK and grew up in Nelson, near Burnley, Lancs. He moved to London in 1991.
His father, a baker, and his mother were born in Pakistan and the family is thought to have lived at an address in north-west London until a few years ago.
Mustaf Jama entered Britain in 2000 and has seven years' leave to remain. Yusuf Jama came to the country with their mother in 2003. Both brothers are thought to have been living in the North Kensington area of London.
WPc Beshenivsky was gunned down when she and a colleague, WPc Teresa Milburn, both probationers, went to investigate the robbery in Morley Street eight days ago. WPc Milburn, 37, was shot in the shoulder.
WPc Beshenivsky, married with three children and two step-children, died after being shot through the chest.
Det Supt Andy Brennan, who is leading the murder inquiry, appealed for the public's help in tracing the suspects and their movements.
Immediately after the shooting three men were seen running to a silver vehicle, a Toyota Rav 4 registered number WP05 YTT, which was parked in Howard Street.
Mr Brennan said there was no indication that any of the men had left the country and it was possible they might still be in the London area.
He said: "I am appealing for any information that can help us to trace these men as a matter of urgency. Please look carefully at the photographs. Have you seen these men? Do you know where they are? Can you help us?"
Mr Brennan said none of the three had known connections with Bradford.
Six people were arrested in London a week ago and taken to West Yorkshire for questioning, but later released.
Four Somali men and an Asian man have been given police bail pending further inquiries. A 19-year-old white woman was freed without charge. More than 300 people gathered in Bradford city centre yesterday for a short memorial service to WPc Beshenivsky at the time that she died the previous week.
A two-minute silence was observed shortly before 3.30pm by members of the public, civic dignitaries, senior police officers and firemen.
Valerie Binney, the mayor of Bradford, paid tribute to the two shot officers and said WPc Beshenivsky's "sacrifice" would never be forgotten.
She told the gathering in Centenary Square: "We want to show our feelings for and express our deepest sympathy to Sharon's husband, Paul, and to all Sharon's children, to her parents and to her family and friends. We wish Teresa a full recovery from her injuries and from the awful trauma she must have suffered.
"This tragedy highlights the debt we owe to our police. The citizens of Bradford, indeed the whole of the UK, are shocked and outraged at what happened here last week."
The commemoration took place next to a memorial to another West Yorkshire police officer, Sgt Michael Hawcroft, who was killed on duty in Bradford in 1981.
The force chaplain, Sam Sagar, said: "Near here, at this time last week, there was an act of unimaginable evil that brought great darkness to this city and to our nation."
WPC murder suspects 'trying to flee Britain' By Simon Freeman
Two men wanted in connection with the shooting of WPC Sharon Beshenivsky two weeks ago are "highly likely" to try to flee Britain, police said today.
Detectives in Bradford outlined their concern at a press conference 14 days after PC Beshenivsky was murdered during an armed raid on travel agent in the city centre.
A reward for information leading to convictions in the case was increased from £50,000 to £90,000 as police warned that anyone harbouring Muzzaker Imtiaz Shah, 24, and Mustaf Jamma, 25, also faced prosecution.
Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan admitted that the men - who have links in London, Sheffield, Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester - could be virtually anywhere in the country. He said that he believed the suspects were being sheltered by a small group of friends who were now preparing to smuggle them overseas.
"Intensive inquiries have been ongoing to trace these men. All ports, airports, ferry terminals and railway stations have been notified," he said.
"I believe that it is highly probable that these men will try to leave the country. It is possible someone may well try and smuggle these men in the back of a vehicle, be that a car, a lorry or a van."
Mr Shah, known as Pesci, was last known to be living in Kenton, Middlesex.
Somalian Mr Jamma's 19-year-old brother Yusef was remanded in custody after appearing in court charged on Wednesday charged with murder.
PC Beshenivsky, 38, a mother of three children and two step-children, was shot dead after she and fellow officer Teresa Milburn responded to a 999 call. Her youngest child, Lydia, was celebrating her fourth birthday on the day her mother was shot.
Five Somali men and a woman arrested in London in the immediate aftermath of the shooting were released without charge. The men were all bailed pending further inquiries and the woman was freed without charge.
Billy Jagger, the father of WPC Sharon Beshenivsky, brings flowers to the scene of her murder in Bradford city centre (JOHN GILES/PA)
THE suspects being questioned over the shooting of a woman police officer are believed to be members of a 20-strong drugs gang that has been linked to a series of armed robberies across London. Detectives investigating the murder of WPC Sharon Beshenivsky are believed to have linked the Somali gang with a silver 4x4 vehicle in which the three robbers made their escape. Police were last night granted more time to question four men and one woman over the shootings last Friday afternoon. The five, several of whom are believed to be asylum-seekers, were arrested in southeast London on Saturday.
A sixth man being held in connection with the shooting remains in police custody as his initial period of detention for questioning has not expired. It was revealed yesterday that West Yorkshire detectives are still in London and working closely with the Metropolitan Police in an attempt to track down the associates of those already in custody. Further arrests are expected in the coming days as police seek to establish who was using the vehicle on the day of the murder. WPC Beshenivsky, 38, a student officer who was married with three children and two stepchildren, was fatally shot in the chest when the robbers burst out of the travel agentâ€™s as she approached the premises on Friday afternoon. Her colleague, WPC Teresa Milburn, was shot in the shoulder but was released from hospital on Sunday. The dead officerâ€™s father, Billy Jagger, visited the murder scene yesterday and choked back tears as he left a yellow bouquet â€œto a beloved daughter who will be sadly missedâ€?. Last night a nephew of the owner of the raided travel agency revealed that less than Â£2,000 was stolen by the robbers. Mohammed Ishaque said that Mohammed Yousef, his uncle, had banked the weekâ€™s takings earlier in the day. Mr Ishaque told The Sun how the raid unfolded. â€œMr Yousef told me the Asian guy came in first and spoke in Punjabi, asking about flights to Pakistan and the exchange rate of the Pakistani rupee,â€? he said. His two black mates stood behind him and did not say anything. Then all of a sudden they jumped behind the desk and pulled out weapons. One of the black robbers and the Asian one were carrying guns while the third had a machete.â€? As they fled the robbers â€œran out firing like cowboys in a Wild West movieâ€?, he said. More details emerged yesterday of the dramatic police operation, involving hundreds of specialist officers, which led to Saturdayâ€™s arrests in Plumstead, southeast London. West Yorkshire detectives flew south by helicopter to join teams from the CO19 firearms unit, the armed Flying Squad, the Territorial Support Group and the Specialist Crime Directorate. At 7.20am, 16 hours after the Bradford robbery, the silver getaway vehicle was ambushed outside a shop on a busy main road. One witness said: â€œI heard screaming from outside my house. I looked out of my window and saw a silver 4x4 surrounded by police pointing machineguns.â€? The carâ€™s two occupants â€" a Somali man and a white woman â€" were arrested. Five hours later three more Somali men were seized when more than 30 armed police stormed a nearby house. The sixth person to be detained, an Asian man, was arrested on Saturday evening. All six â€" five aged in their 20s and one in his early 30s â€" are being held at separate police stations in West Yorkshire. CLAN LOYALTIES
Somali gangs are known to be increasingly active in the gun-running trade across Europe and have smuggled weapons into Britain in addition to trafficking drugs and people
Rival gangs of Somali youths are still based on clan loyalties from their war-torn homeland in East Africa, even though many of the new generation of gunmen were born in Britain
They often adopt the street names of fighters from Mogadishu and internecine battles between rival Somali groups in this country are rooted in grudges from a country that most have never visited -------------------------------------------