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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Canadian plot nets 2 men in UK - Arrest of grandson of "respected" Imam who was "vocal critic of terrorism" leads to Muslim riot threat

Canadian plot nets 2 men in UK - Arrest of grandson of "respected" Imam who was "vocal critic of terrorism" leads to Muslim riot threat

June 7, 2006

"...Everyone in the community is horrified and shocked and feeling very angry with the police. I was down there just after the raid, there were 300 people outside the house. Somebody shouted 'things are going to hot up' at the police..."(article below).


In Dewsbury, resident Mohammed Afzal said neighbours there were upset because one of the houses raided belonged to an imam, or a Muslim preacher. He said the teenager arrested lived in the same home as the preacher, and that the religious leader had not been arrested, but that he did leave with police.

"He's one of the most respected imams in our community," said Yunus Garja, who lives near the family, speaking about the preacher. "He's spoken locally and nationally at various seminars preaching against violence as a means for any purpose."

Residents said people at one of the other searched houses belonged to a well-known and well-respected family.

After the raid by police, some people were angry and wanted to organize a march, but a community leader asked them to stay calm, said resident Hanifa Darwan. Community anger over raid on well-known family
Second arrest after man is stopped at Manchester


Vikram Dodd, Martin Wainwright and Richard-Norton-Taylor
Thursday June 8, 2006
The Guardian

The grandson of a respected Islamic scholar was yesterday arrested in west Yorkshire by police investigating British links to an alleged terrorist plot to blow up Canada's parliament and to kidnap and behead its prime minister.

The 16-year-old was arrested in Dewsbury by police who also raided the home of his grandfather, one of the leading figures in British Islam, who has been a vocal critic of terrorism. Yesterday, Muslims in the town said that they were horrified by the arrest and raids, and were angry at the police action.

The 16-year-old was one of two people arrested in Britain in connection with the alleged terrorist plot in Canada. A 21-year-old man from Bradford was arrested at Manchester airport on Tuesday. Police subsequently raided three houses in Bradford in an operation which saw the local force joined by officers of the Metropolitan police and MI5. None of the officers involved was armed.

The 21-year-old is originally from Pakistan and had recently been there. He is understood to have links with the houses in Bradford, whose residents were moved out by police. Counter terrorism officials in Canada, US and Britain have been investigating links in cyberspace between alleged violent jihadists.

In Bradford, neighbours of the arrested man said he was studying law in the city and was part of "a nice, quiet family who are no trouble to anyone".

The arrests in Canada were made over the weekend after the alleged purchase of three tonnes of ammonium nitrate by a group which had been watched by local police for two years.

Canadian police have arrested a total of 17 people in connection with what is alleged to be a massive terrorist plot, the scale of which has stunned the country.

Police claim it involved taking the prime minister, Stephen Harper, hostage and decapitating him unless Canada's 2,300 troops in Afghanistan were withdrawn. Police also allege that there was a plan to storm and take over Canadian institutions such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In Dewsbury, officers searched the Islamic scholar's house and other addresses which are understood to be the homes of other close members of the teenager's family. Local businessman Tahir Zaman said people were angered by the police raid on the house of such a revered religious figure: "The family is very, very, very respected.

"Everyone in the community is horrified and shocked and feeling very angry with the police. I was down there just after the raid, there were 300 people outside the house. Somebody shouted 'things are going to hot up' at the police." Shahid Malik, local Labour MP for Dewsbury, said: "I know the family of the 16-year-old very, very well; they are very respected. People have to accept the police are acting in good faith and have a job to do, people have to stay cool and calm."

British Muslim leaders say their communities are already tense after last Friday's huge raid in east London on a family house during which a man was shot; police said they had acted on intelligence that a chemical device could be at the property which was to be used in a terrorist attack on Britain. Days of searches at the address in Forest Gate have yielded no sign of the device. Police were yesterday granted warrants for detention until Saturday for the two brothers arrested in the raid.

Dewsbury has had problems in the past with community tensions and the British National party. At the 2005 general election the BNP received its largest vote in any constituency in Dewsbury, with some 5,000 people supporting it.



June 08, 2006


Briton wanted over Canada bomb plot arrested at Manchester airport

By Daniel McGrory, Andrew Norfolk and Michael Evans

A BRITON said to be a key figure in an alleged plot to bomb public buildings in Canada, including the Parliament, was arrested by counter-terrorist police as he stepped off a plane at Manchester airport.

The 21-year-old man had arrived from Canada, where security services claimed that he had been living alongside some of the 17 terror suspects arrested in Toronto at the weekend in one of the biggest operations in North America. Hours later police in West Yorkshire arrested a 16-year-old youth after documents and mobile phone records seized in Canada revealed a British link to the alleged gang of Muslim militants operating from their homes in the Toronto suburbs.

Canadian prosecutors have claimed that the plot involved taking over the Parliament building, holding MPs hostage and beheading Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister. They wanted to force Canada to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

A security source told The Times yesterday: "We believe that people living in the UK played a pivotal role in helping to organise this series of planned attacks."

The 21-year-old man was seized as he tried to leave the airport on Tuesday night. Scotland Yard officers were also present, but police say that no guns were used.

The suspect was born in Pakistan but is believed to have British citizenship and lived at a number of addresses in Dewsbury, the home town of Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the July 7 suicide bombers. He is understood to have spent much of this year living in Toronto.

"This is an example of the extremist soup we have in this country with lots of overlapping links," a security source said.

The security authorities said that the man arrested at Manchester airport was judged to be a "pretty interesting" line of investigation, and the 16-year-old was connected to him. The Canadians are expected to start extradition proceedings.

The sources said that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had uncovered the British connection to the alleged plot and put out an immediate alert when they discovered that one of the main suspects was leaving the country.

Police are still searching three properties and two streets in Savile Town, Dewsbury.

Residents said that the early-morning raids by police and forensic science experts, who forced their way into properties in Warren Street and South Street, evoked memories of the scenes last July after the suicide bombings on three Underground trains and a double-decker bus in London.

An American who held a British student visa has been remanded in custody on terror charges after being arrested at Heathrow.

Syed Hashmi, 26, is wanted by the FBI on a charge of supplying military equipment and currency to al-Qaeda fighters in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He was arrested on Tuesday night carrying a large amount of cash as he tried to board a plane to Pakistan. Dressed in white Muslim robes, he appeared at a brief extradition hearing at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London.

He was indicted on May 24 by a New York grand jury on charges of aiding al-Qaeda between January 1 and March 1, 2004.

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