Londinistan Metro Muslim Police "dearrest" Abu Hamza Al Masri in jail after "rearresting" two days ago
Lost in Translation: NY Police " Hamza a "freelance consultant to terrorism groups worldwide" - Scotland Yard drops investigation
September 2, 2004
Foto of Abu Hamza Al Masri which was displayed at press conference announcing his arrest.
MIM: In a stunning display of what can only be termed willful negligence and a criminal reversal of charges, the London Police have "dearrested" Abu Hamza Al Masri after having "rearrested" him on terrorism charges while in jail two day ago.
Abu Hamza, who was arrested on the behest of the American government which is appealing for his extradition on terrorism charges which include the bombing of the USS Cole . NY Police Commissoner Raymond Kelly, described Abu Hamza" as the real deal" adding,"Think of him as a freelance consultant to terrorism groups worldwide." The New York police department was instrumental in obtaining Abu Hamza's detention after the cleric had exploited loopholes in UK law to avoid arrest for nearly a decade.
It appears that Londinistan now regards itself as an entity onto itself (The United Ummah?), and Scotland Yard has "dropped their investigation" of Abu Hamza today. He remains in jail pending " a separate domestic inquiry " which begs the question as to which domestic charge could trump the charges against someone who admits to having recruited and sent people to train for Jihad, called for suicide bombings, and has documented ties to Osama Bin Laden could be "dearrested" for terrorism charges while awaiting the results of a domestic investigation.
Abu Hamza Al Masri was the head Imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London, and a leader in the Al Muhajiroun movement which was a spin off of the group Hizb ut Tahrir . The Finsbury Park Mosque was a terror mecca which attacted and dispatched Al Qaeda operatives such as Richard Reed the shoe bomber, Zacharias Moussaui, thought to have been the 20th hijacker,and James Ujaama, a Seattle based convert to Islam who trained in Afghanistan and was arrested in the United States. His testimony was used as a basis for some of the charges against Abu Hamza.
MIM:It appears that the only thing keeping Hamza in jail are the pending extradition charges which depend on the US agreeing not to enact the death penalty if he is convicted. British dhimmitude is nowhere more evident then in this account of how David Blunkett, the head of the Home Office,demanded written assurances that Al Masri would not be executed if found guilty. Their divergent viewpoints were detailed in a Fox News article which reported on the press conference held by John Ashcroft held to announce Abu Hamza's arrest. It was reported that Al Masri "shrugged and laughed" when asked if he would consent to be extradited" replying"I don't really think I want to, no".
..."The United States will use every diplomatic, legal and administrative tool to pursue and to prosecute those who facilitate terrorist activity and we will not stop until the war on terrorism is won."
But the Home Office in London, Britain's equivalent of the Justice Department, is said to be "fuming" that Ashcroft volunteered the information that Al-Masri could face the death penalty.
Under Britain's extradition agreement with the United States, no one can be extradited from there to America if they face a death sentence in the U.S. Before proceeding with the extradition request, Home Secretary David Blunkett will demand written assurances that Al-Masri would not be executed if found guilty.
A U.S. official told Fox News that in order to get him extradited, the death penalty would have to be dropped. The official especially points out that Ashcroft did not say they would seek the death penalty, only that they could seek the death penalty.
Al-Masri appeared Thursday afternoon before a magistrate at the high-security Belmarsh prison. He shrugged and laughed when asked if he would consent to being extradited, then added, "I don't really think I want to, no."
The alacrity with which the British have dropped their terrorism investigation is another sign that they may indeed by operating in the Dhimmitude mode-i.e. the belief that by not prosecuting Hamza they will be regarded as keeping their part of the convenant of peace with Muslims which will make them immune to attacks on their soil.
Dr. Daniel Pipes commented on this phenomenon in a blog entry where he discussed a New Stateman article which expanded upon this concept. http://www.danielpipes.org/
The Rationale behind "Londonistan"? Like many others, I have repeatedly bemoaned and ridiculed British weakness vis-Ó-vis Islamism (for example, here, here, here and here). But what if there's a method behind the British madness? That's the thesis of Jamie Campbell's cover story in the New Statesman dated today, "Why terrorists love Britain." Relying on the insights of Mohamed Sifaoui, author of Inside Al Qaeda (an autobiographical account of how this French Algerian journalist posed as an Islamist and infiltrated terrorist organizations in France and the United Kingdom), Campbell suggests that hosting so many terrorists renders the UK precious to the terrorists, who in turn leave it alone.
According to Sifaoui, it has long been recognised by the British Islamists, by the British government and by UK intelligence agencies, that as long as Britain guarantees a degree of freedom to the likes of Hassan Butt [a loudmouth pro-terrorist Islamist], the terrorist strikes will continue to be planned within the borders of the UK but will not occur here. Ironically, then, the presence of vocal and active Islamist terrorist sympathisers in the UK actually makes British people safer, while the full brunt of British-based terrorist plotting is suffered by people in other countries."
MIM: Lost in Translation or What part of Terrorism didnt you understand ?
US Attorney General John Ashcroft himself announced Abu Hamza Al Masri's arrest at a press conference in August and cited a list of 11 charges.
Less then one month later the British have declared that they have dropped their terrorism investigations "due to lack of evidence".
The "dearrest" is so outrageous that one can only speculate that either the Metropolitan police have already morphed into the Metro Muslim Police, or that Abu Hamza is being "dearrested" to further "help the police with their inquiries" .
Unfortunately, the first possibility is the most likely one, since the UK authorities also reopened Hamza's Finsbury Park mosque, a known terror hub, while he was jailed , thus ensuring his supporters could carry on business as usual until he could trimphantly return to minister to his flock.
The controversial Muslim cleric Abu Hamza, arrested in London early today, is facing 11 charges in the US including hostage taking and trying to set up terrorist training camp in Oregon.
Details of the charges were revealed in New York as he was appearing in court at the top security Belmarsh prison in south east London.
US Attorney General John Ashcroft called a press conference in New York simultaneously with the court appearance. He said that the maximum sentence facing Hamza was death.
Hamza was arrested today in a pre-dawn raid. Officers from Scotland Yard detained the hook-handed preacher at his London home at around 3am.
Hamza, 47, who preached at a London mosque linked to al Qaida terrorists involved in the September 11 attacks, was taken to a central London police station by anti-terrorist branch officers.
He was appearing before senior district judge Timothy Workman at the magistrates court at Belmarsh
After his arrest, anti-terrorist branch detectives carried out a search of his home in Shepherds Bush, west London.
Mr Ashcroft told reporters in New York that Hamza faces charges of conspiracy to take hostages and hostage-taking in connection with an attack in Yemen in 1998 which resulted in the death of four hostages.
He is also charged with providing support and resources to terrorists, "specifically al Qaida", Mr Ashcroft said.
He is charged with attempting to set up a training camp for "violent Jihad" in Bly, Oregon, in 1999.
He is also charged with attempting to set up a terror training camp in Afghanistan and supporting the Taliban.
Mr Ashcroft said telephone records linked Hamza with the Yemen hostage takers.
He said the maximum penalty for the hostage offences was death.
The indictment states that three Britons and one Australian died in the Yemen incident.
Mr Ashcroft finished his statement by thanking the British authorities for their coľoperation in the Hamza inquiry.
And he added: "The United States will use every diplomatic, legal and administrative tool to pursue and prosecute those who facilitate terrorist activity and we will not stop until the war on terror is won."
Raymond Kelly, New York police commissioner, told the same press conference Hamza was the "real deal", adding: "He is suspected of providing support to trainees in Osama bin Laden's terrorist camps as well as dispatching associates from England to help establish Jihad training sites here in the US.
"Think of him as a freelance consultant to terrorism groups worldwide."
MIM: The British seem reluctant to part with Abu Hamza,thus ensuring that he will continue his consultantcy business from his "dearrest" detention and that his activities will be funded by the British taxpayer.
Yard drops Hamza investigation By Chris Millar And Oliver Finegold, Evening Standard
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza is no longer being questioned by UK authorities on alleged terror offences after a Scotland Yard investigation was dropped today.
Detectives said he had been " dearrested" due to a lack of evidence to back up allegations that he had been involved in financing, recruiting and supporting terrorists from his Finsbury Park mosque.
Police had been granted permission to question him until tomorrow.
But Hamza remains detained at the high-security Belmarsh prison because he also faces an extradition request from the United States.
The cleric, who urged his supporters to become suicide bombers "on your own doorstep", faces 11 charges in the US, where he is accused of playing a key role in Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network.
These allegations relate to a hostagetaking incident in Yemen in 1988 in which three Britons were killed.
Hamza is also accused of trying to set up a terror training camp in Oregon and of sending another radical Islamic fundamentalist to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban. He was arrested in the latest UK inquiry at his prison cell last Thursday under the Terrorism Act 2000 and taken to Paddington Green police station for questioning on suspicion of being involved in terrorism.
Detectives at Scotland Yard were understood to be probing allegations relating to the provision of support for terrorism, rather than involvement in any specific plot.
They were trying to find out if the cleric gave support to terrorists or terrorist organisations, either through recruitment, finance or logistics.
They were also looking at whether controversial sermons by the former imam of the Finsbury Park mosque encouraged others to commit terrorist acts.
Scotland Yard officers said that their investigations were unrelated to the charges brought by the US government.
They said their probe was "part of separate, domestic inquiries" and that they had been monitoring Hamza's activities since long before his arrest on the extradition warrant.
The cleric denies the charges brought in the US and is fighting extradition to America. The full extradition hearing is due to resume at Bow Street magistrates court on 19 October.
The indictment spells out the US belief that Egyptian-born Hamza, 46, used his base at Finsbury Park to plot global terrorism, send young fundamentalists to train in terror camps and fight in Afghanistan.
At the time of his arrest, New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly described him as the "real deal", adding: "Think of him as a freelance consultant to terrorism groups worldwide."
U.K. Terror Charge Against Cleric Al-Masri Dropped, BBC Says
Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, arrested in London last week on suspicion of being involved in U.K. terror offenses, was released by police, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported. He remains in custody on separate U.S. terrorism charges, the BBC said.
Al-Masri, 47, was arrested Thursday under the U.K.'s Terrorism Act 2000, the BBC said.
He was and still is being held at London's Belmarsh Prison while he fights an effort to extradite him to the U.S. to face charges including involvement in a kidnapping in Yemen in 1998, according to the BBC.
The Metropolitan Police in an e-mailed statement said a 47- year-old man arrested on Thursday under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of act of terrorism was "de-arrested" on Aug. 31. Police declined to name the man.
(British Broadcasting Corp. 9-1)
To contact the reporter on this story
Claire Shoesmith in London at [email protected].
To contact the editor responsible for this story
Peter Torday at [email protected].
LONDON (Reuters) - Police have "de-arrested" radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri in connection with a terror investigation, but said the move was unrelated to separate charges brought by the United States.
Abu Hamza, who lost both hands and an eye in Afghanistan fighting Soviet forces, has been indicted in the United States on 11 counts, including having a role in a 1998 hostage taking in Yemen in which four people died.
He remains in custody in a London jail, where he is fighting extradition to the United States.
British police launched their own terrorism case against him last week, arresting him under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
A police spokesman said on Wednesday he was no longer being questioned in connection with the British investigation.
"It means that at this moment he is no longer under arrest," the spokesman said. "It does not mean that he might not be charged at sometime in the future, but that is not something we can discuss," he added.
Egyptian-born Abu Hamza, also known as Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, has concerned British and U.S. authorities for several years by preaching in praise of Osama bin Laden and the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Britain accused him of supporting terrorism and stripped him of British citzenship.last year, but has not launched a criminal case against him.
Authorities shut down his Finsbury Park mosque in a North London neighbourhood, but he continued to preach on the street in front of the building until he was arrested in May under the U.S. extradition warrant
Why terrorists love Britain Cover story Jamie Campbell Monday 9th August 2004
Is this country really threatened by violent attack? After talking to potential martyrs, Jamie Campbell wonders if our rulers have hit on a clever way to keep us safe
It is a wonderful, typically British scene. I am sitting in a Manchester curry house, wondering whether to choose the Madras or the korma. The place is humming with Arabic, and a number of extended families have gathered to eat at adjacent tables. A few children skip past. My lunchtime companion is, at 24, three years younger than me. His name is Hassan Butt, and he'd like to martyr himself in Britain for the sake of Islam. I order the korma.
In the past year, Hassan and I have become steadfast dining partners, if not exactly firm friends. Over curries, pizzas and saccharine soft drinks, in London and Manchester, I have discovered what makes him tick. "Pray to Allah that he accepts me as a martyr," he muses. "If that's tomorrow, then tomorrow. If not, then whenever Allah wills." Why don't you get on with it, I ask. "Everything needs to be done in an organised manner, with the current organisations that are working around the world."
Hassan earned himself a reputation for hyperbole when he rang the Today programme from Lahore in 2002. He asserted that, as a representative of the Islamist organisation al-Muhajiroun, he had recruited up to 1,000 British men to Islamic causes in the Middle East. He then returned quite freely to the UK, where his appetite for controversy remained undiminished.
He claims he has met a further thousand Brits who, like him, would subscribe to a martyrdom operation within Britain if given the chance. He knows of five Brits and one American, all university educated, who have left the UK in the past two months heading for a desolate jihadi training camp in Pakistan. Two weeks ago, he met with an autonomous Islamist cell in the UK which possessed large quantities of Semtex, and which was capable of launching an immediate and major attack. So presumably, I say, MI5 are tracking you pretty constantly. "Without a doubt," says Hassan.
In seeking to negotiate a rigorous course in its war against terror, the British government has alluded persistently to the inevitability and imminence of a terrorist strike against the UK. The recent "revelations" that al-Qaeda plans to attack financial institutions in London and New York will not have taken many by surprise. More than 400 have been arrested under anti-terrorist legislation since 9/11. It is, we are reminded, a case of when and not if. Whatever view one takes of this position, there can be little doubt that a combination of political prudence and expedience has prevented the opposite case - namely, that the threat to this country is low - being made either in parliament or in the media. However, many private security firms would agree that there is little risk of a terrorist attack in Britain. This explains the paradoxes inherent in the British war on terror. It explains why Britain has not yet been attacked. It explains the government's intransigence in refusing to boost the budgets of emergency planners. It explains why MI5 is only now beginning to recruit more Arabic speakers; and why the task of forcing Abu Hamza to trial was left to the Bush administration.
In reality, the threat to this country from terrorism is no greater than the threat posed by a variety of terrorist groups in the course of the past 30 years. You are still, statistically speaking, more likely to take your own life than you are to be killed by terrorists.
The decision to overstate the threat to the UK is, in itself, a plausible counter-terrorism strategy. One need not look far beyond the spate of "London terror plot" headlines to learn that no specific threat has been made against any British institution. Such a thesis - that we're safer than we've been told - leaves a couple of pressing questions. First, is it not likely after attacks in New York, Bali, Istanbul and Madrid, that Britain will be the next target for Islamist ire? And second, does not the presence of Islamist provocateurs such as Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Abu Hamza and Hassan Butt make our streets dangerous?
To address these questions I spoke to Mohammed Sifaoui, a French Algerian journalist who, posing as a terrorist sympathiser, managed to infiltrate al-Qaeda cells in both France and the UK. Flanked by secret service agents - the French government has pledged to protect him for the foreseeable future - he met me in a Parisian hotel. Sifaoui, who as a result of his bravery has become uniquely expert on the Islamist mentality, believes that Britain exhibits paradoxical behaviour in relation to terrorism. It is anomalous, for example, that Britain quite evidently provides a safe haven for those, such as Butt and Hamza, who have terrorist sympathies. "The most sought-after terrorists in the world," he says, "have found shelter in the UK . . . They propagate their ideology there. They distribute booklets on their philosophy - giving them out freely outside mosques."
In addition, Britain is used as a convenient transitional home in the travel plans of those with militant Islamic inclinations. "It's now known," he says, "that the majority of the young guys who were living in the west and who left to go to training camps in Afghanistan had a tightly outlined itinerary - they went through London to Pakistan. And then from Pakistan to Afghanistan." Hassan Butt reinforces this impression, telling me that there is now a dedicated camp in Pakistan specifically for the use of British Muslims seeking to obtain military training. According to Butt, regular groups attend the camps for periods of up to three months, and subsequently either return to the UK or remain in the Middle East.
Sifaoui goes on to suggest that the significance of the roles played by British-based Islamists in attacks abroad is unparalleled. Before 9/11, he says, "Islamists considered the UK as a secondary base for their actions. To take a few examples . . . there were terrorist attempts in France in 1995, financed from the UK - that's a reality. General Massoud's assassination on 9 September 2001 was also financed in the UK - that's a reality. The kidnapping of western tourists in the Yemen was organised by London and probably by Abu Hamza - his son was involved with it."
Post-9/11, this pattern of British Islamists being implicated in attacks abroad has hardly altered. Here are just a few examples. Zacharias Moussaoui, from Brixton, is charged with being 9/11's "20th hijacker". In 2002, Richard Reid, a Brit, tried to blow up a plane out of Paris with a bomb in his shoe. Last year, Asif Hanif, from Hounslow, martyred himself in Israel. Omar Sheikh, the man convicted of the murder of the Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl, is British.
Yet British Islamists target other countries. Why? According to Sifaoui, it has long been recognised by the British Islamists, by the British government and by UK intelligence agencies, that as long as Britain guarantees a degree of freedom to the likes of Hassan Butt, the terrorist strikes will continue to be planned within the borders of the UK but will not occur here. Ironically, then, the presence of vocal and active Islamist terrorist sympathisers in the UK actually makes British people safer, while the full brunt of British-based terrorist plotting is suffered by people in other countries.
"The question becomes a moral one," concludes Sifaoui. "Should the British authorities accept that there are terrorists in their country who kill others abroad? I think that today the British authorities must face their conscience . . . I would say the following: make the choice - ensure your citizens' security [which is totally legitimate] while putting at risk those abroad. Or put your citizens at risk and maybe save those who are abroad. If the UK . . . can accept that an attack was prepared in the UK to kill women and children in Germany, France, Turkey, Scandinavia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco or Algeria - then everyone will come to their own conclusions."
I find Sifaoui's theory substantiated when I speak to Sheikh Omar Bakri, who heads up al-Muhajiroun, perhaps the most contentious Islamist group in the UK. He tells me the story of the companions of the prophet Muhammad who, when travelling to Abyssinia, were given protection and hospitality by that nation. The result of this generosity is the Koranic notion of covenant, namely that as a Muslim it is de rigueur not to attack the inhabitants of any country in which one finds oneself living safely. This, according to Bakri, makes it unlikely that British-based Muslims will carry out operations in the UK itself.
If it is true that terrorist sympathisers use their freedoms in the UK to focus on foreign operations, then two further questions must be answered. First, can this "situation" be characterised as a deliberately unethical policy, unspoken by the British government but effected by the security service? A Foreign Office source suggested to me that, technically, by proceeding in this manner, the government may be flouting UN resolution 1373 of 28 September 2001 - ironically drafted by the British. The resolution calls on states to: "(c) Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens; and to (d) Prevent those who finance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts from using their respective territories for those purposes against other states or their citizens".
And, second, what of my lunch partner Hassan? Is he posturing in order to fill me, and the wider British public, with fear? What of the autonomous Semtex-ridden Islamist cell whose members are ready to launch their strike at any moment? Hassan suggests that there are Islamists who are prepared to break their covenant with the British. And he warns that "any attack will have to be massive. After one operation everything will close down on us in Britain".
The British must wait to see, therefore, whether the deliverer of the massive attack will be Hassan himself. I, for one, will not be holding my breath. Apart from anything else, I enjoy our lunches.
This article first appeared in the New Statesman. For the latest in current and cultural affairs subscribe to the New Statesman print edition.
A radical Muslim cleric who was arrested last week on suspicion of being involved in terrorist offences has been "de-arrested", British police said last night.
Abu Hamza al-Masri was arrested on Friday at Belmarsh Prison in southeast London where he was already being held on a United States arrest warrant for terrorism charges.
Metropolitan Police said he had been returned to that prison following questioning at a London police station and his subsequent de-arrest. Police had been granted a warrant to question him until September 2 on suspicion of commissioning, preparing or instigating terrorist acts in Britain.
The British action had threatened to delay US attempts to extradite Al-Masri, 47, on 11 charges relating to terrorism. The hook-handed cleric denies the US charges