http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cache:-tK_rAJcJO4J:www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm%3Farticleid%3D484+membership+in+al+muhajiroun&hl=enMichael Whine Communications Director,
Community Security Trust and Director of the Defence and Group Relations Division of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
The revelation that Asif Hanif, the terrorist who blew himself up in Tel Aviv on 29 April, and his accomplice and would-be bomber, Omar Khan Sharif, were British, should have come as no revelation. Nor should it have come as a surprise that they had links with Al-Muhajiroun (AM – The Emigrants).
What was surprising, and perhaps unforgivable, was that their "religious" and ideological descent into attempted mass murder could not have been adequately monitored by either the British or Israeli security services and law enforcement agencies. Information provided by the police at the initial court hearing at Bow Street Magistrates Court on 9 May clearly indicated that Sharif's family knew what he was up to, if not actually complicit in his terrorism. The family are now remanded to the Central Criminal Court, charged with failing to disclose information that could have prevented a terrorist attack, under section 38 of the amended Terrorism Act 2000. Sharif's sister, Parveen Sharif, also faces the more serious charge of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring acts of terrorism overseas under section 62 of the Act which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on conviction1.
According to the judge at the court hearing on 9 May, the evidence against the three largely relies on information from emails, but it is a reasonable assumption in the circumstances that their foreknowledge and assistance went beyond this.
People who are recruited by AM are taught by the organisation that Israel, the Jews and the West are evil and that it is their Muslim duty to fight them. This is not to state that AM is itself a terrorist organisation. It is not, at least in Britain, but it does serve as an important radicalising agent in the process of turning young British Muslims against Britain and into militant Islamists, and serves as a portal through which some of them have been encouraged to pass on their way to becoming terrorists.
Articles in the British press in recent years have referred to the recruitment of young men by AM whose families fear they will become terrorists. In one instance the relatives of a student from Crawley, Sussex, went to Pakistan to search terrorist training camps for Omar Kyam, who had left his home to travel to Pakistan to train as a terrorist. Mr Kyam's uncle stated "he and boys like him are being given a rifle and told martyrdom is a good thing and sent on a suicide mission to places like Kashmir…The men responsible for sending them don't care what happens to these boys. Many families who have lost sons are afraid to speak out because they worry about reprisals against them"2.
AM was founded in the UK on 16 February 1996 by Omar Bakri Mohammed (Bakri), formerly al Fostock. He was born in 1958 in Aleppo Syria, studied at Cairo's al-Azhar University, then lived in Saudi Arabia until his expulsion in 1986 when he came to Britain. During this time in the Middle East he claims to have been active in various groups including the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb ut-Tahrir (HUT – the Islamic Liberation Party). Indeed Bakri founded HUT's British branch, with Farid Kasim, a fellow Syrian, and the two rapidly gained a reputation as the most vocal, visible and active Islamist organisers in the UK.
HUT operated mainly on university campuses but also within the Muslim community where its members repeatedly clashed with longer established, and more moderate, bodies.
In 1996 Bakri split from HUT to start AM, and proclaimed himself its spiritual leader. In addition he established himself as a judge of the self-styled British Court of Shariah, which advocates the dominance of Islamic law. Bakri is also the founder of the publishing house al-Khilafah Publications.
AM essentially follows the ideology of HUT, which was founded by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabahani, an Islamic court judge in the former east Jerusalem in 1953. Nabahani remained leader until he died in 1977 and was then succeeded by Abdul-Qadeem Zallum, who was ousted in 1997 by Mohamed Nafi Abdul-Karim Salih. He in turn was succeeded by Bakr Salem-Khawaldah.
HUT is an international Islamist movement dedicated to the creation of a united Khilafah (Islamic state) throughout what it deems to be Muslim lands. In the Khilafah the Ummah (Muslim community) is led by a Caliph (appointed leader) who rules the state by the rules of Islam (Shariah). The size of the state is limitless and negates the need for national boundaries; anyone can live in such a state, as long as they abide by Islamic law. Where it is deemed necessary the Khilafah will be established by Jihad (holy war), which HUT sees as a physical war to be fought against the Kufr (non-believers)3.
HUT is opposed to all existing Arab and Muslim regimes and it is banned in most Middle Eastern countries, where it has a history of involvement in dissident activity.
In 1968 HUT attempted a coup d'etat in Jordan and Syria, both of which failed, as did an attempted putsch in Egypt in 1974, said to have been carried out by a disgruntled Palestinian terrorist who had joined HUT. Another sympathiser is thought to have been a member of the group who assassinated President Sadat of Egypt in 1981. Attempted coups have also been made in Iraq and Tunisia, where in 1988 over forty members were tried in secret by a military court. In 1994 ten members of HUT were convicted of plotting to assassinate King Hussein of Jordan, and though ten were sentenced to death, eight of these sentences were subsequently overturned due to lack of evidence by the Appeal Court. The other two accused were tried in absentia4.
HUT has also established itself in central asia, where it has declared a Jihad, and where it seeks to reunite the central asian republics. It is currently particularly prominent as an opposition party in Uzbekistan. According to Uzbek officials HUT was introduced into the country in 1995 by a Jordanian named Sala Huddin. As the movement began setting up its first cells in Tashkent and the Fergana Valley, and spread throughout Uzbekistan and onto Tajikistan and Kyrgystan, government crackdowns began. HUT has claimed more than 60,000 supporters in Tashkent and tens of thousands in other cities. This claim may be supported by the number of arrests of HUT members in all three countries between 1999 and 2001.
It has also been alleged that HUT were responsible for the assassination of Muhammed Amin Yakan, a leading Muslim cleric, in Aleppo Syria in December 1999. Yakan had been mediating between the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood which at that time was banned in Syria.
Members of HUT, including three British members, were recently put on trial in Egypt and charged with seeking the overthrow of the Egyptian government. In a press interview Bakri claimed to have recruited them to HUT5.
HUT is rigidly opposed to the existence of the state of Israel, and draws no distinction between Israel and Jews in its rhetoric. It is also opposed to the Middle East process, and has demonstrated against the Arab participants that have been involved in the process, as well as against Israel. In addition to this, HUT is anti-Hindu, anti-Sikh, homophobic, anti-feminist, anti-democratic and anti-western.
Following the split between the two organisations AM quickly assumed HUT's active role in recruiting in universities in colleges and through mosques, and in talking to the media, thereby becoming Britain's best-known extremist Islamist group. After the split HUT returned to a more covert style of operation, although it continues to send out communiqu?s to the press. However HUT and AM retain a near-identical ideology and some activists appear to belong to both groups. The membership of both organisations is not known but is likely to be only in the hundreds, although they have been able to attract thousands of supporters to their public activities.
From their head office in the Lee Valley Techno Park in north London, AM claim to provide physical support, including finance and recruitment to overseas Islamist groups, including Hamas, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah. Bakri has also boasted of having communicated with Osama bin Laden. However none of these groups have ever substantiated AM's claims, and it is perhaps doubtful that much of the money raised actually reaches its intended declared destination. Nevertheless AM did have an office and a representative, Hassan Butt, in Lahore, Pakistan, and do encourage British volunteers to train and fight abroad6. This has led to the death of at least three British AM activists in an American bombing raid on Afghanistan7. In December 2001 AM claimed that eighteen of their British activists were in Lahore claiming political asylum having fought on behalf of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Since the implementation of Britain's Terrorism Act 2000, and its subsequent amendment in 2001, AM have been more cautious in speaking about raising funds in Britain for overseas terrorist activity. Their public stance since September 11 2001 focuses more on establishing the Khilafah. However their public distaste for Jews, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and homosexuality, and their continued criticism of western civilisation and comment on the Israel Palestine situation has led several leading members into trouble with the police (see below).
Most other Islamist groups criticise AM's ideology as being overly simplistic. There is, however, some ideological convergence with other radical groups, particularly those associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistani Jamaat Islami, especially regarding the mutual responsibility that Muslims bear for one another throughout the world, the utopian vision of the Khilafah and the justification of political violence to achieve their aims.
AM claim that the Khilafah was originally established by the prophet Mohammed, and that its ‘re-establishment' is a religious and political priority for all Muslims. They also believe that it is every Muslim's duty to support those waging Jihad in any other country, for instance Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kashmir or Palestine, and regularly call for Jihad in support of Muslims overseas. In this context AM defines Jihad as materially supporting or physically waging war on behalf of Islam. Their leaflets frequently quote a select few verses from religious text to justify their militant rhetoric:
‘The Jews and Christians will never be satisfied with you until they take you away from your way of life.'8
‘The hour will not come until Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.'9
Ultimately AM seek to convert the world to Islam so that the Khilafah state will dominate the world.
Bakri is the self-proclaimed religious and spiritual leader of AM. Described half-humorously as ‘The Tottenham Ayatollah', he is a publicity seeker whose frequent media interviews have been noteworthy for his outrageous claims10. In 1991 he threatened the life of Prime Minister John Major, and was held by the police for twenty-four hours, but subsequently released without being charged11. In December 1999 he issued a fatwa against the Russian leader Boris Yeltsin and called for British Muslims to attack the Russian Embassy. On 18 September 2001, outside the Pakistan Embassy in London, Bakri issued a fatwa which contained a death threat against General Musharraf of Pakistan12.
Anjem Choudary is the chairman of The Society of Muslim Lawyers, an AM front. He appears to be the main public spokesman for AM, and is sometimes now described as the head of the British branch, and its main operational leader. In 1998 he was arrested and charged, although not prosecuted, with burning an Israeli flag at an AM rally in Hyde Park London, but he was convicted for other offences early in 2003 (see below).
Abdul Rahman Saleem, also known as Abu Yahya, is a leading member of AM. In a press interview he stated that he had undergone military training in Afghanistan and Pakistan and would go to fight on the front line for other Muslims13. In a second interview he admitted to be recruiting a number of Britains to be trained abroad as he felt to be the duty of every Muslim to defend Islam14. A third interview he gave quoted him as saying "My support for my brothers in the Taliban or any oppressed Muslim group will be verbal, financial and physical"15. He was also arrested and charged, although not prosecuted, for burning an Israeli flag at an AM event in 1998, (see below).
Iftikhar Ali has been a senior member of AM since at least 1999 and has been the organiser of their physical training courses in east London. In May 2002 he was convicted of incitement to racial hatred for distributing AM leaflets bearing the hadith "the final hour will not come until Muslims fight the Jews and kill them". Reportedly he told the police officers who arrested him that "What is written on the paper is true. The Jewish people must die."16
Other AM activists were also arrested at the same time around the country for distributing the same leaflets but the criminal charges against them were dropped.
The late Sulayman Zain-ul-Abidin, also known as Frank Etim/Etab, was also active in AM. He was the organiser of Sakina Security Services, which advertised jihad training for Islamists on its Internet site and via handouts. The training included an overseas course called "the ultimate jihad challenge" held in the United States so that it could include weapons training with live ammunition. During 2002 he was put on trial at the Central Criminal Court in London charged with terrorism offences but subsequently acquitted, and shown to be something of a fantasist. The US authorities, however, continue to investigate the American organisers of the training camps.
Sulayman Keeler is a member of the National Daw'ah Committee of AM and chairman of The Society of Converts to Islam, yet another AM front. In 1999 he was imprisoned for 28 days for assaulting a police officer at a demonstration outside 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister, following a British attack on Iraqi missile installations.17 Shortly thereafter Amer Mirza, yet another AM leader, was sentenced to six months imprisonment for petrol bombing a territorial army base in west London, again as a protest against the British military action against Iraq.18
AM maintains close connections, often at a personal level, with other British-based Islamist organisations.
The Supporters of Shariah (SOS) was founded by the Egyptian Abu Hamza al-Masri (formerly Mustafa Kemal). Until the Charity Commission demanded his exclusion from the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park, Abu Hamza used the mosque as his UK base. From 1996 AM and SOS held joint meetings there, as well as demonstrations on the streets of London. Police raids on the mosque in January 2003 proved that the mosque was being used as a storage facility for materiel used to support a growing terrorist infrastructure.
It was also at the mosque that al-Qaeda recruiters, probably Djamel Beghal, found Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called ‘twentieth hijacker', and Richard Reid, the ‘shoebomber'.
Hamza was previously an advisor to the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and had issued a number of fatwahs on their behalf justifying the killing of civilians.
Abu Qatada (also known as Sheikh Omar Abu Omar), currently held by the British authorities, is a Palestinian who has been convicted twice in absentia by Jordan on terrorist charges. He came to Britain in 1993 and was later granted asylum. Qatada is linked to the Jordanian group Jaysh Mohammad (Army of Mohammad) who are accused of planned the bombing of American targets at the end of the millennium. He has frequently been described as Bin Laden's "ambassador to Europe". Qatada has attended and spoken at AM events with both Bakri and Hamza. In particular he was the guest speaker at an AM meeting in November 1999 held to raise funds for the Mujahideen in Chechnya.
Bakri has also maintained a close relationship with Yasser al-Sirri, an Egyptian exile condemned to death in Egypt for his part in the attempted assassination of the former Prime Minister Dr Atef Sidqi. Al-Sirri has been described as the leader of the Tala'l Fatah (Vanguards of Conquest). Bakri and Sirri have shared platforms on numerous occasions at public events in London and have openly supported each others causes. Al-Sirri has also been a speaker at several AM demonstrations and meetings.
Dr Mohammed al-Mas'ari, the Saudi Arabian co-founder in the UK of the Committee for Defence of Legitimate Rights, is known to have been a member of HUT in Saudi Arabia, along with Bakri. Al-Mas'ari left Saudi Arabia in 1994 after six months imprisonment and has since been living in Britain. It was al-Mas'ari who translated and distributed Osama bin Laden's first declaration of war against the United States in 1996. Mas'ari is a central figure in AM activities and indeed has been a lecturer at Bakri's School of Shariah.
Zahid ur-Rashdi is a former Pakistani Member of Parliament and head of the Shariah Council of Pakistan. It is believed that he and other Pakistani Islamists maintained contact with the late Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader. Ur-Rashdi has been a guest speaker at a number of AM's important events in London including the Trafalgar Square rally on 3 August 1997 entitled ‘Islam Against Oppression'. Again in July 1999 he spoke at an AM rally in Trafalgar Square entitled ‘Islam III'. Ur-Rashdi is believed to be the head of the Pakistani end of a jihad recruitment and fundraising network called The Global Jihad Fund.
As has been indicated, AM operates in Britain under a variety of names, using organisations and companies as fronts. These organisations are fronted by senior members of the organisation, and the different names enable AM to recruit new members or sympathisers from varying backgrounds and ages, as well as raising money through donations.
In a press interview Bakri stated that there "are registered companies that do not exist as companies…Info 2000 Software is one of eleven companies we have used to help us with our work.19 This bogus company was investigated by the authorities and shut down subsequently.
The Muslim Cultural Society of Enfield and Haringey was a registered charity established and run by AM in May 1994. Subsequently it too was investigated, and closed in November 1999 by the British authorities20.
Anti-Israel and Anti-Jewish Activities
Anti-Israel demonstrations and meetings, and the promotion of antisemitism and Holocaust denial have been central to AM's activities from the very start. Leaflets, Internet postings and meetings focussing on this core issue for AM ideology began in earnest after the Israel bombardment of Qana in Lebanon in April 1996.
One leaflet published shortly thereafter was headed ‘Muslim vs Jew: War'. Having stated that ‘Never has one single Arab leader engaged with Israel in war' it went on to state ‘and what of so-called Jewish invincibility that the rulers of Muslim lands claim? What does Allah have to say about this? Allah through his messenger Mohammed (SAW) said: "The final (sic) shall not occur until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, so much so that the Jews will seek shelter behind stones and trees, and the stones and trees proclaim, ‘oh Muslim', ‘oh servant of Allah!' There is a Jew behind me, so come and kill him….further in the Quran Allah says of the Jews: and thou will find them greediest of mankind for life…and concerning their cowardice: they will not fight against you in body save in fortified villages and behind wall'21.
Shortly thereafter AM produced a series of leaflets on the theme of Jihad for Palestine and embarked upon a series of widely advertised demonstrations outside the Israel Embassy in London22. Thereafter the group began a series of central London demonstrations to protest against Israel and Zionism. One entitled ‘The Rally Against Oppression' held in August in Trafalgar Square, central London, had on its advertising leaflets the slogan ‘Israel, the cancerous Zionist entity most oppressive terrorist state on earth' stated that ‘ the establishment of Israel is not only a criminal act of genocide against the Palestinian people. It is also an act of war against Islam and Muslims all over the world…the oppression of this cancerous growth can be counted by surgical, chemical or radiation treatment23.
Another demonstration held outside the residence of the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street called for the support of the ‘Jihad against the pirate racist Zionist Jewish apartheid terrorist murdering oppressive illegitimate blasphemous state of Israel…occupier of Muslim land'24. Yet another called for a ‘demonstration against 50 years of apartied (sic), occupation murdering and racism…the pirate state of Israel'. This was held outside the Jewish community's Israel Independence Day celebrations at Wembley Conference Centre, north London25.
The banners and speeches at these demonstrations were even more extreme. Banners outside the Israel Embassy at an AM demonstration in October 2000 stated ‘Jewish occupiers kill them where you see them'. At the same demonstration the organised chanting included the calls: "dirty Jews, burn in hell, jihad jihad jihad, bomb bomb Tel Aviv, bomb bomb Israel, scud scud Israel, burn burn Israel".
One chant heard frequently on AM demonstrations is the Arabic: ‘kyber kyber ya yahood jaysh Mohammed saof yaood' (kyber kyber oh Jews! The Army of Mohammed will return). At a June 1998 Rally for Islam in Trafalgar Square Avais Khan, one of the speakers, stated: ‘the Jewish Holocaust was a fabrication and everybody knows that. But the way they kill the Muslims in Palestine, that is the true Holocaust, theirs is a fabrication…b'Allah, they dirty cursed people, yahood, they make Hitler look like a saint…how wicked, how evil these Jews are, b'Allah, they don't even deserve the death of a dog'.
At an AM demonstration outside another Israeli Independence Day celebration, this time in May 2000, one speaker addressed the Jewish community thus: ‘your state is a blasphemy according to Jewish law so that makes you not only cowards, garbage, scum, thieves, I could go on, it also makes you blasphemers as well, according to your own religion. Then again what do we expect from the garbage of humanity, the most gangrenous part of humanity that has always killed its own prophets, betrayed its own people, it's no surprise to any of us that you constantly lie and cheat in your religion, that is why in our religion you are described as pigs, swines and apes'26.
The anti-Jewish and anti-Israel rhetoric has continued virtually without slowing down, but from 2000 onwards the rhetoric took on a harder tone: leaflets began to appeal for Jihad recruitment and the murder of Israelis.
One leaflet advertising an Islamic conference in east London called for Israelis to be killed wherever they are27. Another, advertising a rally to be held in Trafalgar Square in October 2000 stated that the rally would be recruiting Muslims to destroy Israel28.
AM responded to Britain's first Holocaust Memorial Day in 2001 by holding a series of lectures designed to: ‘trace back the lie of the Holocaust' and show how it has been used to justify the on-going Holocaust and genocide against the innocent Muslims in Palestine.
Bakri has frequently been quoted as saying that he does not believe in the Holocaust. Indeed it would be no exaggeration to say that AM has become perhaps the most active promoter of Holocaust denial in Britain. During November 2000 its members put up posters throughout London advertising a meeting which referred to the Holocaust as ‘a perverted lie'. The meeting was cancelled by the owners of the hall where it was due to take place, but in a press interview at the time Bakri told the Jewish Chronicle: ‘ to say six million died in the Holocaust is fallacy used to justify Zionism. We believe that the nazis killed about 60,000 Jews during the war. The story of the Holocaust is full of myths and lies29.
Holocaust denial has been repeated in numerous Internet postings on Bakri's websites. One recent example was: ‘how could Hitler kill 6,800,000 Jews when there were only 3,500,000 Jews living in Europe? This talk will trace back the lie of the Holocaust and show how it has been used to justify the on-going Holocaust and genocide against the innocent Muslims in Palestine and to legitimise the existence of the Terrorist State of Israel'30.
As a consequence of promoting these insidious and hateful views AM are banned by the National Union of Students from holding events at all student unions in the UK, as are HUT. Indeed it was their campus-based activity that led the universities' umbrella body, the Committee of Vice Chancellors (now renamed Universities UK) to investigate HUT and subsequently publish a guidance booklet for university heads on religious extremism31.
However, following their established practice they have set themselves up under different organisational names, such as the Islamic Media Forum, Pakistan Society or Muslim Cultural Society, and thereby frequently evade the bans.
As a consequence of their anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement several members and supporters of AM have been arrested or convicted on criminal charges, in addition to those mentioned above:
In May 2003 Anjem Choudary was convicted of organising a banned AM rally in Trafalgar Square, and fined. He subsequently told a London newspaper that ‘Muslims are obligated to court Islam openly where they live, with or without permission'.32
In October 2000, Malik Saleem, Mohammad Farooq and Sajaad Hanif were arrested in Birmingham for putting up posters which bore the slogan ‘the hour will not come until the Muslims kill the Jews'. The posters were to advertise an AM meeting, and one was posted on the wall of a synagogue.
In September 2000 Nazrul Islam, Tunveer Ahmed, Abdul Rahman Saleem, Muhammad Akhtar, Muhammad Shams Uddeen, Kawsor Miah and Abdullah Uddin were all arrested at an AM demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in London, although not subsequently charged.
In January 1998 Osman Ali, Anjem Choudary and Abdul Rahim Salim were arrested for burning an Israeli flag at a public event in Central London. However, they too were not convicted.
Thus the news that Hanif and Sharif passed through AM on their way to becoming terrorists should not come as a surprise.
AM activist Hassan Butt, who returned to Britain during 2002 from Lahore, stated in an interview with al-Sharq al-Awsat, that he estimated the number of suicide bombers waiting to carry out operations were more than fifty. He added that most of them are currently in Britain, although not necessarily active members of AM. He did state, however, that most of them had received religious lessons in Britain and that they had been taught that jihad was a priority.33
It this is the case then both Britain and Israel can expect more suicide bombings, unless the security services and law enforcement agencies make a determined attempt to discover their identities
Hanif and Sharif friends declare intentions to also become suicide bombers.
It is time that they were taken seriously.
After terrorism arrests in Britain in March 2003 Sharif's name came to the attention of MI 5 who decided that "the pair were not potential terrorists" .
MI5 knew of bombers' ties to Islam
By David Bamber and Daniel Foggo in London and Martin Bentham in Tel Aviv
May 5 2003
Britain's MI5 knew that the two Britons who carried out a suicide bombing in Israel last week had links to Islamic extremists, but they decided the pair were not potential terrorists, officers of the security service say.
In an MI5 investigation of Islamic terrorism, Asif Mohammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif were identified as part of the hardline al-Muhajiroun movement, but were not put under constant surveillance because they were thought to be on the group's fringes, the officers said.
Last week Hanif, 21, killed himself and three Israelis when he detonated a belt full of explosives in a Tel Aviv bar.
Police are hunting Sharif, 27, who fled when his explosive-packed vest failed to detonate.
Police disclosed that six people arrested under anti-terrorism laws on Friday and Saturday were family members or friends of Sharif. As the investigations continued, another friend of Sharif said he, too, would become a suicide bomber, and he expected similar attacks in Britain. Shakil Mohammed, 31, who grew up in the same neighbourhood as Sharif in the Midlands town of Derby, met him in March. He said: "I would volunteer: more and more people will follow him."
Detectives said that Sharif was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic group that seeks to unite all Islamic states under a single regime. It is banned in a number of countries.
MI5 officers said the security service knew for several years that Sharif had attended meetings in Derby of al-Muhajiroun, which advocates the overthrow of Western democracies. Hanif attended meetings of the group in west London. MI5 had also known that Sharif was connected to a mosque where a radical cleric, Abu Hamza, preached until recently.
Evidence gathered during the MI5 investigation in which Sharif's name came to officers' attention led to the arrest in March of eight men in Derby for terrorism offences. They were released and the security service found no evidence Sharif or Hanif were involved in terrorism.
Israel said it would deport peace activists from Gaza and the West Bank after it emerged that Hanif and Sharif posed as such to move freely across heavily guarded checkpoints.
"We have lost patience with the so-called activists," an Israeli official said. "Now we will adopt a zero-tolerance policy."
Britain has demanded an inquiry into the Israeli military's shooting death of a British television cameraman, James Miller, in a Palestinian refugee camp where he was making a documentary on the impact of violence on Palestinian children.
The Telegraph, London and agencies
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/04/1051987610597.html
DEMOCRACY IS NOT A SUICIDE PACT:
New Breed of British Homegrown Islamicists
March 31st, 2004
The arrest of eight British Muslim terror suspects, and the discovery of half a ton of fertilizer in London yesterday, should be sending shockwaves through the UK's intelligence and security organizations such as MI5.
Even if found guilty, these eight British passport-holders of Pakistani descent, aged between 17 and 32 years old, will probably not be proven to be directly linked with Al-Qaeda.
Instead, and just as frightening -- or perhaps even worse -- is that they may represent a new class of radical Islamic terrorists: British born and bred.
Radical Islamic groups operating in the UK such as Al Muhajiroun, are the likely nursery, indoctrination, and training grounds for young British Muslims, who want to join the anti-Western Jihad. It's unlikely that these eight terror suspects ever trained or even traveled to the Al-Qaeda terror training camps in Afghanistan. They are simply too young to have been graduates from the early Al-Qaeda camps managed by Bin Laden.
This disturbing evidence, so far only circumstantial, suggests that at least in the UK, we are witnessing the birth of a new strain of homegrown Islamic terrorists whose numbers cannot be accounted for amongst the twenty thousand odd Al-Qaeda operatives, known to have trained in Afghanistan.
And if what is happening in Britain is only a microcosm of what is occurring all over the world, then the intelligence agencies tasked with defeating Islamic terrorism have an even larger problem on their hands than previously conceived.
Al Muhajiroun are but one of these radical Islamic groups that openly cater to bored young Muslims brought up in the West. They offer moral support for Al-Qaeda's acts of terror, and can often be seen throwing public rallies in London's Trafalgar square. They even have a website which explicitly supports terrorism and violent jihad against the infidels.
Britain has enacted strong legislation concerning incitement of violence, but for some reason the statements on the Al Muhajiroun are not seen by authorities to constitute an offense, because they've been publishing the same hatred for a long time, without hindrance.
However, if these eight terror suspects are found to have been developed by the Al Muhajiroun movement in Britain, political heads should roll. We've all seen too many news documentaries and investigative reports cataloguing their agenda of hatred and violence.
Why should groups such as Al Muhajiroun be treated with kid's gloves?
Just because they are made up of homegrown Islamic radicals, should be no reason to afford ourselves a benign tolerance, or them any immunity from prosecution for their dangerous activities.
Although Britain does not have the same history of mass immigration as her former colonies America, Canada, and Australia, Britain has historically been on the receiving end of immigration from first Europe, and later her colonies and former colonies. Until the rise of multiculturalism, immigrants to the UK, many of them highly-motivated political and religious refugees, had an admirable record of assimilation and achievement.
The rise of an explicitly hostile ideology of Islamicism, aimed at destroying the legacy of personal liberty, which is the fruit of British Civilization, cannot be tolerated any longer. Those who would defend the most glorious political tradition in the history of the world must be conscious of the danger from within.
Citizenship is a concept which encompasses both the mere formalities of passport-holding and voting rights, on the one hand, and also the responsibilities of membership in a political community, on the other. People who incite violence against that very political community are not full citizens in the latter sense of the concept, despite having access to the rights inherent in the former sense of the term.
Given the dangers Western democracies now face, perhaps it is time to begin balancing and reconciling the two senses to citizenship. Democracy, as a wise man once said, is not a suicide pact.
Michael Morris is London correspondent of The American Thinker. Thomas Lifson is the editor.
Michael Morris and Thomas Lifson