This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3564

Scottish Muslim Council Member Suspended Over His Family's Participation In Pakistani Jihad Training

August 11, 2008

Scottish Muslim Council Member Suspended Over His Family's Participation In Pakistani Jihad Training

Father And Children Fires Assault Weapons, Visit "Hand Grenade Store"

By BEILA RABINOWITZ and WILLIAM MAYER

August 11, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - A Muslim member of the Glasgow city council has been suspended after it became known that he took his family to Pakistan in 2005, where they participated in weapons training.

Jahangir Hanif, a multi-millionaire slumlord, and five of his six children traveled to the Pakistani/Kashmir border area in a van with "blacked out" windows. Hanif's 17 year old daughter related the story to the Evening Times, which wrote:

"A chilling video, seen by the Evening Times, shows Mr Hanif shooting the powerful weapon, which is capable of firing 600 rounds a minute.Noor says she fired the gun, while her sisters and brothers were also encouraged to use the weapon.Mr Hanif's youngest daughter Sana, just five at the time, is seen being helped to fire the gun...His son Ameer, now 14, also shot with the Russian-made AK-47 as did daughters Zainab, 13, and Amina, 10. Ameer also claims he was taken to a shop which sold grenades, guns and knives during the trip.The councillor says his children were interested in learning how to use the weapon." [source, http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/display.var.2419790.0.councillor_kalashnikov.php]

As a result of the expose, Councillor Hanif was suspended and will face a disciplinary hearing.

A spokeman for the Scottish National Party said that his actions were "foolish" and "inappropriate."

Hanif has issued a statement, pleading his case:

"I regret that this happened and apologise, it was foolish and inappropriate. It took place over two-and-a-half years ago, long before I became a councilor...I accept the actions of the party, and will wish to take part in the formal hearing on my return to Scotland."

Hanif's wife of 18 years [in an arranged marriage] filed divorce proceedings shortly after the trip. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=councillorid=8.11.08%2Ehtm

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Councillor Kalashnikov

Exclusive by Caroline Wilson

Glasgow Evening Times

August 7, 2008

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/display.var.2419790.0.councillor_kalashnikov.php

THIS is Glasgow councillor Jahangir Hanif caught on camera firing a deadly Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle at a military-style camp in Pakistan.

The 46-year-old SNP councillor, who was last month reported to be a slum landlord, took five of his six children - including his five-year-old daughter - to learn how to fire the weapon in mountains in the Kashmir border.

Reader Poll
In the light of our exclusive revelations today, should gun-toting SNP councillor Jahangir Hanif resign from Glasgow City Council.
Yes
84.3%
No
13.2%
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2.5%

Councillor Hanif's 17-year-old daughter, Noor, told the Evening Times how she and her siblings were taken in a blacked-out van to a training base by the millionaire councillor for Govanhill who has campaigned against crime in the community.

A chilling video, seen by the Evening Times, shows Mr Hanif shooting the powerful weapon, which is capable of firing 600 rounds a minute.

Noor says she fired the gun, while her sisters and brothers were also encouraged to use the weapon.

Mr Hanif's youngest daughter Sana, just five at the time, is seen being helped to fire the gun.

Hanif suspended by SNP

SNP councillor Jahangir Hanif was suspended today after the Evening Times revealed he was caught on video firing a Kalashnikov assault rifle in Pakistan.

Mr Hanif, 46, a businessman in Glasgow, will now face a disciplinary hearing.

Today, the party described his actions as "foolish and inappropriate".

Mr Hanif made the trip in 2005 along with five of his children.

An SNP spokesman said the councillor would be given the chance to explain his actions.

He added: "Cllr Hanif is currently in Pakistan, and has not had the opportunity to put his side of the story.

"On the face of it he has not broken the law, and there is no suggestion of any involvement in anything untoward.

"Nevertheless, this was very foolish and inappropriate conduct.

"He is well aware of the SNP's strong views against firearms, particularly involving children.

"Cllr Hanif has this afternoon been suspended from the party, and therefore the council group, pending a disciplinary hearing where he will have the opportunity to explain himself and this incident from 2005.

"Given this action, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

In a statement issued by the party, Mr Hanif said: "I regret that this happened and apologise - it was foolish and inappropriate.

"It took place over two-and-a-half years ago, long before I became a councillor.

"I accept the actions of the party, and will wish to take part in the formal hearing on my return to Scotland."

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Bill Aitken said he has written to First Minister Alex Salmond demanding that he take action against Mr Hanif whose behaviour he describes as "absolutely appalling".

He said: "At a time when every right thinking politician is concerned about the levels of violence and gun crime this man is training his children in how to use a deadly assault rifle.

"Why was he doing this? This sends out the worst possible message and to my mind renders councillor Hanif quite unsuitable to hold elected public office.

"Mr Salmond needs to take decisive action or his own credibility will be very much under question."

His son Ameer, now 14, also shot with the Russian-made AK-47 as did daughters Zainab, 13, and Amina, 10.

Ameer also claims he was taken to a shop which sold grenades, guns and knives during the trip.

The councillor says his children were interested in learning how to use the weapon.

Noor, a grade A student hoping to study medicine at Cambridge, said the gun trip took place during a family holiday to Pakistan to visit relatives.

The children were told they were going on a day trip near Peshwar, while their mother Naushin went shopping with another daughter Huma, now 15.

Noor, of Newton Mearns, said: "We were taken in a van with blacked-out windows.

"We were shown how to use the gun. We were shooting into the mountains.

"We all shot the gun. Someone helped Sana.

"I wasn't happy about it."

She added: "We didn't know why we were being taken there.

"I don't know who the men were. They weren't wearing uniform."

The children's mother, Naushin, was said to be furious when she discovered that her husband had taken the children to the camp, shortly before Christmas in 2005.

The 38-year-old is in the middle of divorce proceedings from Hanif after being in the arranged marriage for 18 years. The couple split not long after the trip.

Noor said she, Huma, Ameer and Zainab hadn't seen their father for two years.

The youngest children, Amina and Sana, now eight, see their father through a mediation service.

The family say they are being forced to sell their luxury home in Newton Mearns because they can't afford to pay the bills.

Mr Hanif rakes in thousands of pounds from dozens of flats he owns in Glasgow and overseas.

His wife says that he has aspirations to rise through the ranks of the SNP which has 22 councillors on Glasgow City Council.

The councillor lives above his constituency offices in Cathcart.

The disturbing gun images will come as a huge embarrassment to the SNP, which has been riding high following its victory in the Glasgow East by-election.

A spokeswoman for the party said: "We are making urgent inquiries of Councillor Hanif about the authenticity, background and context of the video."

When contacted by the Evening Times in Pakistan about the video, Councillor's Hanif's first reaction was "What?" and the line went dead.

When we called him back, he said: "The children were interested in it. I took them to a place in the mountains where you can fire AK-47s.

"It's not illegal in Pakistan. People in Glasgow have shotguns. I wouldn't give them (the children) a pistol. I don't think all the children fired it."

Last month, it was claimed Mr Hanif was renting out flats kept in slum-like conditions - despite campaigning against rogue landlords in his ward.

It was alleged he pocketed 500-a-month for a two-bedroomed flat from a family of Romanians in Westmore-land Street, Govanhill, an area considered so bad that locals have nicknamed it "Ground Zero".

The Evening Times revealed Mr Hanif is also facing court action over a flood hit-flat.

Stewart Daniels has launched a legal fight against the SNP councillor to claw back thousands of pounds he has spent repairing water damage to his home.

Mr Daniels, 61, lives below a flat the councillor rents out in Pollokshields.




TIMESFILE

THE AK-47 is the world's most popular assault rifle and has been in production for more than 60 years. It is known as the Kalashnikov, after its Russian inventor, Lieutenant General Mikhail Kalashnikov. The weapon is known for its ease of use and is renowned for working as well in sub-zero conditions as in the deserts and jungles of Africa, where its use has been highlighted by shocking pictures of children using the gun in numerous civil wars. It is estimated there are 50million to 70m of the weapons worldwide. AKs, also used by the IRA during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, are used by half the world's armies, but a recent report showed it is the world's worst regulated weapon. Amnesty International and the International Action Network on Small Arms say the weapons often fall into the wrong hands. The worst abuse has been in Afghanistan, where the weapons have been supplied over the past 30 years in their hundreds of thousands by the former Soviet Union, America, Pakistan, Iran, India, Saudi Arabia and others, to militias and warlords.

Publication date 07/08/08

SNP councillor Jahangir Hanif takes family to fire AK47s

Stills from a video of SNP councillor Jahangir Hanif shooting an AK 47 at a camp in Pakistan in 2005

A still from a video shows Jahangir Haniv, the SNP councillor, with an AK47 at a camp in Pakistan in 2005

Image :1 of 2 David Lister, Scotland Correspondent From Times Online August 8, 2008 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article4481373.ece

A millionaire politician was suspended by his party yesterday after photographs were published of him apparently taking his family including his five-year-old daughter to fire an AK47 assault rifle at a military-style camp in Pakistan.

Photographs of Jahangir Hanif, 46, a Scottish National Party councillor in Glasgow who has campaigned against violent crime, were published yesterday by a newspaper beneath the headline: "Councillor Kalashnikov". He admitted last night that his behaviour had been "foolish and inappropriate".

His 17-year-old daughter, Noor, described how she and four of her siblings were driven in a blacked-out vehicle to an alleged training base in mountains near the Kashmir border and encouraged to fire the powerful weapon.

Video footage passed to the Glasgow Evening Times showed Mr Hanif's youngest daughter, Sana, aged 5 at the time, being helped to fire the gun, the newspaper said. His son Ameer, now 14, also fired the Russian-designed rifle the weapon of choice for Taleban insurgents in Afghanistan, with a firing rate of 600 rounds a minute as did his daughters Zainab, 13, and Amina, 10, the paper added.

The revelation is a big embarrassment for the SNP, which has enjoyed a spectacular run of success since coming to power in Scotland last year and recently triumphed in the Glasgow East by-election .

When contacted about the video, Mr Hanif said "What?" before the line went dead, the Evening Times reported.

He later admitted: "The children were interested in it. I took them to a place in the mountains where you can fire AK47s. It's not illegal in Pakistan. People in Glasgow have shotguns. I wouldn't give them [the children] a pistol. I don't think all the children fired it."

In a statement released through the SNP, Mr Hanif said yesterday: "I regret that this happened and apologise it was foolish and inappropriate.

"It took place over two and a half years ago, long before I became a councillor. I accept the actions of the party, and will wish to take part in the formal hearing on my return to Scotland."

His daughter, Noor, who has not seen her father for two years and whose mother is in the middle of divorce proceedings from him, told the paper: "We were taken in a van with blacked-out windows. We were shown how to use the gun. We were shooting into the mountains. We all shot the gun. Someone helped Sana."

The 17-year-old, who is hoping to study medicine at Cambridge University, added: "I wasn't happy about it. We didn't know why we were being taken there. I don't know who the men were. They weren't wearing uniform."

The trip took place just before Christmas in 2005 during a family holiday to Pakistan to visit relatives. Mr Hanif's son, Ameer, also claimed that he was taken to a shop that sold grenades, guns and knives during the trip.

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The children were told that they were being taken on a day trip to a nearby city, while their mother, Naushin, went shopping with another daughter, Huma, now 15.

Mrs Hanif, 38, was said to be furious when she learnt that her husband had taken them to the camp.

The couple are believed to have separated after an arranged marriage that lasted 18 years not long afterwards.

The youngest children, Amina and Sana, now 8, see their father, who is said to own dozens of flats in Glasgow and overseas, through a mediation service.

The family claim that they are being forced to sell the home where they live in Newton Mearns, an affluent suburb of Glasgow, because they cannot afford to pay the bills, it was reported.

A spokesman for the SNP said yesterday: "Councillor Hanif is currrently in Pakistan, and has not had the opportunity to put his side of the story.

"On the face of it he has not broken the law, and there is no suggestion of any involvement in anything untoward. Nevertheless, this was very foolish and inappropriate conduct.

"He is well aware of the SNP's strong views against firearms, particularly involving children. Councillor Hanif has this afternoon been suspended from the party, and therefore the council group, pending a disciplinary hearing where he will have the opportunity to explain himself and this incident from 2005.

"Given this action, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Hanif's CV

Joined the SNP in 1997 and fought council elections in 1999 and 2003

Stood for Westminster in 2005 in Central Ayrshire

Was elected to serve as councillor for Glasgow Southside Central ward in May 2007

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3564