MIM: What Dr. Daniel Pipes aptly called "Londinistan Follies" continues unabated. Last week, Omar Bakri was telling British Muslims that the 'convenant of security' with Britain was no longer valid and he urged Muslims to wage Jihad on Britain or leave the country. Now he is actively recruiting for Al Qaeda by urging Muslims to join the group via the internet. Even if Bakri does go to jail one can only judge by the activities of his recently jailed colleague, Abu Hamza al Masri, that he will be given free reign to pursue terrorism while making a mockery of the British justice system.
Join Al Qaeda, urges UK cleric
AGENCIES | January 17, 2005 | 13:49 IST
A London cleric is using live broadcasts on the internet to urge young British Muslims to join al-Qaeda and has condoned suicide terrorist attacks, reports The Times, London.
'Omar Bakri Mohammed, who has lived in the UK for 18 years on social security benefits, pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and told his followers that they were in a state of war with Britain,' the paper said.
The Times monitored Mr Bakri Mohammed's nightly webcasts conducted through an internet chatroom, in which he declared that the "covenant of security" under which Muslims live peacefully in the UK had been "violated" by the Government's tough anti-terrorist legislation.
"I believe the whole of Britain has become Dar ul-Harb (land of war)," the Syria-born Mohammed said. Therefore, "the kafir (non-believer) has no sanctity for their own life or property," The Times quoted him as saying.
Though he stopped stopped short of calling for terrorist attacks in Britain, he declared that Muslims should join the jihad "wherever you are," the article said. He also told one woman that she was permitted to become a suicide bomber.
'Mohammed, 46, has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but could be detained without trial under the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act if the Home Secretary were to decide he is a terrorist associate,' The Times said.
"Al-Qaeda and all its branches and organisations of the world, that is the victorious group and they have the emir and you are obliged to join. There is no need . . . to mess about," Mohammed?was quoted as saying last Monday. 'Two nights later he said that the voices of dead Mujahidin were calling young Britons to fight,' The Times said.
"These people are calling you and shouting to you from far distant places: al jihad, al jihad. They say to you my dear Muslim brothers, 'Where is your weapon, where is your weapon?' Come on to the jihad," he said.
According to The Times, the cleric is regarded as a fringe extremist by mainstream Muslims and is banned from preaching at many mosques. But he uses internet forums every night to reach an audience of between 60 and 70 committed listeners, most of whom are under 30, the article said.
'He lectures for 90 minutes and his audience responds enthusiastically, typing questions about jihad and suicide bombing which are answered verbally. An announcement last October that Mr Bakri Mohammed had disbanded his al-Muhajiroun movement was welcomed. But it appears that he has regrouped and is delivering a more hardline message through the internet and at secretive meetings,' said The Times.
Speaking directly to The Times, Mr Bakri Mohammed denied that he was calling for violent action in the UK.
Contending that his definition of Britain as Dar ul-Harb was "theoretical," he said: "It means that Muslims can no longer be considered to have sanctity and security here, therefore they should consider leaving this country and going back to their homelands. Otherwise they are under siege and obviously we do not want to see that we are living under siege."
Extremist cleric urges Muslims via Internet to join Al-Qaeda
LONDON, Jan 17 (AFP) - An extremist London cleric is appealing to young British Muslims to join Al-Qaeda in live broadcasts on the Internet, the Times reported on Monday.
The Times said cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who is banned from many British mosques, says a "covenant of security" allowing Muslims to live peacefully in Britain had been "violated" by anti-terrorist legislation enacted after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
"I believe the whole of Britain has become Dar ul Harb (land of war)," he says in one of daily two-hour Internet broadcasts, which the Times said it had monitored three days in a row from January 10 to 12.
He said in such a place "the kuffar (nonbeliever) has no sanctity for their own life or property".
"Al-Qaeda and all its branches and organisations of the world, that is the victorious group and they have the emir and you are obliged to join".
The Times said the 46-year-old Syrian-born cleric stopped short during his broadcasts on an Internet chatroom of calling for attacks on Britain but said Muslims should join the jihad (holy war) "wherever you are".
He told one woman she was allowed to become a suicide bomber.
"It happened many times in Palestine, in Chechnya, in Russia... this is no problem, there is no restriction," he said
He said the voices of dead fighters were calling on British Muslims to fight.
"These people are calling you and shouting to you from far distant places: al jihad, al jihad. They say to you my dear Muslim brothers, 'Where is your weapon, where is your weapon?'. Come on to the jihad".
Bakri Mohammed, who has lived in Britain for 18 years since being thrown out of Saudi Arabia and has indefinite leave to remain, disbanded his al-Muhajiroun movement last October.
The Times said he was believed to reach an audience of between 60 and 70 committed listeners, most of whom were under 30, through his web broadcasts.
Bakri Mohammed denied when questioned by the Times that he was calling for violent action and said his definition of Britain as Dar ul-Harb was "theoretical".
He added: "It means that Muslims can no longer be considered to have sanctity and security here, therefore they should consider leaving this country and going back to their homelands.
"Otherwise they are under siege and obviously we do not want to see that we are living under siege."
January 17, 2005
Radical cleric who has never been prosecuted
By Sean O'Neill
OMAR BAKRI MOHAMMED is the only one of London's triumvirate of extremist Islamist clerics not currently in prison.
He rose to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s when the capital sheltered so many radicals that it was nicknamed Londonistan. Mr Bakri Mohammad, 46, vied for attention with the Jordanian Abu Qatada and the Egyptian-born Abu Hamza al-Masri. Abu Qatada, 44, seen by the Spanish authorities as al-Qaeda's "spiritual ambassador in Europe", is being held without trial as a foreign terror suspect in Belmarsh jail, southeast London.
Abu Hamza, 47, is on remand in the same prison awaiting trial on charges including soliciting to murder. The US has requested his extradition.
Mr Bakri Mohammed has been investigated by police over his allegedly inflammatory language, but no charges have been pressed. In 2003 he was linked with two Britons who carried out a suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv. Again no prosecution was brought.
Sheikh Omar bin Bakri bin Mohammed was born into a wealthy family in Aleppo, Syria. He attended Islamic boarding schools and became engrossed in study of the Koran. He considers himself an eminent scholar. He joined movements including the Muslim Students and the Muslim Brotherhood, forerunner of today's Islamist movement.
In 1986, after living in Syria and Lebanon, he was expelled from Saudi Arabia as an extremist and arrived in Britain. He soon became immersed in extreme religious politics, setting up a branch of Hizb ul-Tahrir (Party of Liberation).
The movement recruited from mosques and campuses but Mr Bakri Mohammed split from it in 1996 and created al-Muhajiroun (The Eyes and Ears of the Muslims). Inflammatory stunts — ranging from vocal antii-Semitism to threatening the life of John Major — guaranteed headlines.
After the September 11 attacks. al-Muhajiroun praised the "Magnificent 19" hijackers. With media attention came increasing police interest.
In October, Mr Bakri Mohammed announced that he was disbanding al-Muhajiroun in the interests of unity in the Muslim world. It appears that, with his fellow radicals facing arrest, he was stepping out of the limelight while continuing to propagate a hardline message. He has also established himself as British head of the Ahl ul-Sunnah wal Jammah movement (known as the Saviour Sect) which controls a few small mosques across Britain.
Radical Muslim cleric walks fine line in London sermons
Jan. 16, 2005 12:00 AM
LONDON - Sheik Omar Bakri, a supporter of al-Qaida, is typical of radical clerics in Britain. He has condoned suicide bombings in Iraq, but only indirectly encourages young Muslims here to join the insurgency in Iraq.
"I believe Muslims are obliged to support their Muslim brothers abroad - verbally, financially, politically," Bakri told the Associated Press. "I never said 'go abroad.'
"But if people want to go abroad it's a very good thing to do," he added. "But we never recruit people to go abroad."
Bakri, who heads al-Muhajiroun, Britain's largest Muslim group, like all clerics in Britain is walking a fine line in what he preaches in his khotba, or sermons.
At the London Mosque, for example, sermons are vetted by a senior cleric before they are delivered to worshippers during weekly Friday prayers. There's an undeclared understanding between British authorities and Muslim clerics that certain subjects, such as Iraq or condoning holy war, are off limits.
"There's no control from the government," said Sheik Anwar Abdie Hamid Mady, deputy director general of the London Mosque. "But we don't exceed the limits in our khotba."
Mady, a 31-year-old Egyptian cleric, said he reads all the sermons before the imam, or prayer leader, delivers them.
"I can interfere in order to modify some sections, to make them compatible with our circumstances. I have to review all the verses to see if they are compatible with the Koran or hadith," the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, Mady said. "If I find some section that is not compatible to our situation, I change it."
However, Mady said he never had to alter any sermon for its political contents.
But many of the worshippers were less constrained about discussing fighting the American occupation of Iraq.
"It's called brotherhood in Islam," said a British citizen of Algerian origin who would give only his first name, Nabil.
Even though they have not cracked down on individual clerics, as in France where five non-citizens have been deported, Muslims are well aware of their limits.
According to Bakri, several Islamic groups in Britain voluntarily disbanded following a call by Osama bin Laden to come "under one camp" led by the al-Qaida leader. Bakri named the Movement of Khilafa, Jamat al-Tawheed, the Talabat al-Ilm al-Sharia al-Salafiyah, Ansar al-Sharia, Ansar al-Imarah al-Islamiyah, and the Sharia Court of the United Kingdom that was affiliated to al-Muhajiroun.
Other institutions that worked under his al-Muhajiroun group, including the London School of Sharia and the Committee of Muslim Lawyers, have also ended their activities, said Bakri. He said he has stopped preaching and issuing pamphlets, and al-Muhajiroun Web sites have shut down.
Did that mean these groups are now subservient to al-Qaida, as bin Laden had suggested? Bakri sounded non-committal. "We didn't declare (ourselves) to be part of al-Qaida," he said; the purpose was to "declare unity. Unity with who? . . . with the mainstream moderate Muslims in the U.K.? No. Unity with the government of a Muslim country? All those people are apostate rulers. Unity with whom? Nobody is left. What's left is the Islamic camp."
He denied the disbandment was due to pressure from Prime Minister Tony Blair's government, but said he and his colleagues feel "under siege," caught between having to fight the system or "be hypocrites and come out and say, 'We are with you, Tony Blair.' "
Bakri, a Syrian-born Islamic scholar and religious judge, had no qualms in the past about calling for suicide bombings, calling them self-sacrifice operations. But now his message is more muted.
"We don't encourage it (bombings), but we said we reiterate what Islam said," he explained, and turned to metaphor, saying that if a crocodile came into your bedroom, Islam would tell you to fight it, not sleep with it. The same would apply if "kufar (infidels) occupied your homeland . . . " he said. But "I do believe that every time has its own obligation," Bakri said.
LONDON (Reuters) - Police say they are monitoring the speeches of a radical Muslim cleric after newspapers reported he supported Osama bin Laden in Internet broadcasts.
Sheikh Omar Bakri headed a Muslim fringe group called al Muhajiroun that earned media notoriety for announcing annual seminars with posters that praised the September 11 2001 hijackers as "the magnificent 19".
The seminars were always cancelled at the last minute and the group announced last October it was disbanding. But Bakri has remained the highest-profile radical Muslim cleric in Britain still at large after two others, Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza al-Masri, were held as terrorism suspects.
The Times newspaper reported this week it had monitored Bakri's sermons broadcast over the Internet in which the cleric spoke out in support of bin Laden.
Police said on Tuesday anti-terrorism officers were monitoring his speeches to see if he broke the law.
MIM: Notices and posters from the now defunct AM website
INTRODUCTION TO THE 'MAGNIFICENT 19' CONFERENCE
- THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 11TH 2003 - 19:00 -
Office 1F - N17 Studios, 784 High Rd, Tottenham, London N17
The introduction to the topic of 'The Magnificent 19' will take place at the above address at 19:00 today, Thursday 11th September 2003, the speaker will be Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, and will introduce briefly the Magnificent 19, this introduction will lead up to 'The Magnificent 19' Conference to be held on Saturday 13th September 2003 in Brimingham.
The conference will also contain a public invitation to all non-muslims to embrace Islam so that they will be safe, and to warn every Muslim and non-muslim not to die without to submit to Islam, otherwise they will face a raging fire and the Magnificent 19 for Allah (swt) says in the Qur'an:
"Soon will I cast him into Hell-Fire! And what will explain to you what Hell-Fire is? none does it permit to endure, and none does it leave alone! Darkening and changing the colour of man! Over it are Nineteen (Angels). And We have set none but angels as Guardians of the Fire; and We have fixed their number only as a trial for Unbelievers,- in order that the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) may arrive at certainty, and the Believers may increase in Faith,- and that no doubts may be left for the People of the Book and the Believers, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the Unbelievers may say, "What symbol does Allah intend by this?" Thus does Allah leave to stray whom He pleases, and guides whom He pleases: and none can know the forces of your Lord, except He and this is no other than a warning to mankind." [EMQ 74: 26-31]
NB - It should be known that it is prohibited in Islam to celebrate the life or death of any person and it is forbidden for any Muslims to take part in the 'one-minute silence' on September 11th, the Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "Whoever imitates a people he becmes one of them." Allah made it Haram for Muslims to imitate the non-Muslims, the one minute silence to commemorate people who have died is a part of the affair of the non-muslims, and so it is forbidden to take part in it with them.
THE 'MAGNIFICENT 19' CONFERENCE IS NOT A CELEBRATION
The insistence of the western media, in its onslaught against Islam and Muslims, on labelling Muslims and distorting their words is not a new phenomenon. Muslims submit to Almighty God exclusively, in all our deeds, whether verbal or physical and to falsely claim that the event on the 11th September 2003 is going to be a celebration, is irrefutably contradicted by the fact that Muslims only celebrate two days, Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha and any other celebration is an innovation as far as Islam is concerned.
Hence the event entitled the 'Magnificent 19', to be held on the 11th September 2003, is not a celebration, this has not been suggested and this is not our intention. Rather the purpose of the commemoration of the 11th September 2001, is to examine its root causes and the driving force and motivation of the 19 men who partook in the operation, in order to have a clearer understanding and in order to discuss whether the continuation of the causes might result in a recurrence of such events, albeit by utilising different ways and means.
In addition, to proclaim that the examination of the events of September the 11th could amount to an attack against Muslims or that it might incite racial hatred suggests a violent and terrorist tendency amongst the British and US public, despite the police being fully aware and consenting to last years commemoration, organised by Al-Muhajiroun, entitled 'A towering day in History' and despite no warning or threat of prosecution being issued by the police for this years event.
There is no doubt that the event is controversial, but this in itself should not be a cause for concern. Controversy was never a reason to ban an event or arrest people. Rather than calling for a ban it would be wise for those who promote democracy and freedom to practise what they preach or admit the evident inconsistencies in the capitalist ideology and its failure to deal with simple problems.
Moreover, it would be more fruitful for all concerned to practise restraint and to understand that the conference entitled 'The Magnificent 19' is scheduled to discuss the lives, motives and reasons behind the 19 men who partook in the events on the 11th of September 2001, as opposed to celebrating the operations themselves.
Anyone looking at events over the last two years objectively and in a just manner must surely reserve their disgust, condemnation and calls for arrest, for the real terrorists and bandits i.e. George Bush and Tony Blair. Who have indiscriminately murdered 1000's of innocent men, women and children in Afghanistan and Iraq, who have lied blatantly to their public, who are holding young and old in prisons without charge or any evidence, who have wasted the resources of their country and who have branded all those fighting for the liberation of their land and defending their lives and honour, as terrorists.
Radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun tried to issue a decree to British Muslims - but didn't get very far. Margaret Thatcher famously once decided that she was going to deny the IRA the "oxygen of publicity" by censoring Sinn Fein on the airwaves.
-----------------------------------Waiting for the fatwa
You're not coming in: Anjem Choudary closes the doors
MIM: Anjem Choudary, the AM second in command and head of the "Society for Muslim Lawyers' was a speaker at Southeastern Missouri State University in 2000 where he was invited by Kamran Bokhari, the spokesman for Al Muhajiroun in North America.
Bokhari was the head of the SMSU Muslim student association and is presently employed as a geo political analyst at Stratfor Inc. a firm which is billed as a 'quasi private CIA".Bokhari is jokingly referred to by his colleagues, which include a former ex State Department counter terrorism expert as "our resident Jihadi"
MIM: This account of a 2002 AM press conference from which the press were excluded except for those who converted to Islam hows that Al Muhajiroun has consistently played games with the press and the British media. The sometimes inadvertent 'buffoonery' was misinterpreted as meaning that AM was not a threat. One of those present at this conference, Abu Hamza al Masri is now in jail on terrorism charges and is taunting the government by pressing charges against them demanding back pay of welfare benefits and refusing to appear for a court hearing via videolink citing 'long toenails' as an excuse. In 2003 two members of Al Muhajiroun perpetrated a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv . One of the AM members bombs failed to detonate and he was found drowned a few days later.
Many years later a very different group, viewed by government with similar disdain, managed to suffocate itself without any help at all - despite journalists being ready and willing to hear what they had to say.
Al Muhajiroun, a small, radical Islamist outfit, called us to a delightful central London hotel to tell us all about its fatwa, a religious edict, on what it believed Muslims should do in the even of an attack on Iraq.
Since September 11 this group has commanded media time despite being on the fringe of Islamic thought.
Sheikh Omar said that if any of you declare the Shahada [profession of Muslim faith] you are welcome to come in.
|Anjem Choudary of Al Muhajiroun |
It has called for a British Islamic state and attacked the West over the war in Afghanistan. The invitation to this event described the US's campaign as a "crusade against Muslims".
What made this meeting important was, in al Muhajiroun's words, "the most radical" speakers of the hardline fringe would be speaking together - a rare opportunity indeed.
Inside the room were Abu Hamza al-Masri, the one-eyed, one-armed north London cleric who is said to have received his injuries fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan; Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad, the self-styled head of the UK Sharia Court; Saudi dissident Dr Muhammad al-Massari and Yasser al-Siri, a London bookseller who recently beat off a US attempt to have him extradited over alleged links to al-Qaeda.
Then, as journalists approached the door to the hotel's Stockholm Suite, the group's leader Anjem Choudary demanded £30 per head to hear the hardliners speak.
The demand was met by indignant stares and flat refusals.
| Charge: Speakers debate whether to let us in|
"We have got Muslim leaders from all over the country together for you," he said. "We think it's reasonable to ask you to pay for the privilege of hearing them speak."
"Well, we'll just have to boycott your press conference then," said one reporter.
"You are most welcome," said Mr Choudary. "It is a nice day outside."
With camera lens pointing through the gaps in the doors, Mr Choudary re-emerged.
"How exactly do you expect us to report this if you are not going to let us in the room?" came the question.
"Sheikh Omar said that if any of you declare the Shahada [profession of Muslim faith] you are welcome to come in."
So with a sizeable detachment of the British and foreign media camped outside, Sheikh Omar Bakri and co began preaching to the converted in the shape of supporters already on the inside.
If al Muhajiroun was going to convince the British public that it was at the vanguard of a revolution, it was going to have a hard job doing it without telling the media.
Books for sale
After a few minutes, an earnest-looking young man wheeled out a trolley of books in the vain hope that reporters would part with cash by other means.
"What are they are about?" we asked.
"Er, they are written by Abu Hamza," he replied.
"Have you read them?"
"Er, no," he conceded.
"I don't think my expenses will cover this," explained one reporter.
The earnest-looking young man wheeled the books back inside.
Departures and chaos
At midday, Sheikh Omar Bakri, the cleric most closely associated with the group, left.
He proved to be remarkably taciturn. "No fatwa today," he declared as he was driven off.
| Abu Hamza spies our camera through the door|
Another hour passed and the rest suddenly emerged.
As Abu Hamza and his supporters attempted to leave, the discreet reception of the Euston Plaza Hotel was engulfed in chaos.
His supporters jostled with journalists, chairs were scattered, equipment dropped and bodies painfully wedged in revolving doors.
Eventually, the fatwa did come - but only by fax. It declared that an attack on Iraq was one on all Muslims. Muslims should fight their "common enemies" but, crucially, toned down some of the harsher anti-western rhetoric that had described the US as "the head of Satan".
So after a day of confusion, are we any clearer about al Muhajiroun?
Home Secretary David Blunkett has not proscribed the group under the terms of the Terrorism Act 2000, but has made clear that it is being watched.
The reality is that spokesmen for leading British Muslim organisations place the group as somewhere between the fringe and the unhinged.
They argue that the group should be regarded in the same way as the British National Party - on the very edges of political thinking, but dangerous if unchecked.
Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, chair of the self-styled Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, said: "This group are extreme.
"The vast majority of Muslims do not share their view. If they are allowed to put their views, then the public will see the Muslim community as fifth columnists.
"A lot of these people can be described as failures in life who have turned to these organisations as a last resort.
"If there is continued social exclusion and frustration among many young men in our community, then they will be prey to demagogues."