This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/62
Speculation that Al Masri's hands were cut off for theft in Saudi Arabia, or a bomb making 'work accident', not lost fighting in Afghanistan as he claims
by assorted writers and bloggers
April 25, 2004
Sieg Halal !
Captain Hook: aka Abu Hamza al Masri
Islam Uber Alles :
"It's okay to kill them by slitting their throats, or by shooting them, any way you can deter them and others like them to do such a thing".
- Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri, asked whether it's ok to slit the throats of those who "work against Islam," interview for British television
Theories as to why Abu Hamza lost his hands from lgf:
|#6||NTropy 1/17/2003 05:05PM PST|
Abu Hamza, 45, who lost his hands and left eye fighting in Afghanistan [snip]
Horribly bad taste I know but will the bobbys lead him away in handcuffs?
Abu Hamza has obviously convinced the British press with his glamorous story of losing his hand and eye "fighting in Afghanistan," but Farrukh Dhondy says it's a lie.
MIM: Farrukh Dhondy speculates that Al Masri lost his eye and hand as a result of bombmaking. He cites a picture of Al Masri showing him 'in one piece' long after the time he claims he was wounded by Russians in Afghanistan.
The 'amputation for theft' theory is also intriquing.
|#4||Geepers 1/17/2003 05:04PM PST|
Abu Hamza is a liar? I'm Shocked. Shocked!
|say it like it is 1/17/2003 07:35PM PST|
According to my sources in London, Hamza lost his hand due to having it amputated for thievery whilst he was in Saudi.
|#18||Geepers 1/17/2003 11:03PM PST|
Abu Hamza is a thief too? I'm Shocked. Shocked!
|#13||Steve H. 1/17/2003 06:12PM PST|
You people obviously lack my keen powers of deduction.
Hamza clearly lost his eye and hand to Islamic justice. They amputated his hand for spanking the monkey, and they removed the eye he used simultaneously to squint at photos of Vanessa Redgrave.
If you have any more questions, please email me.
|#9||Glen Wishard 1/17/2003 05:30PM PST|
Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord (or Allah as the case may be) split you, as my dear dad says.
No danger of that --- the Russians blew his ass off, too. Of course, the war had been over for ten years, but even those crappy Soviet shells have to go off sometime.
Muslim cleric Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri is one of the most distinctive radical Islamic figures in Britain. Condemned by many Muslims as too extreme, the former Soho nightclub bouncer denies any involvement in terrorism. The Yemeni authorities had requested his arrest and extradition, claiming he was linked to plots to bomb targets there, but the British authorities have not complied claiming he will not get a far trial. In 1999 his son Mohammed Mustafa Kamel was sentenced to three years in prison in Yemen for his part in a bombing campaign.
Abu Hamza, formerly based at Finsbury Park mosque in North London, runs Supporters of Sharia, which is a group dedicated to the rule of Islamic law. In 2003, he addressed a rally in central London called by the radical Islamic group al-Muhajiroun, where members spoke of their support for al-Qaeda.
On February 4, 2003 (after being suspended since April 2002) Abu Hamza was dismissed from his position at the mosque by the Charity Commission, the statutory organisation that regulates charities (and hence most places of worship) in England and Wales. Since then, he has carried on his vile rants on the streets outside the mosque.
Despite Abu Hamza constant preaching of hatred toward the British people and the whole ofwestern civilization in general, he is still free to roam the streets of Britain while raking in £1,030,65 a week in benefits. British taxpayers have so far forked out over one million pound in a bid to remove the maniac from their country, but due to the ridiculus laws and processes put in place by the British goverment is has so far proved very difficult.
It has been said that Hamza's claim to British citizenship, through marriage to Englishwoman Valerie Traverso, is void because she was already wed to another man. Hamza's initial bid to fund his legal battle with taxpayers' cash was rejected but his legal team has prolonged the fight by taking out a judicial review, and he could still appeal to the Court of Appeal or the Lords, which could drag on for years. Inaya Banglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Great Britain, said, "This man has alienated the public from Muslims with his vile rants. British Muslims are growing impatient that he is still able to tarnish them with these remarks. He is not welcome at any mosque in the country and we have nothing to do with him."
MIM Note: The Muslim Council of Britain is as radical as Al Muhajiroun and uses AM to make themselves appear to be spokepeople for moderate Muslims in Britain.
Abu Hamza has claimed that the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was a sign from God. He said:
Brits begin to bottle up "Captain Hook!"
Muslim cleric Sheik Abu Hamza al-Masri is facing expulsion by the Charity Commission from his position at a London mosque.
Mr Hamza has been told he may be removed on Monday from the Finsbury Park mosque if he does not answer complaints that he has abused his position.
The mosque is run by the North London Central Mosque Trust and Hamza is an officer of the charity.
He is accused of bypassing the trustees by taking over the mosque and using it for political ends.
The commission, which regulates charities under its own rules, has sent Hamza a Provisional Removal Order telling him he must leave the mosque.
A spokeswoman for the Commission said: "This is not politically motivated. It is a very sensitive time and we have to consider very carefully what to do. It is not the sort of action we take lightly."
The controversial cleric was suspended from the post in April because of "inflammatory statements" he made, but he continued to preach there.
Sounds like the Brits woke up with the murder of that policeman in Manchester and the ricin scare!
This dude--Abu Hamza--is the Number One agitator and instigator for jihad and Islamist murder in Britain and I think the world.
He's bound to be among Osama's inner circle and a key cleric in the Wahhabist movement.
Why the British didn't lock him up and try him for Treason long ago, even long before 9/11, I have no idea!
He's been preaching the violent overthrow of Western governments towards the end of setting up shari'a and establishing Dar al-Islam, a solely Islamic world in which non-Muslims either have been killed or made slaves, for years!
This expulsion from the mosque is great news and robs him of this platform, but I won't be happy until the Brits either lock him up or deport him back to Yemen where he'll be "taken care of."
[Note: Abu lost his eye and that hand in previous IslamoFascist terrorist bombings, of course! And a son or two, as well. But they're proud of stuff like that.]
January 17, 2003 04:47 AM
From Alcohol to Allah
Whackjob in a hijab: Yvonne Ridley
Before she had formally converted to Islam, Abu Hamza al Masri called her and said;" any time there is anything you need give me a call". Ridley gushed that "it was a sweet thing to do". (see below).
MIM: Maybe one of the reasons Ridley converted to Islam soon after Al- Masri's phone call because she knew he wouldnt try to shake her hand for religous reasons.
" The first thing I scrutinized when I read the Qur'an was property and divorce laws. I was amazed. I thought it could have been written by a Hollywood divorce lawyer! In fact, that's probably from where they got their inspiration. I was also pleased to see that women are equal with regards to education and spirituality, but the Qur'an does acknowledge we have the extra burdens of childbirth, breast-feeding and periods. I like to think we are the deluxe model of the human form since we have so many additional functions!
* How is your family coping with your conversion?
- Initially my family was shocked. You'd think I'd applied to become the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
* Any message you would like us to deliver to the Muslim World?
- September 11 was the best and worst thing that happened to Islam. I know that the confidence of many brothers and sisters has been shattered, but be proud of who you are and what you stand for. Do not be browbeaten into diluting your beliefs in the hope of ingratiating yourself with those in power. Beware of false prophets, especially those who hang round the gates of power pretending to espouse views on your behalf that they say are in your interest. The Christians have a good saying: "The nearer the pulpit, the bigger the sinner!" The wonderful thing about Islam is you have a direct link with God. You don't need a conduit or a middle person. Peace and love to all.
The person I would really like to sit down and talk to is Mullah Omar, the Taliban's one-eyed spiritual leader who ordered my release on humanitarian grounds."
MIM: Yvonne Ridley was captured by the Taliban in 2001 and was so' taken' by her experience that she formally and converted to Islam in 2003. According to her supporters, who calls himself M.Amir Ali Phd :"Her outspoken views are well known,especially those praising and supporting Palestinian martyrdom operations.She has endeared herself to the Muslim world and is a recent convert to Islam". Yvonne Ridley is also working as a spokewoman on behalf of CAIR .
Last month CAIR invited her to speak in at the University of Southern Florida in Tampa . Sami Al Arian's old Arian's former place of employment . CAIR is also selling tapes made by Ridley and promoting her book as well.
Here is Yvonne Ridley and several others at a "peace forum" together with Javaid in support of suicide bombings and warning Muslims not to speak against other Moslems . Note at how their delicate sensibilities are offended by the fact that Abu Hamza Al Masri was referred to as Captain Hook !
Note that the debate, which praised 'martyrdom', and Jihad, punctuated by Ridley's ranting about Zionists and Israel bashing is described as being "good natured and lively " from the outset ...
http://www.4justpeace.com/Webpages/clear%20and%20present%20danger%20report.html Fri 23 August, 6:30-8:30pm,Venue: LSE, The Old Theatre, The Old building, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE
Hosted by JUSTPEACE & the City Circle.
Yvonne Ridley (freelance journalist and peace campaigner)
Anas Altikrity (Muslim Association of Britain, director for Media and Public Relations)
Abdul Rehman Malik (Canadian Muslim Educationalist and Peace Activist)
Makbool Javaid (Human Rights Lawyer -Chairman of Muslim Lawyers Committee)
Chaired by Salim of Just Peace.
A panel discussion of current events concerning the role of the US in world affairs. Rather than taking a traditional speech format followed by a question and answer session, the debate began with questions, answered by the speakers, after which questions were then put from the floor. Following this, a video was shown, highlighting the plight of Muslims and Christians in Palestine. The debate was good natured and lively from the outset. The discussion centred on the following galvanizing questions and issues:
How do world events affect us here in the UK? As part of a global village, do we the British public have a duty to stand up for world Justice? How do we, how can we stand up against the power and might of the world's only remaining SUPERPOWER?
The questions and answers are paraphrased below. Excerpts:
A - Yvonne Ridley - Scott Ritter the UN weapons inspector is confident that Iraq do not have the weapons to pose any danger. The people are becoming more and more convinced that military action in Iraq is not a good idea. Saddam is no dangerous now than he was 12 yrs ago and they are suspicious of America's motives for this war. The Anti War feeling has spread to the US also now.
A: Yvonne Ridley - "Muslims have lost confidence since September 11th. Something as simple as suicide bombers being martyrs is being denied by prominent sheikhs. The dictionary definition of a martyr is a person who gives up their life for a cause - suicide bombers are martyrs. There will be a TV documentary on TV soon showing a Jew who will come on and say that his daughter, who died, and the suicide bomber, are both victims. There are 9-10 people in Belmarsh held there without trial, access to lawyers or charges against them, and David Blunkett wants us to turn in our own people. Tell them to get lost. Write to your MP's, ask them why they aren't' on that list, :
Yvonne Ridley (Journalist) - "The Zionist lobby has a slick and brilliant operation. They are fantastic at managing and manoeuvering issues. They are very professional. Look at the way Cherie Blair made such an innocuous comment, at a Palestinian fundraiser no less. All she said was as long a Palestinian young men fell they have no other choice but to blow themselves up, we will have no progress. Pretty obvious and neutral stuff to say really, yet the headlines and hysteria resulting were outrageous. We must follow the example of the Zionist lobby, bombarding the media about everything and anything. I don't believe they actually have an Islamaphobic agenda, they are just badly informed about Muslims and Islam. We need to tell them, this, and inform them, so send your Emails and letters. Editors don't like to see them and will take notice [insh'Allah].
Note: Malik is a student at LSE and writes for Q-News and Islamonline.
BR : Abdul Rehman Malik - It was ironically the group we enjoyed hating that helped us, the socialists, the anarchists, the communists. Muslims tend not to behave like citizens. We are often ghettoised. We lack social and political integration. We only economically integrate. We must be clear that we are citizens and we are here to stay. As for those who say we should not vote, it's time we ignored this viewpoint. Allah placed us here for a reason. We are different, we have something to give and to contribute: we are citizens.
A: Yvonne Ridley - " I do not advocate violence but the event of September 11th is rooted in Palestine and there will be more such attacks until one day the US will look at the causes and look to broker a peace deal in the middle east. Israel is one of the largest and most powerful armies in the world. They are using American F16's to kill children. We need to stop them. We should also note that the Palestinian's heroic resistance has delayed the invasion of Iraq. That is commendable and we should salute them.
A: Makbool Javaid - " We have to remember that we are to stand up on the day of judgement and account for ourselves before Allah (swt). The Home secretary David Blunkett openly said, "it is up to Muslims to root out the extremist". Let us not fall into the trap of deriding our own people. If they have a legitimate islamic opinion then engage with them in Islam. Do not deride your muslim brothers. This is haram (not allowed). Also, it is haram for us to disparage our Muslim brothers. Richard Littlejohn called Abu Hamza 'captain hook' as the man has no hands. I don't agree with Abu Hamza, but that sort of abuse is nacceptable. Melanie Phillips is unashamed, we must realise we have nothing to be ashamed of. This is plainly a war on Islam. It's fine that these MP's have signed an anti-war bill, but they would sing the same bill to prevent war on Israel or the US, they will sign nything. We must realise that we have different agenda to these people. We have also to engage with this society but not dilute our islamic outlook or our message and do it from an Islamic point of view.
A: Abdul Rehman Malik - "Under the fake guise of unity, we stamp on different opinions. We need to discuss. We must also criticise if necessary within our community. We chill ourselves. To make fun of Abu Hamza for the poor man losing his hands is clearly outside of this remit, but we must be able to discuss what he and others say when these are relevant and also speak out when they are not acting in the best interest of our community.
. (Audience)"We have a general debate between those who advocate Jihad as a solution, and those who wish for social/political engagement. This is a diplomatic minefield. How do Muslims become more sophisticated? Be it a war o Islam, or a war with purely economic motivations, how do we rise to the challenge?
Final Action points:-
- Stewards needed for the Demonstration to be held on Sept 28th.
- Audience handed out 10 leaflets each in order to promote the demonstration.
- Book called Shattered Illusion by Aftab Malik anounced as it was very relevant to the discussion.
A total of £275 was raised in order to support the actions of JUSTPEACE and for the demonstration.
Then a video was shown highlighting the situation in Palestine called Intifada 101.
Report by Anwar Featherstone writing independently for JUSTPEACE
MIM Note: What better strategy to intimidate anyone who exposes his ties to Al Muhajiroun then to be a lawyer who specializes in suing for race related discrimination cases and threaten your opponents with a lawsuit !
MIM: Note that Makbool Javaid has been member of the Society of Muslim Lawyers aka Al Muhajiroun from 1997 until the present. Militant Islamists have been gaining momentum in Britain since the 1990's and many of the people who were responsible for it's proliferation have remained leaders of the same extremist groups until today.
In 1997 he helped organise this march and claimed that he was" not aware that Al Muhajiroun was linked to terrorist organisations !
Al-Muhajiroun announced holding of a global march "against oppressors and oppression" on August 3. The march will "deal with and address the causes and symptoms and the way forward". In England, the march will start from Hyde Park Corner ending at Trafalgar Square with a rally. "We believe all leaders are oppressors but we will campaign against three leaders," Shaykh Omar Bakri Muhammad, Principal Lecturer of London School of Shari'ah, told a press conference, held in central London. The three leaders will be King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. However, other leaders will also be targeted, leaders of Algeria, Morocco, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, France, UK, Serbia, Greece, USA, and Russian Federation. Sheikh Essa Mansuri, Secretary of the Islamic World League, said the aim of the march is to unite Muslims together and "try and find out who our enemy is and who is responsible for creating conflicts in the Muslim world". Man-made laws cause injustice, argued Dr Muhammad al-Mass'ari, Secretary of CDLR, the Saudi opposition group. Muslims in Palestine are oppressed by the Israelis and are supported by the West as they need to support the Jews inorder to expiate their sins due to their mistreatment of the Jews, said al-Massa'ri. Makbool Javaid, Chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers, discussed about the democracy and said "its fruits has been enslavement and exploitation of resources". Muslims run the risk of "demonisation and are targeted because we challenge such attitudes". It is Muslims who can offer a solution to the problems as its system "is divinely inspired". So the march will not just target a few individuals but "the system that they support and are supported by". The march will also take place in Canada, India, Mauritious, Turkey and Pakistan.
Militant Islamist response : "Ich habe es nicht gewusst".
Lawyer libel action - 1998 Javaid denies he knew that Al Muhajiroun supported terrorism !http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/bmms/1998/10October98.html
Makbool Javaid is taking libel action against several British newspapers which reported him as being a supporter of Usama bin Ladin and a member of "the London based fundamentalist group, al-Muhajiroun" (see BMMS for August 1998). The allegations started with a letter that was sent to the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, by the Jewish Board of Deputies, saying that these involvements were incompatible with the newly set up Race Relations Forum, to which Javaid was hoping to be appointed. Javaid has denied the allegations saying he was only involved with al-Muhajiroun as a legal observer, and would not have helped them if he had known of their support for terrorism: "I knew al-Muhajiroun as an organisation involved in a wide range of educational and social activities consistent with the promotion of Islam. I have never supported any form of violence, let alone terrorism" (The Times, 20.10.98). Speaking of the Board of Deputies he said: "It's rich of the Board, which is not even accepted as a representative of the Jewish Community, telling an elected government how to conduct its business and dictating which voices from other communities are acceptable" (Q-News, 01.10.98). Javaid said he felt "completely destroyed" by the experience, and is worried about the damage it has done to his reputation. Javaid's greatest triumph, the record award of £380,000 to Sam Yeboah for race discrimination against his former employer, was overshadowed by the allegations. He said: "I was thinking last week, look at that! It should be one of the greatest moments in my career but instead my career is threatened by these fantastic accusations" (The Times, 20.10.98). [BMMS October 1998 Vol. VI, No. 10, p. 9]
1997 Javaid speaks on behalf of AM's Society of Muslim Lawyers whose director in Anjem Choudary
From Al Muhajiroun and the Society of Muslim Lawyers to main stream facade.
Note how Javaid takes a swipe at the Board of Deputies of British Jews who sucessfully got him ousted from the Race Relations commission after they revealed his membership in Al Muhajiroun.
Makbool Javaid in 2004
Makbool is a high-profile partner of UK law firm DLA, one of London's largest employment practices. He was formerly head of litigation at the CRE. He is considered one of the UK's top ten solicitors and amongst Europe's top discrimination lawyers.He has advised the Government on race relations.
He is a frequently invited speaker on religious discrimination and human rights issues, most recently at the Diversity Day conference (4 December 2003). He was a member of the expert panel at the Fourth Biennial Minority Conference 2003, speaking on 'Strategies for success in the Bar'.
Amongst his celebrated court successes has been the case of Laurent Weinberger, a Jewish City trader ordered to wear an Adolf Hitler uniform as a 'joke punishment' for being late for work, for whom Javaid obtained substantial damages in July 2001. He was also solicitor in the race discrimination case of Sam Yeboah, a housing director at the London Borough of Hackney that led to a record settlement.
In 1998 objections were raised by the Jewish Board of Deputies to his appointment to the Home Secretary's Race Relations Forum. Javaid responded by stating, "It's rich of the Board, which is not even accepted as a representative of the Jewish Community, telling an elected government how to conduct its business and dictating which voices from other communities are acceptable" (Q-News, 01.10.98).
Yvonne Ridley: In The Line of Fools
The British media hackette and recent convert to Islam tells the Independent's Julia Stuart that the hook-handed Abu Hamza rang her to congratulate her on her conversion.
When the rumours about her conversion began to emerge, prematurely as it happens, she received a telephone call from Abu Hamza, the London-based Islamic extremist whose shrill defence of the September 11 hijackers - he announced that they should be hailed as "martyrs" - earnt him hate-figure status in the sort of tabloids for which Ridley once worked. (Indeed, Ridley herself reported just a year ago that "according to CIA and FBI documents seen by the Sunday Express, Abu Hamza is described as the spiritual leader for al-Qaida in Europe".)
Today, she refuses to denounce the cleric, to whom she had spoken many times as a reporter. "As a Muslim, I don't think it's constructive to criticise other Muslims." And she talks fondly of his approach to her. "He said, 'Sister Yvonne! I'm so happy.' I said, 'That's really kind of you to call. However, it's a wee bit premature. I haven't [converted] yet.' He said, 'You'll get all the care and support you'll need from the Muslim community and any time you need any help you just give me a call.' He was so nice. That was a very sweet thing to do."
She adds: "I don't have a problem with him. I think the media has created this monster and the Muslim community go along with it. In fact I've criticized various Muslim leaders for criticising him. I've said just ignore him, he's hardly representative of British Muslims."
Just a day after the Nov. 20 Istanbul bombings which targeted the British embassy and a British bank the "sweet thing" Hamza warned there would be car bomb attacks in Britain, Istanbul style, if the country continued to back America. He also called Britain a "sitting duck" for suicide bombers.
Which isn't so sweet now is it Yvonne?
This isn't the first case of a Ridley link to a nutjob Islamist militant. James Taranto and H. D. Miller recently noted a Ridley al-Jazeera piece that quoted one Yasser Ansiri, director of the so called human rights organization Islamic Observation Centre.
Says Taranto of Ridley's Jazeera story, which features a photograph of an American soldier frisking an Afghan boy along with Ansiri's reaction of outrage to the image:
As we read the al-Jazeera story, we were struck by the familiarity of some of the names. "Ansiri, spokesman for the centre which is a human rights organization"? That would be Yasser Ansiri, director of the London-based Islamic Observation Centre. As we noted in October 2001, Ansiri--whose name is also transliterated al-Siri or al-Sirri--has been described as "the mouthpiece of al Qaeda in Britain." He sought asylum in Britain after fleeing Egypt, where he had been convicted and sentenced to death for a bomb attack that killed a 12-year-old girl. Scotland Yard arrested him in October 2001 on suspicion of involvement in the Sept. 9 assassination of Ahmad Shah Masood, a Northern Alliance leader, but a judge ordered his release in May 2002.
Then there is the second Ridley piece, her last before her sacking by Jazeera. It features an image of an Iraqi girl about to be tied up by an American soldier
Ridley once again quotes the indignant Islamic Observation Centre. This time, however, the quote is attributed to an unnamed IOC spokesman.
Miller sums up Ridley's duplicity and Ansiri's stomach turning hypocrisy thusly:
Apparently, according to Mr. Anonymous Spokesman, tying children up is repulsive, but blowing them up is A Okay.
Ridley's habit of deception is not missed by Natalie Solent either.
Ridley, you recall, was captured by Taliban forces in Afghanistan in a foolish and ill conceived attempt (she was disguised by a burkha, but her camera gave her away) to scoop the world press only days before the bombs started raining on Taliban forces and Qaida training camps. She was released, by order of Mullah Omar, the day after the pummelling of the medieval mullah began when she promised her captors to study the teachings of Islam. The eight western relief workers she was detained with, including Americans Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry, weren't rescued until Kabul fell.
Anyway, in an August 2002 Islam Online interview Ridley is asked by her interviewer, "did you have any knowledge about Islam before your encounter with the Taliban"?
To which she replies, "nothing more factual than would fill the back of a postage stamp. Of course I'd subscribed to all the myths about women being subjugated and how it was an evil and violent religion full of fanatics."
But as Solent points out, this is a canard.
It it surprising to hear from IslamOnline that she knew very little of Islam before her encounter with the Taliban. Don't they look in their own files? According to this earlier IslamOnline article she was married [for five years] to a Palestinian, Daud Zaarur a.k.a. Abul Hakam (also sometimes transcribed as Dawood Zaarora and Abu Al Hakam ), who is "a former military commander of the Palestinian Fatah movement in Lebanon."
Of course he may for all I know have been secular in his personal beliefs, but didn't he ever even talk about Islam? Surely during her marriage she would have met his family and his friends, or in some other way have learnt more than a postage stamp-worth's about the religion of most Palestinians.
Nonetheless, Yvonne Ridley's pose as a simple Sunday School teacher who first met Islam as a naive journalist-adventurer surprised by the humanity of her captors is frankly incredible.
And equally incredible is her claim that "the war in Afghanistan was a humanitarian disaster" that "achieved nothing."
To which Fred Pruitt responds, "when was the last time they cut somebody's head off"?
Seems like Yvonne Ridley has lost hers.
"Yvonne Ridley – In The Line Of Fire" airs Dec 6 on BBC4.
Posted 5:54 AM by Robert
DOSSIER: Abu Hamza Al Masri
Before MI5 came calling, Bin Laden recruiter put his British citizenship to good use
Every good terrorist needs inspiration. That's where Abu Hamza Al Masri comes in.
Al Masri is Al Qaida's cleric in London. For years, he used his Finsbury Park mosque as a recruitment center for Osama Bin Laden and his allies around the world. His fiery rhetoric has also defended Al Qaida and its attacks on the United States.
The terrorist luminaries who were members of Al Masri's flock included the following: Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui. (MIM note : James Ujaama from Seattle and the Courtellier brothers ).
For years, the United States ignored Al Masri, regarding the cleric as too far away to cause trouble. But in the post 9/11 investigation, Al Masri was found to have widened his horizons. In other words, he has done more than just recruit thousands of British nationals and residents to Al Qaida.
Instead, Al Masri has moved his activities into the United States where he has become a leading financier of terrorism. Al Masri's target is the black community and one of his main recruits was Black Panther founder H. Rap Brown, who converted to Islam and calls himself Jamil Abdullah Al Amin.
The United States has launched an investigation into Al Masri. The FBI believes that the cleric provided guidance and instructions for the establishment of so-called jihad training camps in Alabama and Oregon. The camp, termed the Ultimate Jihad Challenge, are meant to combine indocrination in Islamic holy war against the rest of the world with training in explosives, weapons and sabotage.
The sabotage training included ways to poison U.S. water supplies. Al Qaida squads have already been captured in Algeria and Italy in plots to poison their water supplies.
"The idea was to complete the indocrination of prospected Al Qaida members and ensure that they would do anything that is required," a British intelligence official said. "The real training did not take place in America. The recruits were only given a taste of what they could achieve."
Organizers of the two-week course promised recruits they would fire up to 3,000 rounds of ammunition. Al Masri helped run the camps along with Mohammed Jamil and Omar Bakri Mohammed, head judge of the Islamic court in Britain.
Al Masri's recruits were then meant to be sent to Chechnya and Kashmir. The operation would be financed by Sakina Security Services, an international organization funded by Saudi princes.
Abu Hamza Al Masri has covered his bases. He is a British citizen and handicapped, which have helped him resist arrest and expulsion. He lost both hands and an eye during the CIA-supported war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
Al Masri arrived in London in 1979 from Egypt and six years later obtained a British passport. Like many of those who fled Egypt, Al Masri was an Islamic militant who had run afoul of the regime of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Britain was the best sanctuary from Egypt's torture chambers and the safest haven from which to establish Al Masri's Islamic enterprise.
Al Masri's mosque offered shelter and a friendly face to Saudi and other Gulf Arab princes on vacation in Britain. It also became a leading item on the required list of Islamic charities.
From London, Al Masri began his campaign to foment unrest in several Arab countries, virtually all of them rivals of Saudi Arabia. The first target was Yemen, where Al Masri was said to have planned a bombing campaign against Western interests in Yemen. The campaign was led by the Islamic Army of Aden and included Al Masri's son.
For years, Britain cared little about its Islamic firebrand. In 1999, Al Masri was arrested by British authorities who searched for weapons in his mosque and home. They came up with nothing and the cleric was freed.
Technology expanded Al Masri's grip. His web site became a favorite and offices were established in Pakistan and other areas where Muslims were relaying financing to Al Qaida and its allies. The site also was believed to have relayed instructions to Islamic insurgency groups, including the Islamic Army of Aden, which claimed responsibility for the October 2000 suicide attack of the USS Cole in which 17 American sailors were killed.
Al Masri was a leading recruiter for Al Qaida. British officials said as many as 4,000 Britons were recruited and sent to Al Qaida camps in Afghanistan over the last decade. Many of them slipped back into the country prior and during the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
Al Masri used several aides for recruitment. For the recruitment of Afro-Americans, Al Masri used James Ujaama, born James Thompson, a Muslim convert from Seattle who has been living in London. The FBI also believes that Ujaama has served as a courier for Al Masri and delivered laptop computers to Taliban. He was arrested during a visit to the United States earlier this year.
U.S. officials also believe Al Masri was involved in the Sept. 11 Islamic suicide attacks on New York and Washington. They said he was in contact with both Richard Reid, Al Qaida's shoe bomber, as well as Zacarias Moussaoui, believed to have been the 20th member of the successful plot to destroy the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"Osama Bin Laden and his rebel army may have committed a horrific act on Sept. 11, 2001," Al Masri said. "But their actions were only a counterattack against America's war on the Islamic countries which is ongoing."
It was a statement Al Masri regretted. British and U.S. authorities began to build a case against Al Masri amid the U.S. war in Afghanistan. The thousands of foreigners captured in service of Al Qaida and Taliban were questioned of their connections to Al Masri. Some told of being recruited by Al Masri, brought to his mosque for indocrination and then sent to Afghanistan.
When the British and U.S. dragnet began to encircle, Al Masri sought non-Muslim supporters. After he was removed as preacher of the Finsbury Park mosque, he appealed to left-wing church groups including the Quakers for help. He held meetings at Quaker facilities to make it more difficult for British authorities to shut them down.
Britain has responded to U.S. pressure regarding Al Masri. His passport was taken by British authorities in 2000 and he cannot travel anywhere. He is under constant surveillance and his bank accounts have been frozen.
At the same time, a delegation of MI5 officers are in the United States being briefed on Al Masri. They are expected to be taken to the jihad training camps established and financed by Al Masri's supporters. In June, MI5 was in Yemen gathering evidence against Al Masri.
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/62