Skip to comments.UK Muslims volunteer for "martyrdom operations" in Israel
Posted on 05/04/2003 6:55:09 AM PDT by Chipata
May. 4, 2003
Report: UK Muslims volunteer for "martyrdom operations" in Israel (UPDATE)
By DOUGLAS DAVIS
There are growing signs that Britain has become the European center of Islamic terrorism, with claims by a leading British Islamic radical that some 50 potential suicide bombers are currently in Britain and warnings that Britain itself could become the target for suicide attacks.
At the same time, British intelligence is said to have known about the radical views of the two British suicide bombers who attacked the Tel Aviv bar last week but failed to keep them under surveillance because they were not considered potential terrorists.
And in another development, Israel is said to have demanded an urgent investigation into al-Sunnah, based at the Center for Islamic Studies in the British city of Birmingham, which published leaflets urging Muslims to become suicide bombers.
Leading British Islamic radical Hassan Butt, who styles himself a recruiter of British volunteers for the "Islamic holy war," said he had been approached for guidance on how to carry out "martyrdom operations" in Israel.
He said he knew the two British suicide bombers who attacked Mike's Place, but warned that they were just the first of a significant number who are preparing to conduct such attacks.
"The number is getting close to 50," Butt told the London Sunday Times. "They are aged 17 to their late thirties. They are contacting me about organization,"
He believed "about 20" of those who have approached him were "absolutely serious." Most, he said, live in Britain but have family roots in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
"They are waiting for the right time, the right people," he said. "You don't just do it as individuals, you do it as an organization. It's about screening them, testing them, making sure they are sincere. Then, when it's right, believe me, they'll all be used."
Butt, who was questioned by police last November, warned at the time that he knew British-based fundamentalists were preparing to carry out suicide attacks abroad. He also accurately claimed that scores of Britons had gone to fight with the Taliban in Afghanistan, introducing some of them to journalists.
Butt's warning that more British suicide bombers were waiting in the wings followed last week's suicide bombing at Mike's Place in Tel Aviv in which three people died.
Asif Mohammed Hanif, from west London, blew himself up, but Omar Khan Sharif, from Derby, fled the scene after his explosives failed to detonate. He is still on the run.
Six people in Britain are currently being questioned about the attack by anti-terrorist investigators, who are said to be examining mobile phone records, personal computers and religious literature that were seized at the homes of the bombers.
Among those who have been arrested under the anti-terrorism legislation are Tahira Sharif, the failed bomber's 26-year-old wife, his sisters Parveen and Nasreen, his brother Zahid Hussein Sharif, Tahira's brother Amar Jazira, and Zahid Ahmed, a family friend.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Telegraph reported that a friend of Sharif pledged that he would also become a suicide bomber, and said that he expected similar attacks in Britain.
Shakil Mohammed, 31, who grew up in the same neighborhood of Derby as Sharif and met him in March, said: "I would volunteer. More and more people will follow him."
Mohammed and his English wife, who has converted to Islam, have three children: "To be a martyr in our religion is a great honor. It's only a matter of time before somebody blows themselves up in this country - that will definitely happen," he said. "I'm somebody who really believes in this, but the picture is bigger than me. We are going to make a change."
The paper claimed that British intelligence knew Hanif and Sharif had links to an Islamic extremist group, al-Muhajiroun, which aims to create a global Islamic state, but concluded the two men were on the fringes of the group and they were not placed under constant surveillance.
It is not known whether their movements were tracked as they visited foreign countries, including Syria, or whether their identities were passed to intelligence services in Israel or America.
The Syrian-born head of al-Muhajiroun in Britain, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, said he knew the Tel Aviv bombers as students and had acted as their spiritual adviser, but he denied prior knowledge of the attacks.
Bakri, who currently lives in north London, told the Sunday Telegraph that Sharif attended six two-hour sessions in Derby, ending on April 14, just over a fortnight before the bombing.
Sharif had asked Bakri to become his spiritual "companion," a status accorded to extreme fundamentalists who are willing to suffer, including imprisonment and death, for their faith. But Bakri said he declined the offer because he was too busy, and he denied encouraging Sharif to carry out the attack.
Bakri refused to condemn the suicide bombers who, he said, will be "welcomed in heaven." He added that "Muslims cannot condemn the actions of a freedom fighter who is fighting to liberate his homeland from its occupiers."
While Bakri has denied prior knowledge of the Tel Aviv attacks, it is thought that the bombers may have also received financial backing, spiritual support and an introduction to contacts from Al-Muhajiroun supporters.
According to reports here, the Mossad is also probing links between the bombers and al-Muhajiroun. Israeli security sources are quoted as saying the men used an explosive not previously employed in suicide attacks. The Israeli sources believe Hanif and Sharif were trained by Hizbullah in Syria and instructed by the head of Hamas's overseas operations.
Last night the Israeli authorities said that they were co-operating with MI5 over information that the two British bombers might have been trained by within the framework of the al-Qaida terrorist network.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem was quoted as saying that there were "serious leads" which suggested that Hanif and Sharif had been trained at camps in Syria either by supporters of al-Qaida or Hizbullah.
He said information from British intelligence officers, with whom there was "good cooperation," was being used to assist the investigation. "The international connection is something very important which we are investigating very seriously," the spokesman is quoted as saying.
"We are looking at whether Hizbullah trained them and whether al-Qaida might have been involved. We are looking at whether they were trained in camps in Syria. Nothing is for sure, but these are leads that we are taking very seriously."
In a related development, another Sunday paper, the Observer, reported that Israel has demanded an investigation into a British organization that published leaflets, found in the West Bank and Gaza, urging Muslims to become suicide bombers.
Now Israeli authorities have demanded that Britain launch an immediate investigation into al-Sunnah, the organisation based at the Centre for Islamic Studies in the British city of Birmingham, which published the leaflets that are circulated throughout the Islamic world.
One leaflet published by al-Sunnah just before the outbreak of Iraq war, called on Muslims to become "martyrs" in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. Supporters are asked to send donations to a British bank at a Birmingham branch.
One leaflet, published just before the Iraq war, stated: "When this sudden explosion of American-Zionist violence is aiming to eradicate a nation's existence, eliminating its vitality and sites of resistance, the only way to protect this nation is through acts of martyrdom." (ENDS)
UK Muslims volunteer for "martyrdom operations" in IsraelI would volunteer myself, but my mind has not been poisoned by quasi-holy religionoids beating me with their korans--yet.
Israel's terrorist, England's freedom fighter I guess. Israel should be thrilled to have them judging roadmap compliance.
UK Muslims volunteer for "martyrdom operations" in IsraelIf unpoliced by their bretheren, the behavior of Muslims in the UK and elsewhere will eventually result in the establishment of a kind of two-tier citizenship and perception. Whereas formerly, a person seeking admission to another country had his identity defined by nationality, it may henceforward be cross-categorized by his religion. In passport counters all across the world, the admitting officers will now be counting: British, British, British Muslim, British, British Muslim ...
The average European family has 1.7 children per couple. The average Muslim family has 5. Do the math and see where europe will be in only two generations.
Yes, I know. The USA is in no better shape.
Unfortunatly it seems the only cleansing the Imams know is the ethnic brand.