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memri
March 1, 2007 No.
1484

Arab Reformist Website: ‘Britain is the Largest Exporter of Terrorism in the Non-Muslim World’

In a February 8, 2007 article, Omran Salman, editor of the Arab reformist website www.aafaq.org , wrote, that Britain had become one of the principle exporters of Islamic terrorism in the world.

The following are excerpts:[1]

"Britain has been a victim of terrorism, but at the same time it is the largest exporter of terrorism in the non-Muslim world. Here is the proof:

"On July 7, 2005, four British Muslim followers of Al-Qaeda perpetrated suicide attacks on three underground trains and one bus in London. These attacks killed 56 and wounded hundreds.

"On August 10, 2006, the British police announced that it had foiled a plot to blow up 10 commercial planes flying between the U.S. and Britain, and had arrested the 24 Islamist conspirators.

"On January 31, 2007, the British police arrested nine Islamists in Birmingham who were planning to kidnap a British Muslim soldier and film his beheading, and then distribute the video on the Internet…

"But that is not all: Britain is also one of the world's exporters of terrorism.

"In August 2005, the Independent published a story with the headline: 'Intelligence Chiefs Warn Blair of Home-Grown Insurgency.' Raymond Whitaker and Frances Elliott wrote in this report that 'there were more than 100,000 people in Britain from "completely militarized" regions, including Somalia… and Afghanistan… Every one of them knows how to use an AK-47… About 10 per cent can strip and reassemble such a weapon blindfolded, and probably a similar proportion have some knowledge of how to use military explosives.'[2]

"The Sunday Times wrote on June 4, 2006 that between 120 and 150 radical Islamists had traveled to Iraq to join the 'British Jihad Brigade,' in answer to Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi's appeal. The paper cited a senior security source as saying that the 'foreign legion,' which is comprised entirely of Westerners, was set up to fight alongside the Iraqi insurgency.[3]

"The British journalist Melanie Phillips… cited British government appraisals from one year before the London attacks, to the effect that 16,000 British Muslims were either directly involved in or supported terrorist activities. Three thousand had attended Al-Qaeda training camps abroad, and a few hundred of them were prepared to carry out attacks in the U.K. itself. There were also other British Muslims who traveled abroad to take part in terrorist attacks.

"On December 22, 2001, the British-born Muslim Richard Reid was arrested after raising a din on a flight from Paris to Miami.

"Reid, who is known as 'the shoe-bomber,' attempted to blow up the plane with explosives hidden in his shoe. In his confession at his trial he said: 'I admit to what I did. I will not apologize for it. I am at war with your country.' In January 2003 he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

"On January 23, 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl disappeared in Pakistan while preparing a report on extremist groups. On February 21, 2002, the U.S. State Department officially announced his death. A videotape showed masked terrorists slaughtering him; it later became known that these were the British-born Ahmed Said Sheikh and three of his assistants.

"In 2002, the Egyptian authorities arrested 26 members of Hizb Al-Tahrir Al-Islami. Among them were three British citizens who had resolved to carry out terrorist attacks. The group was convicted in March, 2004, and the British citizens were condemned to five years' imprisonment.

"In the recent fighting in Somalia, in which the government forces, with military support from Ethiopia, defeated the forces of the extremist Union of Islamic Courts, there were British Islamists who fought alongside the Islamic Courts. Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi revealed, in a January 9 press conference, that his country's forces had arrested seven British fighters as they tried to escape Mogadishu together with the Islamist militias. They were arrested together with a number of Canadians and other Westerners, whom he described as 'the international faction'. The news reported that many of them had been killed in battle.

"The British Islamists had joined the forces of the Union of Islamic Courts in answer to the call issued by Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, in early January. He had called on Al-Qaeda's supporters in the West to join in the suicide-bombing campaign and guerilla war in Somalia.

"The aid coming from Britain to the Islamic Courts was not limited just to fighters, but also included funding. A report issued by a U.N. supervision agency last November stated that 'in recent months Somalis in the U.K. had raised more than $1 million in donations. These funds were sent to the Islamic Courts.' The report added that London had become the primary channel through which monetary aid was passed on to the Islamic Courts.

"Last but not least, Britain's Channel 4 broadcast, on Monday, January 13, 2007, a documentary film that was surreptitiously shot in a number of British mosques, the most important of which was the Birmingham Mosque. The results were alarming. The sermons were hostile to 'infidels,' Jews, and Christians, and called for the killing of homosexuals, among others. In addition, they offered Islamic legal justifications for marrying off girls who were still minors to elderly men.

"Some of the British mosques offered a live satellite videoconference with the Mufti of Saudi Arabia, who answered the questions and inquiries of those present at the mosque. Some of the mosques carried live Friday sermons and prayers from mosques in Saudi Arabia.

"The strange thing is that one of the mosques included in the TV report was considered to be a center of moderate Islam in Britain, and was led by a Muslim leader who worked together with the British government to strengthen the ties between Muslims and non-Muslims!

"In another segment, Abu Osama delivers the good tidings of the establishment of the Islamic State, saying that every day Islam showed its strength and its supremacy over its adversaries, and that the Muslims must 'form a state within the state, until we are able to take over and victory will be ours.' In the state that the preacher spoke of, 'a Muslim who tries to leave Islam will be killed,' and 'if the Imam thinks that he should be crucified, then he must be crucified, and left on the post three days to bleed to death.'

"Faced with these instances of terrorist activities, one cannot help but place Britain, alongside Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Algeria, etc. at the top of the list of countries that regularly export terrorists to the rest of the world. The basic difference is that the Islamists in Britain enjoy the protection of the law and the sympathy of many political figures in Britain – or at least their activities and their presence do not present any problem for these political figures.

"London Mayor Ken Livingstone said, in a conference he hosted on January 20, 2006 under the title 'A World Civilisation or a Clash of Civilisations?': 'We are witnessing the beginning of a true world civilization, and not the clash of civilizations. All of the statistics emphasize London's success as a multicultural city.'

"Livingstone's colleague at this conference, Salma Yaqoob, who is a prominent member of the British 'Respect' Party, said that the London bombings were nothing other than a revenge attack for the West's actions. Salma said: 'Everyone talks about Islamic terror, but they studiedly avoid talking about the Western states' terror and its being a factor that fosters extremism.' She added, 'The truth is that these wild, frightful acts [perpetrated by the West]… which are broadcast on TV stations and over the Internet, have a much greater influence in pushing people to extremism than any quantity of religious exhortations.'…"

Endnotes:

[1] http://www.aafaq.org/report/aa/print2431.htm, February 8, 2007.

[2] The Independent (U.K.), August 7, 2005.

[3] David Leppard, "British Brigade of Islamists join Al-Qaeda foreign legion in Iraq," The Sunday Times (U.K.), June 4, 2006.