British Muslim Terrorists Before 9/11
In the UK, a lot of commentators -- not all of them Muslims -- said that the Islamic murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich (London) was a primarily, or even exclusively, a response to three main factors: the Iraq War in 2003, the ‘invasion’ of Afghanistan in 2001, and, to a lesser degree, a response to the Muslims who have been killed by ‘drone attacks’ carried out by the United States.
Despite all of that, it has also been said that the move from selective terrorism to the "global jihad" occurred in London a couple of decades or so before the intervention in Afghanistan in 2001.
Osama bin Laden's first fatwas were originally published in London. And, as early as the late 1980s and early 1990s, a number of radical Islamist conferences took place in Britain.
Islamists from all over the world attended these conferences. They included Hamas, Hizb’allah and many other Islamist groups. In other words, this global jihad more or less began in the late 1980s in London.
It's no surprise, then, that al-Qaeda’s first major attack on the U.S. was partly planned from the UK. After the actual attack, the claim of responsibility also came from the UK -- from London.
To plan all this carnage, which was part of this new global jihad, Osama bin Laden set up a ‘media information office’ which he named the Advisory and Reformation Committee.
Even earlier than that, and away from London, the seeds of the global jihad were being planted in the UK. Take the Islamic Foundation of Leicester, which was set up forty years ago, in 1974.
What was the purpose of this Foundation? It was set up to promote the political beliefs of the Jamaat al-Islami. What were its political beliefs? Primarily it was, and still is, to spread sharia law not only to all Muslims, but also to all non-Muslims throughout the globe -- hence the global jihad.
We are talking about England here -- Leicester.
The chairman and rector of the Islamic Foundation was also the vice president of the Jamaat al-Islami opposition party in Pakistan. And this too has total sharia law as its mission. That is, the turning of Pakistan into a complete sharia state – an Islamic state.
Now let’s move a hundred miles or so to the Yorkshire town of Dewsbury. The same sort of thing which happened in Leicester happened there too. But instead of Jamaat al-Islami being imported into the UK, we now have the Tablighi Jamaat. This is a radical proselytising movement -- or, as Muslims put it, it is a da’wah movement.
The Tablighi Jamaat mosque was built four years after the earlier Islamic Foundation of Leicester was founded -- in 1978. To put things simply: this mosque has been a major recruiter for the global jihad for thirty-six years -- since 1978.
To get back to Leicester’s Jamaat al-Islami. This Islamist group has supplied mosques -- throughout the UK - with radical imams. It has also set up ‘research centers’ like the one in Leicester itself. The result of this Jamaat al-Islami semi-monopoly was that a whole generation of British Muslim kids were indoctrinated with Islamist and pro-jihadist ideas.
The British Terrorists
Let’s just take the case of a single well-known and important jihadist who began his work many years before 2001.
Omar Bakri Mohammed, a jihadist who was born in Syria, arrived in the UK twenty-eight years ago -- in 1986. He ended up in the UK because he’d been expelled from Saudi Arabia. In no time at all, he set up the first UK branch of the extreme Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir.
From the UK, he called for the murder of the British prime minister of the time -- Margaret Thatcher. A little later, in 1991, he did something similar when he claimed that the then prime minister, John Major, was “a legitimate target; if anyone gets the opportunity to assassinate him, I don’t think they should save it”. Of course, nothing was done about this jihadist by the British government of the time or by anyone else for that matter.
There was also Islamist trouble brewing at the now-infamous Finsbury mosque back in the early 1990s. Extremists took over this mosque in the early 1990s. And even then, the hook-handed ex-bouncer and media star, Abu Hamza, was part of all that trouble.
The activities of Abu Hamza go even further back than that.
He said himself that he had had “a long association with the Taliban government”. In the 1990s, he was part of the group Supporters of Sharia, which was deemed to be a propagandist group for the Algerian GIA in Europe. He was even connected to the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.
In addition, only around two and a half months before 9/11, on June 29, 2001, Abu Hamza hatched a plot “which involved attacks carried out by planes” to kill President Bush at the G8 summit in Genoa. This plot was hatched actually within the Finsbury Park mosque in London.
At least one person, an Algerian journalist named Reda Hussaine, was aware what was going on in these early days at Finsbury Park mosque. Not that this amounted to anything because MI5 didn’t want to know. He wrote:
“I watched young Muslims at the Finsbury Park mosque in London in the late 1990s being prepared for journeys to military camps. Money was raised for their air fares by selling books and films in stalls at the mosques.”
Another London-based terrorist, the Algerian Rachid Ramda, gained asylum in the UK in 1992. Three years later, the French Government accused him of having financed a terrorist attack on Saint Michel Station in Paris (1995). Eight people died and 150 were wounded as a result of this act of Islamic terrorism. Because of this, the French Government requested his extradition three times -- in 1995, 1996 and 2001. Each request was rejected by the British government. However, ten years after the first request, in 2005, the British government finally sent him back to France.
Now let’s talk about Birmingham (in the English Midlands).
Sixteen years ago, in 1998 and three years before the intervention in Afghanistan, eight British Muslims from Birmingham, London and Luton (this is of course relevant to the quote which opens this article from the Chairman of the Luton Islamic Center), were arrested and convicted in the Yemeni capital Aden. They were arrested for plotting terrorist attacks against British targets in Yemen and of abducting a group of tourists.
These British Muslim terrorists were actually recruited in the mosques of Birmingham, London, and Luton. They were even trained in terrorist camps which were sponsored by Osama bin Laden.
Interestingly enough, Abu Hamza is part of this story too; along with Finsbury mosque. It is said that he masterminded the terrorist attacks in Yemen as well as the abduction of tourists. He denied this. However, one of the British terrorists was none other than his son and one of the others was his godson! Being a good father, he admitted telephoning them just after they had abducted the tourists in Yemen.
Since we have just spoken of Birmingham here and the Yemen plot, let’s mention Salma Yaqoob, who's the former leader of the Respect party and writer for the British 'progressive' newspaper, The Guardian. She acted as a media spokeswoman for these British Muslim terrorists, in Yemen, at the time. The campaign was called ‘Justice for the Yemen Seven’.
Just one year after the arrest of the British terrorists from Birmingham, Luton, and London, in 1999, it was reported, in a national newspaper, that each year some two thousand British Muslims were attending terrorist training camps around Britain to be taught the skills required for the global jihad. The camps were held most weekends in Birmingham and London. These camps were run by a group called al-Muhajiroun, a group from London which has since changed its name more than once. The group wanted to enforce Islamic rule on all Western governments, as Anjem Choudary’s group still does today.