Results tagged “United Kingdom”
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Jordan Horner a.k.a. Jamal Uddin, 19; Ricardo MacFarlane, 26; and an unnamed 23-year-old, all members of a self-styled "Muslim Patrol" in east London, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 12 to 17 months for harassing, intimidating, and assaulting people in an attempt to enforce sharia law. Horner, a Muslim convert and associate of hate preacher Anjem Choudary, spent six weeks in jail earlier this year for assaulting a photographer and doing £3,000 worth of damage to her car.
Prime Minister Cameron said the government plans to classify "Islamist extremism" as a distinct ideology that distorts and betrays the principles of Islam. In the wake of the savage murder of an unarmed British soldier by Islamists in Woolwich this summer, Home Secretary May will set out measures to deal with extremism, which may include means to ban groups that preach hatred. The UK is increasing the number of airports with scanners due to concerns about new bomb technology being developed by al Qaeda. A new no-fly policy for suspected terrorists has prevented as many as three persons a year from flying into the UK.
Two accused killers of a British soldier in Woolwich have denied murder charges. Prosecutors and witnesses told a court that Michael Adebolajo a.k.a. Mujaahid Abu Hamza and Michael Adebowale a.k.a. Ismail Ibn Abdullah ran over the unarmed soldier from behind, then stabbed and attempted to decapitate him. During the incident, the suspects ignored protests from witnesses and said the crime was retaliation for the deaths and British "oppression" of Muslims.
The Foreign Office is looking into reports that four British nationals have died fighting for Islamist forces in Syria. The four men were said to be part of a group of 10 British extremists who joined with 20 other British fighters in al Qaeda forces, including the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. A report estimates that as many as 350 UK citizens have gone to Syria to fight.
Home Secretary May is considering banning terror suspects on Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPims) from visiting mosques, after a recent suspect absconded from a mosque wearing a burka. May also wants to amend law so as to be able to revoke a terrorist's passport even if doing so would leave him "stateless." Trial began for two Pakistani men from Lancashire who had, while aboard a flight from Lahore to Manchester, threatened to blow up the plane and kill passengers and crew members. The court was told that the men were not terrorists but their threats had to be taken seriously.
The heads of MI5, MI6, and GCHQ testified that they defend, not undermine, democracy and freedom; 34 terror plots in England have been disrupted since the London Tube bombings in July 2005; the revelations of NSA leaker Edward Snowden have helped al Qaeda; and "terrorist tourism" is a growing threat to Britain, and hundreds of British jihadists have gone to Syria and some have returned. Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, 27, a suspected Shabaab member who is suing the government for complicity in alleged torture in Somalia in 2011, escaped in a burka from surveillance in London on Nov. 1; Ibrahim Magag, 28, another Somali terror suspect, disappeared in London last year.
Abdulla Ahmed Ali, who was convicted of plotting with al Qaeda to detonate liquid explosives on at least seven transatlantic airliners bound for the US and Canada, has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights for a reversal of his conviction. Prosecution of the conspiracy has already cost UK taxpayers more than £100 million, after three trials in which over eight men have been convicted for their roles in a terror plot managed by key al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan. Rioting by as many as 180 foreigner inmates at Maidstone prison was subdued by authorities.
Officials filed terror charges against two 25-year-old men who were arrested in east London during raids last week. Both of the suspects are British nationals; one is of Turkish origin and the other Algerian. Two other men arrested with them have been released. Pavlo Lapshyn, a postgraduate student from Ukraine, pled guilty to the murder of an elderly Muslim man in Birmingham and to plotting explosions as mosques in Walsall, Tipton, and Wolverhampton. He told investigators he had "a racial motivation" and wanted to "increase racial conflict," but did not mention Muslims or Islam. He was arrested in Ukraine in 2010 for an explosion that resulted from bomb-making.
Police released one of four men arrested in raids across London on Oct. 13, a British national of Pakistani origin. Three of the four men, who were suspected of a "serious" jihadist plot using firearms in the UK, remain in custody. Jordan Horner, a Muslim convert from the east London "Muslim Patrol" gang, pled guilty to charges of assaulting two people on the street. He had beaten up a photographer outside the home of extremist cleric Anjem Choudary, and threatened a female photographer with beheading and then smashed her car.
Authorities gave police protection to two prominent British Muslims who have denounced terrorism. Police warned of credible threats to the two men after Shabaab, al Qaeda's Somali affilate, released a video praising British jihadists and the killing of a UK soldier this summer in Woolwich. Scotland Yard is investigating the video.
Prime Minister Cameron said that a British newspaper's publication of data obtained by NSA leaker Edward Snowden has damaged national security; MI5 had strongly warned against such publication. Shabaab, the al Qaeda affiliate based in Somalia, released a video extolling the Woolwich murder of a UK soldier and claiming Shabaab has British fighters from all levels of British Muslim society, including men from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia. The video also shows a deceased Shabaab jihadist named Talha from London's East End.
MI5 estimates that as many as 200 British jihadists have traveled to Syria to fight. Intelligence sources say most of them are university-educated British Pakistanis in their 20s. The majority of British jihadists in Syria are thought to be fighting with extremist and al Qaeda-linked groups.
Police arrested four British nationals in London suspected of plotting a potentially "very serious" terror attack. In simultaneous raids, a Turk and an Algerian, both 25, were arrested in Whitechapel; a 28-year-old Azerbaijani was arrested in Bayswater; and a 29-year-old Pakistani was arrested in Peckham. Authorities are searching six addresses in London.
Foreign Minister Hague said the UK is now "more open to direct contact" with Iran; talks have begun on reopening their respective embassies. Hague also said that unless Iran takes concrete steps to address its breach of UN resolutions on its nuclear program, the UK will continue to maintain strong sanctions against Iran.
Home Secretary May said security has been heightened at shopping centers after the Westgate massacre in Nairobi, and noted that a number of potential terrorists have left the UK to fight in Somalia and Syria. The chairman of the UK's Charity Commission warned that money raised to help Syrian refugees was "undoubtedly" going to extremist groups. A committee representing the UK's largest charities has raised at least £20 million for Syrian relief since March and cannot guarantee that the money is not falling into the hands of terrorists.
A 33-year-old Anglo-Libyan man suspected of links to terrorist groups, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, has filed a legal challenge with the European Court of Human Rights to the UK's control order on his activities. The suspected terrorist, identified only as "AF," had previously contested government restrictions. In recent years UK terrorism suspects have resorted to the Strasbourg court to circumvent the UK justice system.
An appeals court upheld the seizure of the house of convicted terrorist Munir Farooqi, who had used the home to recruit fighters for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Farooqi also lost an appeal against his conviction, as did co-defendants Matthew Newton and Israr Malik. Farooqi had fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan and later turned his Manchester home into a terrorist propaganda center with over 50,000 pieces of extremist literature.
The Home Office said that 249 persons were arrested for terrorism-related offenses in 2012/13. Of the 249 arrested, 37 were charged with a terrorism-related offense, and so far 23 of the 37 have been convicted.
Prime Minister Cameron said the UK would not intervene militarily in Syria, but promised that Britain would "lead the world" in delivering humanitarian aid where needed in Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. Politicians are demanding information about the alleged export to Syria in 2012 of chemicals used to make nerve gas; the government claims the exports did not take place after revocation of the export licenses due to Syrian sanctions.
Foreign Secretary Hague said the UK would offer only diplomatic support to its allies in any Syrian military intervention. A British colonel denied claims that UK troops abused, mutilated, or executed Iraqis after a fierce battle near Majar al-Kabir in southern Iraq in May 2004.