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FishForLunch
04-19-2004, 09:12 PM
A SUICIDE bomb plot to kill thousands of soccer fans at Saturday’s Manchester United-Liverpool match was dramatically foiled yesterday.

Armed cops seized ten terror suspects in dawn raids.

Intelligence chiefs believe al-Qaeda fanatics planned to blow themselves up amid 67,000 unsuspecting supporters. A source said: “The target was Old Trafford.”

The Islamic fanatics planned to sit all around the ground to cause maximum carnage.

They had already bought the tickets for various positions in the stadium, cops revealed last night.

But armed cops foiled the horrific plot - which could have killed thousands watching Manchester United’s home game against Liverpool on Saturday - in a series of dawn raids yesterday.

Ten people were arrested after a massive surveillance operation involving British anti-terror units and American authorities.

A police source said: “The plot involved several individual bombers in separate parts of the stadium.

“If successful, any such attack would have caused absolute carnage. Thousands of people could have been killed.”

The planned attack would have had an instant global impact as the game is being televised worldwide.

More than 400 police swooped yesterday after a “major terrorist figure” under surveillance moved to Manchester. Police and intelligence organisations believe he came to direct the massacre, which would have been the first al-Qaeda-style outrage in Britain.


Evidence ... forensic expert removes
items from the building yesterday

Nine men and one woman were arrested — all Iraqi Kurds or from North Africa.

Special Branch and the security services had been monitoring their movements and eavesdropping on mobile phone calls for months.

The operation also involved the US National Security Agency and GCHQ, the Government’s intelligence listening post.

Seven of the suspects were held in Manchester and one each in South Yorkshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands.

It is believed all have links to extremist Islamic organisations. They were being quizzed at separate police stations around North West England last night.

But it was unclear whether any explosives or weapons had been recovered.

Bombers planning the Old Trafford massacre would have run the risk of being searched going into the ground before the 3pm kick-off.

Manchester United said away fans and those sitting in the higher tiers were frisked.

The identities and details of the suspects remained top secret last night — even to many of those involved in the operation.

One of the raids was at a flat above Dolphins takeaway in Upper Brook Street, near Manchester University. The area has a large ethnic community with many properties converted into bedsits.

Irfaan Arif, who lives in a nearby flat, said: “I was woken at 4am, looked out of the window and saw a lot of armed police. There was loads of banging and shouting.”

The three-storey Dolphins building was cordoned off along with next-door properties housing AK Computers and Funky Fones.

Forensic experts in protective clothing moved in after the initial search teams.

A police spokesman confirmed: “A number of search warrants were executed under the Terrorism Act 2000. Ten people have been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism.

We are against these evil acts. In the religion of Islam we have tolerance.
Sheikh Mohammed bal Qadri

“We appreciate the public interest in this but are unable to provide more specific details at this stage.”

Greater Manchester’s Assistant Chief Constable Dave Whatton said: “It was an anti-terrorism operation that has been going on for some time and it will continue in the future.

“This is the first action that the public have become aware of as it is overt. It is set against the background of an increased threat level across the country.

“The addresses raided will continue to be searched for some time. It is a complex inquiry.”

And he appealed: “Because of the national heightened threat levels we would still ask people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.”

Sheikh Mohammed bal Qadri, deputy director of a mosque in Upper Brook Street, said he did not believe any of his members were among those being held.

He added: “Since September 11 we have been very vigilant, as mosques should be.

“If I see a person who is new, I ask him why he is here and what he is doing and ask these kind of questions.

“We are against these evil acts. In the religion of Islam we have tolerance.” The raids follow revelations last week that police in Manchester had raised their terror alert level.

More than 50 officers were moved from regular duties to work on a task force committed to combating terrorism.

Police have also conducted detailed surveys of land around Manchester Airport to identify sites which could be used to launch missiles attacks on aircraft.

Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd said yesterday: “Clearly this is one of the most difficult levels of policing. But when police get the information to act successfully the whole of the British public will applaud their actions.”

FishForLunch
04-19-2004, 09:14 PM
'Martyr' fanatics
raise stakes

By JOHN KAY

THE willingness of fanatics to sacrifice themselves is a shocking development in their drive to stage a “spectacular” in Britain, security experts said last night.

In the days of IRA attacks, the nation became accustomed to bombers who normally gave warnings before fleeing the scene.

But the Manchester United plot makes it chillingly clear there are some crazed Muslims who are prepared to blow themselves up along with their unsuspecting victims.

Last night the big question was: How many more are out there?

Chris Dobson, author of 20 books on terrorism and security, said: “This time it appears the terrorists were planning to use suicide bombers.

“This is a deadly move in the game of chess between the security services and an al-Qaeda network determined to bring bloody slaughter to Britain.

“Until recently it was not thought possible that the cult of the ‘martyr’ could spread to Britain. But the evidence is mounting.”

Mr Dobson said the original suicide bombs used by Shia fundamentalists in the Lebanon were “crude affairs with a package of explosives slung round a belt”.

He added: “Now they are much more sophisticated, using custom-built harnesses specially made for the ‘martyrs’.

“Each contains a number of pockets containing a sausage of explosive linked together with a detonating wire fired by a switch on a battery.”

Mr Dobson said the explosive would probably be studded with ball bearings to give it more killing power.

He added: “The effect is similar to that of a Claymore mine, spewing the shrapnel-laced explosive in an arc round the suicide bomber’s body.

“In confined, crowded places the effect is devastating.”

The expert pointed out that following the dramatic round of arrests in Crawley and Uxbridge last month, security sources said they were looking for a suicide bombers’ “school” — possibly located in the Midlands.

He added: “The possibility is that likely candidates for ‘martyrdom’ will have been spotted by radical preachers and then handed on to al-Qaeda agents.”

Mr Dobson said many wondered what role would be adopted by MI6, MI5 and Special Branch after the collapse of the Soviet Union and outbreak of peace over Ulster.

He added: “The answer has become obvious. It is to save Britain from a new threat — the suicide bomber.”

dude1394
04-19-2004, 09:17 PM
The mainstream muslim community had better begin to step up a whole lot louder. A few 10,000 or so killed and there won't be any political correctness practiced.

FishForLunch
04-19-2004, 09:21 PM
I guess the Islamonazis do not know what the soccer hooligans are capable of. Is that terror plot was successful, I think they would have taken out every mosque in London.

FishForLunch
04-22-2004, 10:00 PM
More terror threats against our friends across the pond.

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Terror on the dole
By David Cohen, Evening Standard

Four young British Muslims in their twenties - a social worker, an IT specialist, a security guard and a financial adviser - occupy a table at a fast-food chicken restaurant in Luton. Perched on their plastic chairs, wolfing down their dinner, they seem just ordinary young men. Yet out of their mouths pour heated words of revolution.

"As far as I'm concerned, when they bomb London, the bigger the better," says Abdul Haq, the social worker. "I know it's going to happen because Sheikh bin Laden said so. Like Bali, like Turkey, like Madrid - I pray for it, I look forward to the day."

"Pass the brown sauce, brother," says Abu Malaahim, the IT specialist, devouring his chicken and chips.

"I agree with you, brother," says Abu Yusuf, the earnest-looking financial adviser sitting opposite. "I would like to see the Mujahideen coming into London and killing thousands, whether with nuclear weapons or germ warfare. And if they need a safehouse, they can stay in mine - and if they need some fertiliser [for a bomb], I'll tell them where to get it."

His friend, Abu Musa, the security guard, smiles radiantly. "It will be a day of joy for me," he adds, speaking with a slight lisp.

As they talk, a man with a bushy beard, dressed in a jacket emblazoned with the word "Jihad", stands and watches over them, handing around cups of steaming hot coffee. His real name is Ishtiaq Alamgir, but he goes by his adopted name, Sayful Islam, meaning "Sword of Islam". He is the 24-year-old leader of the Luton branch of al-Muhajiroun, an extremist Muslim group with about 800 members countrywide, who regard Osama bin Laden as their hero.

Until recently, nobody took the fanatical beliefs of al-Muhajiroun too seriously, believing that a British-based group so brazenly "out there" could not be involved in something as "underground" as terrorism. The group is led by the exiled Saudi, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad, from his base in north London. Yesterday, in a magazine article, Bakri warned that several radical groups are poised to strike in London.

For all its inflammatory rhetoric, al-Muhajiroun has never been linked to actual violence. Yet, with the discovery last month of half-a-tonne of ammonium nitrate fertiliser - the same explosive ingredient used in the Bali and Turkey terror attacks - and with the arrest of eight young British Muslims in London and the South-East, including six in Luton, extremist groups such as al-Muhajiroun are under the spotlight like never before.

Detectives fear that the "enemy within", the homegrown extremists leading apparently normal lives in suburbia, now pose the greatest threat to security in Britain. Sayful and his friends fit this "homegrown" profile: three were born here, two came as young children from Pakistan; all were educated in local Luton schools; and they grew up in families of full employment - one of their fathers is a retired local businessman, two are engineers, and two worked in the local Vauxhall car plant.

The question is: how worried should we be? Is al-Muhajiroun nothing more than a repository for disaffected Muslim youths who have adopted an extreme interpretation of Islam - perhaps to cock a snook at the white establishment - but who are essentially posturing? Or does the group also perform a more sinister function, sucking in alienated young men and brainwashing the more impressionable into becoming future suicide bombers?

Although none of the arrested Muslims - aged 17 to 32 - appear to be current al-Muhajiroun members, rumours have circulated of informal links to the group. Moreover, parents of the arrested men have spoken anxiously of the "radicalising influence" of al-Muhajiroun militants who " corrupt" their children at mosques.

Nowhere has this public confrontation between radicals and moderates been more apparent than in Luton, which has the highest density of Muslims in the South-East - 28,000 out of a total population of 140,000 - and has long been regarded as a hotbed of extremism.

Sayful Islam, for one, is particularly proud of his contribution to Luton's hardline reputation. His exploits include covering the town with " Magnificent 19" posters glorifying the 11 September suicide bombers. "When I joined al-Muhajiroun four years ago, there were five local members," he says. "Now there are more than 50 and hundreds more support us."

The strange thing is that four years ago, Sayful Islam was a jeans-clad student completing his degree in business economics at Middlesex University in Hendon, north London.

The son of a British Rail engineer who came to this country from Pakistan, Sayful grew up in a moderate, middle-class Muslim family in Luton. At the local Denbigh High School, he is remembered as one of the smartest kids, and was selected to attend a science masterclass at Cambridge University. He would go on to marry, have two children and find work as an accountant for the Inland Revenue in Luton. He was thoroughly uninterested in politics.

THEN he met Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad at a local event. Within two years, he had swapped his decently paid job as an accountant for an unpaid one as a political agitator. What turned him into an extremist? And how far is he prepared to go to achieve his aims?

Prior to seeing the group at the fastfood restaurant, Sayful meets me at his semi-detached rented home in Bury Park, Luton's Muslim neighbourhood. He no longer works, even though he is able-bodied, he admits, preferring instead to claim housing benefit and jobseeker's allowance. He smiles sheepishly and says the irony is not lost on him that the British state is supporting him financially, even as he plots to "overthrow it".

"I made a decision that I wanted to follow what Islam really said," Sayful begins, sitting on his sofa in his thowb (a traditional robe) and bare feet. "I went to listen to all the local imams, but I found their portrayal of Islam was too secularised. When I heard Sheikh Omar [the leader] of al-Muhajiroun speak, it was pure Islam, with no compromise. I found that appealing.

"At the same time," continues Sayful, "wars were happening in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Afghanistan. People were being oppressed simply because they were Muslim. Although I had never experienced racism in the UK, it opened the eyes of a lot of Muslims, including mine."

But it was the events of 11 September that crystallised Sayful's worldview. "When I watched those planes go into the Twin Towers, I felt elated," he says. "That magnificent action split the world into two camps: you were either with Islam and al Qaeda, or with the enemy. I decided to quit my job and commit myself full-time to al-Muhajiroun." Now he does not consider himself British. "I am a Muslim living in Britain, and I give my allegiance only to Allah."

According to Sayful, the aim of al-Muhajiroun ("the immigrants") is nothing less than Khilafah - "the worldwide domination of Islam". The way to achieve this, he says, is by Jihad, led by Bin Laden. "I support him 100 per cent."

Does that support extend to violent acts of terrorism in the UK?

"Yes," he replies, unequivocally. "When a bomb attack happens here, I won't be against it, even if it kills my own children. Islam is clear: Muslims living in lands that are occupied have the right to attack their invaders.

"Britain became a legitimate target when it sent troops to Iraq. But it is against Islam for me to engage personally in acts of terrorism in the UK because I live here. According to Islam, I have a covenant of security with the UK, as long as they allow us Muslims to live here in peace."

HE USES the phrase "covenant of security" constantly. He attempts to explain. "If we want to engage in terrorism, we would have to leave the country," he says. "It is against Islam to do otherwise." Such a course of action, he says, he is not prepared to undertake. This is why, Sayful claims, it is consistent, and not cowardly, for him to espouse the rhetoric of terrorism, the "martyrdom-operations", while simultaneouslylimiting himself to nonviolentactions such as leafletting outside Luton town hall.

He denies any link between al-Muhajiroun and the Muslims arrested in the recent police raids. But, as I later discover at the fastfood restaurant, not everyone attaching themselves, however loosely, to al-Muhajiroun draws the same line. Two members of the group - Abu Yusuf, the financial adviser, and Abu Musa, the security guard - scorn al-Muhajiroun as "too moderate".

"I am freelance," says Abu Yusuf, fixing me with his piercing brown eyes. What does that mean? I ask.

"The difference between us and those two," interjects Abu Malaahim, pointing to Musa and Yusuf, "is that us lot do a verbal thing, [but] those brothers actually want to do a physical thing."

Referring to the latest truce offered by Bin Laden, and Britain's scathing rejection of it, Abu Malaahim adds: "He tried to make a peace deal. When terrorism happens, you will only have yourselves to blame."

How far are you prepared to go? I ask.

"You want to know how far I will go," says Abu Musa, his high-pitched lisp rising an octave. "When Allah said in the Koran 'kill and be killed', that's what I want. I want a martyr operation, where I kill my enemy."

Are you saying, I probe, that you are looking to kill people yourself ? "Yes," Abu Musa says, "to kill and to be killed." He emphasises each word.

What's stopped you doing it? "As you know from watching the news," intones Abu Yusuf, "there are brothers who do leave the country and do it." He is referring to the four Muslims from Luton who died fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the two British Muslims, said to have had ties to al-Muhajiroun, who last April left to become suicide bombers in Israel. "In-shallah [ Godwilling], there will be a time to go."

It is hard to know whether Musa and Yusuf are deadly serious or just pumped full of misguided, youthful bravado. Though I see coldness - even ruthlessness - in their eyes, I sense no malice. Both young men agree, perhaps foolishly, to be quoted using their real names, though they decline photographs - thus illustrating their uncertainty of which way to jump.

Muhammad Sulaiman, president of the Islamic Cultural Society, the largest of the 14 mosques in Luton, dismisses al-Muhajiroun as "verbal diarrhoea".

"They are an extreme Right-wing group - the Muslim version of the BNP," he says disdainfully. "They think Muslims should dominate, just like the BNP thinks whites should dominate. They use Islam as a vehicle to promote their distorted beliefs, particularly to unemployed young bloods who are vulnerable."

ALTHOUGH unemployment in Luton is just six per cent, the rate among Muslim youths is estimated at 25 per cent. "They are no more representative of our Muslim community than the BNP are of the white community."

Sulaiman insists that Sayful Islam and his crew are not welcome at the mosque. He cannot prevent them praying there, but he will never give them a platform. "I've told Sayful to bugger off and ejected him many times," he says brusquely. "Even Sayful's father, who I know well, thinks his son has been brainwashed."

But Sayful and his friends laugh at the idea that they are local pariahs. "The mosques say one thing to the public, and something else to us. Let's just say that the face you see and the face we see are two different faces," says Abdul Haq. "Believe me," adds Musa, "behind closed doors, there are no moderate Muslims."

They also mock the idea that they are attracted to al-Muhajiroun because they have suffered alienation from white society. "Do we look like scum?" they ask. "Do we look illiterate?"

As they call for the bill, Abu Malaahim flicks open his 3G mobile phone and, with a satisfied grin, displays the image, downloaded from the internet, of an American Humvee burning in Iraq.

Abu Yusuf says: "That's nothing. I downloaded the picture of the four burnt Americans hanging from the bridge." It's oneupmanship, al-Muhajiroun style.

Sayful, the only married one in the group, prepares to go home to his wife and children. Before he departs, he says he has a message to deliver.

"I want to warn that the police raids - if repeated - could create a bad situation.

"Islam is not like Christianity, where they turn the other cheek. If they raid our homes, it could lead to the covenant of security being broken.

"Islam allows us to retaliate. That would include" - he tugs his "Jihad" coat tight against the night air - "by violent means."

dude1394
04-22-2004, 10:05 PM
The islamofascists again underestimate us. We will kill them all if the mass terror strikes begin happening.