Roger Whittaker

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London bombs (17)

Tuesday 19th July 2005

The Sunday Times ran an article by Reda Hassaine about his undercover work for French and British intelligence among radical Muslims in London.

Two quotes from the article:

To my mind, Abu Qatada was the more dangerous figure -- a view apparently shared by a British judge who recently described him in much the same terms. He addressed small gatherings and used rhetoric that was both more inflammatory and had a more intensely religious content. And, unlike other mosques, where most of the worshippers were not extremists, those attending Abu Qatada's prayer meetings already shared his outlook.

I was perplexed and shocked by the attitude of the British. It was as if they had a contract with the fundamentalists: don't harm Britain and we'll leave you alone.

They didn't seem to understand that when you play with fire you can get burnt. They had a linguistic difficulty that equated incitement to murder with freedom of expression. I told Special Branch that these clerics were recruiting people who were being trained to kill you, the British. And the authorities were protecting them.

But then, from

Back in October of 2001, Abu Qatada, pegged as the spiritual leader of al-Qaeda, claims British security services offered him a chance to escape to Afghanistan, according to the Guardian. Moreover, French intelligence officials have blamed MI5 for sheltering Abu Qatada. Not only have the Brits protected and offered to spirit alleged terrorists out of the country, they have also connived with al-Qaeda to kill people. "British secret service agents paid up to £100,000 to al Qaeda terrorists for an assassination attempt on Libyan leader Colonel Gadaffy in 1996", Patrick McGowan wrote for the Evening Standard on October 8, 2002, citing former British MI5 officer David Shayler. Apparently the bomb missed Qadaffi but killed several innocent bystanders.

Today it is reported that:

One crucial part of the inquiry will be to find out if any of them met al-Qaeda militants linked to US journalist Daniel Pearl's killer Ahmed Omar Sheikh.

(Daily Mirror and elsewhere).

That is very interesting, given that Ahmed Omar Sheikh (also known as Omar Saeed Sheikh) was almost certainly working for Pakistan's ISI, as the frightening book Who killed Daniel Pearl" by Bernard Henri Levy demonstrates.