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July 7th People's Independent Inquiry Forum > U.K. & Ireland Watch > Hassan Butt: Jihadist recruiter - recants

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Title: Hassan Butt: Jihadist recruiter - recants
Description: Fantasist jihadist who made it all up


numeral - March 24, 2007 10:44 AM (GMT)
QUOTE
Jihadist recruiter Butt renounces radicalism
Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:21PM GMT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A British Muslim whose public praise of Muslim militants earned him notoriety in Britain said in an interview with the CBS television programme 60 Minutes he has renounced his views and now opposes violence.

Hassan Butt first gained notoriety in Britain for telling the BBC in 2002 that Britons would fight the West in Afghanistan and would return to launch attacks in the United Kingdom.

Since then he has regularly appeared in British media as the voice of radical Islam. British media have regularly called for him to be prosecuted.

Butt admits in the interview to be broadcast on Sunday to actively recruiting young Britons to join extremist organisations and raising funds for jihad.

But he now says the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings of three subways and a bus in London have led him to question and ultimately abandon his commitment to radicalism.

Hassan said he turned away from violence because no religious leaders were able to convince him it was sanctioned by Islam.

"I've come to realise that killing ... in the name of Islam is completely and utterly prohibited," he said in a summary of the interview provided by CBS. "There's a big disease and a cancer in the Muslim world ... and it needs to be dealt with."

A CBS spokesman said the interview was conducted in London earlier this month.

numeral - April 4, 2007 02:39 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Was CBS Duped by Radical Islamist?
By Adrian Morgan  |  March 30, 2007

On Sunday, March 25, on its 60 Minutes show CBS aired an interview between correspondent Bob Simon and the former spokesman of the British radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun. The subject of the interview, 26-year old Hassan Butt, claimed that he had left support for killing behind him. Butt's apparent Damascene conversion, however, does not sit easily with his track record.

He told Bob Simon that in his past "we would take away the innocence from the person so they were no longer innocent men, women and children... and hence, combatants and allowed to be targeted."  Yet Butt asserted that now, "killing for the sake of killing, and killing in the name of Islam for the sake of killing, is completely and utterly prohibited. And there's a big disease, a big problem and a cancer in the Muslim world. And it's a very dangerous cancer, and it needs to be dealt with." In the interview, as he said these words, Butt's face showed no emotion. His voice was slower, and more importantly he did not blink at all, as if his face had become a mask. Close scrutiny of his demeanor gives a strong impression that Butt is lying.

The leaders of Al Muhajiroun and its successor groups (Al Ghurabaa and the Saved/Saviour Sect) have always been scrupulous in their gathering of textual information from the Koran and the Hadiths to justify violent jihad against "enemies of Islam", including infidels, and even old women who did not show enough respect:

"At the time of the Messenger Muhammad (saw) there were individuals like these who dishonored and insulted him upon whom the Islamic judgement was executed. Such people were not tolerated in the past and throughout the history of Islam were dealt with according to the Shariah. Ka'ab ibn Ashraf was assassinated by Muhammad ibn Maslamah for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his words, Abu Raafi' was killed by Abu Ateeq as the Messenger ordered in the most evil of ways for swearing at the prophet, Khalid bin Sufyaan was killed by Abdullah bin Anees who cut off his head and brought it to the prophet for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his insults, Al-Asmaa bintu Marwaan was killed by Umayr bin Adi' al-Khatmi, a blind man, for writing poetry against the prophet and insulting him in it, Al-Aswad al-Ansi was killed by Fairuz al-Daylami and his family for insulting the Messenger Muhammad (saw) and claiming to be a prophet himself.

Shortly after these incidents the people began to realize that insulting the Messenger of Allah (saw) was not something to be taken lightly and that by doing so would mean that you would be killed for it, a concept that many have seem to forgotten ."

Photographs of Hassan Butt from two or three years ago show him looking more "Westernized" than he appears on CBS. In his interview for Bob Simon, he wears a smaller beard, but his head is shaved underneath an Islamic cap.

There is much in Bob Simon's interview that seems authentic, such as claims that Butt raised $300,000 for jihad, with professional Muslims knowing that their donations would be sponsoring armed jihad. Butt's claims that drug-dealing was used by Muslim extremists to finance jihad tally with known facts - heroin from Afghanistan and hashish from Pakistan have long been used to finance jihadist operations. Despite this, the claims that Butt is now working to teach Muslims the "peaceful" truth at the heart of Islam and leading them away from extremism just do not ring true.

Butt was born in Luton, and attended the University of Wolverhampton. He had been expelled from university after physically attacking an open homosexual. Butt said in 2005 of his victim: "If someone wants to do it privately, that's fine, but don't come out publicly with it." There seems to be something here that Butt is not being "public" about. He had reached the age of 25 in August 2005, and was claiming that he had never dated, as his associations with radical Islam had taken precedence.

In 2005 Butt told Prospect magazine: "My mother is arranging for me to get married. Unlike Pakistani tradition, which doesn't allow you to speak to the girl beforehand, I've made sure that I've spoken to the sister, made sure that I'm compatible with her. Obviously, I'm not going to date her or court her."

In the CBS interview, Hassan Butt claimed that Mohammed Sidique Khan, leader of the four bombers who blew up parts of London's transport network on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people, had become radicalized after being urged to embark on an arranged marriage. Butt claims that other Muslims have become radicalized "as a result of them being tried to being forced [sic] to marry someone they don't want to marry". This argument is weak to the point of being specious.

In August 2005 Butt said that he first became introduced to radical Islam via the pan-Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. This happened, he claimed in Prospect magazine, when he was 17. In Sunday's broadcast interview, Butt claims that his adoption of radical Islam happened when he was only 16.

Butt's revisionist account of his history also extends to the numbers of people he had recruited to fight against coalition forces. He tells Bob Simon that he recruited between 50 and 75 people to undergo jihadist training in Pakistan. Yet in January 2002, Butt telephoned the BBC in Lahore, Pakistan, and claimed that he had recruited 200 volunteers to join the Taliban.

With such glaring discrepancies in his own accounts of his life and experiences, it is clear that there is nothing substantial in any of Butt's testimonies that can be relied upon. Butt tells Bob Simon that he knew Mohammed Sidique Khan, but claims not to have known of the bomber's intentions. Yet in May 2003, Butt told the Times newspaper that he knew of a number of British Muslims who wished to become suicide bombers. He said: "The number is getting close to 50. They are aged 17 to their late thirties. They are contacting me about organization."

"They are waiting for the right time, the right people. You don't just do it as individuals [sic], you do it as an organization. It's about screening them, testing them, making sure they are sincere. Then, when it's right, believe me, they'll all be used."

Butt spoke to the Times after two British-born Muslims had traveled to Tel Aviv. Asif Hanif had entered Mike's Bar on the sea front on April 30, and detonated an explosive belt. Three people died and 60 were injured in the explosion. His companion, Omar Khan Sharif from Derby, had failed to detonate his bomb. Sharif's decomposing body was found 12 days later, floating in the sea. Butt had claimed to the Times that Hanif and Sharif had both approached him for advice on carrying out their "martyrdom operations".

Butt had been officially expelled from Al-Muhajiroun in January 2002 after he had boasted to the BBC about his recruitment of jihadists. Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who had founded the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and who had founded Al Muhajiroun in 1996, claimed that Butt did not represent Al Muhajiroun and was acting alone.

Butt had gone to Pakistan in March 2001, and had been leader of the Al Muhajiroun office in Lahore. In September 2001, Butt had allowed US-based Islamist Junaid Babar to stay at the office. In August 2004, Babar admitted to a New York court that he had set up a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, and also that he helped a terrorist bomb plot in London. This plot has led to a trial of 7 individuals, which is still continuing.

The alleged leader of these 7 individuals, 25-year old Omar Khyam from Crawley, had earlier been sent to Kashmir by Al Muhajiroun. His family had gone to Kashmir to rescue him in 2000. This may be the "17-year old" that Butt admitted sending to Pakistan in his interview with Bob Simon. During his trial, Khyam admitted his involvement with Al Muhajiroun and that he attended a training camp in Kashmir when aged 17, but he has not said that he was sent there by the group.

On October 25, 2005, the BBC aired an investigation by journalist Richard Watson. For legal reasons connected with the still unfinished trial, Watson disguised Junaid Babar's name as "Shafique". Watson said: "I'm in Cheetham Hill, in the northern suburbs of Manchester. I've just met with Hassan Butt, the British jihadist who was with Shafique in Pakistan. He won't be interviewed. But we understand from a very well-placed source that Mohammed Siddique Khan stayed at Hassan Butt's flat in 2003 and met with the self-confessed Al Qaeda fixer Shafique, both in Pakistan and back in Leeds."

After being officially expelled from Al Muhajiroun, Butt had returned to Britain in November 2002. On Monday December 2, 2002 Hassan Butt was arrested. Held at Paddington Green police station, the high security location in west London where Britain's terrorists are investigated, Butt was later released without charge.

In October 2001, Britain's defense minister, Geoffrey Hoon, had warned that any Briton found fighting coalition forces would face prosecution. Technically, Hassan Butt did not fight jihad, despite his claims of recruitment. In 2001, 200 British Muslims who had fought abroad were already known to the UK authorities, but so far none have been prosecuted. The reasons for Butt not being charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 have never been adequately explained; this act specifically makes it illegal for UK citizens to incite terrorism abroad, or to arrange terrorism training.

Hassan Butt is a fantasist, it seems. He certainly has had links with radical Islamists, but his desire to gain attention, to bask in limelight, is not the behavior of someone who is as involved in terror networks as he has previously boasted. In August 2004, he claimed to have recently met with "an autonomous Islamist cell in the UK which possessed large quantities of Semtex, and which was capable of launching an immediate and major attack." He told his interviewer that he was "without a doubt" under MI5 surveillance.

He also said that he prayed "to Allah that he accepts me as a martyr. If that's tomorrow, then tomorrow. If not, then whenever Allah wills." When his interviewer asked why he did not carry out his alleged wish, Butt said: "Everything needs to be done in an organized manner, with the current organizations that are working around the world."

Butt announced his conversion to "peaceful Islam" in January 2006 at Cambridge University's debating union. He preaches now that actions such as those carried out by the 7/7 bombers were wrong. In August 2005 he had said that if the world was to come under the banner of Islam "a lot of killing" is unavoidable. He claimed then that the 7/7 bombers were not immoral, but were guilty only of tactical errors: "I am not in favor of military action in Britain but if somebody did do it who was British, I would not have any trouble with that either."

Butt now claims that his family has rejected him for being a traitor to Islam, and he is under death threats from his former associates. He is writing a book, he says, about "moderate" Islam.

I do not buy into Hassan Butt's "conversion". I do not believe that he is doing anything other than "taqiyya", presenting a new gloss to the same hateful dogma he has previously espoused publicly. It seems he always wishes to be a center of attention. Previously he courted publicity by outrageous claims. Now he is courting publicity by claiming to have made a radical decision to become moderate.

There is no convincing explanation for his previous radicalism, not even an admission that when he boasted of his jihad recruitment he was young and naive. He has made absolutely no attempt at a full confession of his previous "sins". Perhaps such a confession would put him at risk of jail, but it would give his current posturing more credibility. Just because Hassan Butt claims he has reformed, that is no reason to believe him.


The original article can be found at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/

numeral - May 20, 2007 02:45 PM (GMT)
With the usual Murdoch Press warning.

QUOTE
Al-Qaeda Supergrass

user posted image
EXCLUSIVE
By Lewis Panther
A FRIGHTENED supergrass today reveals how thousands of young Muslims are preparing to unleash fresh terror atrocities on Britain's streets.

user posted image

Shame-faced Hassan Butt, 27, spent 10 years close to the heart of the al-Qaeda network as its preachers of hate recruited suicide bombers here.

He acted as a heartless fundraiser from the Muslim community, collecting cash to send brain-washed young Brits to terrorist training camps in Pakistan.

But, in the wake of the 7/7 London bombings, in which 52 innocent victims died, he no longer gloats about his sinister exploits.

Instead he is about to become the biggest whistle-blower of all time— by exposing how the radical Islamic extremists operate.

And he warned: "It's sad but we WILL have more atrocities like 7/7 because there are tens of thousands of Muslims who still support violence."

Wanted in Pakistan for plotting against President Musharraf, Butt is back here living in fear of our security forces — and of Islamic revenge squads threatening him with jihad.

Sinister

And at last he is ready to tell the truth about our enemy within.

He glanced nervously over his shoulder as he talked to our reporter in a cafe close to where the London suicide bombers hatched their deadly mission. He revealed how he:

COLLECTED "taxes" from doctors and wealthy businessmen in the Muslim community with his sinister team to fund terrorism.

LURED desperate drug addicts, aided by their evil dealers, in a plot to "poison the West with drugs".

BLAMES moderate Muslim leaders for failing to face up to preachers of hate like hook-handed Abu Hamza and exiled Omar Bakri, leaving them free to twist young minds.

Butt said: "Saying thousands of British Muslims support terrorism is no over-estimation. I know because I used to raise money from them. Doctors, teachers and businessmen would all chip in—and they knew it was going towards terrorism.

"There might only be a few who go on to become suicide bombers, but it only takes a few to do all the damage if they have got that support network around them.

"And the kids who are being recruited aren't getting any help from the mosques to stop them.

"The moderate Muslims like the MCB (Muslim Council of Britain) aren't doing enough to stop people like Omar Bakri. He's certainly to blame for wrecking a lot of lives."

It is the first time someone so senior inside the British Muslim terror network has spoken out about al-Qaeda.

Butt, a former law student, is paranoid about being watched by MI5 as he moves from sleeping on one friend's floor to another's. But he's even more nervous about being hunted down by his former friends who believe they are fighting a holy war. A gang of thugs have already stabbed him in the street after he renounced their violent ways.

But before he turned his back on terror, young Muslims, especially those who do not feel part of Britain, were easy targets for Butt.

He was raised in Manchester and was just 16 when he became involved in radical and pro-violent Islamic groups.

He said: "I was helping in a drug rehabilitation centre, which gave me easy access to potential jihadi recruits. The addicts were vulnerable and easy to convert to our cause.

Profits

"It may sound sick to outsiders but I genuinely believed I was fighting a war. That's why I was photographed with a loudhailer calling for Muslims to attack the British and Americans when I was in Pakistan.

"The centre also gave me easy access to the drug dealers. You got to find out who they were and they wouldn't stand up to us either. Knowing we'd been involved in terrorist training made them stand up and pay attention —and pay up part of their profits.

"They even thought they were helping our cause by only selling crack and heroin to non-Muslims. We saw it as a tactic of war to keep poisoning the West with drugs.

"We all believed that you could steal, rob, lie and even sell drugs to support our fight."

Butt found his recruits in the gyms and snooker halls. "We'd talk about the suffering of the Muslims all over the world," he explained.

"We were well versed in the Koran, in the sayings of the Prophet and could make them believe it was permissible for people to go around killing innocent men, women and children."

During his stay in Pakistan, Butt mixed with an even more violent band of radicals, buying guns to be shipped to fighters inside Afghanistan.

And it was there in 2002, at his flat in the capital Islamabad, that he met the ringleader of the 7/7 London suicide bombings, Muhammed Siddique Khan.

They were introduced by New York-born Junaid Babar, who later became star witness against the fertiliser bombers who plotted to kill hundreds of clubbers at London's Ministry of Sound and thousands of shoppers at the Bluewater complex in Kent.

At that time Butt sent dozens of young Britons across the Pakistani border into Afghan training camps. He stayed in the background, working his way up to become one of the most senior members of the now banned al-Muhajiroun organisation.

But since fleeing Pakistan and returning to Britain, Butt has had a change of heart.

"It was all the talk of killing for no reason that got to me," he said.

"People just wanted to go out and kill kaffirs (non-believers) just because they were kaffirs. Not because of the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. I started having deep doubts about this and how it fitted in with my beliefs and what the Koran said."

It was the 7/7 massacre that finally changed his mind about supporting the suicide bombers.

Innocent

"We couldn't believe that al-Qaeda had given the order to attack here in England," he said.

"London was a good place for us. We could move about and raise a lot of money easily.

"So it was strange for the bombings to take place there. Although I said I wanted to become a martyr, and praised the suicide bombers before, it's something that's bothered my conscience for a very long time.

"I couldn't get used to the idea that someone completely innocent sitting next to you could be killed."

Butt plans to publish an open letter to British Muslims in July calling for an end to the violence he once glorified.

It will tie in with the second anniversary of the London Tube and bus bombings.

He believes it's up to British Muslims to stop fanatics influencing more young, impressionable minds and hopes his U-turn on violence will influence others.

He said: "It'll be years before MI5 and the police get on top of it because it's so much harder to infiltrate the groups. It's going to take them 20 years. So it's up to us.

"There are friends of mine who are disillusioned. But they are nervous about being open because they've seen what happened to me.

"But someone's got to make a stand. What I've come to realise is that killing in the name of Islam for the sake of killing is completely prohibited. It's a very dangerous cancer in the Muslim world and it needs to be dealt with.

"As long as we Muslims do not acknowledge that there is a violent streak in Islam, we are always going to lose the battle to the militants."

cmain - July 5, 2007 09:36 PM (GMT)
Faisal Haque on Hassan Butt's latest literary masterpiece.

Craig W - July 5, 2007 11:25 PM (GMT)
I knew nothing of Mr Butt (ahem...) until this Observer piece was raised triumphantly by a neo-con Islamaphobe on another forum. He cited it as proof of the very grave threat of Islamic extremism and the fact that it was a reflection of the inherent wickedness of Islam and definitely nothing at all to do with western foreign policy.

So I did a little research and found out a thing or two about Butt.

I was immediately struck at how convenient Mr Butt's curious career and extensive media appearances have been to those who would want to stoke the flames of Islamaphobia in the UK and create a credible context for "Islamic" terror attacks.

This latest piece fits well within this model and appears to be a blatant attempt (along with this deceitful offering from Melanie Phillips posted by the same neo-con) to support the offical story and exonerate western foreign policy from any culpability in Muslim extremism. Both are in effect apologists for western oil wars and imperialism in the Middle East.

Here is my annotated version of Butt's piece:
QUOTE

My plea to fellow Muslims: you must renounce
terror

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/sto...rticle_continue

As the bombers return to Britain, Hassan Butt, who was once a member of radical group Al-Muhajiroun, raising funds for extremists and calling for attacks on British citizens, explains why he was wrong

Hassan Butt
Sunday July 1, 2007
Observer

When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network (Does this group have a name and a precise identity at all? – CW), a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy (The suggestion here is that the suspicion that some Muslim grievance may be due to the excesses and abuses of western foreign policy is baseless. Clearly decades of wars and meddling could have nothing to do with the unrest among a small minority of Muslims... Right? – CW).

By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the 'Blair's bombs' line did our propaganda work for us (See? Anyone who thinks any of our despicable foreign policies have anything to do with Muslim unrest is “doing the terrorists’ work for them” – that makes sense… Right? – CW). More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology (What, all of the violence is because of Muslim theology and none of it is because of western imperialism, wars and other meddling… Right? – CW).

Friday's attempt to cause mass destruction (Let’s over-hype the clearly amateurish and small-scale of the attacks – CW) in London with strategically placed (WTF is that meant to mean? It was outside a nightclub not the US Embassy or British bank - CW) car bombs is so reminiscent of other recent British Islamic extremist plots (In what ways is it reminiscent? Come on, tell us. Or is this just another deceit? – CW) that it is likely to have been carried out by my former peers (Well this guy would know, right? I mean he claims to have been ONE of them. So clearly this validates the official story… Right? – CW)

And as with previous terror attacks, people are again articulating the line that violence carried out by Muslims is all to do with foreign policy (Again attacking the notion that foreign policy could have anything to do with it. Why are they not attacking Belgium, Japan, Ireland or South Africa, etc? – CW). For example, yesterday on Radio 4's Today programme, the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: 'What all our intelligence shows about the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq.'

He then refused to acknowledge the role of Islamist ideology in terrorism and said that the Muslim Brotherhood and those who give a religious mandate to suicide bombings in Palestine were genuinely representative of Islam. (Did Livingstone really say this? That sounds odd. On the one hand apparently refusing to acknowledge the role of Islamist ideology in terrorism and on the other implying that those giving a religious mandate for suicide bombings were genuinely representative of Islam? How does he square those two? What point is Butt trying to make here? – CW).

I left the BJN in February 2006, but if I were still fighting for their cause, I'd be laughing once again. Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the 7 July bombings, and I were both part of the BJN (You see? 7/7 was definitely done by those four Muslim nutters, I mean, I knew one of them when I was one of them… – CW) - I met him on two occasions - and though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many of my peers to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain, our own homeland and abroad, was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary state that would eventually bring Islamic justice to the world (So if we got out of the ME altogether it would still carry on? This claim may be true or could just be another means of saying “look it’s got nothing to do with all your wars in Muslim countries. We’re not bothered about them. Carry on bombing our Muslim brothers please.” – CW)

How did this continuing violence come to be the means of promoting this (flawed) utopian goal? How do Islamic radicals justify such terror in the name of their religion? There isn't enough room to outline everything here (Is this an excuse for a subsequent poorly argued “rationalisation” I wonder? – CW), but the foundation of extremist reasoning rests upon a dualistic model of the world. Many Muslims may or may not agree with secularism but at the moment, formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not allow for the separation of state and religion. There is no 'rendering unto Caesar' in Islamic theology because state and religion are considered to be one and the same. The centuries-old reasoning of Islamic jurists also extends to the world stage where the rules of interaction between Dar ul-Islam (the Land of Islam) and Dar ul-Kufr (the Land of Unbelief) have been set down to cover almost every matter of trade, peace and war.

What radicals and extremists do is to take these premises two steps further. Their first step has been to reason that since there is no Islamic state in existence, the whole world must be Dar ul-Kufr. Step two: since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world (Doesn’t this all rest on the definitions/translations of words like “war” and jihad? Isn’t it basically a debate between literalism and a metaphorical approach to Islamic theology? – CW). Many of my former peers, myself included, were taught by Pakistani and British radical preachers (Who? – CW) that this reclassification of the globe as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) (Where does this doctrine originate? Is it old or new? Western or eastern? – CW) allows any Muslim to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief. In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians.

This understanding of the global battlefield has been a source of friction for Muslims living in Britain. For decades, radicals have been exploiting these tensions between Islamic theology and the modern secular state for their benefit, typically by starting debate with the question: 'Are you British or Muslim?' (Who has been doing this? Perhaps this is so, but that doesn’t justify or explain why anyone would want to commit suicide bombings against civilians… - CW) But the main reason why radicals have managed to increase their following is because most Islamic institutions in Britain just don't want to talk about theology (Is this true? – CW). They refuse to broach the difficult and often complex topic of violence within Islam and instead repeat the mantra that Islam is peace, focus on Islam as personal, and hope that all of this debate will go away (Possible truths here but again there may be an exaggeration of the supposed violence inherent within Islam – CW).

This has left the territory of ideas open for radicals to claim as their own. I should know because, as a former extremist recruiter, every time mosque authorities banned us from their grounds, it felt like a moral and religious victory (I don’t understand this point. Are the preachers preaching this stuff not in Mosques then? If not, where are they doing their preaching? Is it not good that Mosques ban these nutters? – CW).

Outside Britain, there are those who try to reverse this two-step revisionism (What is he suggesting is being revised, Islam? If so doesn’t that suggest that Islam is actually not violent? In which case what is he trying to say? – CW). A handful of scholars from the Middle East has tried to put radicalism back in the box by saying that the rules of war devised by Islamic jurists were always conceived with the existence of an Islamic state in mind, a state which would supposedly regulate jihad in a responsible Islamic fashion. In other words, individual Muslims don't have the authority to go around declaring global war in the name of Islam.

But there is a more fundamental reasoning that has struck me and a number of other people who have recently left radical Islamic networks as a far more potent argument because it involves stepping out of this dogmatic paradigm and recognising the reality of the world: Muslims don't actually live in the bipolar world of the Middle Ages any more.

The fact is that Muslims in Britain are citizens of this country. We are no longer migrants in a Land of Unbelief. For my generation, we were born here, raised here, schooled here, we work here and we'll stay here. But more than that, on a historically unprecedented scale, Muslims in Britain have been allowed to assert their religious identity through clothing, the construction of mosques, the building of cemeteries and equal rights in law.

However, it isn't enough for Muslims to say that because they feel at home in Britain they can simply ignore those passages of the Koran which instruct on killing unbelievers. By refusing to challenge centuries-old theological arguments, the tensions between Islamic theology and the modern world grow larger every day. It may be difficult to swallow but the reason why Abu Qatada - the Islamic scholar whom Palestinian militants recently called to be released in exchange for the kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston - has a following is because he is extremely learned and his religious rulings are well argued. His opinions, though I now thoroughly disagree with them, have validity within the broad canon of Islam (Is he condemning all of Islam here? – CW).

Since leaving the BJN, many Muslims have accused me of being a traitor. If I knew of any impending attack, then I would have no hesitation in going to the police, but I have not gone to the authorities, as some reports have suggested, and become an informer (Let’s get that straight. I’m definitely not working for The Man. Of course, in reality he has probably been doing so for many years – CW).

I believe that the issue of terrorism can be easily demystified if Muslims and non-Muslims start openly to discuss the ideas that fuel terrorism (Is it not actions as well as ideas that fuel terror? Actions such as wars, economic meddling, oil shenanigans, imperialism, etc? – CW). (The Muslim community in Britain must slap itself awake from this state of denial and realise there is no shame in admitting the extremism within our families, communities and worldwide co-religionists.) (Come on. Admit it, my fellow Muslims, you're terrorists - CW) However, demystification will not be achieved if the only bridges of engagement that are formed are between the BJN and the security services. (Not sure what he is getting at here...? - CW)

If our country is going to take on radicals and violent extremists, Muslim scholars must go back to the books and come forward with a refashioned set of rules and a revised understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Muslims whose homes and souls are firmly planted in what I'd like to term the Land of Co-existence (Nothing wrong with that – CW). And when this new theological territory is opened up, Western Muslims will be able to liberate themselves from defunct models of the world, rewrite the rules of interaction and perhaps we will discover that the concept of killing in the name of Islam is no more than an anachronism.
Hassanbutt1@gmail.com

Bridget - July 5, 2007 11:55 PM (GMT)
HI Craig W

Have you thought of sending Mr Butt your annotated version?

Hassanbutt1@gmail.com

The Antagonist - July 27, 2007 11:47 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Was CBS Duped by Radical Islamist?
By Adrian Morgan  |  March 30, 2007


With such glaring discrepancies in his own accounts of his life and experiences, it is clear that there is nothing substantial in any of Butt's testimonies that can be relied upon. 

On Sunday, March 25, on its 60 Minutes show CBS aired an interview between correspondent Bob Simon and the former spokesman of the British radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun. The subject of the interview, 26-year old Hassan Butt, claimed that he had left support for killing behind him. Butt's apparent Damascene conversion, however, does not sit easily with his track record.

He told Bob Simon that in his past "we would take away the innocence from the person so they were no longer innocent men, women and children... and hence, combatants and allowed to be targeted."  Yet Butt asserted that now, "killing for the sake of killing, and killing in the name of Islam for the sake of killing, is completely and utterly prohibited. And there's a big disease, a big problem and a cancer in the Muslim world. And it's a very dangerous cancer, and it needs to be dealt with." In the interview, as he said these words, Butt's face showed no emotion. His voice was slower, and more importantly he did not blink at all, as if his face had become a mask. Close scrutiny of his demeanor gives a strong impression that Butt is lying.

The leaders of Al Muhajiroun and its successor groups (Al Ghurabaa and the Saved/Saviour Sect) have always been scrupulous in their gathering of textual information from the Koran and the Hadiths to justify violent jihad against "enemies of Islam", including infidels, and even old women who did not show enough respect:

"At the time of the Messenger Muhammad (saw) there were individuals like these who dishonored and insulted him upon whom the Islamic judgement was executed. Such people were not tolerated in the past and throughout the history of Islam were dealt with according to the Shariah. Ka'ab ibn Ashraf was assassinated by Muhammad ibn Maslamah for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his words, Abu Raafi' was killed by Abu Ateeq as the Messenger ordered in the most evil of ways for swearing at the prophet, Khalid bin Sufyaan was killed by Abdullah bin Anees who cut off his head and brought it to the prophet for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his insults, Al-Asmaa bintu Marwaan was killed by Umayr bin Adi' al-Khatmi, a blind man, for writing poetry against the prophet and insulting him in it, Al-Aswad al-Ansi was killed by Fairuz al-Daylami and his family for insulting the Messenger Muhammad (saw) and claiming to be a prophet himself.

Shortly after these incidents the people began to realize that insulting the Messenger of Allah (saw) was not something to be taken lightly and that by doing so would mean that you would be killed for it, a concept that many have seem to forgotten ."

Photographs of Hassan Butt from two or three years ago show him looking more "Westernized" than he appears on CBS. In his interview for Bob Simon, he wears a smaller beard, but his head is shaved underneath an Islamic cap.

There is much in Bob Simon's interview that seems authentic, such as claims that Butt raised $300,000 for jihad, with professional Muslims knowing that their donations would be sponsoring armed jihad. Butt's claims that drug-dealing was used by Muslim extremists to finance jihad tally with known facts - heroin from Afghanistan and hashish from Pakistan have long been used to finance jihadist operations. Despite this, the claims that Butt is now working to teach Muslims the "peaceful" truth at the heart of Islam and leading them away from extremism just do not ring true.

Butt was born in Luton, and attended the University of Wolverhampton. He had been expelled from university after physically attacking an open homosexual. Butt said in 2005 of his victim: "If someone wants to do it privately, that's fine, but don't come out publicly with it." There seems to be something here that Butt is not being "public" about. He had reached the age of 25 in August 2005, and was claiming that he had never dated, as his associations with radical Islam had taken precedence.

In 2005 Butt told Prospect magazine: "My mother is arranging for me to get married. Unlike Pakistani tradition, which doesn't allow you to speak to the girl beforehand, I've made sure that I've spoken to the sister, made sure that I'm compatible with her. Obviously, I'm not going to date her or court her."

In the CBS interview, Hassan Butt claimed that Mohammed Sidique Khan, leader of the four bombers who blew up parts of London's transport network on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people, had become radicalized after being urged to embark on an arranged marriage. Butt claims that other Muslims have become radicalized "as a result of them being tried to being forced [sic] to marry someone they don't want to marry". This argument is weak to the point of being specious.

In August 2005 Butt said that he first became introduced to radical Islam via the pan-Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. This happened, he claimed in Prospect magazine, when he was 17. In Sunday's broadcast interview, Butt claims that his adoption of radical Islam happened when he was only 16.

Butt's revisionist account of his history also extends to the numbers of people he had recruited to fight against coalition forces. He tells Bob Simon that he recruited between 50 and 75 people to undergo jihadist training in Pakistan. Yet in January 2002, Butt telephoned the BBC in Lahore, Pakistan, and claimed that he had recruited 200 volunteers to join the Taliban.

With such glaring discrepancies in his own accounts of his life and experiences, it is clear that there is nothing substantial in any of Butt's testimonies that can be relied upon. Butt tells Bob Simon that he knew Mohammed Sidique Khan, but claims not to have known of the bomber's intentions. Yet in May 2003, Butt told the Times newspaper that he knew of a number of British Muslims who wished to become suicide bombers. He said: "The number is getting close to 50. They are aged 17 to their late thirties. They are contacting me about organization."

"They are waiting for the right time, the right people. You don't just do it as individuals [sic], you do it as an organization. It's about screening them, testing them, making sure they are sincere. Then, when it's right, believe me, they'll all be used."

Butt spoke to the Times after two British-born Muslims had traveled to Tel Aviv. Asif Hanif had entered Mike's Bar on the sea front on April 30, and detonated an explosive belt. Three people died and 60 were injured in the explosion. His companion, Omar Khan Sharif from Derby, had failed to detonate his bomb. Sharif's decomposing body was found 12 days later, floating in the sea. Butt had claimed to the Times that Hanif and Sharif had both approached him for advice on carrying out their "martyrdom operations".

Butt had been officially expelled from Al-Muhajiroun in January 2002 after he had boasted to the BBC about his recruitment of jihadists. Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who had founded the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and who had founded Al Muhajiroun in 1996, claimed that Butt did not represent Al Muhajiroun and was acting alone.

Butt had gone to Pakistan in March 2001, and had been leader of the Al Muhajiroun office in Lahore. In September 2001, Butt had allowed US-based Islamist Junaid Babar to stay at the office. In August 2004, Babar admitted to a New York court that he had set up a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, and also that he helped a terrorist bomb plot in London. This plot has led to a trial of 7 individuals, which is still continuing.

The alleged leader of these 7 individuals, 25-year old Omar Khyam from Crawley, had earlier been sent to Kashmir by Al Muhajiroun. His family had gone to Kashmir to rescue him in 2000. This may be the "17-year old" that Butt admitted sending to Pakistan in his interview with Bob Simon. During his trial, Khyam admitted his involvement with Al Muhajiroun and that he attended a training camp in Kashmir when aged 17, but he has not said that he was sent there by the group.

On October 25, 2005, the BBC aired an investigation by journalist Richard Watson. For legal reasons connected with the still unfinished trial, Watson disguised Junaid Babar's name as "Shafique". Watson said: "I'm in Cheetham Hill, in the northern suburbs of Manchester. I've just met with Hassan Butt, the British jihadist who was with Shafique in Pakistan. He won't be interviewed. But we understand from a very well-placed source that Mohammed Siddique Khan stayed at Hassan Butt's flat in 2003 and met with the self-confessed Al Qaeda fixer Shafique, both in Pakistan and back in Leeds."

After being officially expelled from Al Muhajiroun, Butt had returned to Britain in November 2002. On Monday December 2, 2002 Hassan Butt was arrested. Held at Paddington Green police station, the high security location in west London where Britain's terrorists are investigated, Butt was later released without charge.

In October 2001, Britain's defense minister, Geoffrey Hoon, had warned that any Briton found fighting coalition forces would face prosecution. Technically, Hassan Butt did not fight jihad, despite his claims of recruitment. In 2001, 200 British Muslims who had fought abroad were already known to the UK authorities, but so far none have been prosecuted. The reasons for Butt not being charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 have never been adequately explained; this act specifically makes it illegal for UK citizens to incite terrorism abroad, or to arrange terrorism training.

Hassan Butt is a fantasist, it seems. He certainly has had links with radical Islamists, but his desire to gain attention, to bask in limelight, is not the behavior of someone who is as involved in terror networks as he has previously boasted. In August 2004, he claimed to have recently met with "an autonomous Islamist cell in the UK which possessed large quantities of Semtex, and which was capable of launching an immediate and major attack." He told his interviewer that he was "without a doubt" under MI5 surveillance.

He also said that he prayed "to Allah that he accepts me as a martyr. If that's tomorrow, then tomorrow. If not, then whenever Allah wills." When his interviewer asked why he did not carry out his alleged wish, Butt said: "Everything needs to be done in an organized manner, with the current organizations that are working around the world."

Butt announced his conversion to "peaceful Islam" in January 2006 at Cambridge University's debating union. He preaches now that actions such as those carried out by the 7/7 bombers were wrong. In August 2005 he had said that if the world was to come under the banner of Islam "a lot of killing" is unavoidable. He claimed then that the 7/7 bombers were not immoral, but were guilty only of tactical errors: "I am not in favor of military action in Britain but if somebody did do it who was British, I would not have any trouble with that either."

Butt now claims that his family has rejected him for being a traitor to Islam, and he is under death threats from his former associates. He is writing a book, he says, about "moderate" Islam.

I do not buy into Hassan Butt's "conversion". I do not believe that he is doing anything other than "taqiyya", presenting a new gloss to the same hateful dogma he has previously espoused publicly. It seems he always wishes to be a center of attention. Previously he courted publicity by outrageous claims. Now he is courting publicity by claiming to have made a radical decision to become moderate.

There is no convincing explanation for his previous radicalism, not even an admission that when he boasted of his jihad recruitment he was young and naive. He has made absolutely no attempt at a full confession of his previous "sins". Perhaps such a confession would put him at risk of jail, but it would give his current posturing more credibility. Just because Hassan Butt claims he has reformed, that is no reason to believe him.



The original article can be found at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/

amirrortotheenemy - July 29, 2007 03:12 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (The Antagonist @ Jul 28 2007, 12:47 AM)
Was CBS Duped by Radical Islamist?
By Adrian Morgan  |  March 30, 2007


With such glaring discrepancies in his own accounts of his life and experiences, it is clear that there is nothing substantial in any of Butt's testimonies that can be relied upon. 

On Sunday, March 25, on its 60 Minutes show CBS aired an interview between correspondent Bob Simon and the former spokesman of the British radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun. The subject of the interview, 26-year old Hassan Butt, claimed that he had left support for killing behind him.

In the CBS interview Hassan Butt, about 6:30 minutes into the video, starts talking about ALM connecting with drug dealers in an effort to raise funds that would support their efforts overseas. In return for a 20% cut from their profits the drug dealers would receive vindication and blessing that their work was legit and Islamic. Drug dealing was also seen as a 'tactic of war' to keep poisoning the non-Muslim community in the west and feed their addiction to heroin and kill them slowly. This idea was sold to the drug dealers to make them "feel better about themselves" and to keep up their donations.

This 'tactic of war' can be seen in Lindsay's behaviour in Huddersfield.

QUOTE
Bomber was Huddersfield drug dealer

Aug 8 2005 - By Anne-Marie Bradley, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

BRITAIN'S deadliest suicide bomber dealt drugs on the streets of Huddersfield, it was said today. Former addict Juliet Davidson has revealed how she used to buy heroin and crack cocaine from teenage bomber Jermaine Lindsay in Dalton. The single mother - who has been free from drugs for three years - said she was shocked to discover her former dealer was at the centre of the London terrorist attacks. Lindsay was the terrorist who carried a bomb on to a Tube train at Kings Cross on July 7, killing 26 people.

Juliet said: "I was absolutely gobsmacked. "I could have understood him attacking someone, but not a bomb. "I never thought he would have killed himself like that."

Juliet, 26, first met Lindsay - known to her as G - five years ago outside a row of shops in Harp Inge, Dalton. He was just 14 at the time and a student at Rawthorpe High School.

She said: "He used to hang around and when I was going there to score one day he asked me to get my drugs off him. "I used to get heroin and crack cocaine off him every day for about two years. "I saw him change a lot in the last year I was scoring.

"When I saw him wearing his Islam outfit I thought what's he up to?

"He was always going on about racism. "He thought all white people were trash and said he was going to get them all on drugs to kill them off. "I don't think he was into anything more himself than a bit of cannabis."

Juliet, formerly of Rawthorpe, said Lindsay also became more aggressive as time went on. She said: "He started getting arrogant and snapping at anything. "He once badly beat up someone I knew for just a fiver. "He looked down his nose at everybody. "I can't understand why people are saying he was a nice person. He wasn't."

Lindsay grew up in Huddersfield and went to Stile Common Infants School at Newsome and Rawthorpe Junior. Former classmates said he was a great guy before he converted to Islam when he was about 15. Lindsay married another convert to Islam, Samantha Lewthwaite, after meeting via an internet chatroom. The pair married in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, where they set up home and had a child.

But they split after a row, just two days before Lindsay met three other suicide bombers - including Mohammed Sidique Khan, of Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury - and travelled to London on his murderous mission.

declarepeace.org.uk

matt - July 29, 2007 05:23 PM (GMT)
is it not also possible that this kind of story helps to dilute google search results for "cia drug sales and terrorism" - results pages which describe cia investigation of drug/terrorism links would show, rather than cia involvement in same ?

it also feeds the meme that all illegal (non corporate produced) drug use is support of non corporate commerce terrorism

The Antagonist - December 6, 2007 06:55 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
From The Sunday Times
May 4, 2003
50 suicide bombers in UK
Nicholas Hellen and David Leppard

Hassan Butt, a self-styled recruiter of British volunteers for the Islamic holy war, said he had been approached by the men for guidance on how to carry out "martyrdom operations" in Israel.

The warning came after last week's suicide bombing at a bar in Tel Aviv which killed three people. The attack by Asif Mohammed Hanif, from Hounslow, west London, and Omar Khan Sharif, from Derby, was the first suicide strike by British citizens. Hanif blew himself up but Sharif fled when his bomb failed to detonate. He is still on the run.

Security sources said Sharif was known to police in Derby. "He was a known Islamic activist and there were reports that he was involved in handing out fundamentalist leaflets," said one. However, police denied there was any reason to suspect he would act as a suicide bomber. Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch is questioning six people it suspects might have been linked to the blast.

This weekend Butt said he knew both British bombers but refused to elaborate. He claimed they were just the first of a significant number of Britons who were preparing to conduct similar attacks. "The number is getting close to 50. They are aged 17 to their late thirties. They are contacting me about organisation."

He said he believed "about 20" of them were "absolutely serious". Most of the men were living in Britain but had family roots in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. "They are waiting for the right time, the right people. You don't just do it as individuals, you do it as an organisation. It's about screening them, testing them, making sure they are sincere. Then, when it's right, believe me, they'll all be used."

In the past, security officials have been sceptical about Butt's claims. However, last November he was arrested and questioned by Special Branch detectives who believed he had information relating to terror attacks. At about the same time he warned that he knew British-based fundamentalists were preparing to carry out suicide attacks abroad. He was also proved correct in his claims that scores of Britons had gone to fight with the Taliban in Afghanistan, introducing some of them to journalists.

One of the six being questioned by police yesterday was Tahira Sharif, the failed bomber's 26-year-old wife. Detectives want to know if she had any knowledge of the attack and are examining mobile phone records, personal computers and religious literature seized at their Derby home. Other members of Sharif's family are also being questioned. One source said: "The family are victims as well as suspects. There will be parts of the family that will be genuinely gobsmacked by all this and there will be parts that probably won't."

Senior security sources last night dismissed reports that MI5 had been aware of the bombers' extremist activities and decided they were not potential terrorists. "The security services did not know who these people were until they let off the bombs," a senior Whitehall official said.

MI5 believes the attacks were planned abroad. Sharif and Hanif attended Arabic language courses at Damascus University. A student there said: "Asif was a cheerful guy, we knew him better than Omar. He was around for a couple of months and then disappeared. It was a surprise. No one knew until they saw the news."

Security sources believe the two men may have been indoctrinated by radical clerics there who introduced them to terrorists from Hamas. The bombers may have also received financial backing, spiritual support and an introduction to contacts from supporters of Al-Muhajiroun, a fanatical group that wants to turn Britain into an Islamic state.

The group yesterday denied the men were members but Omar Bakri Mohammed, its leader, said he had acted as spiritual adviser to them. Bakri said Sharif had attended six two-hour sessions in Derby, with the last on April 14, just over a fortnight before the bombing.

Sharif had asked Bakri to become his spiritual "companion", a status accorded to extreme fundamentalists who are willing to be imprisoned and to suffer for their faith up to death. Bakri said he declined the offer because he was too busy. He denies encouraging Sharif to carry out the attack.

Officers from Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, are probing links between the bombers and Al-Muhajiroun. A senior detective said: "Al-Muhajiroun says it just sends people out there for religious instruction. The question is: at what point does spiritual advice become incitement to murder?"

Israeli security sources said the men used an explosive not previously employed in suicide attacks. They claimed they were trained in Syria by Hezbollah and instructed by the head of Hamas's overseas operations.


Additional reporting: Uzi Mahnaimi

Bridget - April 1, 2008 10:14 AM (GMT)
QUOTE
Police demand terror agent's book
By Richard Watson
BBC Newsnight

user posted image
Hassan Butt is a former recruiter of agents for Al Qaeda

Counter terrorism police have won the right to force the author of a new book about terrorism to hand over his research.

The book is about Hassan Butt, a British citizen who admits that he acted as a recruiting agent for al-Qaeda and raised tens of thousands of pounds for terror networks.

He says he left his network after the London bombings in 2005 and is now is turning extremists away from terrorism.

Hassan Butt's co-author, an independent journalist, has been ordered to deliver draft manuscripts and notes for the book to the Greater Manchester Police.

By his own admission, Hassan Butt has been a terrorist supporter.

Terror network

In an exclusive interview with BBC Newsnight, he described how he helped hundreds of British recruits get weapons training in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the autumn of 2001.

At that time he was working for the radical Islamist group, Al-Muhajiroun, which had set up offices in Pakistan.

His network was offering young British Muslims the chance to fight with the Taleban against American and British forces.

I realised that the jihadi network was not killing for the sake of Islam, it was killing for the sake of causing terror and causing havoc
Hassan Butt

"We had built links with organisations to get trained, we had built links with organisations which could get people across the border safely and securely," he told the BBC.

He said that his network helped more than 600 British Muslim extremists get terrorist training abroad.

One such jihadi was Mohammed Siddique Khan, who led the London bombers in the attacks on 7 July 2005.

After the fall of the Taleban in late 2001, he stayed in Pakistan, making contact with Al Qaeda.

"I got involved in terrorism - I guess that's the right word to use quite frankly. As a result of it I had to leave - my name was popping up in intelligence agencies," he explained.

Fund raising

He fled back to his home city of Manchester where he continued to recruit for the jihadi network.

He also became an expert fundraiser, collecting between £8,000 and £9,000 a month which he would send to Pakistan via a secret underground banking system known as "hawallah".

Hawallah banking works by word of mouth; there are no receipts and no records of transactions.

"Initial fund-raising would be door to door collection, outside mosques, fund raising events. But as my reputation grew I could approach richer people and businessmen."

He said "everyone knew" what the money was for.

Hassan Butt's extreme views were being fuelled by preachers like Abu Qatada who is accused of being Al Qaeda's spiritual leader in Europe.

London attacks

Abu Qatada taught that the world was divided into two halves - the righteous land of Islam and the land of unbelief or war where killing civilians was "justified".

Hassan Butt used to think that Britain was within the land of war but when he began working with teenagers in Manchester he began to question this assumption.

"I started realising it's not as black and white¿ how could I justify killing these people because these people are living amongst us," he says.

But he told Newsnight that it was the attacks of 7 July on London which finally changed his mind.

"I realised that the jihadi network was not killing for the sake of Islam, it was killing for the sake of causing terror and causing havoc."

He says he stopped raising funds after 7/7 and as a consequence his terrorist leaders in the middle east demanded he travel to Dubai for a meeting.

He thought they were going to reassure him about his theological concerns, but instead they told him he needed "reprogramming" in Iraq where he would be expected to join the insurgency.

Government dilemma

Realising that would be a one-way ticket, he travelled back to the UK. He says this point, in January 2006, was when he finally left the jihadi network behind.

Since then he has been working with some of his original recruits to turn them away from terror. His message now is very different: "Muslims are living in this country and accepted¿ they're equal citizens of the same state.

"We're born, raised and are planning to die in this country, so how can this country be a land of war?"

Last July, the Home Office invited him to discuss his ideas about tackling radicalisation with Home Office minister Tony McNulty. Yet at the same time Greater Manchester Police were investigating him as a terrorist suspect.

Hassan Butt says the continued police investigation is threatening is de-radicalisation work.

He says he has offered to speak to the police and will not deny his past.

"I'm more than happy to cooperate. If they want to charge me for things I've done in the past then say that."

The police investigation into Hassan Butt's past presents a dilemma for the authorities.

Should extremists be prosecuted for their alleged crimes of the past? Or should the government and the police work with them in the hope they will persuade other extremists to reform?

amirrortotheenemy - April 1, 2008 02:57 PM (GMT)
Omar Shaukat Butt, brother of Hassan.

QUOTE
Muslim dentist 'told patient to wear a headscarf or go elsewhere'
By STEVE DOUGHTY and JAYA NARAIN - More by this author » Last updated at 00:49am on 18th September 2007

A muslim dentist made a woman wear Islamic dress as the price of accepting her as an NHS patient, it is alleged.

Omer Butt is said to have told the patient that unless she wore a headscarf she would have to find another practice.

Later this month, Mr Butt will appear before a General Dental Council professional misconduct hearing, which has the power to strike him off.

It is claimed that the 31-year-old dentist asked to speak to the woman in private after she turned up for an appointment at his clinic in Bury.

According to the charges, he questioned her on whether she was a Muslim and told her that if he was to treat her she would have to wear Islamic dress.

He is also said to have read out a number of religious rules to her.

He then told his nurse to give the patient her own headscarf to wear, the accusation says.

It is not known whether the woman was a Muslim.

The charges to be heard by the General Dental Council say that Mr Butt undermined public confidence in his profession by discriminating against a patient and failed to act in her best interests.

Mr Butt is the older brother of former Islamic extremist Hassan Butt, who once declared he had 'no problem' with terror attacks on Britain and who said that September 11 "served the pleasure of Allah".

He has since recanted and now calls for all Muslims to abandon violence.

The dentist also featured in immigration hearings involving an asylum seeker suspected of providing a safe house for Kamel Bourgass, an Algerian terrorist jailed for life for stabbing PC Stephen Oake to death in Manchester in 2003.

Mr Butt, the immigration hearing was told, was introduced by his brother to the asylum seeker, who at various points claimed three different identities.

The tribunal was told that Mr Butt was "a respectable and responsible person who wishes to help devout and practising Muslims in difficulty".

He "did not regard the use of false names as unusual for asylum seekers".


The headscarf incident is alleged to have happened in 2005, at a time when between 4,000 and 8,000 people in Bury were unable to find an NHS dentist.

According to the charges, Mr Butt "asked to speak to Patient A in private.

"In the course of conversation with Patient A you: (a) asked whether she was Muslim; (b) told her words to the effect that, in order to receive treatment from you, she needed to wear appropriate Islamic dress; © quoted to her parts of the Ahadith."

The Ahadith is a series of instructions on behaviour attributed to Prophet Mohammed but not written as part of the Koran.

The charge continues: "You told Patient A that, if she did not wear a headscarf, she would need to register with another dentist. You instructed your dental nurse to give Patient A her headscarf.

"The dental nurse took Patient A to another room where she was given the nurse's headscarf to wear.

"In seeking to impose an Islamic dress code on Patient A in order for treatment to be provided you undermined public confidence in the profession by discriminating against Patient A."

If the charges are upheld, the Porsche- driving dentist will be found guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Penalties can range from a public warning to suspension and being struck off.

Tory MP Sir Paul Beresford, a former minister and a dentist, said: "When a patient comes to see me I have no concern with their religion. I do not ask Muslim patients to read the Bible.

"My practice tries to respect religious belief. For example, during Ramadan we try to help Muslim patients by making sure they do not have to swallow water when they are fasting. We do not ask patients to become Christians."

Women staff at Mr Butt's Bury practice do not routinely wear headscarves while at work.

One female patient said: "I think it is a pretty outrageous thing to ask but I have never felt as if I am being discriminated against at this practice as a Western woman.

"If I was then I would certainly make a full complaint. If it is true then it shows a reverse prejudice bordering on racism."

Mr Butt was involved in another controversial incident earlier this year when police stopped his Porsche 911 and said they could not read its customised number plate.

The dentist recorded the subsequent search of the car on his mobile phone and passed the video to the BBC, which broadcast it on a local news bulletin. It shows Mr Butt asking an officer: "Are you a racist?"

The dentist was then arrested for racially aggravated behaviour. There were no charges, and a complaint against the police by Mr Butt is still being considered.

Mr Butt was unavailable for comment yesterday. Staff at his practice said he was on holiday.

Daily Mail

The Antagonist - April 19, 2008 11:43 PM (GMT)
Faisal Haque on Hassan Butt, from July 2007:

QUOTE
“Al-Qaeda supergrass” Hassan Butt in the Observer
Posted by Faisal Haque at 01:08 on 03 Jul 2007

Hassan Butt, the “Al-Qaeda supergrass”, has written an article in this week's Observer. He is the guy who has claimed to have sent arms to the Taliban, organised training for 200 British Muslims to fight in the Jihad, collected monies for terrorism, incited others to terrorism, encouraged attacks on political and military targets in the UK and associated with the 7/7 bombers.

The title of Butt’s article is remarkable - “My plea to fellow Muslims: you must renounce terror”. I wonder what the reaction of Christians would be if someone just quit the Ku Klux Klan and wrote an article saying “My plea to fellow Christians: you must renounce racism”, insinuating that racism is part of Christianity?

Readers of my blog will recall that I questioned why Butt had not been arrested over these string of offences. I also raised the possibility that Butt had been working for the security services and stated my belief that the “true purpose of Butt’s new found conversion is to instil fear in the masses so that they believe that there are tens of thousands of Muslims who are willing to become suicide bombers on the streets of Britain.” This would strengthen the government’s global war on terror and allow it to continue to erode liberties through ever more draconian laws.

The timing of Butt’s article is interesting - it comes following the terrorist incidents in London and Glasgow, as we approach the 2nd anniversary of 7/7 and in the week in which verdicts are expected in the 21/7 trial.

The arguments he raises in the Observer article are very similar to those of my old colleague Mahbub (Ed) Husain. Like Husain, Butt, ignoring the wealth of evidence to the contrary, blames “Islamist ideology” for terrorism. In a passage that could have been lifted verbatim from The Islamist, Butt writes, “The Muslim community in Britain must slap itself awake from this state of denial and realise there is no shame in admitting the extremism within our families, communities and worldwide co-religionists.”

I have no doubt that the simplistic analysis of Butt will be lapped up by some in the media and Government. The Government are keen to dismiss any sense of grievance amongst Muslims. In tonight's Channel 4 documentary, former PM Tony Blair, attacks “absurd” British Islamists who have nurtured a false “sense of grievance” that they are being oppressed by Britain and the United States. Blair says, ‘The reason we are finding it hard to win this battle is that we’re not actually fighting it properly. We’re not actually standing up to these people and saying, “It’s not just your methods that are wrong, your ideas are absurd. Nobody is oppressing you. Your sense of grievance isn’t justified.”‘ This is not the first time that Muslims have been accused of having “false grievances”.

I find it remarkable that following the deaths of 80 civilians on Friday in Afghanistan, there are some who still say “its not our fault”. After 7/7, in an insightful article, Seamus Milne, wrote, “The London bombers were to blame for attacks on civilians that are neither morally nor politically defensible. But the prime minister - who was warned by British intelligence of the risks in the run-up to the war - is also responsible for knowingly putting his own people at risk in the service of a foreign power. The security crackdowns and campaign to uproot an “evil ideology” the government announced yesterday will not extinguish the threat. Only a British commitment to end its role in the bloody occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan is likely to do that.”

On a final note, Butt’s article, although superficial, appears to be very polished and linguistically well written. He is no literary genius and as has happened in the past (with others) it would be no surprise if the article was written for him. Ziauddin Sardar recently suggested that Ed Husain’s The Islamist seemed “to have been drafted by a Whitehall mandarin as a PR job for the Blair government”. It is also public knowledge that in October 2002, Denic MacShane, then a minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office “crafted a first-person piece [The Observer, 11th November 2001], supposedly by Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, which expressed the support of British Muslims for the attack on Afghanistan to oust the Taliban and find Osama bin Laden” (28th October 2002).

Kier - April 20, 2008 03:59 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Jemima Khan backs reformed jihadists
Richard Woods and Abul Taher

April 20, 2008

A FORMER jihadist from Britain who claims to have renounced violence is willing to go to prison to prove his sincerity.

Hassan Butt, once a member of the extremist group Al-Muhajiroun, is so exasperated at still being the target of police investigations that he is willing to plead guilty to past crimes and take his punishment - if that is what is required to escape his former life.

He claims Greater Manchester police are harassing him over suspicions that he is secretly still a jihadist. Yet he says he now works to woo Muslim extremists away from violence - and that the Home Office encourages his efforts.

His predicament reflects a wider dilemma for the government: how far should it use draconian legal measures to combat terrorism and how much should it trust moderate Muslims and reformed jihadists to win over extremists?

This week a group of other reformed Muslim radicals will launch an organisation, called the Quilliam Foundation, to combat extremism. Jemima Khan is a patron. She said: “The challenge [to Islamism] can only legitimately come from within the Islamic community if it is to have any impact.”

Butt, who believes his attempts to promote moderation are being undermined, said: “I’m not in denial about anything. I’m not asking for immunity or favours. I just want to be able to get on with my life and undo the work that I did.

“I’ve fundraised for terrorism, I’ve trained in a training camp and I’ve sent other people to train. I am willing to plead guilty. I’m not looking to get locked up, but if I have to, I have to.”

He rejected extremism and jihad after he was horrified by the London bombings in July 2005. “I also began to discover deeper theological flaws in the jihadi world view,” he said. “These doubts drove me to begin a battle of ideas with my former associates. Slowly I began to recruit over a dozen young British Muslims, who used to be hardened radicals, out of the network.”

At a meeting at the Home Office last summer Butt expounded his plans for “deradicalising” extremists to Tony McNulty, a minister. He says the Home Office offered funding.

He said: “I told him [McNulty] everything [about my radical past]. I told him I understand the [radical] mindset perfectly . . . at the end of it we were offered money. I said no to the money. I’ve made this problem myself. I can deal with it myself. I just want you guys to support me.”

However, police began investigating Butt this year after two incidents. First, Butt publicly admitted his terrorist past; second, a defendant in a trial due in September referred to Butt.

When Butt flew to Pakistan while preparing a BBC documentary about his journey from extremism he was questioned on departure and return. Police then demanded the BBC hand over material relating to the documentary. They have also demanded that a freelance journalist, Shiv Malik, hand over the manuscript of a book about Butt.

Since Butt has not been arrested, the police demands were seen by Malik and media organisations as excessive. Last week Malik won the right to appeal against the “production order” to hand over material. Lawyers said in court that part of the investigation is “designed to determine, among other things, whether Butt’s renunciation of terrorism is in fact genuine”.


Butt protested that he had nothing to hide. “I’m shocked,” he said. “Why all this cat and mouse stuff? I’m not trying to run.” The former jihadist claims the investigation is ruining his attempts to convert radicals. “People don’t want to see me. Obviously they know I am under surveillance,” he said.

However, he admits there is a problem for the authorities in whom to trust. He claims various Muslim bodies have taken government money to combat extremism, but have done little.

The Quilliam Foundation, which has not received any government funding, is now intent on promoting the view that mainstream Islam does not condone violence or jihad.

Ed Husain, a former member of Hizbut-Tahrir, is one of the founders. Another patron is Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader. Husain, the author of The Islamist, said: “For the first time in western Muslim history, a Muslim group is challenging extremists using a scriptural and theological paradigm. There has not been a categorical refutation of Islamism by any Muslim groups, we are the first to do it.”

He points out that even some respected Muslim scholars have not unequivocally condemned suicide bombings in regions such as Palestine but members of Quilliam see it as unIslamic.

Quilliam will mount campaigns to show that intellectuals whose writings have inspired extremism in Britain, such as the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, are regarded as “fringe” figures in the wider Islamic world.

Majid Nawaz, another former extremist and founder of Quilliam, said: “Extremist groups should be starved of the oxygen and tackled in debates. It will be a long struggle, but it’s something we need to do.”

Source


Kier - April 20, 2008 04:22 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Writer seeks to challenge disclosure order

#  Published Date:  18 April 2008
# Source: Press Association

A London-based writer and expert on Islamic extremism has asked the High Court for permission to challenge a "production order" obtained against him by the police under anti-terror laws.
The order requires the disclosure of all source material for a book Shiv Malik is writing entitled Leaving Al-Qaeda: Inside the Mind of a British Jihadist, based on the experiences of Hassan Butt. It is due to be published in 2009.

Mr Butt is well known through television and the media for his assertions of his own past involvement with terrorist activity.

The application for the production order was made by Greater Manchester Police following references to Mr Butt by a "Mr A", a defendant in a forthcoming criminal trial, who must not be identified for legal reasons.

The order was granted by a judge at Manchester Crown Court on March 31 under Schedule 5 of the 2000 Terrorism Act.

It requires Mr Malik, from Golders Green, to produce, by April 9, source material for his book and "all material" generated as a result of the project, and all information in his possession regarding the alleged terrorist activities of Hassan Butt.

Refusal to comply with the order is likely to lead to contempt of court proceedings against Mr Malik.

Another production order requires his publishers, Constable & Robinson Ltd, to produce material by April 7.

On Thursday, Alex Bailin, appearing for Mr Malik, asked two judges for permission to challenge the production order in the High Court.

He told Lord Justice Keene and Mr Justice Treacy that freedom of expression was at stake, as well as the safety of Mr Malik and his family and his right to operate as a journalist.

Source



Kier - April 20, 2008 04:31 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
British jihad: Why our anti-terror strategy isn't working

Martin Bright

Published 03 April 2008

There is a deep and dangerous confusion at the heart of the government's approach to the threat posed by violent Islam

Towards the end of March two short films were shown in very different circumstances, each in its way issuing a challenge to how we think about violent jihadi Islam, both with serious implications for our approach to combating terrorism in Britain. The first was an item on BBC2's Newsnight of 31 March discussing the work of the former Islamic extremist Hassan Butt, who now claims to be working on the streets of Manchester to "deradicalise" his former comrades-in-arms in the so-called British jihadi network.

Over the years, Butt has become something of a fixture on our screens
, often speaking as a member of the radical group al-Muhajiroun, calling for a holy war against Britain and America in Afghanistan. He has now publicly renounced violence and is writing a book with the journalist Shiv Malik, a regular contributor to the New Statesman.

The interview, carried out by Newsnight's Richard Watson, amounted to a series of confessions by Butt of serious crimes. These included helping to recruit hundreds of young men from Britain to fight allied forces in Afghanistan, fundraising for terrorist activities and even, it seems, acts of jihad. At one point, Butt said plainly: "I got involved in terrorism."

The questions is: what do you do with Butt? On the one hand he is a self-avowed terrorist; on the other, he is now apparently doing excellent work with radical young Muslims in Manchester. Butt and Malik have met the Home Office minister Tony McNulty, one of the few government ministers to have taken the trouble to think laterally about terrorism, whom they claim offered to fund the deradicalisation work.

Greater Manchester Police are clearly confused. In a move with serious implications for press freedom, the northern force has decided that rather than arrest Butt, it will attempt to force Malik to turn informant and hand over any material that may be useful in its case against the former jihadi.

Just as ministers were beginning to explore new approaches to radical Islam, Greater Manchester Police obtained a "production order" in court to force Malik to hand over all his research for the book, including an early draft. Malik intends to fight the order and a campaign is building around him with the help of the National Union of Journalists.

The Butt conundrum is a knotty one. Should he be imprisoned for the crimes to which he has admitted, or left on the streets to continue his work of turning young Muslims away from the path of violence? The reaction of Rachel North, a survivor of the 7 July bombings, is interesting. "What is important is stopping people blowing up people," she said, adding that it is probably better to keep Butt out of prison.

The other short film should provide a warning of what happens when all hope of a solution is lost. Fitna was made by the right-wing Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders and is a direct attack on Islam's claims to be a religion of peace. Taking its title from the Arabic word for "strife", the crude 15-minute film was released on the website LiveLeak on 27 March. Made in the style of an al-Qaeda propaganda video, the images of violence it uses make for deeply upsetting viewing. Passages from the Quran, apparently emphasising the importance of martyrdom and urging violence against Jews, are intercut with atrocities such as the attack on the twin towers, and the bombings of Atocha station in Madrid and the London Underground. These are juxtaposed with the words of radical preachers and indoctrinated children spouting anti-Semitic propaganda, as well as images of Islamic militants making the Nazi salute.

Alternative vision

The film, as the title suggests, is intentionally provocative. Wilders argues that liberal western culture must make a stand against an ideology every bit as pernicious as fascism and communism. But any political programme that flows from the fear of mass immigration and the "Islamisation" of Europe is every bit as authoritarian as the movements Wilders is attempting to expose. He has already received the obligatory death threats, with crowds in Jakarta, Indonesia calling for his execution. Meanwhile, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has issued a statement condemning the film.

Fitna is a vision of supreme reactionary pessimism, suggesting that Europe is already engaged in an internal civil war with Islam. But unfortunately, no European government, of the left or right, has yet been able to provide a coherent alternative vision. The contradictory approach of the British authorities to the work of Butt and Malik is evidence of a deep confusion at the heart of this government's terror strategy. The pursuit of a journalist whose work has been praised by ministers and the head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, is an act of desperation.

Sometimes it is difficult to see where the government gets its inspiration from. But as far as its latest anti-terror legislation is concerned, it seems ministers must have been watching reruns of Dad's Army and taking their lead from Corporal Jones. This is "don't panic, Mr Wainwaring" policymaking. The measures in the new Counter-Terrorism Bill do little to reassure, or perhaps the hope is that, like the Home Guard in the Second World War, we will muddle through in the end.

But this is no sitcom. Getting the policy wrong has deadly consequences, as we saw most clearly on 7 July 2005, when few had foreseen the growing threat from home-grown terrorism. The 42-day precharge detention period for terrorism suspects is a classic case of policy made on the hoof. The number of days was snatched from the air in an attempt to prove that the government was tougher than the Tories on terror and Labour spin doctors are still convinced this is playing well with the public despite polling evidence to the contrary.

Even backbenchers who supported Tony Blair's 2005 proposals to extend the period of imprisonment without trial to 90 days have their doubts about the present bill. Andrew Mackinlay, MP for Thurrock, said: "I was a 90 days man, but a lot of water's gone under the bridge since then. Basically it's a question of trust. Any dates are arbitrary. What is so magical about 42 days?"

Andrew Dismore, chair of the joint committee on human rights, who is usually viewed as a hardliner on terrorism, told the NS that he has changed his mind because he now believes there are better alternatives on the table. The new offence of "acts preparatory to terrorism" has helped persuade Dismore that it is now easier to charge terrorist suspects, as has the introduction of "threshold charging", which allows the police to bring a prosecution on the "realistic suspicion" of terrorist activity, rather than the usual need for the reasonable prospect of conviction.

It is deeply embarrassing for the government that the Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald, the former attorney general Lord Goldsmith and the former lord chancellor Charlie Falconer have all spoken out against the 42 days.

According to Dismore: "We now have the experience of the 28-day limit and that has proved adequate, to both the DPP and the Crown Prosecution Service. I don't believe the government has made the case for extension based on the level of terrorist threat, and the impact on minority communities and the safeguards in place, if 42 days were brought in, would be woefully inadequate."

A recent open letter opposing the 42-day extension was signed by everyone from Lord Ahmed to the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and the actor Colin Firth (you know you are in trouble when Mr Darcy is on the other side of the argument). But how did the government get itself into this mess and who is to blame? A poll of insiders from across the political spectrum, carried out for the new website PoliticsHome. com on 1 April, showed that nearly 60 per cent felt the root of Labour's difficulties on this issue lay with the Prime Minister, not with the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith or opposition from Conservative or Labour MPs. Ultimately, Gordon Brown has to take responsibility and show that there is a driving philosophy behind the government's anti-terror strategy. The alternatives, such as those offered by Fitna or the Greater Manchester Police, are too awful to contemplate.

Source


Interesting comment thread follows the article, with references (not links) to J7.

Kier - April 20, 2008 04:37 PM (GMT)
An article from 7 years ago:

QUOTE
'Jihad' cry prompts condemnation

1/11/2001

A FORMER North Manchester lad who has become a leading figure promoting a 'holy war' against British and US armed forces in Afghanistan has been condemned as a 'publicity seeking maverick'.

Hassan Butt, aged 21, who moved to Pakistan six months ago, is a spokesman for the extremist group Al-Muhajiroun.

He hit the national headlines this week amid claims the group is encouraging British Moslems to join a holy war against the western forces bombing Afghanistan.

Mr Butt, who this week told us he supports the bombing of the Pentagon as a 'legitimate target' claims that he was forced to leave Prestwich High School in 1994 for his 'Islamic activities'.

He went on to attend Abraham Moss and Bury College before last year being thrown out of Wolverhampton University.

Although Mr Butt's family, who still live in North Manchester, declined to talk to us, The Advertiser tracked Hassan down in Pakistan on Tuesday.

Speaking in an exclusive telephone interview from the Al-Muhajiroun group's Lahore office, he told us he expects Muslims from across the city to join Al-Muhajiroun's 'political' activities in Pakistan.

He said: "If Muslims contact me and ask me to help them cross into Afghanistan, then sure, if I had the ability I would give them help.

"I do not support the regime of the Taliban. I do not believe in democracy because it is about giving power to the people. I believe in the sovereignty of Almighty God.

"We condemn the World Trade Center attacks, but not the Pentagon attacks because it was a legitimate target. "

"I do not believe Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks - he would never have had the intelligence to do it. No Muslim would have killed other Muslims. I do not have one iota of doubt in this.


"We want the West to stop bombing in Afghanistan, and to lift sanctions and to return to their own land."

But Cheetham councillor Afzal Khan, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, has denounced Mr Butt as unrepresentative of British Muslims.

He said: "Al-Muhajiroun members are publicity seeking mavericks - and this man has no authority to declare a jihad. Under whose authority is he doing this? He does not represent the views of the Muslim community."

In line with increasing scepticism about Al-Muhajiroun's claims, Cllr Khan dismissed Mr Butt's claims of rising recruits.

He said: "I think these claims are complete lies. I know in Manchester there are no more than a dozen members of this group. It is all nonsense and it is all about seeking attention."

He added: "In north Manchester Al-Muhajiroun members are not allowed to hold meetings in mosques." Cllr Khan has also criticised Mr Butt for being misled by youthful ideology and 'hormones'.

Source


Kier - April 20, 2008 04:53 PM (GMT)
Taken even more seriously a couple of months later!!

QUOTE
Briton's boast of recruiting for bin Laden may lead to charges

By Richard Alleyne and Nigel Bunyan
Last Updated: 10:54pm GMT 18/12/2001

THE wild boasts of a British Muslim appeared to be catching up with him yesterday, as the Government considered using anti-terrorism laws to prosecute him.

Hassan Butt, 21, born in Luton of Pakistani descent, claims to have recruited hundreds of fellow Britons to the cause of Osama bin Laden.

Some of these volunteers, he has told journalists, later died in the conflict that engulfed Afghanistan in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on America on September 11. None of Butt's claims has yet been verified. But nevertheless, they illustrate the dilemma the Government faces in dealing with British-born citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism.

Scotland Yard detectives were tipped off about the failed university undergraduate after he tried to sell his story to the Mirror for £100,000.

But having suggested that they accompany journalists when they set up a secret meeting with him in Trafalgar Square, officers claimed they would be unable to arrest him. Butt was British, they said, and therefore not covered by the Government's new emergency laws.

Yesterday Downing Street offered a contradictory view. A spokesman said: "If a non-foreign national was recruiting for the Taliban, they would not be covered by the new emergency legislation but there is no reason why they can't be covered by other terrorism legislation."


The spokesman said Butt may have broken the Terrorism Act if he could be shown to have incited or recruited anyone to the Taliban or al-Qa'eda.

Butt has spent most of his life in Manchester, having moved north with his family at the age of three. He studied at Prestwich High School and Bury College before apparently enrolling for a computer course in Lahore, Pakistan. His father, Shkat Butt, the owner of a cloth manufacturing business in Rochdale, Lancs, claims he did so because the fees were a fraction of those in England.

Butt was in Lahore as the conflict in Afghanistan erupted. He had been acting as a representative of al-Muhajiroun, a London-based group of Muslim fundamentalists.

Earlier this week he resurfaced in London. Apparently almost penniless and reportedly the target of the Pakistan secret service, he approached the Mirror with an offer to sell his story for £100,000. He now appears to be lying low.

Yesterday his father insisted that the allegations of incitement against Butt were "totally untrue". A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Great Britain said: "The very wild claims that Butt has made from Lahore show him for what he is: a clown and someone who wants to make himself important.

"It is funny how he says he has helped hundreds to join the Taliban but has not done so himself. He just comes back to comfortable England."

Source


QUOTE
UK 'terror target' claim dismissed

Monday, 7 January, 2002, 17:21 GMT

Downing Street and sceptical British Muslim groups have dismissed claims that Britons recruited for the Taleban will return to the UK and launch terror attacks.

Hassan Butt, 22, from Manchester, told the BBC's Today programme that many would return home to launch terrorist attacks that "strike at the heart" of the UK.

The Lahore-based activist, who claims to be a "spokesman" for Islamic fundamentalist group al-Muhajiroun, says he has recruited 200 British volunteers to fight for the ousted Afghan regime.

The Metropolitan Police are investigating whether a prosecution can be launched against Mr Butt.

Mr Butt told the Radio 4 programme he would now personally encourage attacks on political and military targets in the UK.

But his claims to speak for al-Muhajiroun have already been denied by the organisation's leader, Tottenham-based cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed.

And both Downing Street and the Home Office said Mr Butt's claims should be treated with caution, while Muslim groups accused him of being a fantasist.


Speaking from Lahore, Mr Butt insisted the fall of the Taleban did not spell the end of the holy war against the West.

'Mujahideen coming'

He said that although many British Muslims had been "martyred", others could be bringing the war home from Afghanistan.

"If they do return I do believe that they will take military action within Britain," he told the BBC.

"One thing I've always tried to stress is the point that the mujahideen that are coming in from Britain should strike at the heart of the enemy which is within its own country, within Britain.

"Those mujahideen that are coming from America should strike, again, at the heart of America and I have always been in favour of this."

The prime minister's official spokesman said there was "no evidence" to support Mr Butt's claim that hundreds of British citizens had joined the Taleban.

He added: "Attention seeking does take many different forms.

"We have to be slightly careful in giving too much credibility to claims like this."

British targets

It would be for the police to decide whether Mr Butt should be investigated under the Terrorism Act 2000, which makes it an offence for British citizens to incite acts of terror abroad or recruit people for terrorism training, he said.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the Met was working with the Crown Prosecution Service to examine the comments on the radio, to establish if any offences had been committed.

Mr Butt said British Muslims would be encouraged to attack "British military and government institutes as well as British military and government individuals".

Asked if they would be helped by the al-Qaeda terrorist network, Mr Butt claimed that any Muslim - including many in the UK - would be willing to offer assistance.

But Mr Bakri Mohammed, a spokesman for the al-Muhajiroun group, said Mr Butt was no longer linked to the organisation.

Political party

"Hassan Butt no longer represents al-Muhajiroun in Pakistan," he told BBC Radio 4's World at One.

"We are an ideological, political party. We do not recruit people to go and fight on behalf of anybody or to indulge in any military activities."

Mr Bakri Mohammed, a radical Muslim cleric based in Tottenham, north London, added: "He no longer even exists in our offices in Lahore.

"He himself now, I think personally, functions as an individual or has his own organisation."


'Secret routes'

Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the self-styled Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, said the interview with Mr Butt was "very worrying and frightening", although he thought the claims were "more fantasy than realism".

Citing his return to Britain last month for three weeks, Mr Butt claimed none of the pro-Taleban volunteers were worried about being caught.

He said the method he used to enter the country was "irrelevant" but there were many "secret" routes into Britain for use by Muslims.

Shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin said Mr Butt's comments about a domestic terrorist threat could be "largely fantasising" but his claimed three week stay in the UK raised questions about Britain's intelligence capabilities.

The shadow home secretary added that he viewed Mr Butt's remarks as "traitorous".

Source


These links came via a CiF piece by Inayat Bunglawala, with whom The Spectator always seem less than impressed.


Sinclair - April 20, 2008 08:56 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Kier @ Apr 20 2008, 04:31 PM)
QUOTE
British jihad: Why our anti-terror strategy isn't working
Martin Bright
Published 03 April 2008

Source


Interesting comment thread follows the article, with references (not links) to J7.

A good comment on the new Statesman article at that site, by redharry:
QUOTE
redharry
10 April 2008 at 13:45

    Compare the 'kid gloves' treatment given to self-confessed terrorist recruiter Hassan Butt to the prosecution of the "Lyrical Terrorist" [Samina Malik] who did little more than write bad poetry.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7084801.stm

    An odd double standard don't you think Martin?

    Some people could smell a rat which is probably why Butthead was eventually arrested - probably for show.

    see

    http://theislamist.wordpress.com/2007/05/2...-been-arrested/

    'After reading all of this, I question why Butt has not been arrested. By his own admission he sent arms to the Taliban, he organised training for 200 British Muslims to fight in the Jihad, he collected monies for terrorism, he incited others to terrorism, he encouraged attacks on political and military targets in the UK and he associated with the 7/7 bombers


If I recall, Hassan Butt was the Al Muhajiroun connected with Mohammed Junaid Babar in Pakistan etc.

I wonder what the info is that the authorities do not want Shiv Malik to reveal?

Bridget - May 9, 2008 07:52 PM (GMT)
Channel 4 news announced that Hassan Butt had been arrested at Manchester Airport this evening, he was on his way to Pakistan.

Can't find any reports to confirm this yet.

Bridget - May 10, 2008 10:41 AM (GMT)
QUOTE
Man held in anti-terror probe
Nicola Dowling
10/ 5/2008

user posted image
A MANCHESTER man who admits being a former al-Qaida recruiter was being questioned today by anti-terror police.

Hassan Butt, author of a book on his terrorist past - was detained at Manchester Airport yesterday afternoon.

Mr Butt, 31, is understood to have arrived at Terminal 2 and bought a ticket to Lahore, Pakistan, 45 minutes before the Pakistan International Airlines flight was due to leave.

He is being questioned by Greater Manchester's regional counter terrorism unit. Since his arrest, police have searched his home in north Manchester and two other properties nearby.

Two cars were last night taken away for forensic examination.

A police spokesman said: "A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of terrorist activity and officers were involved in searching three addresses.”

Mr Butt has renounced a past in which he is reported to have admitted raising tens of thousands of pounds for terror networks. He has also spoken of his determination to work against extremism.

Recruitment

During an interview with BBC's Newsnight last month, he described helping hundreds of British recruits receive weapons training in Pakistan and Afghanistan in autumn 2001.

He also told that his network helped more than 600 young British Muslims go out to fight with the Taliban against American and British forces.

Mr Butt, who has previously been arrested twice under the Terrorism Act, previously told the M.E.N. in 2004 of wanting to become a martyr before he reached 40.

But the high-profile author says he completely changed his mind about terrorism following the 7/7 attacks in London.

He told Newsnight in April: “I realised that the Jihadi network was not killing for the sake of Islam, it was killing for the sake of causing terror and causing havoc.” Since then he says he has been working with some of his original recruits to try to turn them away from terror.

Last July Mr Butt was invited by the Home Office to discuss his ideas on how to prevent young people from becoming radicalised. He told minister Tony McNulty his plans for 'deradicalising' extremists. He is reported to have said that he understood the terrorist mindset 'perfectly.'

Support

Mr Butt is said to have told the minister that he had made 'this problem' himself and would deal with it himself – but asked for the authorities to support him in his work.

He has claimed Greater Manchester police are harassing him over suspicions that he is secretly still a Jihadist.

He is reported to have said last month that he was prepared to confess his past life and even go to prison for what he did to prove the sincerity of his change of heart.

He is reported to have said: “I'm not in denial about anything. I'm not asking for immunity or favours. I just want to be able to get on with my life and undo the work that I did.”

source

Bridget - May 11, 2008 12:07 AM (GMT)
^ Does anyone have any info on these arrests?

QUOTE
Mr Butt, who has previously been arrested twice under the Terrorism Act

amirrortotheenemy - May 11, 2008 11:20 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Bridget @ May 11 2008, 12:07 AM)
^ Does anyone have any info on these arrests?

QUOTE
Mr Butt, who has previously been arrested twice under the Terrorism Act

He was arrested in December 2002 and again in November 2003

QUOTE
TIPTON TALIBAN HAILED AS HEROES ; Blair 'target for assassins' claims Muslim activist
Sunday Mercury (Birmingham); Feb 22, 2004; p. 7

Butt also revealed that he was on police bail after being arrested under the Anti-Terrorism Act 2000 in November last year.

Anti-terrorist officers accused him of being involved in a widescale plot to bomb President Bush's motor cavalcade during his four-day visit to the UK last November.

Butt, whose Pakistani and British passports have been confiscated, said: 'These lads should be treated just as if they were British squaddies coming back from war.


QUOTE
Taliban 'recruiter' questioned
Colin Blackstock
The Guardian, Wednesday December 4 2002

Police were last night questioning a man who claimed to have recruited around 200 British Muslims to fight in Afghanistan for the Taliban.

Hassan Butt, 22, was detained under the Terrorism Act by police on Monday and taken from Manchester to London for questioning.

Mr Butt, of Manchester, caused controversy last January when he made the recruitment claims on a BBC Radio 4 Today programme. His claims came not long after three British Muslims from the West Midlands were detained in Afghanistan.

Scotland Yard refused to confirm the identity of the man in custody.

But Anjem Choudary, the official spokesman of Islamic group Al-Muhajiroun, of which Mr Butt is a member, said: "Hassan was picked up yesterday at about 3.30pm from Manchester and taken to Paddington police station.

"He is being investigated under the Terrorism Act for allegedly recruiting people for the Taliban."

Mr Choudary, a lawyer, expressed surprise at the timing of the arrest, which comes about 11 months after the comments about recruitment were first made. At the time, the Metropolitan police said they were looking into the claims.

He stressed that Mr Butt and Al-Muhajiroun's support for the Taliban had always been "ideological and political" but never to physically fight. Al-Muhajiroun is one of Britain's largest Islamist parties.

Source

amirrortotheenemy - May 11, 2008 11:47 AM (GMT)
The following arrests were said to be linked to the cases of Habib Ahmed & Mehreen Haji

QUOTE
Pair linked to Islamic fanatic
The Express On Sunday 03 September 2006
Full Text:
Copyright 2006 The Express on Sunday. Source: Financial Times Information Limited - Europe Intelligence Wire.

DAWN terror raids in Manchester yesterday were linked to a hate-filled Islamic extremist who once boasted of recruiting 200 British volunteers to slaughter UK troops in Afghanistan, the Sunday Express can reveal.

Lahore-based Hassan Butt, 26, - a selfproclaimed spokesman for Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed's Al Muhajiroun group - said in 2002 he would encourage attacks on UK political and military targets. Butt, who grew up in the raided district, has since left the group.

Two men were arrested in the swoop on the north Manchester district of Cheetham Hill.

One of them works for Manchester City Council.

A highly placed source told the Sunday Express: "One of those arrested was a close friend of Hassan Butt. He had very radical anti-West ideas like Butt but it was thought he had calmed down and grown-up. He was just back from Pakistan after getting married."

The raid is linked to the arrest nearby of another terrorist suspect on August 23.


It is believed Butt left Al Muhajiroun over the "covenant of security" - which means British Muslims cannot attack the country that is their home.


QUOTE
'Slaughter' vow fiend is linked to city arrests ; Exclusive
The Sun (London); Sep 4, 2006; Chris Riches; p. 9
Full Text:
(Copyright © News Group Newspapers Limited 2006)

COPS PROBE 'TERROR CAMPS' AFTER RAIDS

TERROR raids in Manchester this weekend were linked to a UK- extremist who has boasted of recruiting 200 British volunteers to slaughter our troops in Afghanistan.

Activist Hassan Butt, 26, also told stunned journalists in 2002 that he would personally encourage attacks on political and military targets in the UK.

The extremist, a self-proclaimed spokesman for Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed's al-Muhajiroun organisation, was brought up on the streets of Cheetham Hill, Greater Manchester. He is now based in Lahore, Pakistan.

At 6am on Saturday cops swooped on one of his closest childhood friends in Cheetham Hill. A second man, believed to be the friend's brother, was also arrested. Both are being held under the Terrorism Act 2000.

We can also reveal that one of the two brothers is an employee of Manchester City Council.

The arrests happened a mile away from a house where DC Stephen Oake was stabbed to death by Algerian ricin-plotter Kamel Bourgass during an anti-terror raid in January 2003.

Yesterday a highly-placed source told The Sun: "One of those arrested was a close friend of the extremist Hassan Butt.

"He had radical ideas like Butt but in the last few years it was thought he had calmed down. He has just come back from Pakistan after getting married."

Three houses were raided. Forensic teams could still be seen in white boiler suits searching the properties yesterday.

Lovely

Unarmed Greater Manchester officers first smashed through the door of one home and the adjacent semi. The houses are home to a large family which has lived there for at least ten years and originated from the Jehlum area of Pakistan.

A bungalow was also raided.

Neighbour Saeed Zia, 53, said: "They are a lovely family and I see them every day.

I am shocked they have been arrested.

"There are five brothers a few sisters and some children living in the three houses.

"One of the brothers is a bus driver and most work and have respectable jobs. I understand the police are just doing their job but I can't believe any of the family are terrorists."

Neighbours were each handed a letter from police, minutes after the raids, explaining the reason for the disturbance.

It read: "Police have carried out a search warrant in in connection with an ongoing investigation into alleged terrorist activity."

Local councillor Afzal Khan last night said the community was upset but understanding of the raids. He praised the police's softer, unarmed approach.


QUOTE
Saturday, 2nd September 2006

Two arrested in anti-terror raids

Roland Hancock

POLICE have arrested two terror suspect in Cheetham Hill after dawn raids at three houses.

Three addresses, two on Thurlston Crescent and one on Shaftesbury, were being searched by forensic officers this morning.

The two men were arrested at 6am this morning by anti-terrorism officers executing search warrants under the Terrorism Act 2000.

A police spokesman said that today's raids are linked to the arrest of a terrorism suspect on August 23, when a 27-year-old was taken away for questioning in a similar dawn operation.

Connection

He said: "The arrests are linked to an operation that took place on August 23. It is in connection with an ongoing investigation and has been carried out acting on intellegence.

"People living in nearby communities will be able to discuss issues or concerns linked to today's operation with local officers who are providing a high profile presence.

"Officers are also distributing letters around the area and will be meeting with community groups."

Source


QUOTE
Monday, 4th September 2006

Three in death 'plot' inquiry

John ScheerhoutTHREE men from Manchester are being questioned under the Terrorism Act over a suspected assassination plot, the Manchester Evening News can reveal today.

Anti-terrorism officers from Greater Manchester Police swooped on three addresses in Cheetham Hill in dawn raids on Saturday.

They battered down the doors of a house on Shaftesbury Road and two properties believed to be owned by the same family on Thurlston Crescent.

They arrested two men in their early 20s. A third man, aged 27, from the same area was arrested 12 days ago. The men are believed to be British nationals of Pakistani origin.

It is understood that detectives are investigating a plot against an individual, rather than a bombing campaign.

Officers are examining documents seized at the addresses.

Last night police were guarding the front doors of the raided homes while a dark blue Mercedes was removed from outside the Shaftesbury Road address.

Letters in English and Arabic were sent out by officers to reassure the local community.

'Engaged'

The arrested men are suspected of being members of Islamic militant group Al Muhajiroun. Its founder, the radical Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, fled Britain and is banned from returning. Two other UK-based groups believed to be splinter organisations of Al Muhajiroun, Al Ghurabaa and Saved Sect, were banned by Home Secretary John Reid in July for "glorifying terrorism".

According to sources, the family of the suspect arrested at Thurlston Crescent have said he was a member of Al Muhajiroun when he was younger, but now had nothing to do with the group.

"He has been to Pakistan but only to get engaged. It wasn't for terrorist training. It doesn't mean he is a terrorist," said one source.

Abz Hassan, 28, who lives close to the two addresses raided on Thurlston Crescent, said he believes that the person arrested there has links with Al Muhajiroun.

"I believe that he's come to be associated with the Al Muhajiroun group.

"He doesn't go to our local mosque and I've seen people come to pick him up. All the family are really nice people.

"This is the first time that anything like this has happened round here and I think that people are really shocked."

Saeed Zia, of Thurlston Crescent, said: "When I woke up a letter from the police had been pushed through my letter box explaining why they were there. The two houses are next door to each other but they are all owned by the same family.

"They are very nice people and they always smile and greet you when you see them in the street."

Jamal Din, of Thurlston Crescent, said: "I saw what must have been 30 or 40 policeman in the street, all dressed in black. First they battered down the doors and then they went in.

A few minutes later one man was taken out of one of the houses and taken away in a police van. I've lived here for 25 years, and I've never seen anything like this."

Source


QUOTE
Couple on terror charges

2/10/2006

A HUSBAND and wife from Manchester have been charged with plotting a terrorist outrage.

Taxi driver Habib Ahmed, aged of Elmfield Street, Cheetham Hill and his wife Mehreen Haji are being held in custody in London.

It is understood that police suspect them of being involved in a plan to attack on a individual.

Ahmed, aged 27, is accused of making computer records of possible terror targets and undergoing a course of weapons training at a Pakistani terror camp between April and June of this year.

Twenty-five-year-old Haji, is accused of providing just under £4,000 to finance her husband's alleged terrorist activities.

Police claim the pair were members of Al-Muhajiroun, the Islamic militant group founded by radical Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed who serving a jail sentence for inciting terrorism.

Ahmed was arrested in 23 August when police raided his home.

His wife was asked to attend a police station for questioning. When she failed to turn up police arrested her at a house Radcliffe, Bury.

Later two other men, both in their early 20s, were arrested following raids on their homes in Shaftesbury Road and Thurlston Crescent, Cheetham Hill.

They were later both released without charge.


One of the freed men says he was innocent of any involvement with terrorism. Speaking at his home he said he had been treated well by police during his two weeks in custody.

He said: "They took good care of us. We don't know why they arrested us. They obviously took a lot of things from the house, computers and my car.

"They thought they had some sort of evidence but we are completely innocent."

The man, who did not wish to be named, confirmed he and the other freed man were friends with Habib Ahmed.

According to sources, the family of one of the freed men have said he was a member of Al Muhajiroun when he was younger, but now had nothing to do with the group.

"He has been to Pakistan but only to get engaged. It wasn't for terrorist training. It doesn't mean he is a terrorist," said one source.

It is understood that detectives are investigating a plot against an individual, rather than a bombing campaign.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Whatton said: "This is a very complex investigation and a team of officers are involved in reviewing around a thousand items that have been recovered.

"A significant amount of material has also been recovered from computers - the equivalent of nine lorries full of paper.

"This is an international investigation which has involved co-operation between a number of law enforcement agencies.

"In complex investigations where a large amount of material has been recovered it is not unusual for a number of arrests to be made and some people being released without charge."

Since the first arrest police have been working with the local communities in Cheetham Hill to reassure them about what is happening.
Letters were sent out by officers to reassure residents.

Al-Muhajiroun was disbanded after the 7/7 tube bombings and has been replaced by two organisation - Al Ghurabaa and Saved Sect, which have been banned by Home Secretary John Reid "glorifying terrorism".

Source

Kier - May 12, 2008 10:06 AM (GMT)
QUOTE
Islamist renegade arrested at airport on terror charges

    * Jamie Doward, home affairs editor
    * The Observer,
    * Sunday May 11 2008
   
A former Islamist radical who says he helped 200 British Muslims train for jihad has been arrested on terrorism charges at Manchester airport.

Hassan Butt, 27, who claims to have once been a spokesman for the banned group al-Muhajiroun, was arrested on Friday.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: '[Our] counter-terrorism unit arrested one person under the Terrorism Act. Officers are currently searching three addresses. No armed officers were involved in the arrest.'

Butt has attracted notoriety for his inflammatory comments - which he has subsequently retracted. In an interview with Prospect magazine, he once said he would be honoured to be called a terrorist. 'I would agree to being called a radical and one day I may even be called a terrorist, if Allah permits me,' he said. 'That is something it would be an honour to be called.'

He has also warned that thousands of young Muslims were preparing to unleash fresh 'terror atrocities' on Britain's streets. Following the 2007 Glasgow airport attack, he alleged on BBC2's Newsnight that 'most Muslims' believed terrorism gained them an admission to paradise and that 'anything that is not an Islamic way of life' was a legitimate target.

The comments brought a scathing denial from Muslim groups and many have dismissed Butt as a fantasist and possible MI5 informer who does not speak for the organisations he claims to represents. Critics have also questioned why he has not been arrested and charged in the past, given his open confessions.

Butt recently said he was prepared to go to prison for his views. 'I'm not in denial about anything,' he said. 'I'm not asking for immunity or favours. I just want to be able to get on with my life and undo the work that I did.'

He claimed that Greater Manchester Police were harassing him over suspicions that he is secretly still a jihadist and that the Home Office encourages his efforts to speak out against radicalisation. More recently, he has gone to great lengths to retract his radical views and attack those who espouse violence.

Butt is currently writing a book about his experiences. Police recently raided the house of a journalist, Shiv Malik, who was collaborating with him on the manuscript.

Source





Kier - May 12, 2008 10:15 AM (GMT)
QUOTE
Prestwich houses searched by anti-terror police
By Terry Morgan

TWO houses in Prestwich have been searched by anti-terror police.

The raids followed the arrest of former Prestwich High School pupil Hassan Butt who previously claimed to have recruited hundreds of British Muslims to fight for al Qaida.

The 31-year-old was arrested on Friday at Manchester Airport where he was reportedly waiting for a flight to Lahore, Pakistan. Greater Manchester Police's Counter Terrorism Unit later searched three addresses, including two in Sheepfoot Lane, and another in north Manchester, with warrants under the Terrorism Act. Two cars were also taken away for forensic examination.

Hassan has spoken widely through the media about his past involvement with terrorist activity, which he says he has now renounced.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "A 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of terrorist activity and officers were involved in searching three addresses."

9:29am today

Source


amirrortotheenemy - May 12, 2008 10:23 AM (GMT)
^
Sheepfoot Lane is home to Omar Butt, the brother of Hassan.

Sinclair - May 12, 2008 10:46 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Kier @ May 12 2008, 10:06 AM)
QUOTE
Islamist renegade arrested at airport on terror charges

 Source

Doing a news search on Shiv Malik brings up ^ this article & a load of others featuring Jemima Khan (Quilliam Foundation link).

From this article in the Pakistan Nation:
QUOTE

Jemima Khan accused of backing jihadists
Monday, April 21, 2008
Asif Mehmood

LONDON - Jemima Khan, the ex-wife of the cricket legend Imran Khan, is being accused of backing reformed jihadists as she has become a patron of an organisation called Quillium Foundation that will be launched this week to combat terrorism.
Jamima said that the challenge to Islamism could only legitimately come from within the Islamic community if it is to have any impact. She has formed a group of other reformed Muslim radicals who will work for her like Hassan Butt, once a member of the Britain’s extremist group Al-Muhajiroun, who is so exasperated at still being the target of police investigations that he is willing to plead guilty to past crimes and take his punishment - if that is what is required to escape his former life.
Hassan Butt claims Greater Manchester police are harassing him over suspicions that he is secretly still a jihadist. Yet he says he now works to woo Muslim extremists away from violence - and that the Home Office encourages his efforts.
His predicament reflects a wider dilemma for the government: how far should it use draconian legal measures to combat terrorism and how much should it trust moderate Muslims and reformed jihadists to win over extremists?
He rejected extremism and jihad after he was horrified by the London bombings in July 2005. “I also began to discover deeper theological flaws in the jihadi world view,” he said. “These doubts drove me to begin a battle of ideas with my former associates. Slowly, I began to recruit over a dozen young British Muslims, who used to be hardened radicals, out of the network.”
When Mr Butt flew to Pakistan while preparing a BBC documentary about his journey from extremism he was questioned on departure and return. Police then demanded him to hand over the BBC material relating to the documentary. They have also demanded that a freelance journalist, Shiv Malik, hand over the manuscript of a book about Butt. Since Hassan Butt has not been arrested, the police demands were seen by Malik and media organisations as excessive. Last week Malik won the right to appeal against the “production order” to hand over material. Lawyers said in court that part of the investigation is “designed to determine, among other things, whether Butt’s renunciation of terrorism is in fact genuine”.
Mr Butt protested that he had nothing to hide. “I’m shocked,” he said. “Why all this cat and mouse stuff? I’m not trying to run.”
The former jihadist claims that the investigation is ruining his attempts to convert radicals. “People don’t want to see me. Obviously they know I am under surveillance,” he said. However, he admits there is a problem for the authorities in whom to trust. He claims various Muslim bodies have taken government money to combat extremism, but have done little. The Quilliam Foundation, which has not received any government funding, is now intent on promoting the view that mainstream Islam does not condone violence or jihad.
Ed Husain, a former member of Hizbut-Tahrir, is one of the founders. Another patron is Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader. Husain, the author of The Islamist, said: “For the first time in western Muslim history, a Muslim group is challenging extremists using a scriptural and theological paradigm. There has not been a categorical refutation of Islamism by any Muslim groups, we are the first to do it.” He points out that even some respected Muslim scholars have not unequivocally condemned suicide bombings in regions such as Palestine but members of Quilliam see it as unIslamic.
Quilliam will mount campaigns to show that intellectuals whose writings have inspired extremism in Britain, such as the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, are regarded as “fringe” figures in the wider Islamic world. Majid Nawaz, another former extremist and founder of Quilliam, said: “Extremist groups should be starved of the oxygen and tackled in debates. It will be a long struggle, but it’s something we need to do.” 

http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/Apr-2008/21/index9.php


Now that Hassan Butt has been arrested, will the police demands for Shiv Malik's notes not now be seen as excessive?

Kier - May 13, 2008 08:02 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Kier @ Apr 20 2008, 04:22 PM)
QUOTE
Writer seeks to challenge disclosure order

#  Published Date:  18 April 2008
# Source: Press Association

A London-based writer and expert on Islamic extremism has asked the High Court for permission to challenge a "production order" obtained against him by the police under anti-terror laws.
The order requires the disclosure of all source material for a book Shiv Malik is writing entitled Leaving Al-Qaeda: Inside the Mind of a British Jihadist, based on the experiences of Hassan Butt. It is due to be published in 2009.

Mr Butt is well known through television and the media for his assertions of his own past involvement with terrorist activity.

The application for the production order was made by Greater Manchester Police following references to Mr Butt by a "Mr A", a defendant in a forthcoming criminal trial, who must not be identified for legal reasons.

The order was granted by a judge at Manchester Crown Court on March 31 under Schedule 5 of the 2000 Terrorism Act.

It requires Mr Malik, from Golders Green, to produce, by April 9, source material for his book and "all material" generated as a result of the project, and all information in his possession regarding the alleged terrorist activities of Hassan Butt.

Refusal to comply with the order is likely to lead to contempt of court proceedings against Mr Malik.

Another production order requires his publishers, Constable & Robinson Ltd, to produce material by April 7.

On Thursday, Alex Bailin, appearing for Mr Malik, asked two judges for permission to challenge the production order in the High Court.

He told Lord Justice Keene and Mr Justice Treacy that freedom of expression was at stake, as well as the safety of Mr Malik and his family and his right to operate as a journalist.

Source

From April 17, a bit more detail:

QUOTE
Journalist wins permission to appeal police demand for terror notes

17 April 2008

By PA Mediapoint

The High Court today granted freelance journalist and terrorism expert Shiv Malik permission to challenge a "production order" obtained against him by police under anti-terror laws.

The order required the disclosure of all source material for a forthcoming book he is writing entitled Leaving Al-Qaeda: Inside the Mind of a British Jihadist, based on the experiences of Hassan Butt.

Butt is well known through television and the media for his assertions of his own past involvement with terrorist activity.

The application for the production order was made by Greater Manchester Police following references to Butt by a "Mr A", a defendant in a forthcoming criminal trial, who must not be identified for legal reasons.

The order was granted by a judge at Manchester Crown Court on March 31 under Schedule 5 of the Terrorism Act 2000.


The order required Malik to produce source material for his book by 9 April and "all material" generated as a result of the project, and all information in his possession regarding the alleged terrorist activities of Hassan Butt.

Refusal to comply with the order is likely to lead to contempt of court proceedings against Malik, from Golders Green, north-west London.

Another production order requires his publishers, Constable & Robinson Ltd, to produce material by 7 April.

Today, Alex Bailin, appearing for Malik, asked two judges for permission to challenge the production order in the High Court.

He told Lord Justice Keene and Mr Justice Treacy that freedom of expression was at stake, as well as the safety of Malik and his family and his right to operate as a journalist.

Bailin said Malik's career would be destroyed if he was forced to reveal his sources.

He said Butt himself was available for interview by the police and the production order was unnecessary.

Bailin told the court: "What is exceptional - if not unique - about this case is that the book seeks to dissuade others from involvement in terrorism.

"No such books would ever be published if the journalistic contacts of the authors were subject to production orders such as that sought here.

"Accordingly, the public interest in the order for production is not made out in this case.

"The public interest in Hussan Butt's book more than outweighs the public interest in investigating revelations of historic criminality which it may allegedly contain, and which he has already aired in public."

Malik has already written My Brother The Bomber about 7/7 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan.

The court was told he was a respected freelance journalist whose work regarding terrorism has been quoted with approval by Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5 and Tony McNulty, the Home Office minister with responsibility for security and counter-terrorism.

Bailin said that if requests for production orders became routine under anti-terror legislation "it would have considerable implications for British journalism".

He said Butt had disclosed information to Malik of his past associations with al-Qaeda in a bid to dissuade others from engaging in terrorist activity.

"There is a very great significance indeed in being able to publish without state interference books that seek to dissuade others from committing terrorist offences."

Bailin added: "We submit that the self-incrimination issues raised by this case are acute and require urgent clarification by the courts."

Andrew Edis QC urged the court not to intervene, and said the production order was justified.

He argued that it was in the public interest that Malik be required to disclose material to the police, who were involved in investigating allegations of serious terrorist-related offences.

He said the right under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights to freedom of expression, now relied on by Malik, involved balancing rights with duties.

If Malik had information that could help police investigations, "he is under a duty to disclose it, and it is punishable by imprisonment if he does not disclose it".

"That is something the court should put into the balance in deciding whether it is a reasonable intrusion into his human rights requiring him to disclose this material."

Bailin said one of the investigations the police were pursuing "is designed to determine, among other things, whether his (Butt's) renunciation of terrorism is in fact genuine".

Source


Kier - May 13, 2008 08:35 AM (GMT)
More on Omer/Omar Butt.....

QUOTE
Dentist cut fees for women in Islamic dress

user posted image

26/ 9/2007

A MUSLIM dentist has admitted reducing his fees to encourage female patients to wear the Islamic headscarf.

Dr Omer Butt, from Prestwich, told a disciplinary hearing he would ask Muslim women to cover up in observance of Islamic law before he treated them.

But he denied refusing to treat a nurse because she would not follow his rules.

The nurse, known as Patient A, told the hearing she was left `humiliated and upset' when she went to Dr Butt's Unsworth Smile clinic in Bury, in April 2005.

The nurse, a non-practising Muslim, claimed Dr Butt said she would have to find another dentist because she wouldn't wear a headscarf.

Dr Butt told the General Dental Council professional conduct committee the Islamic ethos of his surgery was a `marketing tool'.

He said: "If they are prepared to wear the headscarf, I am willing to reduce the fee or completely waive the fee."

He said he identified the woman as a Muslim because of her name, which has roots in Islam, then `politely' asked her to wear a headscarf.

He said: "I did request her to wear the headscarf. I said `It would help me if you would wear a headscarf'.

"Her response was she looked at me with a smile and said `Oh, that's strange'."

He said it was `unlawful' for him, as a Muslim, to look at a Muslim woman who was not properly covered up. He added: "If she was to adhere to my request, it makes me feel more comfortable.

"It was a polite request. It was a simple request. It was never more than a request."

He said that, despite her lapsed faith, Patient A was still a Muslim. He said: "For me to now call her a non-Muslim, I would be accused of committing a sin. I can't say she is not a Muslim.

"The only difference is one is lower in faith. It's like saying a Porsche and a Mini Metro, they are both cars."

Under cross-examination from John Snell, for the GDC, Dr Butt was asked if his clinic had a policy that women must wear a headscarf. Mr Snell said: "The truth is it is and it was a policy that you insist your patients wear the headscarf."

Dr Butt replied: "No, I request them."

If found guilty of serious professional misconduct, Dr Butt could have his licence revoked. The hearing in London is expected to finish tomorrow.

Source


QUOTE
Dentist guilty in headscarf row

Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK

user posted image

A dentist who told a female patient she must wear a Muslim headscarf to receive treatment has been found guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Dr Omer Butt was found guilty of discriminating against the woman, known as Ms A, by a disciplinary panel of the General Dental Council (GDC).

The patient said she was "humiliated and upset" after the encounter at the surgery in Bury, Greater Manchester.

Dr Butt received an admonition at the end of the three-day GDC hearing.

Stewart Goulding, chairman of the GDC professional conduct committee, told Dr Butt that his conduct had fallen short of the standard expected.

But he said the committee had noted testimonials from other patients in reaching their conclusion.

He said: "The committee is satisfied that the appropriate decision is to conclude the case today with this admonition.

"As a member of a caring profession, a dentist has a responsibility to put the interests of patients first.

"The professional relationship between dentist and patient relies on trust and the assumption that a dentist will act in the best interests of the patient.

"The effect of your actions on this occasion was to impede patient A's access to local dental services."

The dentist had denied the charges, but admitted he would ask Muslim women to cover up in accordance with Islamic law before he treated them and reducing fees to encourage patients to wear the headscarf.

Dr Butt, of Prestwich, Greater Manchester, was found to have "undermined public confidence" in the dental profession by discriminating against the woman in April 2005.

No jewellery

Giving evidence in his defence, Dr Butt said he "politely requested" the woman, a non-practising Muslim, to wear a headscarf.

He said it was "unlawful" for him, as a Muslim, to look at a Muslim woman who was not properly covered up.

The patient, a community nurse who worked in Bury, said Dr Butt told her she would have to find another dentist because she would not wear the headscarf.

The hearing was told the dentist later quoted Islamic Sharia law on appropriate relationships between men and women.

Patient A said she was told by a dental nurse at the surgery: "Inside the surgery it's Dr Butt's world and his rules apply."

The patient said she sought to register at the Unsworth Smile Clinic after the birth of her young child because it was nearer to her home.

She said she telephoned the clinic to make an appointment and was told they required Muslim women to wear the headscarf.

Muslim men attending the clinic could not wear gold jewellery, she was told.

Source


Kier - May 13, 2008 08:43 AM (GMT)
The SIAC judgement mentioned in the Daily Mail article which amtte posted here.

QUOTE
Judgment

'V'

28. It cannot be said that this man's identity is established with any reasonable certainty. He arrived
in the UK in 1997 and claimed asylum as a Palestinian called ... He withdrew the claim and was
removed to Italy.

29. He arrived in the UK again in 1999, having been returned from Eire on false French identity
papers, claiming asylum as a Libyan. His claim was refused but he was granted ELR until 5th
December 2002.

30. In January 2003 he was arrested in connection with the poisons plot and stayed in custody until
released into immigration detention in April 2005, when he was acquitted as part of the second
group of defendants. He was released on immigration bail in May 2005. He went through the
asylum claim, trial process and application for immigration bail as a Libyan national called ...
Shortly afterwards, he said in an attempt, apparently, to make a clear breast of his position, that
he was someone called 'V, an Algerian. It is not accepted yet or denied by the Secretary of State
that he is that man.

31. He was taken into detention again on 15th September 2005.

32. The notice of intention to make a deportation order covers both identities and both nationalities
which will undoubtedly give rise to some issues as the case proceeds.

33. There is no allegation of a breach of bail terms even after the August arrests. We accept that he
has always had an uncertain position in the UK, whoever he is. He has an outstanding asylum
claim.

34. Again, without going into the details, it is plain that both sides have proper cases to put so far as
risk or degree of risk to national security are concerned. 'V' can take some comfort, so far as the
poison plot allegations are concerned from the acquittal, from the limited role asserted by the
prosecution, at least so far as … is concerned, and the absence of false document charges. The
question of whether he did or did not provide a safe house for Bourgass and, if so, why is a live
issue.

35. He has the second argument available on safety on return.

36. There is a helpful bail history but that is offset by the lengthy false identity, as it is now claimed
to be, and we do not know the answer to that. All that is known is that he says, maybe truthfully,
maybe not, that he had a false identity for five years.

37. He puts forward as a surety Mr Omar Butt, a dentist, who was introduced to the applicant by
Hassam Butt, the proposed surety's brother, via a human rights organisation of which Hassam Butt
could not remember the name.
Mr Omar Butt, the dentist, who we accept is a respectable
and responsible person, wishes to help devout and practising Muslims in difficulty and did so
often. He did not share the extremist views attributed to his brother, which the brother said he
had now renounced. Mr Butt did not regard the use of false names, even in this way, as unusual
for asylum seekers. We accept that, whatever identity is correct, he has not breached the bail
terms required of him in immigration bail.


38. Like many other applicants, he has access to funds, false documents and contacts and could, if he
wished, abscond and no conditions could prevent it for sure. It would be a marginal decision on
bail in view of the surety, to be set against the very considerable doubts over what the applicant
would do in the light of his lengthy history of deceit, still, as we see it, unresolved. His identity
goes to the country of return and, as we have said, the notice of intention to deport covers both
countries and goes to the risks faced and how he appraises them.

39. However, there are activities in the closed material, which are important in understanding this
applicant and the significance of any continuing risk, which we are satisfied cannot readily be
controlled by bail conditions. These factors taken together persuade us that this is not a case for
bail. Were his identity properly to be established, that would remove a significant variable and
the application could be reconsidered.

Special Immigration Appeals Commission

Kier - May 15, 2008 08:20 AM (GMT)
QUOTE
Airport 'terror' arrest man held

Page last updated at 17:36 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 18:36 UK

Police are continuing to question a man on suspicion of terror offences after arresting him at Manchester Airport on Friday afternoon.

Greater Manchester Police have said the man is aged 28, not 31 as initially reported by officers.

Under anti-terror legislation officers have until Friday to release, charge, or apply to hold him for longer.

Following his arrest police searched three properties, one of which was in Bury and another in north Manchester.

Source


Bridget - May 16, 2008 10:59 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 14:24 UK

More time for terror questioning

user posted image
Hassan Butt was arrested at Manchester airport

Police have been given until next week to question former al-Qaeda recruiter Hassan Butt over terror charges.

He was arrested seven days ago at Manchester airport by officers from Greater Manchester Police's Counter Terrorism Unit.

Police said they have until next Wednesday to charge or release him with no further action taken.

Mr Butt has spoken widely of his past involvement with terrorist activity, which he says he has now renounced.

BBC

Bridget - May 18, 2008 09:30 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
From The Times
May 19, 2008
Police face scrutiny over the arrest of radical jihadist who renounced violence

Media organisations will clash with Greater Manchester Police in court this week over moves to force them to hand over ‘evidence’

Andrew Norfolk

He was the poster boy for jihadist extremism who become one of its most vocal opponents, meeting a government minister and being offered Home Office funding to support his deradicalisation work among young Muslims.

But now Hassan Butt is under arrest and at the centre of a high-stakes legal battle that goes to the core of Britain’s fight against terrorism.

Hassan Butt sent dozens of British Muslims to training camps in Pakistan, raised money for the Taleban and once boasted of his desire “to kill or be killed for the sake of Allah”. His words and deeds in support of Islamist terrorism were reported widely between 2001 and 2004, yet he was never charged with any offence.

After the suicide attacks on London in July 2005, he embarked on a lengthy and painful reexamination of his beliefs, eventually repudiating violence and emerging as a passionate critic of the cause he once espoused. Since early 2007 Mr Butt, 28, has denounced al-Qaeda in numerous newspaper articles, in international television interviews and in debate at the Cambridge Union.

However, he has been labelled a traitor to Islam by his former comrades and in April last year was stabbed in the street by two assailants.

Ten days ago, as he prepared to board a flight to Pakistan, Mr Butt was arrested – and is still detained – under the Terrorism Act.

If his rejection of violence was not a sham, then Greater Manchester Police – whose investigation is being carried out independently of Counter Terrorism Command at Scotland Yard – may be about to face more than a few tough questions.

Some may receive an airing at the High Court this week, when the force must defend its attempt to seek evidence against Mr Butt by scouring the notebooks of journalists from leading media organisations.

Mr Butt’s autobiography, Leaving Al-Qaeda: Inside the Mind of a British Jihadist, had been due for publication this month. The release was put on hold, indefinitely, when one morning in March the acclaimed writer who had helped Mr Butt with his book received a knock on the door of his North London home.

Outside stood three counter-terrorism detectives who ordered Shiv Malik to hand over the unpublished manuscript and all his notes and source material relating to Mr Butt.

When he refused, the police went to court and obtained a production order forcing Mr Malik, 27, to comply.

The force is seeking to obtain similar production orders against the BBC, the American TV network CBS, Prospect magazine and The Sunday Times. Each has interviewed Mr Butt. All four are resisting the demands and will be represented at the High Court on Wednesday for a two-day hearing at which Mr Malik is seeking judicial review of the production order.

Senior journalists, including Jonathan Dimbleby, give warning today in a letter to The Times that the police action “poses a serious risk to the future of investigative journalism”.

The letter notes that among those to have praised Mr Malik’s past work on Islamic radicals is Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, who described his investigation into the July 7 bombers as “essential reading”. Whether the police are entitled to the production orders will be decided in court. The timing of their pursuit of Mr Butt is a different matter.

Last month, with his book’s publication shelved, Mr Butt spoke of his fears that police in Manchester suspected that his renunciation of violence was bogus and that he was secretly still a jihadist. He offered to plead guilty to former crimes and said he was willing to go to prison if that was his only chance of being allowed to start with a clean slate. “I’m not asking for immunity or favours. I just want to be able to get on with my life and undo the work that I did,” he said.

“I’ve fundraised for terrorism, I’ve trained in a training camp and I’ve sent other people to train. I am willing to plead guilty. I’m not looking to get locked up, but if I have to, I have to.”

The suspicion among some of those close to the case is that police were concerned that Mr Butt was still mixing in dangerous circles.

Mr Malik said that this was inevitable. “It’s rather like trying to take people off drugs. By the very nature of your work, you have to associate with people who take drugs, so there are going to be drugs around.

“Hassan is associating with radicals. That’s what he’s intending to do and that’s the community that he’s in. He’s trying to unwind it, but to do so he still needs to be in those places.”

The timing of Mr Butt’s arrest would certainly be puzzling if the focus of the counter-terrorism investigation were on events that happened before 2005. For four years from 2001, when he first came to notoriety as a 21-year-old boasting in Pakistan of his role in recruiting young British Muslims for the Taleban cause, Mr Butt seemed rarely to open his mouth without inciting or glorifying terrorism.

Mr Butt, the son of a textiles executive, accepted the ideology of Islamic supremacy when he was 16, joining Hizb-ut-Tahrir, before moving to its even more radical splinter group, Al-Muhajiroun. He was expelled from the University of Wolverhampton for allegedly making racist and homophobic remarks and moved to Lahore in early 2001, where he called on Muslims to wage a holy war against the West. He estimates that he recruited between 50 and 75 young Muslims and raised more than £200,000 in donations for terrorist causes, mainly from British Muslim professionals, including doctors and businessmen.

The young Mr Butt described martyrdom as “the greatest achievement possible in the Muslim faith” and in 2002 told the BBC that some of the British Mujahidin would return from Afghanistan to “take military action within Britain”.

In November of that year, after returning to Britain, he told a newspaper: “It’s just a matter of time before operations are taken out in Britain. When it does happen people will bite their bottom lips.”

It took the bloody realisation of his prediction for Mr Butt, who was arrested twice but never charged, to suffer his first doubts. A lengthy and painful process of deconstructing past theological certainties is said to have led to a conclusion that his past deeds, far from pleasing Allah, had been “evil, wicked work”.

The final break with jihadism, he says, came in early 2006 when he flew to meet a senior al-Qaeda figure in the United Arab Emirates and asked him how the killing of innocent people could be justified. He received no satisfactory response but he did receive new orders. He was told that he was to be sent to Iraq for “reprogramming”.

Mr Butt says that a desire for atonement fuels his attempt to persuade Muslim radicals to renounce violence.

Mr Malik, who has worked on the autobiography since 2006, is convinced that his remorse is genuine. “I don’t have any doubts at all. He’s said a lot of things to me that are extremely courageous. What he’s coming out with is incredibly powerful.”

Whether his subject is genuine or not is immaterial to the court hearing, which may produce a landmark ruling on a journalist’s right to protect his sources. Mark Stephens, of Finers Stephens Innocent, representing CBS, whose 60 Minutes programme interviewed Mr Butt last year, said that the broadcaster would strongly resist the production order application. “Journalists are in sufficient peril already, without Greater Manchester Police adding to the difficulties and dangers of covering the War on Terror,” he said.

Mr Malik agrees: “Tony McNulty, a Home Office minister, has praised my work, invited me in and said it has shaped the way they’re thinking about terrorism. So one arm of the State is saying well done and congratulations, while another is trying to take away all my work and make it impossible for me to do my job. It’s a crazy situation.”

The extremist who turned into a moderate

Hassan Butt speaking before 7/7

“I would rather be a traitor to Britain than to my religion” November 2001

“I have direct responsibility for the British recruits. It is my job to get them into the training camps here where they prepare for war” In Pakistan, November 2001

“If they do return, I believe they will take military action within Britain” January 2002, of the British Mujahidin

“This is all about jihad in Manchester. My message to all Muslims is that they should be supporting jihad no matter how hard it is becoming. All the laws the British Government make, they should break” October 2002

“ I feel absolutely nothing for this country. I have no problem with the British people . . . but if someone attacks them I have no problem with that either” 2004

Speaking after 7/7

“What I’ve come to realise is that killing for the sake of killing, and killing in the name of Islam for the sake of killing, is completely and utterly prohibited” March 2007

“Some \ believed the bombings were orchestrated by the Government . . . Others believed it was near-impossible for four British-born Muslims to be behind such indiscriminate violence . . . Two years on I still hear the same conspiracy theories being clung to by a Muslim community that is living in a comforting state of denial” July 2007, on 7/7

“Only when Muslims admit that 9/11 and 7/7 were the work of Muslim terrorists can we move forward to the next juncture: which is recognising the hard truth that Islam does permit the use of violence” July 2007

Sinclair - May 20, 2008 01:42 PM (GMT)
QUOTE

Police demand terror notes from press and broadcasters
13 May 2008


By Patrick Smith

Greater Manchester Police has demanded that four media outlets hand over notes of interviews with reformed British Jihadist Hassan Butt after arresting him under the Terrorism Act.

The action comes days before freelance investigative journalist Shiv Malik, who interviewed Butt for a forthcoming book on Islamic extremism, Leaving al-Qaeda, takes his challenge against an identical order to the judicial review in the High Court next week [Wednesday 21st May 2008].

The BBC, Sunday Times and Prospect magazine have all been issued with orders under schedule five of the Terrorism Act 2000 and will appear in court in Manchester to oppose the order. They were notified on Friday, giving them three working days to respond.

All three have carried interviews with or articles on Butt – some by Malik – and police have requested all source material, notes and broadcast footage relating to them.

American TV network CBS News has also been issued with an order – its 60 Minutes show interviewed Butt last year.

This afternoon Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the NUJ which is financially backing Malik’s case, called on journalists to sign a letter of support for him.

It said: “We are gravely concerned that Greater Manchester Police is attempting to use counter-terrorism legislation to force a journalist to reveal all confidential source material from a book he is currently writing. This legal action poses a serious risk to the future of investigative journalism.

He continued: “It is particularly worrying that the police are putting these vital functions of an open society in jeopardy, over a case in which the key source has chosen not to hide his identity and has offered to speak openly to the authorities.

“We urge the police to recognise the widely accepted special status of journalists’ materials and to withdraw their legal action immediately.”

A spokeswoman for GMP said: “This is part of an ongoing investigation and we are unable to provide further details. However, as with all criminal investigations the police require assistance from people who may have relevant information.”

source:Press Gazette



Sinclair - May 21, 2008 01:29 PM (GMT)
Note that Shiv Malik's appeal is being heard today:

QUOTE
Police terror notes grab could endanger journalist
21 May 2008


By Patrick Smith, PA Mediapoint

Police attempts to seize a journalist’s notes under the Terrorism Act could have “a serious chilling effect” on British journalism, the High Court heard today.

And it was alleged that the unprecedented bid to seize journalistic material could even put a reporter's life in danger.

A two-day judicial review hearing began today in the case of journalist Shiv Malik who is seeking to overturn a production order made by Greater Manchester Police in March seeking notes of interviews he held with terrorist suspect Hassan Butt.

Representing Malik, James Eady QC said the order may be incompatible with Article 10 of the Human Rights Act, freedom of expression, and Article Six, the right not to self incriminate.

He said: “In short for Mr Malik there are significant problems: all the time and work that went into the book may be at risk. Sources do not make distinctions over whether the court has made an order or not, the perception would be that he has become a witness for the state.”

Eady added that Malik feared for his safety and the safety of his sources, many of whom would be revealed to police through the disclosure of his notes to them.

He said: “There is a very high value to be attached to press freedom especially where confidential sources are involved and particularly in this investigation.

“Because the order is so wide ranging…it would have a serious chilling effect.”

On Friday this week the Sunday Times, BBC, Prospect Magazine and CBS News will all fight similar orders at a hearing in Manchester - also relating to notes involving Butt.

Speaking of those orders, Eady said: “These applications are illustrative of the damage that is being done to the freedom of the press.”

He also said: “Terrorism is probably the pressing issue of the age.

"What makes those who who take part in it do so is a subject of the widest public interest, and so is an insight into the reality of what goes on - particularly if it leads someone who was committed to the cause to rethink and seek to remove himself from it.

"Serious journalism directed at shedding light on those features, drawing on experiences of an individual who has been there, is of the highest public importance."

He added that the case concerned "the interface between a variety of rights and powers and freedoms".


Andrew Edis QC, representing Manchester Police, said the police wanted information in relation to a pending terrorism trial off someone identified only as “A”.

Hassan Butt is currently in police custody and GMP have until today to either charge him, release him or apply to a judge for more time to question him.

The court heard that he has been interviewed by police at least 18 times since he was taken into custod on 9 May.

Three judges are hearing the challenge by Malik, who is a freelance.

The Manchester Police order requires Malik to disclose all source material for a book he is writing, Leaving al Qaeda: Inside The Mind Of A British Jihadist, in collaboration with Hassan Butt.

Granted under Schedule 5 of the 2000 Terrorism Act, the order stipulates production of source material for the book, "all material" generated as a result of the project, and all information in Malik's possession regarding the alleged terrorist activities of Butt.

Refusal to comply with the order could lead to contempt of court proceedings and a possible two-year jail sentence for Malik, of Golders Green, north-west London.

Lord Justice Dyson, Mr Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Ouseley are hearing the case.

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?se...ycode=41209&c=1
(does anyone else get a strange message when visiting this link?)

Sinclair - May 21, 2008 06:01 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 17:28 UK
Police free former al-Qaeda man

user posted image
Hassan Butt was arrested on 9 May

Police have released former al-Qaeda recruiter Hassan Butt without charge.

He had been held since his arrest on 9 May at Manchester airport by officers from Greater Manchester Police's Counter Terrorism Unit.

Mr Butt, a British citizen, has spoken widely of his past involvement with terrorist activity, which he says he has now renounced.

Police said investigations were ongoing. Mr Butt has admitted to fundraising for terror networks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7413448.stm


"Police said investigations were ongoing". I wonder how this will play alongside Shiv Malik's case.

I wonder if Hassan Butt's story (ghost written by Shiv Malik, if it still goes ahead) will mention Butt's close association (in 2001) in Pakistan with (Crevice Trial & current '7/7 helpers' Trial) prosection supergrass witness Mohammed Junaid Babar?

Sinclair - May 21, 2008 06:55 PM (GMT)
Embedded links at the archived copy of the original article:
QUOTE

Exclusive: Was CBS Duped by Radical Islamist?
Adrian Morgan
Author: Adrian Morgan
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: March 28, 2007

On the CBS Show 60 Minutes, a member of the British radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun proclaimed he’s now rejected killing in the name of Islam. Not so fast, says FSM Contributing Editor Adrian Morgan, a keen observer and expert on British Islamists; Morgan presents his case and it looks like "taqiyya".

Exclusive: Was CBS Duped by Radical Islamist?

By Adrian Morgan

On Sunday, March 25 [2007], on its 60 Minutes show CBS aired an interview between correspondent Bob Simon and the former spokesman of the British radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun. The subject of the interview, 26-year old Hassan Butt, claimed that he had left support for killing behind him. Butt's apparent Damascene conversion, however, does not sit easily with his track record.

He told Bob Simon that in his past "we would take away the innocence from the person so they were no longer innocent men, women and children... and hence, combatants and allowed to be targeted."  Yet Butt asserted that now, "killing for the sake of killing, and killing in the name of Islam for the sake of killing, is completely and utterly prohibited. And there's a big disease, a big problem and a cancer in the Muslim world. And it's a very dangerous cancer, and it needs to be dealt with." In the interview, as he said these words, Butt's face showed no emotion. His voice was slower, and more importantly he did not blink at all, as if his face had become a mask. Close scrutiny of his demeanor gives a strong impression that Butt is lying.

The leaders of Al Muhajiroun and its successor groups (Al Ghurabaa and the Saved/Saviour Sect) have always been scrupulous in their gathering of textual information from the Koran and the Hadiths to justify violent jihad against "enemies of Islam", including infidels, and even old women who did not show enough respect:

"At the time of the Messenger Muhammad (saw) there were individuals like these who dishonored and insulted him upon whom the Islamic judgement was executed. Such people were not tolerated in the past and throughout the history of Islam were dealt with according to the Shariah. Ka'ab ibn Ashraf was assassinated by Muhammad ibn Maslamah for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his words, Abu Raafi' was killed by Abu Ateeq as the Messenger ordered in the most evil of ways for swearing at the prophet, Khalid bin Sufyaan was killed by Abdullah bin Anees who cut off his head and brought it to the prophet for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his insults, Al-Asmaa bintu Marwaan was killed by Umayr bin Adi' al-Khatmi, a blind man, for writing poetry against the prophet and insulting him in it, Al-Aswad al-Ansi was killed by Fairuz al-Daylami and his family for insulting the Messenger Muhammad (saw) and claiming to be a prophet himself.

Shortly after these incidents the people began to realize that insulting the Messenger of Allah (saw) was not something to be taken lightly and that by doing so would mean that you would be killed for it, a concept that many have seem to forgotten ."

Photographs of Hassan Butt from two or three years ago show him looking more "Westernized" than he appears on CBS. In his interview for Bob Simon, he wears a smaller beard, but his head is shaved underneath an Islamic cap.

There is much in Bob Simon's interview that seems authentic, such as claims that Butt raised $300,000 for jihad, with professional Muslims knowing that their donations would be sponsoring armed jihad. Butt's claims that drug-dealing was used by Muslim extremists to finance jihad tally with known facts - heroin from Afghanistan and hashish from Pakistan have long been used to finance jihadist operations. Despite this, the claims that Butt is now working to teach Muslims the "peaceful" truth at the heart of Islam and leading them away from extremism just do not ring true.

Butt was born in Luton, and attended the University of Wolverhampton. He had been expelled from university after physically attacking an open homosexual. Butt said in 2005 of his victim: "If someone wants to do it privately, that's fine, but don't come out publicly with it." There seems to be something here that Butt is not being "public" about. He had reached the age of 25 in August 2005, and was claiming that he had never dated, as his associations with radical Islam had taken precedence.

In 2005 Butt told Prospect magazine: "My mother is arranging for me to get married. Unlike Pakistani tradition, which doesn't allow you to speak to the girl beforehand, I've made sure that I've spoken to the sister, made sure that I'm compatible with her. Obviously, I'm not going to date her or court her."

In the CBS interview, Hassan Butt claimed that Mohammed Sidique Khan, leader of the four bombers who blew up parts of London's transport network on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people, had become radicalized after being urged to embark on an arranged marriage. Butt claims that other Muslims have become radicalized "as a result of them being tried to being forced [sic] to marry someone they don't want to marry". This argument is weak to the point of being specious.

In August 2005 Butt said that he first became introduced to radical Islam via the pan-Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. This happened, he claimed in Prospect magazine, when he was 17. In Sunday's broadcast interview, Butt claims that his adoption of radical Islam happened when he was only 16.

Butt's revisionist account of his history also extends to the numbers of people he had recruited to fight against coalition forces. He tells Bob Simon that he recruited between 50 and 75 people to undergo jihadist training in Pakistan. Yet in January 2002, Butt telephoned the BBC in Lahore, Pakistan, and claimed that he had recruited 200 volunteers to join the Taliban.

With such glaring discrepancies in his own accounts of his life and experiences, it is clear that there is nothing substantial in any of Butt's testimonies that can be relied upon. Butt tells Bob Simon that he knew Mohammed Sidique Khan, but claims not to have known of the bomber's intentions. Yet in May 2003, Butt told the Times newspaper that he knew of a number of British Muslims who wished to become suicide bombers. He said: "The number is getting close to 50. They are aged 17 to their late thirties. They are contacting me about organization."

"They are waiting for the right time, the right people. You don't just do it as individuals [sic], you do it as an organization. It's about screening them, testing them, making sure they are sincere. Then, when it's right, believe me, they'll all be used."

Butt spoke to the Times after two British-born Muslims had traveled to Tel Aviv. Asif Hanif had entered Mike's Bar on the sea front on April 30, and detonated an explosive belt. Three people died and 60 were injured in the explosion. His companion, Omar Khan Sharif from Derby, had failed to detonate his bomb. Sharif's decomposing body was found 12 days later, floating in the sea. Butt had claimed to the Times that Hanif and Sharif had both approached him for advice on carrying out their "martyrdom operations".

Butt had been officially expelled from Al-Muhajiroun in January 2002 after he had boasted to the BBC about his recruitment of jihadists. Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who had founded the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and who had founded Al Muhajiroun in 1996, claimed that Butt did not represent Al Muhajiroun and was acting alone.

Butt had gone to Pakistan in March 2001, and had been leader of the Al Muhajiroun office in Lahore. In September 2001, Butt had allowed US-based Islamist Junaid Babar to stay at the office. In August 2004, Babar admitted to a New York court that he had set up a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, and also that he helped a terrorist bomb plot in London. This plot has led to a trial of 7 individuals, which is still continuing.

The alleged leader of these 7 individuals, 25-year old Omar Khyam from Crawley, had earlier been sent to Kashmir by Al Muhajiroun. His family had gone to Kashmir to rescue him in 2000. This may be the "17-year old" that Butt admitted sending to Pakistan in his interview with Bob Simon. During his trial, Khyam admitted his involvement with Al Muhajiroun and that he attended a training camp in Kashmir when aged 17 [in 2001], but he has not said that he was sent there by the group. [He did not say a lot of things, after he refused to continue to give testimony in court during the Crevice Trial, due to his family in Pakistan being threatened by the Pakistan Intelligence Services (ISI)].

On October 25, 2005, the BBC aired an investigation by journalist Richard Watson. For legal reasons connected with the still unfinished trial, Watson disguised Junaid Babar's name as "Shafique". Watson said: "I'm in Cheetham Hill, in the northern suburbs of Manchester. I've just met with Hassan Butt, the British jihadist who was with Shafique in Pakistan. He won't be interviewed. But we understand from a very well-placed source that Mohammed Siddique Khan stayed at Hassan Butt's flat in 2003 and met with the self-confessed Al Qaeda fixer Shafique, both in Pakistan and back in Leeds."

After being officially expelled from Al Muhajiroun, Butt had returned to Britain in November 2002. On Monday December 2, 2002 Hassan Butt was arrested. Held at Paddington Green police station, the high security location in west London where Britain's terrorists are investigated, Butt was later released without charge.

In October 2001, Britain's defense minister, Geoffrey Hoon, had warned that any Briton found fighting coalition forces would face prosecution. Technically, Hassan Butt did not fight jihad, despite his claims of recruitment. In 2001, 200 British Muslims who had fought abroad were already known to the UK authorities, but so far none have been prosecuted. The reasons for Butt not being charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 have never been adequately explained; this act specifically makes it illegal for UK citizens to incite terrorism abroad, or to arrange terrorism training.

Hassan Butt is a fantasist, it seems. He certainly has had links with radical Islamists, but his desire to gain attention, to bask in limelight, is not the behavior of someone who is as involved in terror networks as he has previously boasted. In August 2004, he claimed to have recently met with "an autonomous Islamist cell in the UK which possessed large quantities of Semtex, and which was capable of launching an immediate and major attack." He told his interviewer that he was "without a doubt" under MI5 surveillance.

He also said that he prayed "to Allah that he accepts me as a martyr. If that's tomorrow, then tomorrow. If not, then whenever Allah wills." When his interviewer asked why he did not carry out his alleged wish, Butt said: "Everything needs to be done in an organized manner, with the current organizations that are working around the world."

Butt announced his conversion to "peaceful Islam" in January 2006 at Cambridge University's debating union. He preaches now that actions such as those carried out by the 7/7 bombers were wrong. In August 2005 he had said that if the world was to come under the banner of Islam "a lot of killing" is unavoidable. He claimed then that the 7/7 bombers were not immoral, but were guilty only of tactical errors: "I am not in favor of military action in Britain but if somebody did do it who was British, I would not have any trouble with that either."

Butt now claims that his family has rejected him for being a traitor to Islam, and he is under death threats from his former associates. He is writing a book, he says, about "moderate" Islam.

I do not buy into Hassan Butt's "conversion". I do not believe that he is doing anything other than "taqiyya", presenting a new gloss to the same hateful dogma he has previously espoused publicly. It seems he always wishes to be a center of attention. Previously he courted publicity by outrageous claims. Now he is courting publicity by claiming to have made a radical decision to become moderate.

There is no convincing explanation for his previous radicalism, not even an admission that when he boasted of his jihad recruitment he was young and naive. He has made absolutely no attempt at a full confession of his previous "sins". Perhaps such a confession would put him at risk of jail, but it would give his current posturing more credibility. Just because Hassan Butt claims he has reformed, that is no reason to believe him. 



FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Adrian Morgan is a British based writer and artist who has written for Western Resistance since its inception. He also writes for Spero News.
He has previously contributed to various publications, including the Guardian and New Scientist and is a former Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society.

© 2003-2007 FamilySecurityMatters.org All Rights Reserved


archive copy


Will Shiv Malik provide the convincing explanation of Hassan Butt's behaviour -his role as head man of Al-Muhajiroun (in Pakistan in 2001 when he was ~21), and his close associations with 'major players' Mohammed Junaid Babar, Omar Khyam, Kazi Rahman & Mohammed Siddique Khan?

I doubt it.

Sinclair - May 21, 2008 10:36 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
From The Times
May 22, 2008
Reformed jihadist released as court case begins
Andrew Norfolk

A former jihadist recruiter who now seeks to deradicalise young Muslims was released without charge yesterday after being held for 12 days under the Terrorism Act.

Hassan Butt, 28, who has been offered Home Office funding to support his work, was arrested by officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on May 9 as he prepared to board a flight to Pakistan. His release came as lawyers for the police appeared at the High Court to defend an attempt to force journalists to hand over materials relating to Mr Butt.

Shiv Malik, a freelance journalist who has helped the former extremist to write his autobiography, is challenging a production order obtained by the GMP against him. It requires him to give the police all his notes and source material for the book and all information in his possession concerning Mr Butt’s past activities.

The force is seeking similar production orders against the BBC, the American TV network CBS, the Sunday Times and Prospect magazine.

Mr Butt has made no secret of his past involvement in Islamist radicalism. He sent dozens of young British Muslims to training camps in Pakistan and raised large sums of money for the Taleban.

Mr Butt says he began to reassess his theological beliefs after the July 2005 suicide attacks on London, eventually repudiating violence and realising that “killing in the name of Islam, for the sake of killing, is completely and utterly prohibited”. He has since taken a public stance urging Muslims to confront the ideology that lures young people into Islamic militancy.

Mr Butt’s autobiography had been due for publication this month but its release was put on hold after the police obtained the production order against Mr Malik in March. The move is said to have followed references to Mr Butt made by a Mr A, a defendant in a forthcoming criminal trial who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Refusal to comply with the order could lead to contempt of court proceedings and a potential two-year jail sentence for Mr Malik, 27, from North London. The author, whose past investigative work on Islamist terrorism has been widely praised, won the right to challenge the order and a two-day judicial review began at the High Court in London yesterday.

James Eadie, QC, representing Mr Malik, told Lord Justice Dyson, Mr Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Ouseley that the subject before them was of “particular importance and concern”.

“This is a case about press freedom - the importance of that having long been recognised as vital in a democratic society, and we say this case has important ramifications.”

The hearing continues.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/c...icle3981090.ece

Sinclair - May 22, 2008 12:45 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Terror suspect freed as journalism notes fight goes on
22 May 2008

By Patrick Smith

...

A reporting restriction ordered by the judicial review panel of three judges, Lord Justice Dyson, Mr Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Ouseley, bans the press from mentioning the reason police are interested in Butt except to say that his arrest is related to a forthcoming terror trial in September involving a man known only as A.

...

source:Press Gazette







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