Britain’s Ostrich Mentality

By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen | September 16, 2005

Not even the July attacks in London have stopped the UK legal and political systems, media and academia from serving the Islamist terror agenda. Although new anti- terrorism laws were hastily adopted after the July bombings, if the past is any guidance, the implementation of the new anti-terrorism laws will be as ineffective as the earlier laws.

The Terrorism Act of 2000, in section 59 1(a), “Inciting Terrorism Overseas,” clearly states, “a person commits an offence if he incites another person to commit an act of terrorism wholly or partly outside the United Kingdom.”

Needless to say, such an act also constituted an offense when committed in England. Yet Islamist imams were allowed with impunity to incite suicide bombing in British mosques, on the Internet and in the media. They were allowed to do so because this incitement chiefly targeted Israel.

Although such incitement has recently lessened in intensity, the very same Islamist leaders, preachers, imams and scholars who supported it have been appointed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to a new task force to tackle extremism among young Muslims. Among the appointees are Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss grandson of Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and Inayat Bunglawala, the spokesperson of the Muslim Council of Britain.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security revoked Ramadan’s visa to the U.S. last year, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which covers undocumented immigrants who have used a ”position of prominence within any country to endorse or espouse terrorist activity.”

The UK, however, welcomed Ramadan not only to its anti-terror task force but also to teach at Oxford University. To top it, in August, Scotland Yard paid $15,000 to Ramadan to speak at a conference for Muslim youth.

According to Spanish judge Balatasar Garz’n, Ramadan had “routine contacts” with Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian, believed to be both the financial chief of al-Qaeda, and the financier of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. In 1995, during a series of terrorist attacks in Paris perpetrated by the Algerian Armed Islamist Movement (AIM), French Interior Minister Jean Louis Debre forbade Ramadan to enter France because of his connections to that terrorist group. And according to the French daily newspaper Le Monde, Ramadan is suspected of having links with al-Qaeda, and is believed to have organized a 1991 meeting between al-Qaeda second-in-charge, Ayman al Zawahiri, and Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center which killed six people and injured more than 1,000.

Another task force appointee, Bunglawala, a month before the first World Trade Center bombing, wrote a letter to the British magazine Private Eye calling Sheikh Rahman “courageous.” When Rahman was arrested, Bunglawala said it was only because he was “calling on Muslims to fulfill their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere.” Five months before 9/11, Bunglawala also “circulated writings of Osama bin Laden,” calling bin Laden a “freedom fighter.”

UK support for terrorism is not limited to Muslim scholars. The leading cheerleaders for suicide bombers include many public officials. Take MP Jenny Tonge who was reelected to her seat in Parliament with a big majority despite her infamous statement: “I am a fairly emotional person and I am a mother and a grandmother. I think if I had to live in that situation [under Israeli rule], and I say this advisedly, I might just consider becoming one [a suicide bomber] myself.”

Then there is the London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who blamed the London bombings on “80 years of Western intervention into predominantly Arab lands because of the Western need for oil.” Also in July, Livingstone praised Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Egyptian Muslim scholar and resident of Qatar who supports suicide bombing, “The Palestinians don’t have jets and bombs, they only have their bodies to use as weapons.” On September 13, Livingstone said: “Sheik Qaradawi is, I think, very similar to the position of Pope John XXIII. An absolutely sane Islamist,”

Another Islamist supporter is MP George Galloway, who on August 21 announced, “Blair must go; Bush must go. Victory to the Intifada. Long Live Palestine. Long live the people of Iraq, thank you.” A fervent fan of Saddam Hussein, Galloway made £150,000 in his libel suit against the London Telegraph.

Articles published by the Telegraph detailed how Galloway received bribes as part of the United Nations oil-for-food program. Yet, Galloway won his libel case not by disproving these allegations, but because the judge ruled that he did not “have a fair or reasonable opportunity to make inquiries or meaningful comment upon them [the documents] before they were published.”

The use of the English libel laws to silence those who expose alleged supporters of terrorism is not limited to the Telegraph. Sheikh Khaled bin Mahfouz won many libel cases in the UK. Bin Mahfouz is the founder and funder of the Muwafaq Foundation, which according to testimony of former National Security advisor Richard Clarke on Oct. 22, 2003, “transferred at least $3 million, on behalf of Khalid bin Mahfouz, to Usama bin Laden [sic] and assisted al Qida [sic] fighters in Bosnia.” Bin Mahfouz and other wealthy Saudis regularly use the British court to attack reporters and news agencies. Most apologize and settle the cases, thereby avoiding the pro-plaintiff laws and the exorbitant cost of British litigation.

Earlier this week, a Palestinian NGO used the British legal system to issue an arrest warrant against Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog, a former Commander in charge of the IDF’s forces in Gaza, for “war crimes,” i.e. for protecting Israel.

London is also home to HAMAS’ most active front organization–Interpal. In 2003 alone it sent more than $20 million to different HAMAS organizations in the Palestinian territories. Despite the new UK anti-terrorism laws, Interpal sill lists on its website four different bank accounts to which contributors can send money to support HAMAS. Yet, the UK Charity Commission allows it to operate.

Despite the terror attacks in London and mountains of evidence that the Islamist agenda is the same as that of al Qaeda, the UK seems to lack the political will to save itself.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed–and How to Stop It, is director of American Center for Democracy and member of the Committee on the Present Danger and Alyssa A. Lappen is a freelance journalist who frequently contributes to FrontPageMagazine and other online journals.

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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist. She is the former Managing Editor at the Leeb Group (2012-2017); a former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); and a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991). She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977). During a decade as a freelance, her work appeared in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals. Ms. Lappen also contributed to the Terror Finance Blog, among others. She supports the right of journalists worldwide to write without fear or restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects. Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet. Her first full-length collection, The Minstrel's Song, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in April 2015. Her poems have been published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales' award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine. Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.

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