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6 Muslims Charged In UK Kidnap, Beheading Plot

From a deeply saddened Washington Post:

A police officer stands outside a book shop in Birmingham in January 2007.

6 Charged In Alleged Terror Plot In Britain

By Kevin Sullivan
Saturday, February 10, 2007; A13

LONDON, Feb. 9 — British police charged six men arrested in Birmingham last week with terrorism-related offenses Friday, officially alleging for the first time that the suspects were plotting to kidnap and kill a British soldier.

Parviz Khan, 36, is accused of leading the plot with help from four other men arrested in pre-dawn raids last week and charged with providing equipment and funding for the plan: Mohammed Irfan, 30; Zahoor Iqbal, 29; Hamid Elasmar, 43; and Amjad Mahmood, 31. All five appeared in a London courtroom Friday and were ordered held until a Feb. 23 hearing.

The sixth suspect, Basiru Gassama, 29, was charged with failing to inform authorities about the plot, which is a crime under Britain’s Terrorism Act. He is due to appear in a London court Saturday.

David Shaw, spokesman for the West Midlands police, said police had recovered 4,500 pieces of evidence, including computers and mobile phones, that point to "the stark reality of what was being planned in our midst."

One of the men, Abu Bakr, told reporters after he was released that Britain had become a "police state for Muslims."

"It’s not a police state for everybody else because these terror laws are designed specifically for Muslims, and that’s quite an open fact," said Bakr, a university student who works in an Islamic bookstore that was raided by police. He said his week-long detention was "going to affect me for the rest of my life."

Bakr’s comments mirror a widespread feeling among Britain’s nearly 2 million Muslims that they are being unfairly targeted by police and government policies. Many believe that the actions of some religious extremists have cast unwarranted suspicion on the wider Muslim community

Prime Minister Tony Blair called the description of Britain as a police state "categorically wrong."

Jack Straw, a top official in Blair’s government, called the allegations "absolute, utter nonsense."

"We live in a democracy, and what we are sadly having to fight at the moment is people who seek to destroy the very basis of our democracy," Straw said in Parliament this week.

Also Friday, government officials announced that they had ordered the closure of an Islamic school in Sussex, southeast of London, that was raided in September as part of an anti-terrorism operation. Government education officials said the Jameah Islameah school had been closed for failure to meet government standards for independent schools.

The school, set in the countryside on 54 acres of land, was searched by scores of police in an operation in which 14 people were arrested in London. Media reports at the time said the school might have been used by radicals trying to recruit and train violent extremists. Police on Friday said 12 of those arrested were charged with terror-related offenses and are awaiting trial. Two were released without charge.

Where is the ACLU? Where is CAIR?

Many believe that the actions of some religious extremists have cast unwarranted suspicion on the wider Muslim community…

Right. When the main mosque in Great Britain has been shown to be a hotbed of "extremism."

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, February 10th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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