Anwar Al Awlaki,  education,  Terrorism

Undiebomber Began Journey To Radicalisation At UCL

The Telegraph has the story:

Qasim Rafiq, who is now a spokesman for the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, invited speakers who have supported a holy war and called for an Islamic caliphate.

Yesterday he refused to say whether he supported those concepts himself but said it was important that universities allowed freedom of speech as long speakers did not promote hatred or violence

Malcolm Grant, the provost at UCL, has called it a “spectacular insinuation” that Abdullmutallab was radicalised during his three years at the university.

However, it has emerged that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which assesses intelligence from MI5, MI6 and the GCHQ listening centre, identified UCL and 11 other universities as having a potential problem with extremism in 2008, the year Abdulmutallab left.

Security sources say Abdulmutallab was “beginning a journey” to radicalisation in London and was in touch with several extremists who were under surveillance.

Rafiq invited Taji Mustafa a spokesman for the group Hizb ut-Tahrir to speak at the university in November 2005 as part of a series of lectures called “Pearls of Wisdom”.

The government pledged to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT) in the wake of the London bombings earlier that year but changed its mind after heavy lobbying from the group.

HuT publicly advocates the non-violent establishment of shariah law in Britain but the London and Glasgow car bombers associated with members of the group in Cambridge and one of its videos tells viewers: “Force is used to protect the authority of Islam.”

Among a number of other radical speakers invited by Rafiq was Sheikh Riyadh ul-Haq who has supported the Taliban, questioned Osama bin Laden’s guilt, and has said that Muslims should be “willing to sacrifice anything that may be required” and should not “befriend the kuffar” [non-believers].

Another speaker was Abdur Raheem Green, a former public schoolboy at Ampleforth called Anthony, who converted to Islam.

Green, 44, a former teacher at the London Central Mosque in Regents Park, led a talk on Islam and terrorism although he had previously claimed that “dying while fighting jihad is one of the surest ways to paradise.” He now says he has renounced his extremist views.

When Abdulmutallab took over from Rafiq as president of the university’s Islamic society, they invited Asim Qureshi who had called on Muslims at a Hizb ut-Tahrir rally the previous year to support fighting in Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Qureshi told the crowd at the US embassy in London: “We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the west.”

Qureshi is a member of the campaign group Cage Prisoners, who have been associated with the radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who is said to have helped Abdulmutallab contact al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion think tank said: “Professor Grant has shamelessly attempted to deflect attention from the very real problems of radicalisation occurring on the UCL campus.

“The bigoted and extreme nature of some speakers who regularly address young Muslim students at UCL campus is astonishing.”

Not astonishing to anybody who has read Harry’s Place or The Spittoon.