Promoting failed jihadi Moazzam Begg at Downing Street earlier today is not enough for Amnesty UK. Now it will embark on a European tour with the fan of al Qaeda preacher Anwar al Awlaki:
Meanwhile, Reprieve, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and former Guantánamo detainee Moazzam Begg of the organisation Cageprisoners are today beginning a tour across Europe urging more states to offer the men a safe haven. The tour will be hosted by Amnesty International’s national sections.
Moazzam Begg and Kate Allen of Amnesty outside Downing Street earlier today
Perhaps Amnesty UK are gullible enough to believe Begg’s story about how he ended up in Afghanistan in the run-up to 9/11, just when the Taliban were harassing UN personnel, expelling foreign aid workers, and slaughtering the wrong kind of Muslim. It was charity work, don’t you know.
Or his story for Channel 4 about how he – most strangely – ended up choosing the very same escape route from Afghanistan as Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda fighters, with B-52 bombers in pursuit. He was worried about safety, you see, now that the Taliban were no longer around to maintain “a semblance of order”, which is an interesting turn of phrase for the horror they inflicted on Afghanistan.
Q. What did you want to do then, because you’re suddenly becoming more vulnerable?
Moazzam Begg: Well we evacuated from Kabul, myself and my family. I really didn’t want to give up all the projects that we’d begun, we put a lot of hard work, time, effort and money into all of this. Eventually my, my family evacuated separate from myself – I got caught off from them as I was visiting the city of Kabul, I was unable to reach them, I had to walk over the mountains for two days to arrive in Pakistan and try and reach them through a different route and try and reenter Afghanistan.
Q. This of course was to become a very big problem later because the Americans say that you went through the Tora Bora mountains –
Moazzam Begg: Right.
Q. – and this is when they, they believe you might have been engaged with al Qaeda.
Moazzam Begg: This is what they say. The reality of it, of course, is that it was a place that I evacuated from. The roads had become impossible, especially for foreigners, regardless of where you were from, and several people I had heard of had been attacked, captured, killed by literally highway robbers, because although the Taliban, however austere they were, still had some semblance of control around the country. Once that had gone there was no, no … left in the country at all.
Q. But how obvious a route was Tora Bora?
Moazzam Begg : I wasn’t aware of where I was going through, to be honest with you, it was just a, a route that, we were supposed to go through Jalalabad and apparently the roads had been cut off, … firing in the streets, eventually we drove to an area where there was, the road stopped and mountains began, I left with a group of Pakistanis and a guide, and we walked over into Pakistan.
Tora Bora, 2001
This is what Begg really got up to in Afghanistan, according to Con Coughlin:
But Begg’s account is starkly at odds with the signed statement he gave to FBI agents while held in Afghanistan after his capture in February 2002, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by The Daily Telegraph. In the statement, which US officials insist was not obtained under duress, Begg admits to having attended three separate al-Qa’eda terrorist training camps in Afghanistan where he learnt to fire AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and use primitive explosive devices.
In the statement, he also admitted that, when living in Britain, he acted as a “communications link” between radical Muslims in the UK and others living abroad.
During the war in Afghanistan in October 2001, Begg says he “was armed and prepared to fight alongside the Taliban and al-Qa’eda against the US and others”.
After the collapse of the Taliban, he retreated to the Tora Bora cave complex with Osama bin Laden and the rest of the al-Qa’eda leadership. From there, he made his way to Pakistan where he stayed with his wife and children until his capture by US forces.
The details contained in Begg’s FBI statement bear little relation to the contents of his book, Enemy Combatant, which he wrote after the British Government secured his release from Guantanamo in January last year.
Begg and his Cage Prisoners group do have an interesting relationship with the truth. Recall that this is how they dismissed concerns raised last summer about al Qaeda preacher Awlaki being the star turn at their annual fundraiser:
CP cannot comment on any other statements attributed to Imam al-Awlaki or other guests as we are unaware of their accuracy
This is ludicrous. “Inspirational“Awlaki is a hero to Cage Prisoners. You can still see his videos on the Cage Prisoners website, or read pieces lifted from his since martyred blog, such as this paean to Islamist ideologue Sayyid Qutb. That article is helpfully posted in the website’s “Islamic Focus” section, showing Cage Prisoners’ interest in Awlaki is theological, and most certainly not limited to human rights in the case of Awlaki or anyone else. Awlaki is all about jihad and Begg and Cage Prisoners know this full well. Unlike Amnesty UK, it seems.
Remember that Begg also defends hate preacher Ali al Timimi, who is serving life in the US for convincing young men to go to jihad shortly after 9/11. This is what Begg says of the man:
He cannot be regarded as an extremist, fundamentalist, lunatic type terrorist scholar that they claim abound. He is one of the most reasonable and middle of the path scholars that I have come across, who not only make sense in everything that they say, but they back it up with evidence from the Qur’an.
And here’s Timimi on Jews and jihad:
They seek to morally corrupt the region, as is the way with the Jews whenever they enter into a land.
We must understand this animosity that the Jews harbour and hold towards this ummah. It began from the time of the prophet and will continue until the appearance of their king and false god, the dajjal (devil), the Antichrist.
This type of animosity and hatred will continue towards this ummah since it has been since the time of the prophet until finally they come, being led by their king, who they expect, their awaited one, their false Messiah, who they will worship as God, the dajjal. This is the history of these people towards this ummah, their hatred and their animosity towards us.
So we need to keep this in mind, who are we dealing with when we talk about peace with these people.
As far as the idea of entering into a peace treaty, outside of these two reasons, namely, that the unbeliever has become submissive or to push back the greater evil, this becomes impermissible. Like in order to enter into a peace treaty because the Muslims feel themselves to be small in number. Or because the Muslims do not want to fight jihad, they don’t want to engage in war anymore, they, you know, just want to sort of enjoy the world, this becomes something forbidden by the sharia and Allah has commanded that we fight as Allah says: “fighting has been prescribed upon you but it is something disliked to you”. So therefore this is a ruling. As the prophet said in a hadith, that jihad will remain until the day of resurrection.
Here’s a nice little “inspirational” send-off for Amnesty UK and Begg’s European tour.