This is a cross-post by Andy Lambert
Last year, the FCO found itself under scrutiny after a senior British diplomat was dragged through the courts after he was said to have been seen yelling ‘Fucking Jews’ in the gym.
More recently the OSCT was found to have recruited a hardline Salafi (and, like Abu Hamza, a former nightclub bouncer) called Asim Hafeez to the delicate position of Head of Interventions.
Unsurprisingly Asim has used this position to shovel heaps of cash to his fellow Salafi friends and has tried (often successfully) to cut funding to moderate and secular Muslim-led groups such as Quilliam.
Asim, incidentally, is also believed to have been involved in the failed attempt bya gang of civil servants led by Charles Farr to invite the extremist preacher Zakir Naik into the UK to give a series of speeches – against the wishes of the Home Secretary.
(Charles Farr’s gang of misfits had obviously failed to read the article in the obscure ‘Time Magazine’ about how prominent US terrorist Najibullah Zazi adopted terrorism after becoming ‘enchanted’ with Naik’s pro-jihadist rhetoric).
Now, however, troubling news reaches me that the FCO may have a new problem on their hands in the shape of a bright young thing named Simon Staffell.
My sources in the FCO tell me that in a short space of time Staffell has become well known for his pronouncements on why a range of Middle Eastern terrorists groups/individuals aren’t in fact ‘that bad’ and that the government should even be doing business with some of them.
Staffell has also become well known for being, to put it charitably, ‘anti-Zionist’.
Interestingly then we find that Staffell has even recently been scheduled to share a platform with Tunisian Jihadist Mohammad Ali Harrath and Hizb ut Tahrir enthusiast Hamza Tzortis at an event at Sheffield University.
I’m sure he was very effective at challenging the speaker’s habitual bile, deception and bigotry.
(NB. We’re working on getting a recording of all the talks given at this event through our contacts and we’ll be sharing these with our readers in due course.)
More troublingly, Staffell has been sighted hanging around East London Mosque outside of work hours with some of his extremist friends (some of whom have been featured on this very blog).
This most likely includes Muhammad Abdul Aziz, a trustee of the East London Mosque, who until recently was paid ridiculous amounts of money to ‘advise’ the DCLG – a position which he used to, umm, promote the East London Mosque (how come no-one saw that one coming??).
So what’s going on? My sources say that young Staffell is one of those classic left-leaning ‘liberals’ who has a soft spot for illiberal Muslims (they’re more ‘authentic’ Muslims, after all!), in the same way that the young and ill-informed of previous generations saw Lenin and Mao as being ‘authentic’ representatives of the working class.
Of course, Staffell knows what he’s doing with his promotion of extremists. He’s an expert on Muslims and extremists because he’s been to some of the Middle East’s cushier regions and has even studied Arabic language at university level, don’t you know!.
For these reasons and more we shall be keep a close eye on Staffell over the coming months and digging deeper into his previous antics.
Stay with us. It’s going to be a fun ride.