NYPD anti-terror program exposes split between New Yorkers and people outside the big city

NEW YORK — Ten years after 9/11, the New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims has exposed a bitter divide between New Yorkers and their neighbors across the Hudson River, with city leaders defending the police force and out-of-town politicians angry to learn of New York detectives working their turf.

In New York, where random searches in the subway are the norm and Lower Manhattan is a maze of security barriers and guardhouses, polls show many residents support the NYPD. Editorial pages have said broad surveillance is needed to protect the city.

But across the Hudson River in New Jersey, and increasingly in Washington, politicians have decried the NYPD’s programs, and newspapers have editorialized against the surveillance operations.

The intelligence-gathering was first reported by The Associated Press in August, but it wasn’t until February that its reporters obtained documents detailing how the NYPD monitored Muslims beyond the city limits.

British Muslim summer camp preaches “anti-terror” message

8 August 2010

Warwick University this weekend was the venue for what is billed as the
UK’s first anti-terrorism camp: 1,300 young Muslim men and women were
listening to Dr Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, an Islamic scholar with a gift
for rhetorical flourishes and what he describes as a message of love for
mankind. Talking in simple, slowly delivered sentences, the revivalist
Pakistani-born cleric takes his audience of predominantly young British
and European Muslims through what love means.

That anti-extremism message is at the heart of Dr Qadri’s worldwide
movement and its efforts to rapidly expand in the UK
(http://www.euro-islam.info/2010/03/02/british-muslim-organisation-rules-suicide-bombings-un-islamic-through-fatwa).
Earlier this year, he arrived in London to launch a launch a 600-page
fatwa, or religious ruling against terrorism. It is not the first such
fatwa but Dr Qadri’s followers say it is the first to have “no ifs or
buts”. The weekend camp, called “The Guidance”, was organised to back up
that fatwa and has recruited participants from cities across the country.

Two Pakistani students, held in anti-terror raids, have left the UK and returned home

Two Pakistani students arrested over an alleged terror plot have returned to Pakistan after deciding to leave the UK voluntarily, the Home Office has said. Abdul Khan, 26, and Shoaib Khan, 27, were among 12 people held by police after raids in north-west England in April, but the pair were never charged.

It is understood the men decided to leave after being denied bail while appealing against deportation. Abdul Khan said his detention had been “like a hell” and his treatment showed the British authorities “do not know what justice means”. The men’s solicitor, Amjad Malik, said his clients should have been freed instead of being held for months. Mr Malik claimed both men had been frequently strip-searched, subjected to “searches by dogs” and served tainted food. The British High Commission in Pakistan has rejected the allegations as “unfounded”.

Police carry out anti-terror raids across country

Twenty-six foreigners suspected of links to international terrorism and aiding illegal immigration, are being investigated by Italian police, after raids carried out in several Italian cities.

The raids were carried out in the northern cities of Vicenza, Venice, Padova, Brescia, Como, Cuneo, Trento, and Florence. Anti-terrorism and criminal investigators began probing fundamentalists attending the Via Dei Mille mosque in the northern Veneto region – led by an imam who is being investigated for terror links. Most of the 26 foreigners are stated to be of Algerian descent, and had already been involved in falsifying documents relating to jihadi groups, according to investigators.

Police anti-terror raids target suspected Islamists

Anti-terrorism police in Italy carried out at least 135 raids across Italy and are pursuing investigations of 11 foreigners suspected of having connections to an alleged Morocco-based Islamist group, Al-Adl Wal Ihsan. Investigators have called the Al-Adl Wal Ihsan – or “Justice and Charity” organization, a cover for a group seeking the restoration of an Islamic caliphate in Morocco and the abolition of the monarchy.

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Arrests during nationwide anti-terror raids

Spanish police arrested 13 men accused of harboring Islamic extremists, including several suspected of having connections to the 2004 Madrid bombings, and helping them flee Spain. The arrests were made in areas near Barcelona, Madrid, and Algeciras. The recent arrests stemmed from an operation three years ago, in 2005, in which Spanish police broke up a cell that allegedly recruited people for suicide attacks against US-led forces in Iraq. At least eight of the detained are of Moroccan origin; details about the others have not been provided

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Muslims cancel plan to stage anti-terror march in capital

A planned march by Muslims in Edinburgh to demonstrate their opposition to the London terrorist attacks has been cancelled. Muslim leaders met to discuss a possible march at the weekend, but have decided to hold low-profile local events instead. Smaller-scale prayer meetings and vigils are now set to be held across Scotland to help remember those who lost their lives in last week’s attacks. Jalal Chaudry, chair of the Islamic Society of Scotland and a member of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “It was felt there was not enough notice for people to travel from all over Scotland to a march.”http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=285B864FC440671C08CD4638&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

Family spied on using anti-terror laws

A family who were wrongly suspected of lying on a school application form have discovered that their local council used anti-terrorism surveillance powers to spy on them. The family, from Poole in Dorset, said they had been tailed for three weeks by council officials trying to establish whether they had given a false address in an attempt to get their three-year-old daughter a place at a heavily oversubscribed local nursery school, which their two older children had attended. The family had in fact done nothing wrong, and the investigation was eventually aborted. It emerged that Poole borough council had legitimately used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to monitor the family. This involved keeping a detailed log of their movements for two weeks, following the mother’s car as she took her three children to school each day and even watching the family home to ascertain their sleeping habits.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=A9D9093ABB29087D67EDF7F9&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

Sarwar opposes Brown’s anti-terror plans

Previously loyal backbench Muslim MP Mohammed Sarwar turned against Gordon Brown’s counter-terrorism plans and prepared to deliver the first parliamentary defeat of his premiership. Sarwar warned that tension in Muslim communities was rising as a result of the plans. Opponents said they were “reasonably optimistic” they would be able to throw out plans to extend the time terror suspects can be held without charge from 28 to 42 days. Their case has been strengthened by around a dozen MPs who voted in favour of similar laws in 2005, including Sarwar, who have changed their minds. Speaking about his decision for the first time, Sarwar reportedly said that he regretted supporting a 90-day limit and was concerned the legislation would unfairly target the Muslim community. The Glasgow Central MP said: “Last time I voted out of loyalty with the Government. “But since then there has not been a single case where prosecutors or the police have asked for an extension beyond 28 days. Only six people have been held for 28 days – three of whom were released without charge. The Government should think twice about doing this.”http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=D38ED310950F262F352E2733&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

Islamist extremism “here for many decades” says top anti-terror magistrate

According to Stefano Dambruoso, Italy’s best known anti-terrorism magistrate, Islamic extremism is widespread and has been deeply rooted in Italy and Europe for decades. Dambruoso says that anti-terrorism has improved in the past six years due the introduction of the European arrest warrant, and the creation of Eurojust – a body that fights terrorism. “Generally, cooperation to fight cross-border crime has improved, and is destined to continue to do so,” said Dambruoso. He asserts that mosques should not be targeted as breeding grounds for terrorism, and that most Muslims are there to pray and congregate. However, Dambruoso remains firm that some mosques have been used to proselytize, particularly in the south of Italy, and that we should not lower our guard.