Anti-Terrorism Hotline Proves to Be Unsuccessful

26.05.2011

In July 2010, Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution initiated the project “Hatif”, a hotline to support those who want to put Islamist extremism behind them. Even before its launch, experts on Islam and security matters voiced their concerns both about the programme itself as well as the fact that it is run by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Almost a year after its initiation, the hotline has not had any success in fighting violent-prone Islamism in Germany. The programme is therefore now extended and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is hoping that imams will play a more active role in the de-radicalisation process in Germany.

 

Taxi driver in Chicago accused of supporting al Qaeda

Raja Lahrasib Khan, 56, was charged Friday with trying to fund al-Qaeda and discussing a possible attack on a stadium in the US in the summer. The complaint against Khan, naturalized citizen of Pakistani origin, was filed by FBI based on the conversation Khan had has with an FBI undercover agent

Twenty imams issue fatwa against attacks in Canada and the US

Twenty imams from across the country issued an edict condemning any extremists or terrorists who would launch an attack on the United States or Canada.

The fatwa, or religious guideline, says that “these attacks are evil and Islam requires … Muslims to stand up against this evil.” Religious leaders have a duty to show others around the world that Muslims in Canada and the U.S. “have complete freedom to practise Islam,” it says.

“In many cases, Muslims have more freedom to practise Islam here in Canada and the United States than (in) many Muslim countries.” The fatwa concludes that Muslims must therefore expose any person – no matter what their religious background – who plans harm to fellow Canadians or Americans.

Twenty imams from Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver, various Ontario cities and Houston signed the fatwa.

Boston area Muslim leader asks Muslim community to remain vigilant against radicalism

In light of this week’s arrest of Tarek Mehanna, an alleged terrorist with plans to attack Massachusetts malls and executive members of the federal government, a Boston-area Muslim leader has called on local Muslims to help “root out” radicals in their communities.

“As Muslims, we condemn the planning or committing of any acts of violence or terrorism,” Kaleem added. “We are particularly appalled by the prospect of random violence against our families, our friends and our neighbors in public areas.”

“If anybody senses imminent danger, they should alert the proper authorities,” said Kaleem, when asked if Muslims should call the cops on hate groups.

He added the Muslim community must show it’s more about civic pride and “pluralism.”

Khawaja appeals first Canadian terror conviction

The first Canadian to be sentenced under the country’s new anti-terrorism legislation will appeal against his conviction, his lawyer says. Pakistan-born Momin Khawaja was convicted of involvement in a foiled fertilizer bomb plot in Britain and sentenced to 10 years and six months.

He was found guilty in October 2008 by a judge in Ontario, Canada in a trial without a jury. Legal experts regarded the trial as a test of Canada’s anti-terror laws.

Khawaja’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, filed the appeal in Ontario, arguing that there were gaps in the prosecution’s evidence. During the 2008 27-day trial, Greenspon suggested Khawaja’s jihadist activities were consistent with his plan to fight with Muslim insurgents in Afghanistan. Such combat, he said, is lawfully exempted under an “armed conflict” provision in Canada’s anti-terrorism laws.

UK Muslims query on Turkish model

Britain has been seeking new methods in the fight against radical Islam and extremism. A delegation from the British Islamic Community visited Turkey last week and met with officials from Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate. The group questioned how imams sent abroad are trained in Turkey, said a Religious Affairs Directorate official. But they did not make a specific request to import the Turkish method, he said. Turkey has two imams in Britain. The Religious Services Consultancy within the Turkish Embassy in the U.K. is helping Turkish Muslims resolve their religious problems, the unnamed official said. The Religious Affairs Directorate dispatched 125 religious clerics to Europe during the last Ramadan. The latest trip by leading British Muslims came as part of the program “Projecting British Islam” aimed at building networks and partnerships with Muslim communities overseas. Various delegations representing a diverse range of British Muslim communities regularly pay visits mostly to Islamic countries and emphasize the favorable position of British Muslims in the U.K. compared to other countries, in particular their ability to freely practice their religion in a non-Muslim country. Their visits are said to be effective in undermining the frequently used narrative that the U.K. and the West are waging a “war on Islam. “The group believes a predominantly Muslim but secular country straddling between the East and the West, can play an key role in tackling extremism.

Extremism threatens both Turkey and the United Kingdom, they noted. They also value Turkey’s mission in the United Nations-led Alliance of Civilizations aimed at fostering inter-faith dialogue.
British Muslims also showed enormous interest in a hadith project carried out by the Religious Affairs Directorate, officials said. The directorate launched the project two years ago with 80 university academics to research if the existing hadiths are original and in compliance with Islam.

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Charity Guilty of Funding Terrorism

The Muslim charity “The Holy Land Foundation” and five of its former leaders have been convicted of funding the Palestinian militant group Hamas, designated a terrorist group in the US.

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Royal Canadian Mounted Police Search for Quebec Man who Urges al-Qaeda attack on Canada

Counterrorrist officials in the province of Quebec are searching for a man who has posted messages on the Internet forum called Minbarsos encouraging al-Qaeda to attack Canada. Under the pseudonym of Altar, the man wrote on September 25th, “the Canadian government supports the Americans. The government of Canada supports Israel. Canadian soldiers are sent to Afghanistan and Iraq. Now it’s Canada’s turn.”

The RCMP arrested a Moroccan man in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec last September for allegedly posting messages on the Web threatening terror attacks in Germany and Austria.

A similar case is reported by the Globe and Mail of a Tunisian man, Abderraouf Jdey, who received his Canadian citizenship in 1995, and is believed to have left Canada in November 2001. The U.S. government posted a $5-million reward for his capture after a martyrdom letter and video messages from him were found in the Kabul home of Osama bin Laden’s military lieutenant.

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National Post Editor Bemoans Lack of Public Policy Discussion in Recent Canadian Elections

J.L. Granatstein of the National Post daily newspaper bemoans the lack of discussion on public policy – particularly related to international relationships and the country’s stringent anti-terrorism laws – by leaders in the recent Canadian elections. Granatstein claims that compared to American presidential candidates, Canadian candidates said little about their genuine plans on these issues, and others like militant Islam or the Tamil Tigers. Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, became Prime Minister of a minority government on October 14, 2008.

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Two doctors face car-bomb terror trial in London

Two doctors charged with trying to bomb a Glasgow airport and London’s West End will be portrayed by prosecutors as terrorists in thrall to a fundamental form of Islam, a jury in London heard Wednesday. Justice Colin Mackay also instructed jurors to set aside their prejudices and prepare for “an interesting case.” Bilal Abdulla, 29, and Mohammed Asha, 28, have been in jail awaiting trial since the abortive June 2007 attacks. The Iraqi-raised Abdulla and Asha, a Jordanian, had worked in British hospitals since 2004. Two poorly designed car bombs abandoned outside West End night spots on June 29, 2007, failed to detonate. They were discovered only accidentally — one when paramedics spotted it emitting smoke, the other after it had been towed away by traffic enforcement officials. Police said both contained drums of fuel, packs of nails, timers and detonators. The following day, an attempted suicide car-bomb attack on Glasgow International Airport caused only one death — that of attacker Kafeel Ahmed, who suffered lethal burns while trying to ignite a propane-based bomb on board his vehicle. Indian-born Ahmed was the alleged driver of the sports-utility vehicle that rammed into security barriers outside the airport, while Abdulla was the alleged passenger. Police suspect that Abdulla and Ahmed also delivered the West End car bombs. Asha was arrested hours after the Glasgow attack while driving with his wife on an English highway, and police subsequently identified him as a likely ringleader based on cell-phone and other electronic records. Shawn Pogatchnik reports.

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