Bookshop Owner from Birmingham Jailed for Promoting Extremism



Last week, Ahmed Faraz, an Islamic bookshop owner an alleged Muslim radical from Birmingham, was sentenced to three years in prison for running a business publishing extremist texts and DVDs and distributing material that ‘encouraged terrorism’ (Daily Mail). Among the radical material distributed by Faraz was an Al Qaeda training manual and bomb-making instructions. As the Telegraph reports, it is thought that the material produced and distributed by Faraz found its way to the hands of almost every major terrorist in Britain, including the 7/7 bomber Mohammed Siddique Khan.


During trial, Faraz, an Islamic studies graduate, had claimed that the material was for academic research. However, the jurors at Kingston Crown Court found him guilty and convicted him of 11 of 15 counts against him. Judge Justice Calvert-Smith said publishing the books in the way there were was highly irresponsible, as they were published ‘to appeal to young people who had recently converted to Islam or became more religiously inclined as they got older’. Furthermore, he added the books ‘glorified terrorism. They implied approving of such attacks as 9/11 or 7/7’ (BBC).

Police demand former-terror agent’s book

Counter terrorism police have won the right to force the author of a new book about terrorism to hand over his research. The book about Hassan Butt, a British citizen who admits that he acted as a recruiting agent for al-Qa’ida and raised tens of thousands of pounds for terror networks. He said he left his network after the London bombings in 2005 and is now helping to turn extremists away from terrorism. In an exclusive interview with BBC Newsnight, he described how he helped hundreds of British recruits get weapons training in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the autumn of 2001. At that time he was working for the radical Islamist group, Al-Muhajiroun, which had set up offices in Pakistan. His network was offering young British Muslims the chance to fight with the Taleban against American and British forces. “We had built links with organisations to get trained, we had built links with organisations which could get people across the border safely and securely,” he told the BBC. He said that his network helped more than 600 British Muslim extremists get terrorist training abroad. One such jihadi was Mohammed Siddique Khan, who led the London bombers in the attacks on 7 July 2005. After the fall of the Taleban in late 2001, he stayed in Pakistan, making contact with Al-Qa’ida.