18 December 2010
MI5 and antiterrorist police are attempting to unravel what transformed the father-of-three into a terrorist.
But moderate Muslims in Luton, where Iraqi-born Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly lived for almost ten years, claim the authorities are to blame for turning a blind eye to the activities of hard core jihadi sympathisers in the area.
Unimpeded by the police, the group, now calling themselves “The Reflect Project” are accused of mounting a campaign of intimidation and violence against those who disagree with them.
Followers of the radical cleric Omar Bakri Muhammad, who is currently being held in jail in Lebanon on terror charges, the group are led locally by Ishtiaq Alamgir or “Sayful Islam” — Sword of Islam — a former inland revenue accountant.
Earlier this year Mr Alamgir helped organise the protest against the homecoming of troops from the town after their tour of Afghanistan, which ended in violence and several arrests.
Scores of police had to break up clashes between members of the right-wing English Defence League (EDL) and Muslims in Luton town centre. Trouble flared after Kevin Carroll, 41, lost at appeal at Luton Crown Court to overturn a conviction for using threatening behaviour at an earlier demonstration.
Up to 80 officers had to keep a group of Carroll’s supporters, chanting ‘EDL’, separate from opposition protesters. Carroll had objected to Muslim demonstrators who had shouted abuse at British soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, during a homecoming parade in the town in March last year.
They had shouted “British soldiers go to hell” and called them “butchers of Basra” . Carroll verbally retaliated, swearing at the protesters and singing “bin Laden’s mother is a whore”. He was charged and subsequently convicted of using threatening words and behaviour likely to to cause fear harassment and alarm. He was given a conditional discharge.