Six years for former soldiers who firebombed mosque after Lee Rigby murder

December 20, 2013

 

Two former soldiers who firebombed a mosque following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby have each been jailed for six years. Stuart Harness, 34, and Gavin Humphries, 37, made petrol bombs and threw them at the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre while being filmed on CCTV cameras they thought were turned off.

They were jailed today by Judge Mark Bury at Hull Crown Court after admitting arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered at an earlier hearing.

He jailed a third defendant, Daniel Cressey – who denied aiding and abetting the other two but was found guilty by a jury – for three years.

Judge Bury said: “Whatever your feelings of outrage were, you should have allowed justice to take its course. Instead you carried out a retaliatory act of throwing petrol bombs at the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre. As is usual in these cases, the victims had nothing to do with the events that so enraged you. They were entirely innocent law-abiding Muslims who were practising their religion in a peaceable way.”

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/six-years-for-former-soldiers-who-firebombed-mosque-after-lee-rigby-murder-9018507.html

Suicide attack of French Muslim in Syria

Liberation

A French Muslim killed himself in a suicide against the Syrian regime in Al-Hamam, a small village southwest of Aleppo, on Wednesday, according to the NGO Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH). The man in his 20s, named as “Abou- al-Qaaqaa” killed 10 soldiers in the attack by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) group.

Munir Farooqi case: Family home set to be seized under terrorism laws

The family home of a man convicted of attempting to recruit two undercover police officers to fight British soldiers in Afghanistan is set to become the first to be seized in the UK under terrorism laws. Forfeiture will now begin after the Court of Appeal rejected a challenge against his conviction by bookstall owner Munir Farooqi who received four life sentences in September 2011 for inciting jihad.

 

The decision means the Farooqis’ house in Longsight, Manchester, will be the first to be subject to seizure proceedings under the Terrorism Act of 2000 which entitles the courts to take property owned or under the control of terrorists at the time of an offence.

 

The family and their supporters have fought a vigorous campaign to highlight their case claiming three generations will be left homeless and penniless if the property, which is not registered in Munir Farooqi’s name, is forfeited.

 

They have argued that they are being collectively punished for a crime they did not commit. Farooqi’s son Harris, 29, who lives in the £200,000 house with six other family members, was acquitted of terrorism offences at the trial. His father ran an Islamic book stall on Longsight market.

 

Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Steve Heywood said the majority of the offences had taken place at the Farooqi home – one of three properties owned outright by the family. Stating: “This is unequivocally not about punishing family members, but demonstrating that if a convicted terrorist who was planning to recruit people to kill our soldiers abroad used a property to carry out this sort of criminality that it should be seized and any monies raised use to fund the on-going fight against terrorism,”

 

White Muslim convert planned to steal bodyguard’s gun and murder Prince Harry for having ‘blood on his hands’

Ashraf Islam, 31, formerly known as Mark Townley, confessed to police he had “advanced plans” to kill the Prince the day after he was arrested in May. Belfast-born Islam was held the day after Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, and said the fourth in line to the throne “had blood on his hands” after two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

 

At a sentencing hearing at Isleworth Crown Court, Lynne Townley, prosecuting, said Islam told an officer he had spent time watching soldiers on Horse Guards Parade “and planned to disarm an officer whilst disguised as a tourist rather than bringing a gun into London”.

 

After analysing his laptop police discovered a number of internet searches showing Islam had been researching Prince Harry’s protection team, where he lived, his royal engagements and his whereabouts.

 

A video found on the computer showed him making threats to kill Prince Harry to camera whilst he was in Malaysia.

 

Sentencing was adjourned until November 1 for an assessment of Islam’s mental health to be carried out.

Fort Hood Gunman Told His Superiors of Concerns

KILLEEN, Tex. — Days before he opened fire inside a medical processing building at Fort Hood here in 2009, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan sent two e-mails to his Army superiors expressing concern about the actions of some of the soldiers he was evaluating as a military psychiatrist.

In the e-mails, one sent 13 days before the attack and the second three days prior, Major Hasan asked his supervisors and Army legal advisers how to handle three cases that disturbed him. In one case, a soldier reported to him that American troops had poured 50 gallons of fuel into the Iraqi water supply as revenge; the second case involved another soldier who told him about a mercy killing of a severely injured insurgent by medics; and in the third, a soldier spoke of killing an Iraqi woman because he was following orders to shoot anything that approached a specific site.

 

The Army never fully investigated his concerns. On Nov. 5, 2009, Major Hasan walked into a medical deployment center to kill as many soldiers as he could as part of a jihad to protect Muslims and Taliban leaders from troops heading to Afghanistan, he has said.

In 2007, when Major Hasan was a resident in the psychiatric program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, the academic presentation he made that was required for graduation — known as his grand rounds presentation — stated that a risk of having American Muslims in the military was the possibility that they would murder their fellow troops.

 

He had also asked a supervisor at Walter Reed whether he qualified for conscientious objector status, told classmates during a fellowship that his religion took precedence over the Constitution, and in an academic paper defended Osama bin Laden.

 

Major Hasan’s radical beliefs and his correspondence with his Army superiors have played a limited role in his military trial, now in its third week at Fort Hood.

 

 

Many Fort Hood victims believe shooter wants death to be martyrdom, but still back punishment

Maj. Nidal Hasan and many of his victims in the Fort Hood shooting seem to want the same thing — his death. But while survivors and relatives of the dead view lethal injection as justice, the Army psychiatrist appears to see it as something else — martyrdom.

As the sentencing phase begins Monday following Hasan’s conviction for killing 13 people in the 2009 attack, the conflict has not gone unnoticed.

Autumn Manning, whose husband, Shawn Manning, survived being shot six times, views the death penalty as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Hasan would get what he deserves. On the other, it also gives him exactly what he wants.

In the end, she said, it makes little difference because the military has not executed anyone since the 1960s.

The attorneys protested, telling the judge he had a death wish and was paving the way for his own execution. The judge rejected their request to take over the case or to leave Hasan on his own.

Hasan, a U.S.-born Muslim of Palestinian descent, has indicated that martyrdom is a goal.

Martyrdom manifests itself in the Islamic holy book, the Quran, in two ways, said Emran El-Badawi, director of the Arab studies program at the University of Houston.

The shahid — or martyr — is adopted in one sense from Christianity and other early religions as someone who dies for the faith and goes to paradise alongside prophets and saints. Martyrs also appear in the Quran as fallen soldiers or those who died in battle, he said.

This modern concept of a martyr “is incoherent. It is unstandardized, and it is messy,” El-Badawi said, but it has been exploited by extremist groups like al-Qaida to encourage suicide attacks, even though some of Islam’s most prominent religious leaders have condemned this type of warfare.

Hasan apparently communicated with some al-Qaida leaders prior to the attack on the Army post and has repeatedly stated that the rampage was designed to prevent U.S. soldiers from going to fight in unjust wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hasan was to be deployed with some of the troops he killed.

Military Jury Convicts Army Psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Malik, on All 45 Counts in Fort Hood Rampage

KILLEEN, Tex. — A military jury on Friday found Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan guilty of carrying out the largest mass murder at a military installation in American history.

The verdict, delivered by 13 senior Army officers, came 17 days after Major Hasan’s court-martial trial began on Aug. 6, and nearly four years after the day in November 2009 that he killed or wounded dozens of unarmed soldiers at a medical deployment center at Fort Hood here.

Hasan, a Virginia-born Muslim, said the attack was a jihad against U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of his few displays of emotion during the trial came when he bristled after Osborn suggested the shooting rampage could have been avoided were it not for a spontaneous flash of anger.

For months and even years before the attack, his views of Islam had turned extreme. In December 2008, 10 months before the shooting, he sent the first of 16 messages and e-mails to Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born cleric who encouraged several terrorist plots. He asked Mr. Awlaki whether Muslim American troops who killed other American soldiers in the name of Islam would be considered “fighting jihad and if they did die would you consider them shaheeds,” an Arabic term for martyrs.

Mr. Awlaki never replied to that message. But in 2010, in an interview with the mental health panel that evaluated him, Major Hasan appeared to answer his own question. He told the panel if he died by lethal injection, “I would still be a martyr.”

 

The jury of nine colonels, three lieutenant colonels and one major deliberated for about six hours over two days before finding him guilty of 45 counts of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder, one count for each of the 13 people he killed and the 32 he wounded or shot at.

John Galligan, Hasan’s former lead attorney, said the jury did not hear all the facts because the judge refused to allow evidence that helped explain Hasan’s actions.

“Right or wrong, strong or weak, the facts are the facts,” he said. “The jury we heard from only got half the facts.”

 

He and prosecutors said his mission was to kill as many soldiers as he could as part of a jihad to protect “my Muslim brothers” from American soldiers deploying to Afghanistan. A year after the shooting, he told a military mental health panel that he wished he had died in the attack so he could have become a martyr. He expressed no remorse for his actions, only regret that he was paralyzed by police officers who shot him in ending the attack.

The start of the court-martial trial was delayed several times, largely because of Major Hasan’s efforts to keep the beard he had grown for religious reasons, in violation of Army rules. In contrast, Hasan Akbar, the Army sergeant who was sentenced to death in a grenade attack on his own camp in Kuwait in 2003, was convicted just two years after his attack. In Major Hasan’s case, three years and nine months have elapsed since the shooting.

His has also become one of the most expensive cases in military history, costing the government more than $5 million, including $8,000 a month to rent a trailer near the courthouse where Major Hasan, who acted as his own lawyer, could work on his case with access to a computer, printer and law books.

Muslims in the German Armed Forces: Observing Ramadan in Uniform

There are around 1,000 Muslims among Germany’s 250,000 soldiers. During Ramadan, they have the extra pressure of finding a compromise between their job and their daily religious fast. Ulrike Hummel reports

Chaouki Aakil is a sergeant in a logistics battalion. He also carries the responsibility for the soldiers during transport operations. A loss of concentration in a risky situation would be unforgivable, the 30-year-old says.

But that is a real threat during Ramadan, which this year began on July 9, and which requires practicing Muslims to fast between sunrise and sunset. If Ramadan comes during the summer – as it does this year – doing without food and water can be a real problem.

Is the Muslim call to prayer really such a menace?

The author Patrick Strudwick questions the outrage caused by Channel 4’s decision to broadcast the adhan by likening it to the ever present BBC broadcasting of songs of praise on a Sunday. Songs of praise is aimed at the devout. Its purpose is clear: to call followers to prayer, to convert non-believers, to ring out across the land like an air-raid siren from on high. The programmes, for transmission on British terrestrial television, will, I fear, inflame community tensions; whip up divisions between religious groups and even spark hate crimes against its devotees. So let’s ban Songs of Praise. The BBC is set to continue its weekly indoctrination of impressionable young viewers with this vile, dangerous programme. Call it a publicity stunt; call it the deliberate provocation of right-thinking atheists, but this supposedly innocent show about Christians flaunting their religion with hymns – some of which contain such incitements to holy war as, “Onward, Christian soldiers… Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe” – exposes once and for all the sinister agenda of the BBC: to turn all our children Anglican.

 

The Sun, the Ukip, and Tory MP Conor Burns however are “Vibrating with indignation at a frequency inaudible to rational adults” over Channel 4’s decision to broadcast the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, every morning during Ramadan, which begins next Tuesday. A spokesman for Ukip said: “It will inflame community tension”. Burns called it “politically-correct tokenism”. They fear, seemingly, that so soon after the Woolwich murder, such chanting could prompt further Islamophobic attacks, entirely unaware that theirs is an Islamophobic attack and that censoring religious worship would gain the respect of Mao.

 

They seem ignorant too of the entirely obvious truism that the more people know of a culture, the greater our understanding of the complexities, rituals and history of a faith, the more irrational fear is neutralised. Their broadcast, in three-part disharmony, is a hymn for a very un-British hate.

‘I am not a Nazi’, says EDL leader Tommy Robinson

 

Tommy Robinson, who is the organisation’s co-founder, was grilled about the EDL in a highly charged interview on the BBC’s Sunday Politics. Confronted by images of EDL supporters giving what appeared to be Nazi salutes, Mr Robinson said it was a “manipulated photo”. Asked by presenter Andrew Neil if it was a “fascist Nazi salute by any definition” he said: “I am not a Nazi, I hate Nazis, I hate fascism.” Mr Robinson said that the EDL had now advised that “whenever people hold their hands up like that we have told them to give the V” to avoid any misunderstanding. He said: “Nazism and Islamism are on the opposite sides of the same coin – we oppose both. Nazism has been defeated and Islamism is spreading across the country.” Mr Robinson said it was “political correctness gone mad” that the Help the Heroes charity had turned down a donation from the EDL in the wake of the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich. He added that the EDL had support among serving British soldiers: “Ordinary British squaddies support us – I know they do.” Last week serving soldiers were warned that taking part in any EDL activities could result in their dismissal. Asked if Britons were expected to believe that the EDL was “no more menacing than the Girl Guides”, he said: “Has anyone from the English Defence League blown anything up, has anyone from the English Defence League killed anyone, has anyone planned to bomb anything? “What you have to understand is there is a massive undercurrent of anger across this country – I have got my finger on the pulse, people are angry, you need to harness and channel that anger which is what we are trying to do.”