Belgian Broadcasters receive video terror threat

In a video received by Dutch broadcasters, terrorists threatened Belgium with “chaos, bloodshed, and atrocious attacks” in a DVD sent to several news editors. Three DVDs were sent to the Dutch broadcasters VRT and VTM, and the alternative, independent news website Indymedia.

The videos show three masked men against a background with Arabic writing. Two of the men were shown as armed, and the third as having a set of explosives tied around his chest. The videos were sent in an envelope with Al-Jazeera being indicated as the return address.

Federal Police are currently investigating the video and looking into whether it is authentic or possibly a joke, while still taking the tapes extremely seriously.

Full text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)

9/11 response ‘huge overreaction’ – ex-MI5 chief

She made it clear she abhorred “war on terror” rhetoric and the government’s abandoned plans to hold terrorism suspects for 42 days without charge. She also criticised politicians including Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, for trying to outbid each other in their opposition to terrorism and making national security a partisan issue. “National security has become much more of a political issue than it ever was in my day,” she said. “Parties are tending to use it as a way of trying to get at the other side. You know, ‘We’re more tough on terrorism than you are.’ I think that’s a bad move, quite frankly.” Rimington mentioned Guantánamo Bay, the practice of extraordinary rendition, and the invasion of Iraq – three issues which the majority in Britain’s security and intelligence establishment opposed privately at the time. She also challenged claims, notably made by Tony Blair, that the war in Iraq was not related to the radicalisation of Muslim youth in Britain. Asked what impact the war had on the terrorist threat, she replied: “Well, I think all one can do is look at what those people who’ve been arrested or have left suicide videos say about their motivation. And most of them, as far as I’m aware, say that the war in Iraq played a significant part in persuading them that this is the right course of action to take.

Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Schoolboy extremist faces jail over terror training manuals: Teenager becomes UK’s youngest terror convict

A schoolboy recruited into a cell engaged in a “worldwide conspiracy” to kill non-Muslims yesterday became Britain’s youngest convicted terrorist. Yorkshire teenager Hammaad Munshi, who was 16 when he was arrested, downloaded terrorist materials including guides for making napalm and grenades. Now 18, Munshi was found guilty with two other men of possessing or making documents promoting terrorism. Material found in their possession included guidance for making lethal weapons, manuals on how to carry out assassinations and personal details of members of the royal family. During a three month trial at Blackfriars crown court in London, the prosecution accused the three of involvement in an al-Qaida-inspired conspiracy to attack the west. Munshi was leading a double life when he came to the attention of Leeds counter-terrorism unit. By day the teenager from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, whose grandfather is a respected Muslim scholar, was studying for his GCSEs at Westborough high school. But at home, stashed beneath his bed, he kept handwritten notes about his desire for martyrdom including the claim: “One who is not taking part in the battle nor has the sheer intention to die is in the branch of hypocrisy.” It was a small find compared to the hoard of terrorist material police discovered he had accumulated through the internet. He had collected notes on the manufacture of grenades and napalm, and his PC contained videos and audio clips showing mujahideen fighting and al-Qaida propaganda. Co-defendant Aabid Khan, 23, a former burger bar worker from Bradford, recruited Munshi when he was 15 and served as his mentor. Described as the “Mr Fix-it” of the cell, he had links to proscribed terrorist groups and ran an “online extremist support network” through which he hoped to recruit “a group of at least 12”. In one exchange he wrote: “What I want to do is cause trouble for the kuffar [non-believers] with hit-and-runs everywhere, cause fear and panic in their countries, make them nervous so they make mistakes.” Paul Lewis reports.

Channel 4 launches campaign for Islam season

Channel 4 has launched an online campaign to find 500 people called Osama as part of its Islam season. The broadcaster will follow a young female Muslim doctor and a filmmaker as they take on the project to track down 500 people named Osama in 50 days. Users will be able to follow their quest online as they upload photos, blogs and videos daily. Users will also be invited to get involved by sending in advice and tips to aid their quest. The project, Searching for 500 Faces of Islam, will be made into a documentary to be shown later in the year as part of Channel 4’s The Wonders of Islam season, which aims to highlight diversity and understanding of the religion. The site has been created by Mint Digital, which specialises in mixing online and TV projects.

Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)

UK terror suspect says bomb plans were stunt

A man has denied leading a plot to cause mass murder by blowing planes out of the sky with the excuse that he had meant instead to explode small devices inside the Houses of Parliament as part of a publicity stunt. Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, said that suicide videos which the prosecution claims prove a plot to bomb seven planes flying to North America were in fact made as part of a “propaganda” documentary planned for release after the small explosions in Westminster. He told a jury at Woolwich crown court that the “documentary” would be released on YouTube and was intended to expose the effects of British foreign policy. Ali is one of eight men standing trial after their alleged plot was disrupted in August 2006. They all deny conspiracy to murder and to endanger aircraft. In April, while opening its case, the crown played videos of Ali found after he was arrested in which he warned of “body parts… decorating the streets” if Muslims were not left alone. He is seen speaking against the backdrop of a black flag with Arabic writing on it. Ali said the root cause of the suffering was British and American foreign policy prompting him and co-accused, Assad Sarwar, to come up with the idea of setting off explosions in Britain to change things.

Website hailing suicide attacks gets 35,000-pound grant from British govt!

Ahead of the third anniversary of the 7/7 London attacks in which four suicide bombers killed 52 people, an Islamic website ‘’ backing suicide bombers has reportedly received a 35,000-pound grant from the British Government. The website carries dozens of hate messages by fanatics on its ‘support group” site. One of the members wrote of suicide missions: “If you can blow dozens of people up at the same time, great, absolutely great.” And, in another similar message a member praised a beheading video of British hostage Ken Bigley, saying: “I like the beheading videos of the prisoners of war ” especially the Daniel Pearl and Ken Bigley one,” reported The Sun.

Attacks Imminent? German Islamist Appears in New Jihad Vide

Two short films have appeared on the Internet featuring the German Islamist Eric B. in which he calls his “brothers” to join the jihad. The authorities have been hunting him for weeks, fearful that he could be preparing a terrorist attack in Kabul. The video messages are fanning those fears. The news spread like wildfire through the offices of Germany’s intelligence agencies. Two new terrorist videos had turned up on the Turkish-language Web site “Time for Martyrdom,” which has become an important mouthpiece for Islamist propaganda. And once again there were was a clear connection to Germany. German terrorist investigators are alarmed at the new videos. After an initial assessment, it was clear that the two short films feature the German Islamist Eric B. from Neuenkirchen in Saarland. For the past few weeks, a publicity campaign in Kabul (more…) has focused on finding him and his presumed accomplice Houssain al-M. Matthias Gebauer and Yassin Musharbash report.

Airline bomb plot ‘dedicated to Bin Laden’

One of the eight men accused of a plot to blow up transatlantic flights dedicated his actions to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, a court heard today. The 19-minute “martyrdom” video of Umar Islam, 29, was played to the jury at Woolwich crown court. Wearing a black and white checked headscarf, and sitting in front of a black flag covered in Arabic writing, Islam said Allah “loves us to die and kill in his path”. “To Mullah Omar and Sheikh Osama and the brothers, keep on going, keep on remaining firm, but truly you have inspired many of the Muslims and you have inspired me personally to follow the true path of the prophet,” he said. Six of the eight defendants on trial recorded videos outlining their hatred of the west and threatening further attacks, prosecutors said. The videos were found in the car and garage of another defendant, Assad Sarwar. During his speech, Islam pointed his finger at the camera and repeatedly checked notes on his lap. Haroon Siddique reports.

‘Airline plotters played tennis’

Several men accused of plotting to blow up passenger planes mid-air as they crossed the Atlantic made Islamic martyrdom videos, a court has heard. Six of the eight men recorded videos justifying “revenge” attacks on non-Muslims, jurors were told. They also researched other UK targets, including London’s Canary Wharf, and contemplated taking wives and children on suicide missions, prosecutors said. All eight men deny conspiring to murder and endangering aircraft in 2006. Their arrests in August that year led to a ban on passengers carrying most liquids on board aircraft.

Alleged would-be suicide bombers made ‘martyrdom videos’

Six Islamic fanatics recorded violent martyrdom videos as they prepared a terrorist attack on transatlantic aircraft, a court heard today. The gang’s leader told Western leaders to “stop meddling in our affairs” or body parts will be left “decorating the streets”, a jury heard. Another alleged bomber’s video message appeared to address the British public, accusing them of being too busy watching EastEnders and Home And Away to “care about anything”. Prosecutors said defendant Abdulla Ahmed Ali was willing to carry a home-made liquid bomb aboard a flight to north America and detonate it himself. Ali is one of eight men on trial accused of conspiring to murder and to endanger aircraft at Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London. They deny the charges. Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said the gang considered other targets in addition to at least seven flights leaving from London Heathrow airport within hours of each other. He said there was evidence Canary Wharf, a gas pipeline between Belgium and the UK, chemical companies, oil refineries and other UK airports were possible targets. The jury also heard how the gang stockpiled materials for their home-made liquid devices which were to be smuggled on to aircraft disguised as 500ml soft drinks.