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 Mosques and Muslims targeted by right wing extremists (UK)

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Naomi

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Numarul mesajelor : 10
Data de inscriere : 2009-07-27

PostSubject: Mosques and Muslims targeted by right wing extremists (UK)   Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:45 am

By Aasiya I Versi (http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/paper/index.php?article=4166)

In a story that is shrouded in secrecy Counter Terrorism Units (CTU) across the UK have questioned 32 people and carried out property searches at 36 addresses leading to one of the largest seizures of arsenal since the IRA in the 1990’s.

The investigation revealed 300 weapons and 80 bombs, increasing the threat of extreme right attacks on Mosques and Muslim communities. With the exception of two arrests made in May, Leed’s CTU has categorically refused to reveal to The Muslim News further information on the raids and charges brought against the individuals which resulted in 14 arrests.

Philip Luty, 44, whose property in the Tinsill area of Leeds, revealed “a number of items including ammunition and a range of associated handbooks and documentation.”

The search led to the arrest of Terry Gavan, 38, who was found to be in the possession of “ammunition, firearms and a number of suspect devices.” Luty was arrested under suspicion of offences under the Serious Crime Act 2007 and has since been charged with three offences under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, while Gavan has been charged with with Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, 4 explosives offences and five offences under the Firearms Act.

The operation, which received virtually no media coverage, was only exposed after West Yorkshire Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison openly talked about the raids at a press conference this month saying, “The big bad wolf is still Al Qaeda, but my people are knocking over right wing extremists quite regularly. We are interdicting it so that it doesn’t first emerge into the public eye out of a critical incident like an explosion.”

Head of Scotland Yard’s Violent Crime Directorate, Commander Shaun Sawyer, speaking at a meeting arranged by the Muslim Safety Forum, spoke of the threats emerging from the far right: “I fear that they will have a spectacular... they will carry out an attack that will lead to a loss of life or injury to a community somewhere. They’re not choosy about which community.”

He also went onto mention the need to increase the investigative resources dealing with right wing extremism: “It is a small desk ...we need to grow that unit.”

Despite the arrests and subsequent property raids that began in West Yorkshire a few months ago, both the Scotland Yard and the CTU in Leeds have explicitly denied an increase in threat of terrorist activities from right wing extremists contradicting statements made by their officers in public appearances.

A Met police spokesman told The Muslim News, “There is no specific threat or intelligence of a far right attack.”

A spokesperson from the CTU in Leeds, said, “This is not an extreme right investigation.”

Muslim Safety Forum Trustee, Shamiul Joarder, told The Muslim News that the reluctance to report on the threat posed by far-right extremism was part of “a concentrated effort by the mainstream media to ensure terms such as terrorist and the fear that results from this are reserved only for Muslims. We welcome Commander Sawyer’s attention towards the rise of the far right but we must ensure that the police now deal with all far right activity robustly otherwise the community will rightly observe double standards are being applied again.”

This is not the first time that actions related to terrorism, defined as violent acts against civilians to achieve a ideological aim, carried out by individuals outside of the Muslim community have been dealt with far less severity from our police forces, courts and mainstream media.

On July 3 it was announced that a Glasgow man who threatened to blow up Glasgow Central Mosque has only been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Neil MacGregor also threatened to kill a Muslim a day until all mosques in Scotland were closed. MacGregor admitted telephoning and e-mailing Strathclyde Police to make the threats from a flat in Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, between January and February 2007.

The court heard that the e-mail read: “I’m a proud racist and National Front member.

We as an organisation have decided to deal with the current threat from Muslims in our own British way, like our proud ancestors.

Our demands are very small. Close all mosques in Scotland. If our demands aren’t met by next Friday, we’ll kidnap one Muslim and execute him or her on the internet, just like they did to our Ken Bigley.”

The Muslim News has uncovered other discrepancies over the years revealing a stark inequality of treatment metted out to suspected terrorists outside of the Muslim community.

On July 12, 2007, former BNP candidate, Robert Cottage of Colne, and dentist David Jackson of Nelson were cleared of plotting explosions despite being accused of stockpiling the largest amount of chemicals ever found domestically. Cottage and Jackson had bought the chemicals on the internet and discussed using them to cause explosions. Cottage got a two and half year sentence while Jackson walked free after 10 months in remand.

Sentenced on September 29, 2007, the ‘Cambridge letter bomber’ Miles Cooper, 27, a primary school caretaker was told he would not be eligible for parole for five years after five of his seven letter bombs went off leaving eight people injured in his two week terror campaign earlier in the year. In a seven day search what they had unearthed was a ‘bomb factory.’

His computer revealed he had extensively researched letter bomb making sites and was in possession of inciteful material but was not charged with Section 58 of Terrorism Act 2006 “of possessing a document useful for terrorists.”

Edward Mattison, 21, from Salford was sentenced to 14 months on October 9, 2006, charged for possessing ‘Mother of Satan’ substance that was used by the July 7 bombers.

He was arrested after he set off the device in his Manchester home and also a video showing him detonating a bomb on the M60 motorway field which left an 8ft crater.

On June 30, 2000, David Copeland, a former Neo Nazi member of the National Socialist Movement, was convicted only of murder despite carrying out a 12-day bombing campaign in April 1999 aimed at black Asian and gay communities. The attack claimed three lives, injured 129 people. (see The Muslim News issues: No 210 (Oct 27, 2006); No 219 (July 27, 2007; No 222 (Oct 26, 2007))
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