CBN reporter Erick Stakelbeck visited London a few weeks ago and managed to track down several Al Qaeda sympathizers and other culturally enriched Britons of the Islamic persuasion. Some of then — including the notorious Anjem Choudary — agreed to be interviewed.
One of the interviewed terrorists is Yasser al-Sirri, who is wanted by the United States government:
Yasser al-Sirri has lived in London since 1994. In Egypt, he belonged to a terrorist organization led by al Qaeda’s second-in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri. In 1993, he was found guilty of participating in a failed assassination plot against Egypt’s then-prime minister and sentenced to death.
“The British government knows about my activities, my situation,” al-Sirri said. “Everything is clear and I have done nothing to break the law.”
Unfortunately, what al-Sirri says is almost certainly true — he has not broken the laws of the UK. Since extraditing him would violate his human rights, he remains comfortably ensconced in Britain.
London’s Islamic Radicals Speak Out
Great Britain recently raised its terror alert to “severe” following reports that al Qaeda was plotting new attacks.
But Britain may be facing an even greater threat from within — one the British government helped to create.
CBN News recently traveled to London to interview a number of leading Islamic radicals who have settled there with the full knowledge of the British government.
All Eyes on London
Just one year before attempting to blow up an airliner over Detroit, Christmas Day bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab studied engineering at University College London.
During his stay there, he networked with known Islamic radicals. Security sources believe he may have linked up with al Qaeda.
Abdulmutallab is just one of many Islamic terrorists with ties to London. Some live there with help from the state.
One example is Yasser al-Sirri, who faces a death sentence in Egypt.
Then there is Anjem Choudary. To date, he has not been charged with terrorism, but his pro-jihad views have led some to call him Great Britain’s most hated man.
“Many people love the idea of jihad, you know?” Choudary told CBN News. “And they want to engage in it.”
A radical Islamist can find a little bit of everything in London. Ex-jihadists, current jihadists, “wannabe” jihadists: they’re all there. So how did this happen?
During the 1980s and 1990s, British authorities granted asylum to a number of Islamic terrorists wanted in their home countries.
“All of this happened under the assumption that if you allowed these people to operate in London, if you allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do, they would not be attacking Britain,” terrorism expert Peter Neumann explained.
Neumann is author of the book Old and New Terrorism and heads the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization in London.
“The government, quite cynically, thought that whatever happened in other countries, whatever these people were plotting in other countries, was of no concern to the British government,” he added.
On July 7, 2005, explosions proved the British government’s open door strategy horribly wrong, as al Qaeda-linked terrorists killed 52 people in a series of bombings against London’s mass transit system.
One year later, London was the staging ground for a massive al Qaeda plot to blow up 10 transatlantic airliners.
“Only then did the policy change,” Neumann said. “However, the seeds of the radical Islamists’ activity had already been sown.”
Further details may be found at the CBN website.