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August 6, 2005
Muslim Elder Warned British Authorities About London Bomber

An elder at a London mosque tried to involve British authorities two years ago when a group tried to disrupt its moderate congregation through intimidation and preaching of radical Islam, CNN reports today. One of the leaders of the radical group went on to join the terror cell responsible for the July 21 bombing attempts on the London transportation systems:

A leader at a mosque visited by one of the London July 21 bombing suspects says he warned police that Hamdi Issac was dangerous more than two years ago.

An elder at the Stockwell Mosque in south west London says he wrote to a senior police officer urging him to help deal with a group of young people who had been "harassing" and intimidating the moderate Muslims.

Toaha Qureshi, one of the mosque's Trustees, told CNN that Issac -- the alleged Shepherds Bush attempted bomber currently fighting extradition from Italy -- was a prominent member of the group.

Qureshi took the unusual step of informing the local police force in writing that Isaac and others intended to turn his mosque into "another Finsbury Park mosque," at which al-Qaeda connected Sheikh Abu Hamza often preached. The letter warned Brixton police that Isaac and his cohorts preached racial hatred and religious intolerance.

British authorities apparently took no action to contain Isaac. They never discovered that he had entered the country on a forged passport under a false name (Osman Hussain, under which he first was identified after the bombings). He lived in Britain under political asylum, which means that the Home Office had some say as to whether he could continue enjoying British hospitality. Had the British taken these warnings seriously -- and getting a tip from a named source in writing should have pushed them to do so -- they could have revoked his asylum and sent him back to Somalia, the country he claimed to have fled (he actually came from Ethiopia via Italy).

In this case, British Muslims did their best to warn their government about the radicals in their midst. It appears that the authorities did not put much stock in their cooperation despite the public demands that Muslims start providing more support against Islamofascist terror. Like America, Britain seemed more concerned with maintaining their multicultural bona fides than in investigating true security risks. In the future, perhaps Western governments will listen when people like Toaha Qureshi try to speak.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 6, 2005 1:11 PM

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