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Category Archives: Muslims

Babar Ahmad: 7 years without charge


Babar Ahmad

From: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/terror-suspect-interview-ruling-due-031218373.html

” Babar Ahmad, a 37-year-old British Muslim, is being held under controversial extradition laws as he fights removal to the US, where he is wanted for allegedly raising funds for Chechen and Afghan insurgents over the internet.

He strongly denies any involvement with terrorism.”

From: http://www.freebabarahmad.com/the-story/who-is-babar-ahmad

Babar Ahmad is a 37 year old British Muslim and the longest detained-without-charge British detainee held as part of the global ‘war on terror’.

Babar Ahmad was born in London in May 1974, and, until his imprisonment in 2004, lived in Tooting, South West London. His parents migrated to the UK from Pakistan in the early 1960’s. His father is a retired civil servant and his mother a retired Science teacher.

He went to a reputable public school where he won academic prizes and obtained outstanding results at both GCSE and A-Level. He then went to university and obtained a Master’s degree in Engineering from the University of London. Before his imprisonment in August 2004, he was working in the IT department at Imperial College London.

He is well-known locally in Tooting as a ‘caring and helpful’ member of the community through his years of youth work.

In December 2003 Babar was arrested at his London home under anti-terror legislation. By the time he reached the police station Babar had sustained at least 73 forensically recorded injuries, including bleeding in his ears and urine. Six days later he was released without charge.

Babar then filed a formal complaint that he had been subjected to horrific physical, sexual and religious abuse by the arresting police officers. In March 2009 the Metropolitan Police finally admitted in the Royal Courts of Justice in London that they did indeed carry out the Islamophobic and brutal assault on Babar Ahmad in December 2003. Moreover, they paid Babar Ahmad £60,000 compensation for damages. However, the Metropolitan Police have still offered no apology for the actions of their officers.

In August 2004 Babar was re-arrested in London and taken to prison pursuant to an extradition request from the US under the controversial, no-evidence-required, Extradition Act 2003. The US has alleged that in the 1990s Babar was a supporter of “terrorism”. Babar denies any involvement in terrorism. He has now been in prison for over five years even though he has not been charged in the UK.

On 03 June 2011, following a trial lasting five weeks at Southwark Crown Court, all four police officers charged with assaulting Babar Ahmad were acquitted. The jury took only 45 mins to reach their verdict and requested to meet the officers to shake their hands following the conclusion of the trial.

After the acquittal, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC, the Recorder of Westminster and Deputy High Court Judge said, ‘I express the hope that his ordeal as a man in detention in this country for a number of years without trial is brought to an end as soon as possible…It is no concern of this court as to which, but it is a matter of concern and I would have thought should be a matter of concern to the public at large, quite apart from Mr Ahmad, that here is a man who has been in custody for literally years without knowing what his fate is to be.’

On 22 June 2011, in a report released by the House of Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) urged the UK government to change the law so that Babar Ahmad perpetual threat of extradition is ended without further delay.

Babar’s family, friends and campaigners have mounted a high profile campaign for his release. He appeared in the news when it was revealed that the police had bugged his prison visits with his MP, Sadiq Khan (Labour-Tooting). His final appeal against extradition is at The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which is due to decide on it in late 2011. If extradited he faces the rest of his natural life in solitary confinement in a maximum security US ‘Supermax’ prison.

(Click here for statements from friends, work colleagues and family)

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The Real Truth of Wars – Dr. Dahlia Wasfi’s


I’ve a worse than crap Xmas Day – though, infinitely better than most people. I haven’t been murdered, bombed on, shot at, etc., etc. .

From: http://youtu.be/6_RvhvGZVkk

We have an obligation to every last victim of this illegal aggression because all of this carnage has been done in our name. Since World War II, 90% of the casualties of war are unarmed civilians. 1/3 of them children. Our victims have done nothing to us. From Palestine to Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia to wherever our next target may be, their murders are not collateral damage, they are the nature of modern warfare. They don’t hate us because of our freedoms. They hate us because every day we are funding and committing crimes against humanity. The so-called “war on terror” is a cover for our military aggression to gain control of the resources of western Asia.

This is sending the poor of this country to kill the poor of those Muslim countries. This is trading blood for oil. This is genocide, and to most of the world, we are the terrorists. In these times, remaining silent on our responsibility to the world and its future is criminal. And in light of our complicity in the supreme crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ongoing violations of the U.N. Charter in International Law, how dare any American criticize the actions of legitimate resistance to illegal occupation.

Our so-called enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, our other colonies around the world, and our inner cities here at home, are struggling against the oppressive hand of empire, demanding respect for their humanity. They are labeled insurgents or terrorists for resisting rape and pillage by the white establishment, but they are our brothers and sisters in the struggle for justice. The civilians at the other end of our weapons don’t have a choice, but American soldiers have choices, and while there may have been some doubt 5 years ago, today we know the truth. Our soldiers don’t sacrifice for duty-honor-country, they sacrifice for Kellogg Brown & Root.

They don’t fight for America, they fight for their lives and their buddies beside them, because we put them in a war zone. They’re not defending our freedoms, they’re laying the foundation for 14 permanent military bases to defend the freedoms of Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum.

They’re not establishing democracy, they’re establishing the basis for an economic occupation to continue after the military occupation has ended. Iraqi society today, thanks to American “help” is defined by house raids, death squads, check-points, detentions, curfews, blood in the streets, and constant violence. We must dare to speak out in support of the Iraqi people, who resist and endure the horrific existence we brought upon them through our bloodthirsty imperial crusade. We must dare to speak out in support of those American war-resisters, the real military heroes, who uphold their oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, including those terrorist cells in Washington DC more commonly known as the Legislative, Executive & Judicial branches.

“If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress”

Frederick Douglass said

“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both … but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Every one of us, every one of us must keep demanding, keep fighting, keep thundering, keep plowing, keep speaking, keep struggling until justice is served. NO justice, NO peace.

http://phoenixaquua.blogspot.com/2011/05/truth-hurts-lies-kill-real-truth-of….

 

Detained without charge in the United Kingdom for 7 years


Still think that you live in a free country?

From: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/10/487372.html

“Babar Ahmad, a British citizen detained for 7 years without charge is sought by the U.S. for extradition. The Free Babar Ahmad Campaign need 100,000 signatures by 10th November 2011 deadline, to necessarily force the issue of his extradition before Parliament. Please sign the online petition and ask your friends to do the same by clicking here  http://www.freebabarahmad.com/ .”

 

US assassinates it own citizens with no due process


Dead (wo)men can’t protest their innocence.

Glenn Greenwald reports on the US assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen in Yemen, who had not been charged with (or convicted of) any crime. Al-Awlaki was “far from any battlefield,” and no judge or jury considered any accusations that had been levelled against him, nor did he have the opportunity to face his accusers nor offer a defense. Whether or not al-Awlaki was a terrorist (something no court can determine now), this sets a new precedent: the US can assassinate its own citizens on presidential order without any due process or accountability.

From: http://boingboing.net/2011/09/30/new-reality-us-assassinates-it-own-citizens-with-no-due-process.html

 

FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims Are ‘Violent, Radical’


The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”

At the Bureau’s training ground in Quantico, Virginia, agents are shown a chart contending that the more “devout” a Muslim, the more likely he is to be “violent.” Those destructive tendencies cannot be reversed, an FBI instructional presentation adds: “Any war against non-believers is justified” under Muslim law; a “moderating process cannot happen if the Koran continues to be regarded as the unalterable word of Allah.”

These are excerpts from dozens of pages of recent FBI training material on Islam that Danger Room has acquired. In them, the Constitutionally protected religious faith of millions of Americans is portrayed as an indicator of terrorist activity.

“There may not be a ‘radical’ threat as much as it is simply a normal assertion of the orthodox ideology,” one FBI presentation notes. “The strategic themes animating these Islamic values are not fringe; they are main stream.”

The FBI isn’t just treading on thin legal ice by portraying ordinary, observant Americans as terrorists-in-waiting, former counterterrorism agents say. It’s also playing into al-Qaida’s hands.

Focusing on the religious behavior of American citizens instead of proven indicators of criminal activity like stockpiling guns or using shady financing makes it more likely that the FBI will miss the real warning signs of terrorism. And depicting Islam as inseparable from political violence is exactly the narrative al-Qaida spins — as is the related idea that America and Islam are necessarily in conflict. That’s why FBI whistleblowers provided Danger Room with these materials.

Over the past few years, American Muslim civil rights groups have raised alarm about increased FBI and police presence in Islamic community centers and mosques, fearing that their lawful behavior is being targeted under the broad brush of counterterrorism. The documents may help explain the heavy scrutiny.

They certainly aren’t the first time the FBI has portrayed Muslims in a negative light during Bureau training sessions. As Danger Room reported in July, the FBI’s Training Division has included anti-Islam books, and materials that claim Islam “transforms [a] country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.” When Danger Room confronted the FBI with that material, an official statement issued to us claimed, “The presentation in question was a rudimentary version used for a limited time that has since been replaced.”

But these documents aren’t relics from an earlier era. One of these briefings, titled “Strategic Themes and Drivers in Islamic Law,” took place on March 21.

The Islam briefings are elective, not mandatory. “A disclaimer accompanied the presentation stating that the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. government,” FBI spokesman Christopher Allen tells Danger Room.

“The training materials in question were delivered as Stage Two training to counterterrorism-designated agents,” Allen adds. “This training was largely derived from a variety of open source publications and includes the opinion of the analyst that developed the lesson block.”

Not all counterterrorism veterans consider the briefings so benign. “Teaching counterterrorism operatives about obscure aspects of Islam,” says Robert McFadden, who recently retired as one of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service’s al-Qaida-hunters, “without context, without objectivity, and without covering other non-religious drivers of dangerous behavior is no way to stop actual terrorists.”

Still, at Quantico, the alleged connection between Islam and violence isn’t just stipulated. It’s literally graphed.

An FBI presentation titled “Militancy Considerations” measures the relationship between piety and violence among the texts of the three Abrahamic faiths. As time goes on, the followers of the Torah and the Bible move from “violent” to “non-violent.” Not so for devotees of the Koran, whose “moderating process has not happened.” The line representing violent behavior from devout Muslims flatlines and continues outward, from 610 A.D. to 2010. In other words, religious Muslims have been and always will be agents of aggression.

Training at Quantico isn’t designed for intellectual bull sessions or abstract theory, according to FBI veterans. The FBI conducts its training so that both seasoned agents and new recruits can sharpen their investigative skills.

In this case, the FBI’s Allen says, the counterterrorism agents who received these briefings have “spent two to three years on the job.” The briefings are written accordingly. The stated purpose of one, about allegedly religious-sanctioned lying, is to “identify the elements of verbal deception in Islam and their impacts on Law Enforcement.” Not “terrorism.” Not even “Islamist extremism.” Islam.

What’s more, the Islamic “insurgency” is all-encompassing and insidious. In addition to outright combat, its “techniques” include “immigration” and “law suits.” So if a Muslim wishes to become an American or sues the FBI for harassment, it’s all just part of the jihad.

On Tuesday, the leaders of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), warned that law enforcement lacks “meaningful standards” to prevent anti-Islam material from seeping into counterterrorism training. Some FBI veterans suspect the increased pressure on American Muslims has a lot to do with the kind of training that Quantico offers.

“Seeing the materials FBI agents are being trained with certainly helps explain why we’ve seen so many inappropriate FBI surveillance operations broadly targeting the Muslim-American community, from infiltrating mosques with agents provocateur to racial- and ethnic-mapping programs,” Mike German, a former FBI agent now with the American Civil Liberties Union, tells Danger Room after being shown the documents. ”Biased police training can only result in biased policing.” (Full disclosure: This reporter’s wife works for the ACLU.)

The chief of the Training Division, Assistant FBI Director Thomas Browne, came into his current job in January. His official biography lists no terrorism expertise beyond serving as a coordinator for a bureau “Domestic Terrorism Program” in Tennessee sometime in the last decade.

It is unclear what vetting process the FBI used to approve these briefings; if any Muslim scholars contributed to them; and what criteria Quantico uses to determine Islamic expertise. “The development of effective training is a constantly evolving process,” says FBI spokesman Allen. “Sometimes the training is adapted for long-term use. This particular training segment was delivered a single time and not used since.”

Several of these briefings were the work of a single author: an FBI intelligence analyst named William Gawthrop. In 2006, before he joined the Bureau, he gave an interview to the website WorldNetDaily, and discussed some of the themes that made it into his briefings, years later. The Prophet “Muhammad’s mindset is a source for terrorism,” Gawthrop told the website, which would later distinguish itself as a leader of the “birther” movement, a conspiracy theory that denies President Obama’s American citizenship.

At the time, Gawthrop’s major suggestion for waging the war on terrorism was to attack what he called “soft spots” in Islamic faith that might “induce a deteriorating cascade effect upon the target.” That is, to discredit Islam itself and cause Muslims to abandon their religion. “Critical vulnerabilities of the Koran, for example, are that it was uttered by a mortal,” he said. Alas, he lamented, he faced the bureaucratic obstacle of official Washington’s “political taboo of linking Islamic violence to the religion of Islam,” according to the website.

Back then, however, Gawthrop didn’t work for the FBI. He had recently stepped down from a position with the Defense Department’s Counterintelligence Field Activity. That agency came under withering criticism during the Bush administration for keeping a database about threats to military bases that included reports on peaceful antiwar protesters and dovish Church groups. It is unclear how Gawthrop came to work for the FBI.

Through an intermediary, Gawthrop told Danger Room that he was unavailable for comment before our deadline.

The FBI didn’t always conflate terrorism with Islam. “I never saw that,” says Ali Soufan, one of the FBI’s most distinguished counterterrorism agents and author of the new memoir The Black Banners, who retired from the bureau in 2005. “Sometimes, toward the end of my time, I started noticing it with different entities outside the FBI. You started feeling like they had a problem with Islam-as-Islam, because of the media. But that was a few people, and was usually hidden behind closed doors.”

Soufan, a Muslim, has interrogated members of al-Qaida and contributed to rolling up one of its cells in Yemen after 9/11. But by the logic of the FBI’s training materials, Soufan’s religious practices make him a potential terrorist.

McFadden, the former NCIS counterterrorist, has a lot of respect for his FBI colleagues, who he believes are ill-served by these Islam briefings. “These are earnest special agents and police officers who want to know how do their job better,” McFadden says.

Too often, McFadden says, counterterrorism training becomes simultaneously over-broad and ignorant. “Instead of looking for indicators of nefarious behavior, you have a sweeping generalization of things like, for instance, the Hawala system,” McFadden explains. “It’s a system that most of the developing world and expatriates from it use to move money around, including terrorists. But you can’t say the whole hawala system is about terrorism, just like you can’t say that Islam as a whole has anything to do with bad behavior.”

McFadden, a Catholic, believes that obsessing over obscure Koranic verses is as useful a guide to terrorist behavior as “diving into the rite of exorcism” is to understanding Catholicism.

On April 6, barely two weeks after the “Islamic Motivations for ‘Suicide’ Bombers” briefing at Quantico, FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the bureau’s budget before a congressional committee. Among his major points: the FBI needs cooperation from American Muslims to stop the next terrorist attack.

“Since September 11th, every one of our 56 field offices and the leadership of those offices have had outreach to the Muslim community,” Mueller said. “We need the support of that community … our business is basically relationships.” That is exactly the opposite message sent in the training rooms of Quantico, where the next generation of FBI counterterrorism is shaped.

From: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/09/no-flash-windows-8-metro/

 
 
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