About time

July 8th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada was deported yesterday from Britain to Jordan to face terror charges, ending a more than decade-long battle to remove a man described as a key al-Qaeda operative in Europe.

The move comes after Britain and Jordan ratified a treaty on torture aimed at easing human rights concerns that had blocked previous attempts to deport the Palestinian-born Jordanian preacher.

British Home Secretary Theresa May announced Abu Qatada’s departure.

“This dangerous man has now been removed from our shores to face the courts in his own country,” May said. The Home Office posted a picture on Twitter of Abu Qatada, wearing a long robe and climbing the steps of a plane – proof that the lengthy extradition saga was over. He landed at Marka Airport in east Amman last night.

Abu Qatada was wanted in Jordan for retrial in several terror cases in which he was sentenced in absentia. Britain had tried since 2001 to deport Abu Qatada – whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman – but courts have blocked extradition over concerns that evidence obtained under torture could be used against him.

Amazing that it has taken 12 years to remove him. Well overdue.

 

Tags: , ,

Does he have a point?

February 6th, 2010 at 10:33 am by David Farrar

The Daily Beast interviews Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka.

What did the 76-year-old Mr. Soyinka—who divides his time between the U.S. and Nigeria—make of his country’s placement on a watch-list of states deemed to be incubators of Islamist terrorism? “That was an irrational, knee-jerk reaction by the Americans. The man did not get radicalized in Nigeria. It happened in England, where he went to university.

As did the 7/7 bombers.

“England is a cesspit. England is the breeding ground of fundamentalist Muslims. Its social logic is to allow all religions to preach openly. But this is illogic, because none of the other religions preach apocalyptic violence.

And remember this is a Nigerian, who has opposed apartheid in South Africa and the military rulers of his homeland.

Our conversation turned to Nigeria, where ferocious killings had just occurred in the central city of Jos, with Muslims slaughtering Christians, and vice-versa. Mr. Soyinka, here, began to brood: “A virus has attacked the world of sense and sensibility, and it has spread to Nigeria, where it has taken on a sanguinary dimension. Roaming hordes of killers are entering homes and dragging out people of other faiths and hacking them to death. In my youth, you heard, side-by-side, the church bells ringing and the beautiful, sonorous call to prayer of the muezzin. But now, it’s a disease. One doesn’t really know how to handle it.”

In other words, it was not always that way.

The day before, in his lecture on The Road, Mr. Soyinka earned a burst of applause with his own, ingenious solution: “I think this is where our rocket engineers and astronauts can come to our rescue. We should assemble all those who are pure and cannot abide other faiths, put them all in rockets, and fire them into space.” In our own conversation, he offered—almost apologetically—a more prosaic solution: “Education. And rigorous punishment for those who feel, not ‘I’m right, you’re wrong,’ but ‘I’m right, you’re dead.’”

I think such sentiments will get a lot of virtual applause also.

In Mr. Soyinka’s view, the origins of the current phase of the world’s religious strife—including all of the bloodshed in Nigeria—lie with Ayatollah Khomeini and his fatwa against Salman Rushdie, in 1989. “It all began when he assumed the power of life and death over the life of a writer. This was a watershed between doctrinaire aggression and physical aggression. There was an escalation. The assumption of power over life and death then passed to every single inconsequential Muslim in the world—as if someone had given them a new stature.

“Al Qaeda is the descendent of this phenomenon.

While it is not quite as simple as this, I think he is close to the mark. The world should have reacted to the fatwa against Rushdie with strength – sanctions if necessary. The EU should have said it is unacceptable for a Government to declare a death sentence over a non citizen due to a book they wrote, and that until it is rescinded, there will be no trade with Iran because you do not trade with barbarians.

More recently the world missed another opportunity with the Danish cartoons. The correct response to the death threats should have been not appeasement, but every newspaper in the western world publishing the cartoons.

Tags: , , ,

An endorsement you don’t want

September 19th, 2009 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

I doubt the SPD in Germany appreciate this implicit endorsement:

AL-Qaeda has warned Germans to change their government in the September 27 election, saying they will face a “bad awakening” if they do not, according to two intelligence monitoring services.

Germany was also told to withdraw its 4200 troops from Afghanistan or face being attacked at home, the US-based groups said.

In video footage a man identified as Abu Talha the German, and speaking in German, says that if Chancellor Angela Merkel is re-elected, “bitter times await the Germans,” according to IntelCenter and the SITE Intelligence Group. …

He appears to suggest that if German voters do not heed his warnings, Al-Qaeda will act within a fortnight.

The SDP candidate for Chancellor is actually the Foreign Minister in the grand coalition Government, so I doubt there will be a huge change either way.

Tags: ,

NZer arrested at Al Qaeda stronghold

February 12th, 2009 at 8:07 am by David Farrar

NZPA report:

Pakistani security forces have detained a 35-year-old New Zealander who was trying to enter an al Qaeda and Taleban militant stronghold on the Afghan border.

Pakistani intelligence officials who declined to be identified have said they suspected he might have links with Islamist militants.

The man, identified on his passport as Mark Taylor, was detained at a paramilitary checkpost on the outskirts of Tank town, about 280km southwest of Islamabad, which is the gateway to South Waziristan.

The top government administrator in Tank, Barkatullah Khan, told Reuters, the man had told the soldiers who detained him that he was going to South Waziristan to get married.

“He was travelling in a passenger van. He has a beard and was wearing a shalwar kamiz as a disguise,” Khan said, referring to a traditional baggy trousers and tunic outfit worn by men.

This may be totally innocent, but South Waziristan isn’t exactly a popular tourist destination.

Tags: ,