Hassan Butt: Jihadist recruiter - recants

U.K. politics and terror threat analysis.

Hassan Butt: Jihadist recruiter - recants

numeral
Joined: 04 Dec 2005, 17:55

24 Mar 2007, 10:44 #1

Jihadist recruiter Butt renounces radicalism
Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:21PM GMT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A British Muslim whose public praise of Muslim militants earned him notoriety in Britain said in an interview with the CBS television programme 60 Minutes he has renounced his views and now opposes violence.

Hassan Butt first gained notoriety in Britain for telling the BBC in 2002 that Britons would fight the West in Afghanistan and would return to launch attacks in the United Kingdom.

Since then he has regularly appeared in British media as the voice of radical Islam. British media have regularly called for him to be prosecuted.

Butt admits in the interview to be broadcast on Sunday to actively recruiting young Britons to join extremist organisations and raising funds for jihad.

But he now says the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings of three subways and a bus in London have led him to question and ultimately abandon his commitment to radicalism.

Hassan said he turned away from violence because no religious leaders were able to convince him it was sanctioned by Islam.

"I've come to realise that killing ... in the name of Islam is completely and utterly prohibited," he said in a summary of the interview provided by CBS. "There's a big disease and a cancer in the Muslim world ... and it needs to be dealt with."

A CBS spokesman said the interview was conducted in London earlier this month.
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numeral
Joined: 04 Dec 2005, 17:55

04 Apr 2007, 14:39 #2

Was CBS Duped by Radical Islamist?
By Adrian Morgan  |  March 30, 2007

On Sunday, March 25, on its 60 Minutes show CBS aired an interview between correspondent Bob Simon and the former spokesman of the British radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun. The subject of the interview, 26-year old Hassan Butt, claimed that he had left support for killing behind him. Butt's apparent Damascene conversion, however, does not sit easily with his track record.

He told Bob Simon that in his past "we would take away the innocence from the person so they were no longer innocent men, women and children... and hence, combatants and allowed to be targeted."  Yet Butt asserted that now, "killing for the sake of killing, and killing in the name of Islam for the sake of killing, is completely and utterly prohibited. And there's a big disease, a big problem and a cancer in the Muslim world. And it's a very dangerous cancer, and it needs to be dealt with." In the interview, as he said these words, Butt's face showed no emotion. His voice was slower, and more importantly he did not blink at all, as if his face had become a mask. Close scrutiny of his demeanor gives a strong impression that Butt is lying.

The leaders of Al Muhajiroun and its successor groups (Al Ghurabaa and the Saved/Saviour Sect) have always been scrupulous in their gathering of textual information from the Koran and the Hadiths to justify violent jihad against "enemies of Islam", including infidels, and even old women who did not show enough respect:

"At the time of the Messenger Muhammad (saw) there were individuals like these who dishonored and insulted him upon whom the Islamic judgement was executed. Such people were not tolerated in the past and throughout the history of Islam were dealt with according to the Shariah. Ka'ab ibn Ashraf was assassinated by Muhammad ibn Maslamah for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his words, Abu Raafi' was killed by Abu Ateeq as the Messenger ordered in the most evil of ways for swearing at the prophet, Khalid bin Sufyaan was killed by Abdullah bin Anees who cut off his head and brought it to the prophet for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his insults, Al-Asmaa bintu Marwaan was killed by Umayr bin Adi' al-Khatmi, a blind man, for writing poetry against the prophet and insulting him in it, Al-Aswad al-Ansi was killed by Fairuz al-Daylami and his family for insulting the Messenger Muhammad (saw) and claiming to be a prophet himself.

Shortly after these incidents the people began to realize that insulting the Messenger of Allah (saw) was not something to be taken lightly and that by doing so would mean that you would be killed for it, a concept that many have seem to forgotten ."

Photographs of Hassan Butt from two or three years ago show him looking more "Westernized" than he appears on CBS. In his interview for Bob Simon, he wears a smaller beard, but his head is shaved underneath an Islamic cap.

There is much in Bob Simon's interview that seems authentic, such as claims that Butt raised $300,000 for jihad, with professional Muslims knowing that their donations would be sponsoring armed jihad. Butt's claims that drug-dealing was used by Muslim extremists to finance jihad tally with known facts - heroin from Afghanistan and hashish from Pakistan have long been used to finance jihadist operations. Despite this, the claims that Butt is now working to teach Muslims the "peaceful" truth at the heart of Islam and leading them away from extremism just do not ring true.

Butt was born in Luton, and attended the University of Wolverhampton. He had been expelled from university after physically attacking an open homosexual. Butt said in 2005 of his victim: "If someone wants to do it privately, that's fine, but don't come out publicly with it." There seems to be something here that Butt is not being "public" about. He had reached the age of 25 in August 2005, and was claiming that he had never dated, as his associations with radical Islam had taken precedence.

In 2005 Butt told Prospect magazine: "My mother is arranging for me to get married. Unlike Pakistani tradition, which doesn't allow you to speak to the girl beforehand, I've made sure that I've spoken to the sister, made sure that I'm compatible with her. Obviously, I'm not going to date her or court her."

In the CBS interview, Hassan Butt claimed that Mohammed Sidique Khan, leader of the four bombers who blew up parts of London's transport network on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people, had become radicalized after being urged to embark on an arranged marriage. Butt claims that other Muslims have become radicalized "as a result of them being tried to being forced [sic] to marry someone they don't want to marry". This argument is weak to the point of being specious.

In August 2005 Butt said that he first became introduced to radical Islam via the pan-Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. This happened, he claimed in Prospect magazine, when he was 17. In Sunday's broadcast interview, Butt claims that his adoption of radical Islam happened when he was only 16.

Butt's revisionist account of his history also extends to the numbers of people he had recruited to fight against coalition forces. He tells Bob Simon that he recruited between 50 and 75 people to undergo jihadist training in Pakistan. Yet in January 2002, Butt telephoned the BBC in Lahore, Pakistan, and claimed that he had recruited 200 volunteers to join the Taliban.

With such glaring discrepancies in his own accounts of his life and experiences, it is clear that there is nothing substantial in any of Butt's testimonies that can be relied upon. Butt tells Bob Simon that he knew Mohammed Sidique Khan, but claims not to have known of the bomber's intentions. Yet in May 2003, Butt told the Times newspaper that he knew of a number of British Muslims who wished to become suicide bombers. He said: "The number is getting close to 50. They are aged 17 to their late thirties. They are contacting me about organization."

"They are waiting for the right time, the right people. You don't just do it as individuals [sic], you do it as an organization. It's about screening them, testing them, making sure they are sincere. Then, when it's right, believe me, they'll all be used."

Butt spoke to the Times after two British-born Muslims had traveled to Tel Aviv. Asif Hanif had entered Mike's Bar on the sea front on April 30, and detonated an explosive belt. Three people died and 60 were injured in the explosion. His companion, Omar Khan Sharif from Derby, had failed to detonate his bomb. Sharif's decomposing body was found 12 days later, floating in the sea. Butt had claimed to the Times that Hanif and Sharif had both approached him for advice on carrying out their "martyrdom operations".

Butt had been officially expelled from Al-Muhajiroun in January 2002 after he had boasted to the BBC about his recruitment of jihadists. Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who had founded the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and who had founded Al Muhajiroun in 1996, claimed that Butt did not represent Al Muhajiroun and was acting alone.

Butt had gone to Pakistan in March 2001, and had been leader of the Al Muhajiroun office in Lahore. In September 2001, Butt had allowed US-based Islamist Junaid Babar to stay at the office. In August 2004, Babar admitted to a New York court that he had set up a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, and also that he helped a terrorist bomb plot in London. This plot has led to a trial of 7 individuals, which is still continuing.

The alleged leader of these 7 individuals, 25-year old Omar Khyam from Crawley, had earlier been sent to Kashmir by Al Muhajiroun. His family had gone to Kashmir to rescue him in 2000. This may be the "17-year old" that Butt admitted sending to Pakistan in his interview with Bob Simon. During his trial, Khyam admitted his involvement with Al Muhajiroun and that he attended a training camp in Kashmir when aged 17, but he has not said that he was sent there by the group.

On October 25, 2005, the BBC aired an investigation by journalist Richard Watson. For legal reasons connected with the still unfinished trial, Watson disguised Junaid Babar's name as "Shafique". Watson said: "I'm in Cheetham Hill, in the northern suburbs of Manchester. I've just met with Hassan Butt, the British jihadist who was with Shafique in Pakistan. He won't be interviewed. But we understand from a very well-placed source that Mohammed Siddique Khan stayed at Hassan Butt's flat in 2003 and met with the self-confessed Al Qaeda fixer Shafique, both in Pakistan and back in Leeds."

After being officially expelled from Al Muhajiroun, Butt had returned to Britain in November 2002. On Monday December 2, 2002 Hassan Butt was arrested. Held at Paddington Green police station, the high security location in west London where Britain's terrorists are investigated, Butt was later released without charge.

In October 2001, Britain's defense minister, Geoffrey Hoon, had warned that any Briton found fighting coalition forces would face prosecution. Technically, Hassan Butt did not fight jihad, despite his claims of recruitment. In 2001, 200 British Muslims who had fought abroad were already known to the UK authorities, but so far none have been prosecuted. The reasons for Butt not being charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 have never been adequately explained; this act specifically makes it illegal for UK citizens to incite terrorism abroad, or to arrange terrorism training.

Hassan Butt is a fantasist, it seems. He certainly has had links with radical Islamists, but his desire to gain attention, to bask in limelight, is not the behavior of someone who is as involved in terror networks as he has previously boasted. In August 2004, he claimed to have recently met with "an autonomous Islamist cell in the UK which possessed large quantities of Semtex, and which was capable of launching an immediate and major attack." He told his interviewer that he was "without a doubt" under MI5 surveillance.

He also said that he prayed "to Allah that he accepts me as a martyr. If that's tomorrow, then tomorrow. If not, then whenever Allah wills." When his interviewer asked why he did not carry out his alleged wish, Butt said: "Everything needs to be done in an organized manner, with the current organizations that are working around the world."

Butt announced his conversion to "peaceful Islam" in January 2006 at Cambridge University's debating union. He preaches now that actions such as those carried out by the 7/7 bombers were wrong. In August 2005 he had said that if the world was to come under the banner of Islam "a lot of killing" is unavoidable. He claimed then that the 7/7 bombers were not immoral, but were guilty only of tactical errors: "I am not in favor of military action in Britain but if somebody did do it who was British, I would not have any trouble with that either."

Butt now claims that his family has rejected him for being a traitor to Islam, and he is under death threats from his former associates. He is writing a book, he says, about "moderate" Islam.

I do not buy into Hassan Butt's "conversion". I do not believe that he is doing anything other than "taqiyya", presenting a new gloss to the same hateful dogma he has previously espoused publicly. It seems he always wishes to be a center of attention. Previously he courted publicity by outrageous claims. Now he is courting publicity by claiming to have made a radical decision to become moderate.

There is no convincing explanation for his previous radicalism, not even an admission that when he boasted of his jihad recruitment he was young and naive. He has made absolutely no attempt at a full confession of his previous "sins". Perhaps such a confession would put him at risk of jail, but it would give his current posturing more credibility. Just because Hassan Butt claims he has reformed, that is no reason to believe him.


The original article can be found at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/
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numeral
Joined: 04 Dec 2005, 17:55

20 May 2007, 14:45 #3

With the usual Murdoch Press warning.
Al-Qaeda Supergrass


EXCLUSIVE
By Lewis Panther
A FRIGHTENED supergrass today reveals how thousands of young Muslims are preparing to unleash fresh terror atrocities on Britain's streets.



Shame-faced Hassan Butt, 27, spent 10 years close to the heart of the al-Qaeda network as its preachers of hate recruited suicide bombers here.

He acted as a heartless fundraiser from the Muslim community, collecting cash to send brain-washed young Brits to terrorist training camps in Pakistan.

But, in the wake of the 7/7 London bombings, in which 52 innocent victims died, he no longer gloats about his sinister exploits.

Instead he is about to become the biggest whistle-blower of all time— by exposing how the radical Islamic extremists operate.

And he warned: "It's sad but we WILL have more atrocities like 7/7 because there are tens of thousands of Muslims who still support violence."

Wanted in Pakistan for plotting against President Musharraf, Butt is back here living in fear of our security forces — and of Islamic revenge squads threatening him with jihad.

Sinister

And at last he is ready to tell the truth about our enemy within.

He glanced nervously over his shoulder as he talked to our reporter in a cafe close to where the London suicide bombers hatched their deadly mission. He revealed how he:

COLLECTED "taxes" from doctors and wealthy businessmen in the Muslim community with his sinister team to fund terrorism.

LURED desperate drug addicts, aided by their evil dealers, in a plot to "poison the West with drugs".

BLAMES moderate Muslim leaders for failing to face up to preachers of hate like hook-handed Abu Hamza and exiled Omar Bakri, leaving them free to twist young minds.

Butt said: "Saying thousands of British Muslims support terrorism is no over-estimation. I know because I used to raise money from them. Doctors, teachers and businessmen would all chip in—and they knew it was going towards terrorism.

"There might only be a few who go on to become suicide bombers, but it only takes a few to do all the damage if they have got that support network around them.

"And the kids who are being recruited aren't getting any help from the mosques to stop them.

"The moderate Muslims like the MCB (Muslim Council of Britain) aren't doing enough to stop people like Omar Bakri. He's certainly to blame for wrecking a lot of lives."

It is the first time someone so senior inside the British Muslim terror network has spoken out about al-Qaeda.

Butt, a former law student, is paranoid about being watched by MI5 as he moves from sleeping on one friend's floor to another's. But he's even more nervous about being hunted down by his former friends who believe they are fighting a holy war. A gang of thugs have already stabbed him in the street after he renounced their violent ways.

But before he turned his back on terror, young Muslims, especially those who do not feel part of Britain, were easy targets for Butt.

He was raised in Manchester and was just 16 when he became involved in radical and pro-violent Islamic groups.

He said: "I was helping in a drug rehabilitation centre, which gave me easy access to potential jihadi recruits. The addicts were vulnerable and easy to convert to our cause.

Profits

"It may sound sick to outsiders but I genuinely believed I was fighting a war. That's why I was photographed with a loudhailer calling for Muslims to attack the British and Americans when I was in Pakistan.

"The centre also gave me easy access to the drug dealers. You got to find out who they were and they wouldn't stand up to us either. Knowing we'd been involved in terrorist training made them stand up and pay attention —and pay up part of their profits.

"They even thought they were helping our cause by only selling crack and heroin to non-Muslims. We saw it as a tactic of war to keep poisoning the West with drugs.

"We all believed that you could steal, rob, lie and even sell drugs to support our fight."

Butt found his recruits in the gyms and snooker halls. "We'd talk about the suffering of the Muslims all over the world," he explained.

"We were well versed in the Koran, in the sayings of the Prophet and could make them believe it was permissible for people to go around killing innocent men, women and children."

During his stay in Pakistan, Butt mixed with an even more violent band of radicals, buying guns to be shipped to fighters inside Afghanistan.

And it was there in 2002, at his flat in the capital Islamabad, that he met the ringleader of the 7/7 London suicide bombings, Muhammed Siddique Khan.

They were introduced by New York-born Junaid Babar, who later became star witness against the fertiliser bombers who plotted to kill hundreds of clubbers at London's Ministry of Sound and thousands of shoppers at the Bluewater complex in Kent.

At that time Butt sent dozens of young Britons across the Pakistani border into Afghan training camps. He stayed in the background, working his way up to become one of the most senior members of the now banned al-Muhajiroun organisation.

But since fleeing Pakistan and returning to Britain, Butt has had a change of heart.

"It was all the talk of killing for no reason that got to me," he said.

"People just wanted to go out and kill kaffirs (non-believers) just because they were kaffirs. Not because of the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. I started having deep doubts about this and how it fitted in with my beliefs and what the Koran said."

It was the 7/7 massacre that finally changed his mind about supporting the suicide bombers.

Innocent

"We couldn't believe that al-Qaeda had given the order to attack here in England," he said.

"London was a good place for us. We could move about and raise a lot of money easily.

"So it was strange for the bombings to take place there. Although I said I wanted to become a martyr, and praised the suicide bombers before, it's something that's bothered my conscience for a very long time.

"I couldn't get used to the idea that someone completely innocent sitting next to you could be killed."

Butt plans to publish an open letter to British Muslims in July calling for an end to the violence he once glorified.

It will tie in with the second anniversary of the London Tube and bus bombings.

He believes it's up to British Muslims to stop fanatics influencing more young, impressionable minds and hopes his U-turn on violence will influence others.

He said: "It'll be years before MI5 and the police get on top of it because it's so much harder to infiltrate the groups. It's going to take them 20 years. So it's up to us.

"There are friends of mine who are disillusioned. But they are nervous about being open because they've seen what happened to me.

"But someone's got to make a stand. What I've come to realise is that killing in the name of Islam for the sake of killing is completely prohibited. It's a very dangerous cancer in the Muslim world and it needs to be dealt with.

"As long as we Muslims do not acknowledge that there is a violent streak in Islam, we are always going to lose the battle to the militants."
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cmain
Joined: 19 Jan 2006, 21:24

05 Jul 2007, 21:36 #4

Faisal Haque on Hassan Butt's latest literary masterpiece.
Innocent until proven guilty
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Craig W
Joined: 28 Feb 2007, 17:00

05 Jul 2007, 23:25 #5

I knew nothing of Mr Butt (ahem...) until this Observer piece was raised triumphantly by a neo-con Islamaphobe on another forum. He cited it as proof of the very grave threat of Islamic extremism and the fact that it was a reflection of the inherent wickedness of Islam and definitely nothing at all to do with western foreign policy.

So I did a little research and found out a thing or two about Butt.

I was immediately struck at how convenient Mr Butt's curious career and extensive media appearances have been to those who would want to stoke the flames of Islamaphobia in the UK and create a credible context for "Islamic" terror attacks.

This latest piece fits well within this model and appears to be a blatant attempt (along with this deceitful offering from Melanie Phillips posted by the same neo-con) to support the offical story and exonerate western foreign policy from any culpability in Muslim extremism. Both are in effect apologists for western oil wars and imperialism in the Middle East.

Here is my annotated version of Butt's piece:
My plea to fellow Muslims: you must renounce
terror

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/ ... e_continue

As the bombers return to Britain, Hassan Butt, who was once a member of radical group Al-Muhajiroun, raising funds for extremists and calling for attacks on British citizens, explains why he was wrong

Hassan Butt
Sunday July 1, 2007
Observer

When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network (Does this group have a name and a precise identity at all? – CW), a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy (The suggestion here is that the suspicion that some Muslim grievance may be due to the excesses and abuses of western foreign policy is baseless. Clearly decades of wars and meddling could have nothing to do with the unrest among a small minority of Muslims... Right? – CW).

By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the 'Blair's bombs' line did our propaganda work for us (See? Anyone who thinks any of our despicable foreign policies have anything to do with Muslim unrest is “doing the terrorists’ work for them” – that makes sense… Right? – CW). More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology (What, all of the violence is because of Muslim theology and none of it is because of western imperialism, wars and other meddling… Right? – CW).

Friday's attempt to cause mass destruction (Let’s over-hype the clearly amateurish and small-scale of the attacks – CW) in London with strategically placed (WTF is that meant to mean? It was outside a nightclub not the US Embassy or British bank - CW) car bombs is so reminiscent of other recent British Islamic extremist plots (In what ways is it reminiscent? Come on, tell us. Or is this just another deceit? – CW) that it is likely to have been carried out by my former peers (Well this guy would know, right? I mean he claims to have been ONE of them. So clearly this validates the official story… Right? – CW)

And as with previous terror attacks, people are again articulating the line that violence carried out by Muslims is all to do with foreign policy (Again attacking the notion that foreign policy could have anything to do with it. Why are they not attacking Belgium, Japan, Ireland or South Africa, etc? – CW). For example, yesterday on Radio 4's Today programme, the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: 'What all our intelligence shows about the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq.'

He then refused to acknowledge the role of Islamist ideology in terrorism and said that the Muslim Brotherhood and those who give a religious mandate to suicide bombings in Palestine were genuinely representative of Islam. (Did Livingstone really say this? That sounds odd. On the one hand apparently refusing to acknowledge the role of Islamist ideology in terrorism and on the other implying that those giving a religious mandate for suicide bombings were genuinely representative of Islam? How does he square those two? What point is Butt trying to make here? – CW).

I left the BJN in February 2006, but if I were still fighting for their cause, I'd be laughing once again. Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the 7 July bombings, and I were both part of the BJN (You see? 7/7 was definitely done by those four Muslim nutters, I mean, I knew one of them when I was one of them… – CW) - I met him on two occasions - and though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many of my peers to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain, our own homeland and abroad, was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary state that would eventually bring Islamic justice to the world (So if we got out of the ME altogether it would still carry on? This claim may be true or could just be another means of saying “look it’s got nothing to do with all your wars in Muslim countries. We’re not bothered about them. Carry on bombing our Muslim brothers please.” – CW)

How did this continuing violence come to be the means of promoting this (flawed) utopian goal? How do Islamic radicals justify such terror in the name of their religion? There isn't enough room to outline everything here (Is this an excuse for a subsequent poorly argued “rationalisation” I wonder? – CW), but the foundation of extremist reasoning rests upon a dualistic model of the world. Many Muslims may or may not agree with secularism but at the moment, formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not allow for the separation of state and religion. There is no 'rendering unto Caesar' in Islamic theology because state and religion are considered to be one and the same. The centuries-old reasoning of Islamic jurists also extends to the world stage where the rules of interaction between Dar ul-Islam (the Land of Islam) and Dar ul-Kufr (the Land of Unbelief) have been set down to cover almost every matter of trade, peace and war.

What radicals and extremists do is to take these premises two steps further. Their first step has been to reason that since there is no Islamic state in existence, the whole world must be Dar ul-Kufr. Step two: since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world (Doesn’t this all rest on the definitions/translations of words like “war” and jihad? Isn’t it basically a debate between literalism and a metaphorical approach to Islamic theology? – CW). Many of my former peers, myself included, were taught by Pakistani and British radical preachers (Who? – CW) that this reclassification of the globe as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) (Where does this doctrine originate? Is it old or new? Western or eastern? – CW) allows any Muslim to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief. In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians.

This understanding of the global battlefield has been a source of friction for Muslims living in Britain. For decades, radicals have been exploiting these tensions between Islamic theology and the modern secular state for their benefit, typically by starting debate with the question: 'Are you British or Muslim?' (Who has been doing this? Perhaps this is so, but that doesn’t justify or explain why anyone would want to commit suicide bombings against civilians… - CW) But the main reason why radicals have managed to increase their following is because most Islamic institutions in Britain just don't want to talk about theology (Is this true? – CW). They refuse to broach the difficult and often complex topic of violence within Islam and instead repeat the mantra that Islam is peace, focus on Islam as personal, and hope that all of this debate will go away (Possible truths here but again there may be an exaggeration of the supposed violence inherent within Islam – CW).

This has left the territory of ideas open for radicals to claim as their own. I should know because, as a former extremist recruiter, every time mosque authorities banned us from their grounds, it felt like a moral and religious victory (I don’t understand this point. Are the preachers preaching this stuff not in Mosques then? If not, where are they doing their preaching? Is it not good that Mosques ban these nutters? – CW).

Outside Britain, there are those who try to reverse this two-step revisionism (What is he suggesting is being revised, Islam? If so doesn’t that suggest that Islam is actually not violent? In which case what is he trying to say? – CW). A handful of scholars from the Middle East has tried to put radicalism back in the box by saying that the rules of war devised by Islamic jurists were always conceived with the existence of an Islamic state in mind, a state which would supposedly regulate jihad in a responsible Islamic fashion. In other words, individual Muslims don't have the authority to go around declaring global war in the name of Islam.

But there is a more fundamental reasoning that has struck me and a number of other people who have recently left radical Islamic networks as a far more potent argument because it involves stepping out of this dogmatic paradigm and recognising the reality of the world: Muslims don't actually live in the bipolar world of the Middle Ages any more.

The fact is that Muslims in Britain are citizens of this country. We are no longer migrants in a Land of Unbelief. For my generation, we were born here, raised here, schooled here, we work here and we'll stay here. But more than that, on a historically unprecedented scale, Muslims in Britain have been allowed to assert their religious identity through clothing, the construction of mosques, the building of cemeteries and equal rights in law.

However, it isn't enough for Muslims to say that because they feel at home in Britain they can simply ignore those passages of the Koran which instruct on killing unbelievers. By refusing to challenge centuries-old theological arguments, the tensions between Islamic theology and the modern world grow larger every day. It may be difficult to swallow but the reason why Abu Qatada - the Islamic scholar whom Palestinian militants recently called to be released in exchange for the kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston - has a following is because he is extremely learned and his religious rulings are well argued. His opinions, though I now thoroughly disagree with them, have validity within the broad canon of Islam (Is he condemning all of Islam here? – CW).

Since leaving the BJN, many Muslims have accused me of being a traitor. If I knew of any impending attack, then I would have no hesitation in going to the police, but I have not gone to the authorities, as some reports have suggested, and become an informer (Let’s get that straight. I’m definitely not working for The Man. Of course, in reality he has probably been doing so for many years – CW).

I believe that the issue of terrorism can be easily demystified if Muslims and non-Muslims start openly to discuss the ideas that fuel terrorism (Is it not actions as well as ideas that fuel terror? Actions such as wars, economic meddling, oil shenanigans, imperialism, etc? – CW). (The Muslim community in Britain must slap itself awake from this state of denial and realise there is no shame in admitting the extremism within our families, communities and worldwide co-religionists.) (Come on. Admit it, my fellow Muslims, you're terrorists - CW) However, demystification will not be achieved if the only bridges of engagement that are formed are between the BJN and the security services. (Not sure what he is getting at here...? - CW)

If our country is going to take on radicals and violent extremists, Muslim scholars must go back to the books and come forward with a refashioned set of rules and a revised understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Muslims whose homes and souls are firmly planted in what I'd like to term the Land of Co-existence (Nothing wrong with that – CW). And when this new theological territory is opened up, Western Muslims will be able to liberate themselves from defunct models of the world, rewrite the rules of interaction and perhaps we will discover that the concept of killing in the name of Islam is no more than an anachronism.
Hassanbutt1@gmail.com
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Bridget
Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

05 Jul 2007, 23:55 #6

HI Craig W

Have you thought of sending Mr Butt your annotated version?

Hassanbutt1@gmail.com
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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The Antagonist
Joined: 25 Nov 2005, 11:41

27 Jul 2007, 23:47 #7

Was CBS Duped by Radical Islamist?
By Adrian Morgan  |  March 30, 2007


With such glaring discrepancies in his own accounts of his life and experiences, it is clear that there is nothing substantial in any of Butt's testimonies that can be relied upon. 

On Sunday, March 25, on its 60 Minutes show CBS aired an interview between correspondent Bob Simon and the former spokesman of the British radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun. The subject of the interview, 26-year old Hassan Butt, claimed that he had left support for killing behind him. Butt's apparent Damascene conversion, however, does not sit easily with his track record.

He told Bob Simon that in his past "we would take away the innocence from the person so they were no longer innocent men, women and children... and hence, combatants and allowed to be targeted."  Yet Butt asserted that now, "killing for the sake of killing, and killing in the name of Islam for the sake of killing, is completely and utterly prohibited. And there's a big disease, a big problem and a cancer in the Muslim world. And it's a very dangerous cancer, and it needs to be dealt with." In the interview, as he said these words, Butt's face showed no emotion. His voice was slower, and more importantly he did not blink at all, as if his face had become a mask. Close scrutiny of his demeanor gives a strong impression that Butt is lying.

The leaders of Al Muhajiroun and its successor groups (Al Ghurabaa and the Saved/Saviour Sect) have always been scrupulous in their gathering of textual information from the Koran and the Hadiths to justify violent jihad against "enemies of Islam", including infidels, and even old women who did not show enough respect:

"At the time of the Messenger Muhammad (saw) there were individuals like these who dishonored and insulted him upon whom the Islamic judgement was executed. Such people were not tolerated in the past and throughout the history of Islam were dealt with according to the Shariah. Ka'ab ibn Ashraf was assassinated by Muhammad ibn Maslamah for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his words, Abu Raafi' was killed by Abu Ateeq as the Messenger ordered in the most evil of ways for swearing at the prophet, Khalid bin Sufyaan was killed by Abdullah bin Anees who cut off his head and brought it to the prophet for harming the Messenger Muhammad (saw) by his insults, Al-Asmaa bintu Marwaan was killed by Umayr bin Adi' al-Khatmi, a blind man, for writing poetry against the prophet and insulting him in it, Al-Aswad al-Ansi was killed by Fairuz al-Daylami and his family for insulting the Messenger Muhammad (saw) and claiming to be a prophet himself.

Shortly after these incidents the people began to realize that insulting the Messenger of Allah (saw) was not something to be taken lightly and that by doing so would mean that you would be killed for it, a concept that many have seem to forgotten ."

Photographs of Hassan Butt from two or three years ago show him looking more "Westernized" than he appears on CBS. In his interview for Bob Simon, he wears a smaller beard, but his head is shaved underneath an Islamic cap.

There is much in Bob Simon's interview that seems authentic, such as claims that Butt raised $300,000 for jihad, with professional Muslims knowing that their donations would be sponsoring armed jihad. Butt's claims that drug-dealing was used by Muslim extremists to finance jihad tally with known facts - heroin from Afghanistan and hashish from Pakistan have long been used to finance jihadist operations. Despite this, the claims that Butt is now working to teach Muslims the "peaceful" truth at the heart of Islam and leading them away from extremism just do not ring true.

Butt was born in Luton, and attended the University of Wolverhampton. He had been expelled from university after physically attacking an open homosexual. Butt said in 2005 of his victim: "If someone wants to do it privately, that's fine, but don't come out publicly with it." There seems to be something here that Butt is not being "public" about. He had reached the age of 25 in August 2005, and was claiming that he had never dated, as his associations with radical Islam had taken precedence.

In 2005 Butt told Prospect magazine: "My mother is arranging for me to get married. Unlike Pakistani tradition, which doesn't allow you to speak to the girl beforehand, I've made sure that I've spoken to the sister, made sure that I'm compatible with her. Obviously, I'm not going to date her or court her."

In the CBS interview, Hassan Butt claimed that Mohammed Sidique Khan, leader of the four bombers who blew up parts of London's transport network on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people, had become radicalized after being urged to embark on an arranged marriage. Butt claims that other Muslims have become radicalized "as a result of them being tried to being forced [sic] to marry someone they don't want to marry". This argument is weak to the point of being specious.

In August 2005 Butt said that he first became introduced to radical Islam via the pan-Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. This happened, he claimed in Prospect magazine, when he was 17. In Sunday's broadcast interview, Butt claims that his adoption of radical Islam happened when he was only 16.

Butt's revisionist account of his history also extends to the numbers of people he had recruited to fight against coalition forces. He tells Bob Simon that he recruited between 50 and 75 people to undergo jihadist training in Pakistan. Yet in January 2002, Butt telephoned the BBC in Lahore, Pakistan, and claimed that he had recruited 200 volunteers to join the Taliban.

With such glaring discrepancies in his own accounts of his life and experiences, it is clear that there is nothing substantial in any of Butt's testimonies that can be relied upon. Butt tells Bob Simon that he knew Mohammed Sidique Khan, but claims not to have known of the bomber's intentions. Yet in May 2003, Butt told the Times newspaper that he knew of a number of British Muslims who wished to become suicide bombers. He said: "The number is getting close to 50. They are aged 17 to their late thirties. They are contacting me about organization."

"They are waiting for the right time, the right people. You don't just do it as individuals [sic], you do it as an organization. It's about screening them, testing them, making sure they are sincere. Then, when it's right, believe me, they'll all be used."

Butt spoke to the Times after two British-born Muslims had traveled to Tel Aviv. Asif Hanif had entered Mike's Bar on the sea front on April 30, and detonated an explosive belt. Three people died and 60 were injured in the explosion. His companion, Omar Khan Sharif from Derby, had failed to detonate his bomb. Sharif's decomposing body was found 12 days later, floating in the sea. Butt had claimed to the Times that Hanif and Sharif had both approached him for advice on carrying out their "martyrdom operations".

Butt had been officially expelled from Al-Muhajiroun in January 2002 after he had boasted to the BBC about his recruitment of jihadists. Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who had founded the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and who had founded Al Muhajiroun in 1996, claimed that Butt did not represent Al Muhajiroun and was acting alone.

Butt had gone to Pakistan in March 2001, and had been leader of the Al Muhajiroun office in Lahore. In September 2001, Butt had allowed US-based Islamist Junaid Babar to stay at the office. In August 2004, Babar admitted to a New York court that he had set up a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, and also that he helped a terrorist bomb plot in London. This plot has led to a trial of 7 individuals, which is still continuing.

The alleged leader of these 7 individuals, 25-year old Omar Khyam from Crawley, had earlier been sent to Kashmir by Al Muhajiroun. His family had gone to Kashmir to rescue him in 2000. This may be the "17-year old" that Butt admitted sending to Pakistan in his interview with Bob Simon. During his trial, Khyam admitted his involvement with Al Muhajiroun and that he attended a training camp in Kashmir when aged 17, but he has not said that he was sent there by the group.

On October 25, 2005, the BBC aired an investigation by journalist Richard Watson. For legal reasons connected with the still unfinished trial, Watson disguised Junaid Babar's name as "Shafique". Watson said: "I'm in Cheetham Hill, in the northern suburbs of Manchester. I've just met with Hassan Butt, the British jihadist who was with Shafique in Pakistan. He won't be interviewed. But we understand from a very well-placed source that Mohammed Siddique Khan stayed at Hassan Butt's flat in 2003 and met with the self-confessed Al Qaeda fixer Shafique, both in Pakistan and back in Leeds."

After being officially expelled from Al Muhajiroun, Butt had returned to Britain in November 2002. On Monday December 2, 2002 Hassan Butt was arrested. Held at Paddington Green police station, the high security location in west London where Britain's terrorists are investigated, Butt was later released without charge.

In October 2001, Britain's defense minister, Geoffrey Hoon, had warned that any Briton found fighting coalition forces would face prosecution. Technically, Hassan Butt did not fight jihad, despite his claims of recruitment. In 2001, 200 British Muslims who had fought abroad were already known to the UK authorities, but so far none have been prosecuted. The reasons for Butt not being charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 have never been adequately explained; this act specifically makes it illegal for UK citizens to incite terrorism abroad, or to arrange terrorism training.

Hassan Butt is a fantasist, it seems. He certainly has had links with radical Islamists, but his desire to gain attention, to bask in limelight, is not the behavior of someone who is as involved in terror networks as he has previously boasted. In August 2004, he claimed to have recently met with "an autonomous Islamist cell in the UK which possessed large quantities of Semtex, and which was capable of launching an immediate and major attack." He told his interviewer that he was "without a doubt" under MI5 surveillance.

He also said that he prayed "to Allah that he accepts me as a martyr. If that's tomorrow, then tomorrow. If not, then whenever Allah wills." When his interviewer asked why he did not carry out his alleged wish, Butt said: "Everything needs to be done in an organized manner, with the current organizations that are working around the world."

Butt announced his conversion to "peaceful Islam" in January 2006 at Cambridge University's debating union. He preaches now that actions such as those carried out by the 7/7 bombers were wrong. In August 2005 he had said that if the world was to come under the banner of Islam "a lot of killing" is unavoidable. He claimed then that the 7/7 bombers were not immoral, but were guilty only of tactical errors: "I am not in favor of military action in Britain but if somebody did do it who was British, I would not have any trouble with that either."

Butt now claims that his family has rejected him for being a traitor to Islam, and he is under death threats from his former associates. He is writing a book, he says, about "moderate" Islam.

I do not buy into Hassan Butt's "conversion". I do not believe that he is doing anything other than "taqiyya", presenting a new gloss to the same hateful dogma he has previously espoused publicly. It seems he always wishes to be a center of attention. Previously he courted publicity by outrageous claims. Now he is courting publicity by claiming to have made a radical decision to become moderate.

There is no convincing explanation for his previous radicalism, not even an admission that when he boasted of his jihad recruitment he was young and naive. He has made absolutely no attempt at a full confession of his previous "sins". Perhaps such a confession would put him at risk of jail, but it would give his current posturing more credibility. Just because Hassan Butt claims he has reformed, that is no reason to believe him.



The original article can be found at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/
Source: Accuracy in Media
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