1. "Celebration" of 9/11 in London
2. "London to host Islamic 'celebration' of Sept. 11" (Daily Telegraph, Sept. 9, 2002)
3. "US 'was partly to blame' for terror attacks'" (Financial Times, Sept. 4, 2002)
4. "Al-Qaeda 'plotted nuclear attacks'" (BBC News, Sept. 8, 2002)
5. "Al-Jazeera interviews Sept. 11 planners" (Associated Press, Sept. 8, 2002)
6. "Official media response from Al-Muhajiroun" (Sept. 10, 2002)
7. "U.K. Islamic group holds conference on effects of Sept. 11" (Press Release, Sept. 10, 2002)
“CELEBRATION” OF 9/11 IN LONDON
I attach six items related to the September 11 attacks:
1. "London to host Islamic 'celebration' of Sept. 11" (The Daily Telegraph). Extremist Muslim clerics will meet in London on September 11 to celebrate the anniversary of al-Qaeda's attacks on America and to launch a new organization for Islamic militants. The "celebration" is being funded by Saudi-based businessmen, according to the report.
2. "US 'was partly to blame' for terror attacks'" (The Financial Times). A majority of Europeans think that U.S. foreign policy is partially to blame for the September 11 attacks, according to a new poll.
3. "Al-Qaeda 'plotted nuclear attacks'" (BBC news). Al-Qaeda initially planned to fly hijacked jets into nuclear installations rather than the World Trade Center and the Pentagon according to an Arab journalist who says he interviewed two of the group's masterminds. Bin Laden was only told on 6 September that the attacks would be carried out on what the perpetrators referred to as "Holy Tuesday".
Related to the BBC story, I also attach: "Al-Jazeera interviews Sept. 11 planners," an AP dispatch from Dubai and finally the "Official media response from Al-Muhajiroun" and a press release issued by Hizb ut-Tahrir regarding the London Islamic Conference.
-- Tom Gross
LONDON TO HOST ISLAMIC “CELEBRATION” OF SEPTEMBER 11
London to host Islamic 'celebration' of Sept. 11
By Thair Shaikh
The Daily Telegraph
September 9, 2002
Extremist Muslim clerics will meet in London on September 11 to celebrate the anniversary of al-Qaeda's attacks on America and to launch an organisation for Islamic militants.
The conference, which will be attended by the most radical mullahs in Britain, will argue that the atrocities were justified because Muslims must defend themselves against armed aggression.
It will launch the Islamic Council of Britain (ICB), which will aim to implement sharia law in Britain and will welcome al-Qa'eda sympathisers as members.
The conference, to be held at Finsbury Park mosque, north London, will be attended by followers of militant groups and chaired by their Muslim leaders, including Omar Bakri Mohammed, whose al-Muhajiroun group wants to establish a worldwide Islamic state.
Mr Mohammed, 44, who was born in Syria and lives in London, has been investigated by Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist squad for anti-Semitic statements.
He said: "The people at this conference look at September 11 like a battle, as a great achievement by the mujahideen against the evil superpower. "I never praised September 11 after it happened but now I can see why they did it."
Mr Mohammed, who is entitled to stay in Britain although his 1980s claim for asylum failed, said that he would not stop al-Qa'eda members from joining the ICB. He said: "We don't perceive them as the US perceives them; we see them as a sincere devoted people who stood firm against the invasion of a Muslim country."
The clerics claim that the ICB is funded by Saudi-based businessmen, which, if true, will embarrass Saudi Arabia. The Riyadh government expelled Mr Mohammed in 1986 and recently launched a multi-million-dollar public relations campaign to persuade America that it is rooting out Islamic militants.
Al-Muhajiroun claims to have secured a six-figure sum for funding the ICB and said it would build a dozen Islamic centres, launch a website and hold seminars and classes for Muslims.
Mr Mohammed said: "I believe the Muslim Council of Britain has sold out to the British Government. Many Muslims in Britain feel like this. We have been working on getting the funding for six months: it is from a group of Saudi businessmen. Please don't write about this. I am against the killing of innocent people; we are not at war with anybody in this country."
Abu Hamza al-Masri, a cleric at the Finsbury Park mosque, will be co-chairing the conference. Several suspected al-Qa'eda members have been linked to his group, Supporters of Sharia, and the FBI is seeking his extradition for allegedly trying to set up a terrorist training camp in America.
Mr al-Masri, an Egyptian who lost both hands and an eye while fighting in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation, is also wanted in Yemen on terrorist charges.
Radical Muslims speaking at the conference include Yasser al-Siri, 40, an Egyptian-born dissident who arrived in Britain in 1993 and claimed political asylum. He was released from custody in July after extradition proceedings by America were dropped because of insufficient evidence. Mr al-Siri has been sentenced to death in Egypt for a bombing that killed a 12-year-old girl.
Imran Waheed, the British representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir (Islamic Liberation Party), a group banned in a number of Muslim countries, and Anjem Choudary, a British-born solicitor who is chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers and a leader of al-Muhajiroun, will also attend.
MAJORITY OF EUROPEANS BELIEVE U.S. “WAS PARTLY TO BLAME FOR TERROR ATTACKS”
US 'was partly to blame' for terror attacks'
By Stacy Humes-Schulz
The Financial Times
September 4, 2002
A majority of Europeans think that US foreign policy is partially to blame for the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
A survey of American and European attitudes towards foreign relations found that 55 per cent of respondents from six European countries agreed that US policy had contributed to the attacks.
The poll also found widespread public support within the US for an invasion of Iraq, with 75 per cent of American respondents in favour of using military force to overthrow Saddam Hussein and incite regime change.
A mere 10 per cent of Europeans would support US military action in Iraq without backing from the UN and allies.
The survey of 9,000 Europeans and Americans was jointly undertaken by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (CCFR) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).
The findings also showed that terrorism is a concern for more Americans than Europeans, with 91 per cent of those polled in the US citing international terrorism as a critical threat and only 65 per cent of Europeans identifying it as extremely important.
"The tragedy of September 11 has created a seismic shift in US public attitudes about the world and America's place in it," said Marshall M. Bouton, president of CCFR.
But a majority of Americans, 52 per cent, think that the US should remain the only world superpower, while 65 per cent of Europeans said that the European Union should become a superpower similar to the US. Only 33 per cent of Americans agreed.
AL-QAEDA PLANNED TO FLY JETS INTO NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS
Al-Qaeda 'plotted nuclear attacks'
BBC News online
September 8, 2002
Al-Qaeda initially planned to fly hijacked jets into nuclear installations rather than the World Trade Center and the Pentagon according to an Arab journalist who says he interviewed two of the group's masterminds.
The Arabic television station al-Jazeera says it will broadcast on Thursday the interview in which Osama Bin Laden's aides describe in detail how they planned the 11 September attacks. In an article published in several European newspapers, documentary-maker Yosri Fouda said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh told him they had decided against the attack on nuclear power plants "for the moment" because of fears it could "get out of control". Both men are on the FBI's most wanted list and have a $25m bounty on their heads.
The FBI says Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is one of Bin Laden's key lieutenants, while Ramzi Binalshibh is said to have shared an apartment in Hamburg with Mohammed Atta, the alleged ringleader of the hijackers.
Yosri Fouda said he was taken to a hideout in Pakistan. He was told by a man there that Bin Laden was alive and well, but was not shown any proof of this. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told him he was head of the al-Qaeda military committee and Ramzi Binalshibh the co-ordinator of what they refer to as "Holy Tuesday".
Over the course of two days, Mr Fouda says, the men gave him an insight into how the terror group operates and how the 11 September attacks were planned.
Mohammed and Binalshibh alleged that:
The decision to launch a "martyrdom operation inside America" was made by network's military committee in early 1999
Atta was summoned to a meeting with key hijackers in Afghanistan that same year
Hijackers were recruited from al-Qaeda's Department of Martyrs, which is still active
Mr Binalshibh wanted to be one of the hijackers, but was refused a US visa
A number of reconnaissance teams travelled to the US ahead of the hijackers
Ramzi Binalshibh posed in e-mails as Atta's girlfriend in Germany when the two communicated through the internet
The fourth hijacked plane was heading for Congress, not the White House, when passengers overpowered the attackers
The codenames for the targets were university faculties: "town planning" for the WTC, "law" for Congress, "fine arts" for the Pentagon
On 29 August, Atta gave the date for the attacks to Mr Binalshibh, who ordered active cells in Europe and the US to evacuate
Bin Laden was told on 6 September
At the end of his two-day interview, Mr Fouda writes, he was instructed to leave the videotapes behind so the faces of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh could be blanked out.
Despite promises that they would be returned, the videos never turned up. But, the journalist says, he did eventually receive voice tapes of the interviews.
AL-JAZEERA INTERVIEWS TWO PLANNERS OF 9/11
Al-Jazeera interviews Sept. 11 planners
The Associated Press
September 8, 2002
The Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera says it has conducted interviews with two wanted al-Qaida members who disclose how the terror network planned and carried out the September 11 attacks.
The Qatar-based pan-Arab station, which became known for carrying interviews with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants, said Thursday the interviews would be aired next Thursday in the second part of a documentary to mark the September 11 terror attacks anniversary. The first part aired Thursday.
Al-Jazeera said Khalid Shaikh Muhammad and Ramzi Binalshibh were interviewed recently at a secret location. They reportedly detail how the attacks that killed more than 3,000 people were planned and conducted.
Binalshibh, a Yemeni believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, was a member of a Hamburg-based cell led by Muhammad Atta, the Egyptian-born suspected lead September 11 hijacker. Binalshibh remains at large.
Muhammad, 36, is one of the FBI's most-wanted terrorists and is believed to be at large in Afghanistan or nearby, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press in June. US investigators believe Muhammad, working under bin Laden's leadership, planned many aspects of the September 11 attacks.
US officials regard him as one of the highest-ranking al-Qaida leaders still at large and believe he is still planning attacks against US interests. Although he was born in Kuwait, officials there say he is a Pakistani national and note that people born in Kuwait do not automatically qualify for citizenship.
Muhammad is accused of working with Ramzi Yousef in the first World Trade Center bombing, which left six dead in 1993. He and Yousef, who is now in prison, also were accused of plotting in 1995 to bomb several tran-Pacific airliners heading for the United States.
Federal prosecutors in New York charged Muhammad in 1996 in connection with the alleged 1995 plot. The State Department is offering a reward of up to $25 million for information leading to his capture.
Other bin Laden lieutenants are also believed to have helped put together the September 11 attacks, US officials have said. Evidence is mounting that Muhammad was at the center of the operational planning.
Al-Jazeera chief editor Ibrahim Helal told The Associated Press earlier Thursday that the station will mark the September 11 anniversary by running "human reports on how the attacks and the war affected the lives of the American and Afghan peoples, and investigative reports on the attacks themselves."
The channel caught the world's attention, especially the United States, after it began airing statements from bin Laden, the suspected ringleader of the September 11 attacks that killed more than 3,000 people and sparked the US led war on terror.
The Bush administration has criticized Al-Jazeera for giving bin Laden and his aides a forum to address the Arab public. Al-Jazeera, a popular, independent-minded pan-Arab station, insists that it would broadcast any items it sees as newsworthy.
American television networks have been carefully considering which approach to take in covering the anniversary, giving it the importance it deserves without exploiting it, and showing concern that rerunning footage of planes slamming into the twin towers would frighten children who might not understand that it was archive footage.
Note by TG: The day after the above dispatch was sent, I received the following:
RESPONSE FROM AL-MUHAJIROUN
Official media response from Al-Muhajiroun
September 10, 2002
Following intense media interest in the Islamic Conference due to be held this Wednesday the 11th of September 2002 at Finsbury Park Mosque, the organisers, Al-Muhajiroun, would like to make it clear that:
The participants, which include leaders from the Muslim community (but no one from Hizb ut-Tahrir) will not be celebrating the events of the 11th of September, but rather will be analysing and highlighting the lessons which can be derived from the incident and what has subsequently followed regarding the nature of the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims around the world and the new format of the relationship between countries in the international arena.
The event will discuss the positive outcomes from the 11th September not least of which is the clear crystallisation of the two camps of Islam and Kufr (non-Islam), of believers and hypocrites and of those who follow the Messenger Muhammad (saw) and his companions (the salafis) and those deviant from this path.
Muslim leaders will be announcing the launch of the Islamic Council of Britain (ICB), to represent the true Islamic stance on issues affecting Muslims both in Britain and abroad, without compromise, without fear of anyone apart from Allah and purely to please Allah (SWT). Moreover the ICB will not be funded by any government (contrary to reports in Sundays Telegraph) and have not ' secured a six-figure sum for funding the ICB ' from Saudi Arabia.
The Islamic Council of Britain (ICB) is in contrast to the Muslim Council of Britain (MBC) who, as we all know, have sold the Muslims out to the British government, in return for being recognised as the 'official voice of the Muslims' and who believe that Muslims must apostatise themselves by taking an oath of allegiance to the Queen and in their actions obey man made law as opposed to God's law. The ICB are therefore a different sect (firqah) from the MCB, the ICB belonging to the minority Salafiyyah sect (also known as Firqah Naajiyyah or the 'saved sect'), whereas the MCB belong to the majority Ilmaaniyyah sect (i.e. secularists).
Claims by secular 'moderate' so-called Muslims that we 'feed on people with little knowledge of Islam' that we want to spread 'hate and destruction' or that 'Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad is widely despised by Muslims' are made by non-practising Secularists about their own sect of people, whose only excuse for remaining Muslims as opposed to Murtadeen (apostates) is their obvious ignorance about the reality of Islam and the Shari'ah as practised by the Messenger Muhammad (saw) and his companions.
Sadly secular Muslims make up the majority of Muslims in a world which lacks Islam implemented as a law and order (i.e. Al-Khilafah) and whose idea of Islam is that based upon their own desires and that which Tony Blair or George Bush dictate as opposed to that which Allah (SWT) has revealed to the Messenger Muhammad (saw). Indeed the challenge is there for anyone to state otherwise basing his or her argument on the Qur'an and Sunnah (tradition of the Messenger Muhammad (saw)) as understood by his companions (ra).
We pray that Allah (SWT) guides us all to the truth.
LONDON ISLAMIC CONFERENCE: BEYOND SEPTEMBER 11TH
U.K. Islamic group holds conference on effects of Sept. 11
September 10, 2002
(The following is a reformatted version of a press release issued by Hizb ut-Tahrir and received via electronic mail. The release was not confirmed by the sender.)
Thousands of Muslims from the West, men and women, young and old, and of diverse ethnic backgrounds are set to attend a conference in London this Sunday, 15th September 2002, that is billed as the largest gathering of Muslims in Britain post-September 11th. The organisers of the conference are Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain and it is entitled "Beyond September 11th: The Role of Muslims in the West".
Following the events of September 11th and the unleashing of the American war machine, better known as the "War Against Terror", Muslims have been asked to make a choice either they accept Capitalism and its colonialist worldview or be labelled the 'terrorist'.
The conference will present a distinct, positive and intellectual agenda for Muslims in the West a new approach, which leads to Muslims actively engaging in an intellectual debate with the wider society on the flaws of Capitalism and what Muslims believe to be the only alternative ideological system: Islam.
Speakers at the conference will include Issam Amireh, a well-known Imam from Palestine who was imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority and Dr Abu Muhammad, an Iraqi dissident. Topics for discussion include the inevitability of the clash of civilisations, the recent military escalation towards Iraq and the challenge of living by Islam in the West.
Dr Imran Waheed, a UK based doctor and an organizer of this Sunday's conference, said, "In the wake of September 11th we will be delineating a clear, distinct and definitive path for Muslims in the West to follow. Islam can fill the spiritual and political voids that riddle the West and offers the world liberation from the shackles of an ideology that enslaves the masses to feed the few".
The venue for the conference is London Arena, Limeharbour, London. The conference begins at 11.00 hrs BST and ends at 20.00 hrs BST.
Notes to Editors:
1) Hizb ut-Tahrir is an independent political party whose ideology is Islam. The party works throughout the Islamic world to resume the Islamic way of life by re- establishing the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate). The party adheres to the Islamic Shari'ah in all aspects of its work. It considers violence or armed struggle against the regime, as a method to re-establish the Islamic State, a violation of the Islamic Shari'ah.
Dr Imran Waheed
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain
56 Gloucester Road
London, SW7 4UB, United Kingdom