35 radicals trained for terrorism at British mosques, Guantanamo files revealBy Tim Shipman and Daniel Martin
Last updated at 9:42 AM on 26th April 2011
Britain's mosques became an international haven for extremists who enjoyed state benefits while being trained for terrorism, leaked documents show.
The WikiLeaks files, written by U.S. military chiefs, reveal that at least 35 Guantanamo terrorists were radicalised in London mosques before being sent to fight against the West.
This is believed to be more than any other Western country.
U.S. intelligence officers describe Finsbury Park mosque, in North London, as a ‘haven for Islamic extremists from Morocco and Algeria’ and ‘an attack planning and propaganda production base’.
After their UK trip they were then flown to Pakistan and Afghanistan where they were taught to fight and make bombs. The leaked documents also show that an Al Qaeda ‘assassin’ accused of bombing two churches and a luxury hotel in Pakistan was at the same time working for MI6.
Adil Hadi al Jazairi Bin Hamlili was captured in 2003 and sent to Guantanamo Bay where interrogators were convinced that he was an informer for British intelligence.
U.S. intelligence reports describe the 35-year-old Algerian citizen as a ‘facilitator, courier, kidnapper, and assassin for Al Qaeda’. CIA interrogators found him ‘to have withheld important information from …British Secret Intelligence Service … and to be a threat to U.S. and allied personnel in Afghanistan and Pakistan’.
He has been returned to Algeria but it is not clear whether he will stand trial there.
REVENGE PLOT TO NUKE BRITAIN
According to detainees’ confessions, Al Qaeda mastermind Kalid Sheikh Mohammed claimed they had hidden a nuclear bomb in Britain which would be detonated if Osama Bin Laden was captured or killed.
Detainees admitted that Mohammed, currently facing trial over the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was involved in a plot to attack U.S. atomic plants and unleash a ‘nuclear hellstorm’.
According to the files, a Libyan detainee and close friend of Bin Laden, Abu Al-Libi, ‘has knowledge of Al Qaeda possibly possessing a nuclear bomb’.
Another told his interrogators the bombers would be ‘Europeans of Arab or Asian descent’.
Yet each has been paid £1million of public money by the Government to compensate them for their unlawful detention.
The documents point to the crucial role played by London-based preachers such as Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza in the suspected indoctrination of extremists, before they were dispatched around the world to plot terror attacks. They describe Qatada as ‘the most successful recruiter in Europe’ and ‘a focal point for extremist fundraising [and] recruitment’.
Despite this, the London cleric and Al Qaeda’s chief European agent was paid £2,500 for being ‘unlawfully detained’ by the British Government, after being held indefinitely without trial following 9/11.
A ruling found that keeping him in Belmarsh prison, while he refused to return to his native Jordan, breached his human right to a fair trial. The Government is trying to deport him to Jordan, where he has been sentenced to jail in his absence on terror charges.
Meanwhile, Hamza is named as encouraging ‘his followers to murder non-Muslims’, in the documents, and yet continues to fight deportation to the U.S. because of Europe’s liberal human rights laws.
Three other mosques and an Islamic centre are also highlighted by senior commanders as places where young Muslim men were turned into potential terrorists.
Many obtained EU passports from other European countries such as France, but then travelled on to Britain to take advantage of the generous asylum system. The leaks help explain why U.S. intelligence services regard extremists in Britain as the greatest threat to American security.
The CIA is still so concerned about militant recruitment in the UK that it operates its own intelligence network and recruits its own agents among the Muslim population in Britain.
In a statement, the Pentagon said: ‘The previous and current administrations have made every effort to act with the utmost care and diligence in transferring detainees from Guantanamo.’