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Posted: 2/7/2006 9:44:33 PM EDT
Weapons cache seized during raid on mosque
Sean O’Neill
February 08, 2006
www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2030026,00.html
A CACHE of military equipment, including chemical weapons protection suits, gas masks, knives and blank-firing guns was found hidden in Finsbury Park mosque during a police search.

Senior anti-terrorist sources say that the equipment was used for sending young Muslim recruits on jihad training camps in Britain. Former followers of Abu Hamza have told The Times that they attended training sessions in the Brecon Beacons and Dorset.

Operation Mermant, the raid on the mosque, attracted widespread criticism when it was staged in January 2003 at the height of the search for a terrorist cell that was suspected of making ricin, cyanide and other toxins. Scotland Yard has only now revealed what was found at the building which, for six years, was the fortress from which Abu Hamza preached jihad.

The cleric had been attracting the attention of police and intelligence services, and that of foreign security services, since he arrived at Finsbury Park in 1997. He had turned the mosque into a haven for terrorists.

The decision to put an end to that situation, with the 2003 police raid, was taken at the highest levels within Scotland Yard. Sir John Stevens, then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, described it as carrying “very high risks”. More than 1,000 officers were deployed and several arrests were made but the type and quantity of terrorist material found in the building surprised police.

The replica firearms could have been converted to fire live rounds. Also discovered were stun guns, handcuffs, military radio equipment, mess tins and camp cooking equipment, combat clothing, walkietalkies and maps. “Our assessment is that this is material which over the course of time had been used in training camps probably here in the United Kingdom,” a senior police source said.

For many young radicals, the survivalist sessions were the beginning of a journey that would lead them to al-Qaeda and Mujahidin training camps in Afghanistan, Kashmir and other jihad battlegrounds.

Police refused to discuss the search of the mosque before because they did not want to prejudice a number of terrorist trials. The search, which resulted in the mosque being closed for 18 months, was criticised at the time as an assault on a place of worship, but senior police sources said it was an operational necessity.

It also uncovered the paraphernalia of a terrorist support and fundraising network. There were hundreds of stolen and forged identity documents, including driving licences, French and Belgian ID cards, credit cards, cheque books and passports. There was also laminating equipment for forging documents.

One officer said that when he pushed up a ceiling tile dozens of documents fell on his head. Other papers were found under carpets. In an envelope marked Portugal, there were five blank Portuguese passports.

Muslim officers were deployed to ensure the mosque was treated with respect and that copies of the Koran were handled correctly. Those officers were “shocked” by the squalid conditions inside the building. Dozens of men slept in the basement but there was neither electricity nor running water because utility bills had not been paid.

The mosque has since been reopened under the control of a new board of trustees and is undergoing extensive redecoration and renovations.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:48:18 PM EDT
But it's a ROP
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:52:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By twonami: But it's a ROP
The Branch Davidians converted to islam! Get that lesbo Janet Reno on it.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:53:24 PM EDT

The cleric had been attracting the attention of police and intelligence services, and that of foreign security services, since he arrived at Finsbury Park in 1997. He had turned the mosque into a haven for terrorists.


Probably just some misunderstood "undocumented bombers"
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:55:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 22bad:

The cleric had been attracting the attention of police and intelligence services, and that of foreign security services, since he arrived at Finsbury Park in 1997. He had turned the mosque into a haven for terrorists.


Probably just some misunderstood "undocumented bombers"


They must just bomb the places that nobody else wants to bomb.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:01:31 PM EDT

The replica firearms could have been converted to fire live rounds.


More likely that they were trained with "safe" weapons, and would be issued real weapons
when they had proven that they wouldn't shoot themselves or each other accidentally
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:11:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 22bad:

The replica firearms could have been converted to fire live rounds.


More likely that they were trained with "safe" weapons, and would be issued real weapons
when they had proven that they wouldn't shoot themselves or each other accidentally



22bad - ever considered intel?
You have a keen mind for analysis.
I'm serious.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:13:07 AM EDT



Muslim officers were deployed to ensure the mosque was treated with respect and that copies of the Koran were handled correctly. Those officers were “shocked” by the squalid conditions inside the building. Dozens of men slept in the basement but there was neither electricity nor running water because utility bills had not been paid.

The mosque has since been reopened under the control of a new board of trustees and is undergoing extensive redecoration and renovations.



thank god no-one took a shit on a copy of the koran
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:24:14 AM EDT

chemical weapons protection suits, gas masks, knives and blank-firing guns




Also discovered were stun guns, handcuffs, military radio equipment, mess tins and camp cooking equipment, combat clothing, walkietalkies and maps


Just curious here, not making excuses for the ROP or anything, But......How many of you guys have the same shit in your house?


Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:27:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By unkempt1:

chemical weapons protection suits, gas masks, knives and blank-firing guns




Also discovered were stun guns, handcuffs, military radio equipment, mess tins and camp cooking equipment, combat clothing, walkietalkies and maps


Just curious here, not making excuses for the ROP or anything, But......How many of you guys have the same shit in your house?





Home? Sure.

My local church? Uh, no.

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:32:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 6:08:07 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:33:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Evil_Ed:

Originally Posted By unkempt1:

chemical weapons protection suits, gas masks, knives and blank-firing guns




Also discovered were stun guns, handcuffs, military radio equipment, mess tins and camp cooking equipment, combat clothing, walkietalkies and maps


Just curious here, not making excuses for the ROP or anything, But......How many of you guys have the same shit in your house?





Home? Sure.

My local church? Uh, no.





good point.
being one that worships at home, wouldn't my home be my church?
I wonder if there are any that actually do?

for the record, I didn't bother with the protection suits or masks. LOL I got duct tape and plastic wrap.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:04:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By unkempt1:

Originally Posted By Evil_Ed:

Originally Posted By unkempt1:

chemical weapons protection suits, gas masks, knives and blank-firing guns




Also discovered were stun guns, handcuffs, military radio equipment, mess tins and camp cooking equipment, combat clothing, walkietalkies and maps


Just curious here, not making excuses for the ROP or anything, But......How many of you guys have the same shit in your house?





Home? Sure.

My local church? Uh, no.





good point.
being one that worships at home, wouldn't my home be my church?
I wonder if there are any that actually do?

for the record, I didn't bother with the protection suits or masks. LOL I got duct tape and plastic wrap.



Good Point ? That is the point. Playing devils advocate are we . . .

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:23:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 22bad:

The replica firearms could have been converted to fire live rounds.


More likely that they were trained with "safe" weapons, and would be issued real weapons
when they had proven that they wouldn't shoot themselves or each other accidentally


ahhh, thought it might have been airsofters...
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 7:47:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 22bad:
[ Former followers of Abu Hamza have told The Times that they attended training sessions in the Brecon Beacons and Dorset.


Probably lucky that they didn't run into the other people that train in the Brecon Beacons.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 8:07:56 AM EDT
IMPOSSIBLE............................""Religion of Peace" and all that other tripe...........
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 9:03:57 AM EDT
Sounds more like they raided a Army Surplus shop!
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 9:09:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 22bad:

The replica firearms could have been converted to fire live rounds.


More likely that they were trained with "safe" weapons, and would be issued real weapons
when they had proven that they wouldn't shoot themselves or each other accidentally



I had the same thought. Either that, or they just love playing paintball on the weekends.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:09:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By quijanos:

Originally Posted By unkempt1:

Originally Posted By Evil_Ed:

Originally Posted By unkempt1:

chemical weapons protection suits, gas masks, knives and blank-firing guns




Also discovered were stun guns, handcuffs, military radio equipment, mess tins and camp cooking equipment, combat clothing, walkietalkies and maps


Just curious here, not making excuses for the ROP or anything, But......How many of you guys have the same shit in your house?





Home? Sure.

My local church? Uh, no.





good point.
being one that worships at home, wouldn't my home be my church?
I wonder if there are any that actually do?

for the record, I didn't bother with the protection suits or masks. LOL I got duct tape and plastic wrap.



Good Point ? That is the point. Playing devils advocate are we . . .




Yes, what's the problem?

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:13:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 10:15:37 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]
Without exception, every single Mosque in Fallujah that I have had the pleasure of raiding (quite a few, by the way), has had very sizeable weapons caches.

Without exception. All of them.



(one of the benefits of being with an Iraqi Army Bn, is the relative lack of restraints when it comes to entering Mosques)

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:17:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:
Without exception, every single Mosque in Fallujah that I have had the pleasure of raiding (quite a few, by the way), has had very sizeable weapons caches.

Without exception. All of them.



(one of the benefits of being with an Iraqi Army Bn, is the relative lack of restraints when it comes to entering Mosques)




That's all I've been hearing from my buds too man. the list above just seemed genaric.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:21:06 AM EDT
Please don't speak ill of the ROP.
We just need to understand them, they only want peace.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:29:19 AM EDT
'shocked by squalid conditions..."

That makes me laugh. Not far from where I grew up there was a nursing home. Large, relatively 'institutional' looking three story brikc building on a very nice waterfront lot. Apparently it served its purpose and was somerwhat outdated, so the nursing home built new somewhere else, and sold the building...

For the past decade or more it has been the Al-Rashid Islamic Institute.

It is described as follows:

Al-Rashid Islamic Institute
Services: The Institute, whose beautifully landscaped grounds cover an area of 14 acres, is situated on the scenic banks of the St. Lawrence River blah blah blah....

Its a festering shithole.... I don't think the lawn has been mowed since 1998, it sure as hell hasn't seen paint or soap since then either. The best man at my wedding is an electrician, and was called in to work there: According to him unused rooms were apparently designated as garbage dumps. Just pile it up an close the door.........


Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:54:11 AM EDT

one of the benefits of being with an Iraqi Army Bn, is the relative lack of restraints when it comes to entering Mosques




How are the Iraqi battalions performing?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 10:57:16 AM EDT

It also uncovered the paraphernalia of a terrorist support and fundraising network. There were hundreds of stolen and forged identity documents, including driving licences, French and Belgian ID cards, credit cards, cheque books and passports. There was also laminating equipment for forging documents.

One officer said that when he pushed up a ceiling tile dozens of documents fell on his head. Other papers were found under carpets. In an envelope marked Portugal, there were five blank Portuguese passports.



Its this stuff that is the scary bits...
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 6:04:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TRW:

one of the benefits of being with an Iraqi Army Bn, is the relative lack of restraints when it comes to entering Mosques




How are the Iraqi battalions performing?


Mine is superb. Some others are not as good.
Mostly, they just need to be unleashed.
Their admin and logistics is crap, but they are eager and aggressive fighters.
They know JUST what needs to be done, once we get out of the way.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 7:40:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By 22bad:

The replica firearms could have been converted to fire live rounds.


More likely that they were trained with "safe" weapons, and would be issued real weapons
when they had proven that they wouldn't shoot themselves or each other accidentally



22bad - ever considered intel?
You have a keen mind for analysis.
I'm serious.



I'll consider any reasonable offers
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 2:45:31 PM EDT
I like to hear both sides of an argument, then look for additional facts that were either not mentioned, or not emphasized

Here is a "journalist" speaking for the other side..........

Abu Hamza: imprisoned for talking rubbish
His incarceration for incitement is the political equivalent of a panto villain being booed off stage by excitable kids.
by Brendan O'Neill
9 February 2006
www.spiked-online.com/Printable/0000000CAF5D.htm
First, there were riots over some silly cartoons published in a dry Danish paper some three months ago. Now we have the imprisonment of a cartoonish bogeyman in Britain. Abu Hamza al-Masri, the one-eyed, hook-handed weirdo, formerly of Finsbury Park mosque, has been sentenced to seven years in jail for inciting racial hatred and soliciting murder. If the anti-Danish protests represented, in Mick Hume's words, a 'cartoon caricature of a political debate', then the trial and banging up of 'Hook Hamza' is pure pantomime politics (1). Hamza was never more than a panto villain, a raving loon whom no one except some cranks in keffiyehs took seriously - but he was transformed into public enemy no.1 by politicians and hacks. His imprisonment is the equivalent of the bad guy in a panto being booed off stage by excitable children.

The papers have gone out of their way to present the radical Islamic cleric as a 'terrorist mastermind'. The Sun, which has been campaigning for Hook's arrest and imprisonment for the past three years, says 'Evil Hamza is finally jailed for terror crimes'. The frontpage of The Times said 'Abu Hamza and the 7/7 bombers', revealing that three of the young men who blew up themselves and scores of others in London last year had listened to him preach in Finsbury Park mosque (2). All of the papers have published pictures of some of the dodgy materials discovered at the mosque: blank-firing guns (hardly the terrorists' ideal weapon, you would think), a chemical protection suit and some hunting-style knives. Yet none of these shock headlines and pictures can disguise the fact that there was little clear evidence linking Hamza to actual terrorist actions, and that he was - in effect - sent down for talking bollocks.

Hamza was not found guilty of aiding and abetting or committing acts of terrorism; rather, he was convicted on 11 out of 15 charges of incitement to murder and threatening behaviour with intent to stir up racial hatred. In other words, he was imprisoned for his words, not for his actions. The closest he came to being convicted for his actions was for some kind of involvement in sending wannabe jihadists to Afghanistan and for possessing a document called 'The Encyclopaedia of the Afghani Jihad', which apparently, in the words of the Terrorism Act 2000, is 'useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'. Yet it was some leap to go from revealing that he had a copy of this 10-volume treatise, which praises Osama bin Laden and says Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower would make dramatic terror targets, to saying that 'Hamza plotted to target Big Ben', as numerous newspaper headlines did (3). The hapless Hamza may have read about blowing up Big Ben (although he claims not to have seen that part of the document - which amounted to one paragraph in thousands of pages - 'because I am not a diligent person'), and might even have fantasised about it, but there was no evidence to suggest he had the materials, manpower or, I would wager, the nous to pull off such a stunt.

Nor was he convicted of possessing deadly weapons. Even the court could not bring itself to describe some hunting knives and air pistols as being 'useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'. The photos of these items were released after the verdict, and dutifully splashed across the pages of the press, in an attempt to give some urgency and oomph to the imprisonment for seven years of a crackpot for talking nonsense. They might just as well have published pictures of breadknives from his kitchen drawer, or a sledgehammer found in his shed. The links made by some in the media between Hamza and the 7/7 bombers were also tenuous indeed. We are told that three of the bombers had heard him preach; not that he had coached them or armed them or given them instructions on whom to blow up and why, but that they had been in his congregation once or twice while he spouted rubbish from the pulpit. In his summing up the judge said Hamza had 'helped to create an atmosphere' in which some saw killing as a religious duty (4). Helped to create an atmosphere? When it comes to 'incitement' to murder, that is about as indirect as it gets.

Hamza was effectively found guilty, not of being a terrorist, but of being a fantasist. In the absence of hard evidence that he has organised or executed terror attacks, we were treated instead to hours and hours of his bile-filled and nutty sermons in which he praised bin Laden, said vile things about Jews, and claimed that brothels are legitimate targets, etczzzzz. Hamza and his weird band of disciples might fantasise about being religious warriors taking on the Mammon that is British society, but that doesn't mean they actually are. Their hunting knives and air pistols reminded me of those geeky British guys who join the Territorial Army and talk endlessly about guns and knives, imagining that they are true soldiers of destiny. Hamza is pretty much the Islamist equivalent of Gareth from The Office: the cleric and his supporters might have discussed what to do if an enemy were to 'take them from behind' (apparently Hamza offered tips on how to stab the enemy), but that does not make them a threat to the nation, much less to Western civilisation.

If Hamza had fantasies about being a single-minded warrior against Western decadence and wickedness, then they were indulged - more than that, they were inflamed - by New Labour and sections of the media. There is no doubt that Hamza is a big-mouthed bigot and an anti-Semite who likes nothing more than winding people up by praising the 9/11 hijackers and saying that Allah loves it when his followers spill non-believers' blood. But it was politicians and journalists who transformed this north London-based radical into a terrible threat to life and liberty as we know it. For the past few years his mug has been plastered on the front pages of the papers under headlines such as 'EVIL HAMZA' and 'Hook is a threat to Britain'. In early 2004, then home secretary David Blunkett took the unusual step of declaring that Hamza was 'unfit' to be a British citizen. The Home Office became obsessed by Hamza; one former minister told Scotland on Sunday that, 'I would go to meetings where Hamza was almost the only thing discussed, [even if he] wasn't on the agenda' (5). Hamza was eventually arrested in a highly publicised dawn raid (details of which were leaked to the Sun the day before it was due to take place), and the government set out its case against him.

It was these political machinations, rather than his own capabilities, that made Hamza into public enemy no.1 - and which no doubt helped him to appear as the brave warrior he claimed to be in the eyes of his supporters. The transformation of a nobody in north London into an evil threat to the fabric of society revealed far more about British society's own sense of insecurity than it did about Hamza's powers or prowess. That everyone from the Home Office to various leader writers could be rattled by the anti-Western and anti-British rants of 'Captain Hook' suggested that many in Britain have a flimsy sense indeed about what they stand for and why. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Hamza's trial was a showtrial; worse, that it was a showtrial of a straw man. Having turned him into a panto villain, the authorities then made a spectacle of throwing him off the stage while sections of the media whooped and cheered along. It doesn't say much for British society that it can only feel good about itself by trying and imprisoning a one-eyed whacko like Hamza.

You, like me, might not care very much what happens to Hamza now. But we should care about the implications of his trial. Yes, his words were offensive to many (and nonsensical to most), but is that any justification for imprisoning him for seven years? Surely, as long as we are talking about words and not actions, everyone should be free to say what they please, even if it is hateful nonsense. Ministers are already using Hamza's case to demand further clampdowns on free speech, with one claiming: '[This] shows why we need laws against the glorifying of terrorism and why we need to stop extremist Muslim clerics trying to enter the country.' (6) A precedent has been set, and it would seem it is now a crime to talk rubbish. A great number of people should be concerned.
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