August 26, 2008

Fourth Arrested in Umar Rabie "al Qaeda in UK" Plot

UPDATE: One man identified as Ishaq Kanmi, a 22 year old teacher from Blackburn.


A fourth man arrested in connection online threats made by "Sheikh Umar Rabie al-Khalaila" the emir of "al Qaeda in Britain". This particular Umar Rabie associate is described by several British papers as a 25 year old "white convert" to Islam living in Blackburn.

A source with connections to the Manchester area tells me that the fourth man was seen protesting last night outside the home of "Umar Rabie" and his brother, both of whom are in police custody but have not been charged. He tells me that a local paper took pictures of the man and they may be published either tonight or tomorrow.

A police van was also seen parked in front of an Islamic bookshop in the Whalley Range neighborhood near where the man was arrested. That bookshop is most likely the Islamic Book Centre, on Whalley Range in Blackburn. The shop's website does not seem to promote extremist literature.

Another source says that police were seen investigating a small apartment in the back of a halal meat shop in the same neighborhood.

In addition to threatening a terrorist attacks against the British government in January, Umar Rabie has claimed to have personally met Osama bin Laden. A claim not unlike his claim to be the leader of al Qaeda in England---that is: probably not believable.

Nevertheless the arrest of a fourth 20-something year old man indicates that Umar Rabie, his brother, and their other associates were at least talking about how to commit acts of terror ---even if plans to carry them out were in their early stages or were mere bluster.

The problem, of course, is that you cannot know who is full of bluster and who will actually follow through on promises to kill the infidel until its too late. This is especially dangerous in an era where al Qaeda increasingly encourages its fans to carry out individual acts of jihad. They've essentially green lighted entrepreneurial supports to commit acts of terror in their name without any further guidance or support from central command.

Further, two of the suspects--Umar Rabie and an unnamed associate--were nabbed as they were leaving the country for Finland. Which means the plot may have included other extremists that the group met online. Scandinavia has a large Muslim immigrant population, including many Kurds with sympathies toward an Iraqi terror group called Ansar al-Islam. Several years ago a group calling themselves al Qaeda in Scandinavia made several poorly made videos warning of terror attacks.

Prior to the online threats against the UK government in the name of al Qaeda, Umar Rabie and his associates from the Blackburn area publicly asked for British Muslims willing to carry out suicide attacks to contact them.

Expect updates......

UPDATE: Two of the suspects are said to have lived on Percival Street where their family has lived for some time. Most likely we have found the home of the Umar Rabie brothers. Percival Street is only two blocks long.

View Larger Map

A neighbor says the pair attended an Islamic school. Unsurprisingly, he also describes them as "normal everyday lads".

Previous Posts on Umar Rabie:
Man Identified in "al Qaeda in Britain" Cell
Notorious al Qaeda Sympathizer was Security Guard
Emir of al Qaeda in Britain Arrested
Al-Qaeda to Britain..Leave Iraq and Afghanistan
Good News: "al Qaeda in Britain" Announced

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:34 AM | Comments |