August 05, 2009

Noted al Qaeda Supporter to Speak at "Human Rights" Fundraiser in London [Updated: Noted Terror Apologist Responds]

Imam Anwar al-Awlaki is hands down the most popular public al Qaeda supporter in the English speaking world. His sermons justifying the radical Islamist vision of the Taliban, al Shabaab, and al Qaeda are viral among jihadis and their sympathizers the world over.

Although an American citizen -- formerly of Colorado and once the Muslim Chaplain at George Washington University -- he lives in Yemen. After being released from a Yemeni prison for his overtly pro-al Qaeda sermons, al-Awlaki continues to preach violent jihad online.

Most recently, al-Awlaki posted a message congratulating the "mujahidin" for killing members of Yemen's Army. Those "mujahideen" belonged to al Qaeda.

Now, al-Awlaki will be a key note speaker at a "human rights" fundraiser. While he will not personally be at the event -- one can only hope that he would be considered persona non grata in the UK -- he will be delivering his sermon via video.

The annual Ramadan fundraiser for "Cageprisoners" featured such "human rights activists":

Sami El Haj - Al-Jazeera, former Guantanamo prisoner
Mustafa Terry Holdbrooks Jnr - Former US Military Policeman who embraced Islam in Guantanamo
Binyam Mohamed - Former Guantanamo prisoner, speaking publicly for the first time since his release
Imam Anwar al-Awlaki - Eminent Islamic Scholar (video message)
Ahmed Ghappour - Lawyer for the legal charity Reprieve, who represent over 30 prisoners in Guantanamo
Moazzam Begg - Director, Cageprisoners, former Guantanamo detainee
Yvonne Ridley - Journalist, Patron, Cageprisoners, speaking about the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her visit to Bagram
Amir Sulaiman - Acclaimed poet of the spoken word, reciting his works and some poems from Guantanamo
Mustafidh Gani - Shariah Graduate and Teacher

Followed by prayers led by:
Moussa Zemmouri (Former Guantanamo prisoner)

Notice a pattern here?

If "Cageprisoners" is really so concerned about "human rights" and the plight of Guantanamo deatainees, then why is it featuring al Qaeda's most famous English speaking apologist?

The answer, of course, is that Cageprisoners is just a front for the kind of radical Islam embraced by al Qaeda and the Taliban in Britain. It always has been.

The fundraiser will be held at Kensington Town Hall, presumably a public facility. And if you scroll down to the bottom of the announcement page, you realize that now one of radical Islam's front groups has corporate sponsorship.

An al Qaeda spokesman using public facilities and funded by British corporations.

It's as if 9/11 and 7/7 never really happened.

UPDATE: One of the speakers, Yvonne Ridley, responds in the comments section. She notes that Imam Anwar al-Awlaki "never been charged or convicted of anything".

I never said that he had.

However, any one that disputes that al-Awlaki is a supporter of al Qaeda doesn't know Anwar al-Awlaki. Or is a liar. If I believed for an instance that Ms. Ridley had the intellectual capacity to spot truth from lies, I might accuse her of being the latter of the two. As it is, I just think she's crazy.

Look at al-Awlaki's most recent blog posting in which he, personally, congratulates al Qaeda for a recent attack.

(Update by Jane: this WaPo article details Awlaki's connection to 9/11 highjackers al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi, funding of al Qaeda through the US branch of a Yemeni charity and his visits with intermediaries of bin Laden and "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel Rahman while Awlaki was still in the US. The FBI also determined that Awlaki continued working with al Qaeda after he left the US in 2002 .)

As Ridley well knows, al-Awlaki is by far the most popular "scholar" amongst the English speaking Salaafi jihadi crowd. His series of sermons expounding on al-Ayyiri's Constants on the Path of Jihad are key in understanding the jihadi mindset, which is why, again, they are considered an essential component in Jihad 101 -- at least, among those with limited Arabic skills.

For further evidence, I would point Ms. Ridley to NEFA's recent expose on the influence of al-Awlaki's sermons on would-be terrorists in the West.

No, he's never been charged with any specific offense. But he is a backer of violent jihad. For instance, his support of the designated terrorist group al-Shabaab -- a group that has pledged loyalty to Osama bin Laden.

Thousands of al Qaeda supporters have never been charged with anything.

If al-Awlaki would disavow al Qaeda and condemn them -- without any reservations -- then I would happily retract the accusation that he supports them.

But Ms. Ridley already knows that this isn't going to happen. She and her friends at Cageprisoners may feign that al-Awlaki has been wrongly accused and that the real issue is Guantanamo, but this is all obfuscation.

The same kind of obfuscation we see in her comments to me, where she praises Obama for promising to close Gitmo. You throw a bone to the peacenicks in order to make yourself seem like one of them.

But what she fails to mention is that her group, Cageprisoners, believes Obama has secret detention facilities all over the world where thousands of Muslims are routinely tortured.

From the very same announcement of the fundraiser which Ms. Ridley will be participating in, and which her comments are meant to defend:

However, we at Cageprisoners - and the former prisoners and their families - knew the devil was in the detail of what had not been said. The secret and extraordinary renditions programme had not been mentioned; the military detention facilities - like the ones in Abu Ghraib, Kandahar or Bagram - had not been mentioned; and, the proxy detention and torture sites had not been mentioned. To add, it appears that closing Guantanamo before the 20th January 2010 deadline may be too tall an order after all. The fact is that imprisonment without charge or trial is still very much a thing of the present.
If it isn't clear what kind of group this is -- one that melds leftwing extremist paranoia with the paranoia endemic to the Muslim world -- continue reading.

Yvonne Ridley herself is key in understanding the odd coalition of Islamist fanatics and leftwing activists. She is both.

She is an apologist for terror. Her ex-husband, Daoud Zaaroura, was a terrorist with the PLO. After being held captive by the Taliban, she turned an apologist for them.

She ran for an MP slot on the Respect Coalition -- a failed political party made up of Communists, peace activists, Muslims who believe there is a worldwide conspiracy against them, and led by the man who never met a terrorist he didn't like, George Galloway.

Again, take a look at the people Cageprisners calls "victims" and who the group agitates for release. From a previous post about Ms. Ridley:

Take a gander at the prisoners they're trying to get set free and you'll see names like Johnny Walker Lindh (admitted American Taliban), Jose Padilla (suspected in a plot to commit "dirty bomb" attacks), and, unsurprising, the blind mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdur Rahman.
That aforementioned post, not so incidentally, was written because Ms. Ridley was helping spread rumors--- started by al Qaeda operatives -- that attempted murderer and known al Qaeda financier Aafiya Siddiqui was secretly held for years in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Here's a woman who finds it difficult to condemn the former leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, but who has no problem condemning any war fought anywhere by any one against Muslim fanatics -- even if that war itself is being fought by less fanatical Muslims.

But really, what should we expect from a woman who's hatred of American runs so deep that even al Jazeera fired her for being an extremist?

When al Jazeera thinks you're an extremist, you just might be an extremist.

And how did she know that I mentioned her name in this post in the first place? Let me suggest that she's the kind of person who Google's her own name, routinely.

The woman is so paranoid, that she actually thinks the CIA gave enough of a crap about her that they wanted her dead.

The CIA. Wanted her dead.

That's the kind of person we're talking about here. That's the kind of organization we have in Cageprisoners.

To reiterate: Cageprisoners will be featuring a known al Qaeda supporter as a key note speaker in an upcoming fundraiser. The money is used to agitate for the freeing of convicted terrorists, like Omar Abdur Rahman. The group is using a public facility for this and now has corporate sponsorship.

This cannot be a good thing.

Related:
And So the Lies About Aafia Siddiqui Begin
Taliban apologist Yvonne Ridley speaks at UC Irvine
Meet Yvonne Ridley, A Former "Guest" of the Taliban
Another American Al-Qaeda in Yemen

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:56 PM | Comments |