Will the failed Christmas Day terror plot finally expose a former Gitmo detainee living in the UK for the jihadist that he is?
by Thomas Joscelyn
An intriguing name has surfaced in the worldwide investigation into Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s life. That name is Moazzam Begg, and it is a name that is well known to those left-wing journalists and human rights lawyers who take everything former Gitmo detainees say at face value.
Abdulmutallab is the privileged son of a wealthy Nigerian family. As such, his journey to jihad has prompted much reporting. As the press has probed Abdulmutallab’s radicalization, Begg’s name has surfaced as one of the extremists he associated with, perhaps only briefly, in London. Although we don’t know yet how extensive the relationship between Abdulmutallab and Begg is, it is a conspicuous connection to say the least.
Begg is a famous former Guantanamo detainee who has become a masterful anti-American propagandist. His organization, Cage Prisoners, claims to be a “human rights organization that exists solely to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror.” In reality, Begg’s organization exists solely to demonize the U.S. military and smear America’s post-9/11 war efforts.
Begg himself is a demonstrable fraud. He claims that he was an innocent who was wrongly detained and then “tortured” by the U.S. in Afghanistan and Cuba. The only part of Begg’s story that is true, however, is that he was once detained by America. The rest of Begg’s tale is a demonstrable lie. Yet, Begg has many fans in the West including, apparently, Abdulmutallab.
2007, Abdulmutallab was the president of the Islamic Society at the University College of London (UCL). The press has uncovered a number of disturbing aspects of Abdulmutallab’s tenure as the head of the society. First and foremost, his organization hosted a “War on Terror Week” that was really a “Blame America” fest. The New York Times has aptly described the Islamic Society’s “guest speakers” at this and other events as “radical imams, former Guantanamo Bay prisoners and a cast of mostly left-wing, anti-American British politicians and human rights advocates.”
From January 29, to February 2, 2007, the Islamic Society hosted “a series of lectures” as part of its “War on Terror Week.” One of the lectures, according to the Times (UK), was entitled “Jihad v. Terrorism” and billed as “a lecture on the Islamic position with respect to jihad.”
The lecture was given by Asim Qureshi, who is a “senior researcher” at Begg’s organization, Cage Prisoners. Qureshi’s own words make his real purpose plain to see as he is, at times, an overt jihadist. During one particularly troublesome episode, Qureshi was captured in an online video ranting at a rally hosted by Hizb ut Tahrir, an organization that the BBC has found “promotes racism and anti-Semitic hatred, calls suicide bombers martyrs and urges Muslims to kill Jewish people.” Indeed, the video shows Qureshi praising his “brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, [and] Afghanistan.” Qureshi tells the crowd: “We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West.” Qureshi and the crowd then break into a chant of “Allah Akhbar.”
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