When the jihadi group covered in the post below was busted in November 2009, months after its leader Munir Farooqi had been to Gaza with Viva Palestina in the service of Hamas, some people were not best pleased. As Socialist Worker reported, one of them was Nahella Ashraf, the chair of Manchester Stop the War Coalition:
Police raids in the north west of England on 16 November shocked many people. Five men were arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences.
Nahella Ashraf, the chair of Manchester Stop the War Coalition, said, “Muslims are being made to be seen as the enemy within. We need to stand together against this.”
A campaign to prove the four men’s innocence has been launched. They are due to appear in the Old Bailey on 4 December.
In addition to being a stopper, Nahella Ashraf was a local candidate for George Galloway’s “Respect” party.
This is what Farooqi and his mates were up to:
He [Farooqi] was given four life sentences and told he must serve a minimum of nine years after being found guilty of preparing acts of terrorism, soliciting to murder and dissemination of terrorist publications.
Passing sentence Mr Justice Richard Henriques said: “You are in my judgment a very dangerous man, an extremist, a fundamentalist with a determination to fight abroad.”
His operation was, “sophisticated, ruthless and well honed,” the judge said, with the sole purpose to deliver home-grown fighters willing to “fight, kill and die” abroad.
“Their victims would be allied forces, including British soldiers,” Mr Justice Henriques added.
“You found the images of coffins draped in American flags as a source of great amusement.
“As a resident of this country you owe allegiance to the Crown. That appears to have escaped your attention.”
The judge said Farooqi had used his experiences fighting with the Taliban as a “tool of recruitment” to run the “Manchester recruitment centre” from Islamic bookstalls in the city.
Farooqi, a father-of-three was born in Pakistan but moved to Britain with his family when he was about five.
He was a Taliban veteran who had travelled to Afghanistan within weeks of the September 11 attacks.
Farooqi was captured in November 2001 at Mazar-e-Sharif with 2,000 others by forces from the Northern Alliance, which ousted the Taliban.
Well done Nahella Ashraf!