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Interpal and Uthman Lateef

It is hard to imagine a less suitable speaker for charity fundraising events than the extremist preacher Uthman Lateef.

Unless we’re talking about Interpal, of course. Lateef is perfect for the Hamas supporters of Interpal and helped them raise funds just ten days ago, as he has on other occasions in the past. (Click images in this post to enlarge them.)

Readers will remember that Lateef repeatedly appeared at Islamic conferences alongside al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki right up to 2009, when Awlaki had broadcast his allegiance to al-Qaeda for all to see. You can read about those nasty moves and more of Lateef’s past exploits here and here.

Lateef hasn’t changed since those posts. Not at all. In recent weeks he has hailed one terrorist after another on his Facebook wall. Consider this:

Hamid was convicted for soliciting to murder and providing terrorism training in 2008. Listen to “dear brother Muhammed Hamid who has been locked up unfairly under false terror charges” crowing about mass murder and encouraging his recruits to “see how many you can take out”, while setting 7/7 as benchmark which is “not even breakfast for me”:

Here Lateef helps Cageprisoners to raise money for gifts to prisoners. Cageprisoners is of course the jihadi support operation of Moazzam Begg. Cageprisoners was one of Awlaki’s most prominent champions in the UK, even when it became abundantly clear that Awlaki was working for al-Qaeda.

In this note Lateef salutes “unjustly imprisoned brother” Talha Ahsan, who Lateef wishes may “continue to inspire us”.

Talha Ahsan certainly is “inspiring” if you are fond of the very worst forms of extremism:

The indictments allege that Ahmad and Ahsan were members of a group that supported the Chechen Muhjahideen, the Taliban, and associated terrorist groups through various means, including the operation of a series of websites under the name of “Azzam Publications,” which promoted violent jihad and featured jihadi training manuals, interviews with al Qaeda and Chechen leaders and associates, and stories and martyrdom videos of fallen jihadists. The indictments allege that the defendants assisted the Taliban and the Chechen Mujahideen by providing funds, military items, communications equipment, lodging, training, safe houses, expert advice and assistance, personnel, transportation, false documentation and identification, and other supplies, knowing and intending that such conduct would support the military activities of these and associated groups.

In addition, Ahmad and Ahsan are alleged to have recruited and arranged for individuals to travel to Afghanistan to train for violent jihad.

This is how Azzam Publications reacted, straight away, to the atrocities of September 11: an “urgent appeal to defend Afghanistan” up top, with a helpful link below to a post entitled “Taliban – Allah’s Blessing on Afghanistan”:

Tarek Mehanna is another of Lateef’s favourite “brothers”.

Mehanna is a vicious and dangerous hater:

In December 2011, Mehanna was convicted by a jury, after 10 hours of deliberation, of four terrorism-related charges and three charges related to providing false information to the government.

Following an eight-week trial, Mehanna was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda, providing material support to terrorists (and conspiracy to do so), conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, conspiracy to make false statements to the FBI, and two counts of making false statements.

According to testimony at trial, Mehanna and co-conspirators discussed their desire to participate in violent jihad against American interests and their desire to die on the battlefield. The co-conspirators attempted to radicalize others and inspire each other by, among other things, watching and distributing jihadi videos.

As for those trying to catch terrorists, Muslims must not help them, Lateef says.

It’s very likely, maybe some of us have already been approached by the secret services for this kind of work.

One, we need to know the Islamic position about doing that, right? The major sin involved, right, that could also become disbelief and apostasy, right? Informing the authorities about the Muslims, when the Muslims are involved in khair [good] and goodness and everything else, that the kuffar [derogatory term for non-Muslims] will still use for their own ends against the Muslims.

And so we do not weaken the ummah [community of believers] by strengthening the kuffar. And that is exactly what spying is. You are a tool for the strengthening of their nation and the weakening of your own one.

We have been repeatedly assured that the Charity Commission will take a tougher line on charities that fund terrorist groups and promote extremists.

The latest example is a speech delivered by William Shawcross, the recently appointed Chairman of the Commission, just three weeks ago:

…we are stepping up our work to prevent and tackle terrorist abuse of charities. The misuse of charities for terrorist purposes represents a despicable inversion of everything charity stands for and we will fight that without quarter.

And we have put out very clear guidance to charities about extremist and controversial speakers. It is unacceptable for charities to promote the views of individuals who promote violence and terrorism.

We are also fully engaged with other parts of government to ensure that our regulatory role really contributes to the UK’s counter terrorism infrastructure. We are contributing to the work of the government’s extremism task force.

Dealing with extremist abuse of charities is not our only priority. But unfortunately today it has to be a very important one.

Well, just look at Interpal. At present all of Shawcross’s fine words appear to be empty.

Interpal Chairman Ibrahim Hewitt and Vice Chairman Essam Mustafa with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh during one of Interpal’s many pilgrimages to Hamas in Gaza.

Ibrahim Hewitt (left) prays at the Gaza grave of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin. In the centre is Interpal Birmingham employee Zaid Hassan. The man to Hassan’s left is Mohamed Ali Harrath, the head of Islam Channel in the UK.