2-child limit for Muslims in parts of Myanmar

DHAKA: Authorities in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state have introduced a two-child limit for Muslim Rohingya families in an effort to ease tensions with the Rohingya’s Buddhist neighbours after a spate of deadly sectarian violence.

A Myanmar official said Saturday, reports The Straits Times.

Local officials said the new measure, part of a policy that will also ban polygamy, will be applied to two Rakhine townships that border Bangladesh and have the highest Muslim populations in the state.

The townships, Buthidaung and Maundaw, are about 95 percent Muslim.

The measure was enacted a week ago after a government-appointed commission investigating the violence issued proposals to ease tensions, which included family planning programs to stem population growth among minority Muslims, said Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing.

The commission also recommended doubling the number of security forces in the volatile region.

‘The population growth of Rohingya Muslims is 10 times higher than that of the Rakhine (Buddhists),’ Win Myaing said.

‘Overpopulation is one of the causes of tension.’

(Source / 25.05.2013)

Informant’s text messages shed new light on NYPD spy program targeting Muslims

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Text messages from a former police informant who targeted Muslims have opened a new window into the the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) spying–and suggest an expansive program where informants surveil innocuous activities and try to bait people into saying violent things. The informant wrote things to his police handler that reveal he brought up “jihad” to see what other Muslims would say in response. He also entered Muslim spaces to snap photos and record the phone numbers of people not accused of committing a crime.

The messages indicate that the police may not have told a federal judge the full story about the police’s expansive spy program targeting Muslims in the Northeast. They also raise new questions about whether the NYPD is following court-imposed guidelines on how they can conduct surveillance on political activity and how they investigate terrorism.

The new details about the NYPD’s spying effort came in a report authored by theAssociated Press’ Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman.

NYPD Detective Stephen Hoban, who handled the informant in question, defended the surveillance program in a May 16 legal filing as part of the police response to a civil rights lawsuit challenging the spy program. He told the judge that Shamiur Rahman, a former young Bangladeshi-American informant who eventually denounced the police, was lying when Rahman said he was directed to bait Muslims into saying inflammatory things related to violent jihad and terrorism. Rahman was paid $1,000 a month for his informant activities, before becoming uncomfortable with them and quitting.

“Rahman was never told to ‘spy on the Muslim community,’” Hoban said in the legal filing. “Rahman was never tasked to, nor did he as far as I know, engage in what he refers to as a ‘create and capture’ methodology.”

The legal suit the filings are a part of allege that the police program targeting Muslims violates the Handschu guidelines. First implemented in 1985 in response to the police spying on left-wing protesters, the guidelines govern how law enforcement in New York City can conduct investigations into political activity and terrorism. The current guidelines, though loosened after 9/11, prohibit the police from spying on people without criminal suspicion and retaining information not related to an investigation.

Hoban’s comments were a direct response to Rahman’s late 2012 declaration in the lawsuit, where he said that he was “told to use a strategy the police called ‘create and capture’”–a phrase meaning he “was to pretend to be a devout Muslim and start an inflammatory conversation about jihad or terrorism and then capture the response to send to the NYPD.” Rahman also said that “according to my NYPD boss Steve, the NYPD considers being a religious Muslim a terrorism indicator.”  Rahman added that he was tasked with visiting mosques, recording cell phone numbers for those who signed up for Islamic instruction classes and spying on a lecture organized by the Muslim Student Association at John Jay College in Manhattan. He also told the judge that he “attended the Muslim Day parade in Manhattan and took pictures of people marching” and sent the photos to the NYPD.

The May 16 comments from Hoban are an attempt to defuse the impact of those claims. But the text messages from Rahman provided to the AP reporters tell a different story than what Hoban told the judge. According to the AP, Hoban wrote to Rahman things like: “Did you take pictures?”and “I need pictures from the rally. And I need to know who is there”–messages that suggest Rahman was indeed spying on the Muslim community.

In one message, Rahman wrote to Hoban: “Hey bro. I think im going to bring up jihad with these guys tonight, see what they say and know and then go home because everyones really just praying and stuff.” While Hoban did not respond to that message, Rahman says “his NYPD handler only encouraged him to use the tactic, never dissuaded him,” the AP reports.

Hoban also said in his legal filing that Rahman was “never instructed to ‘infiltrate’ the MSA at John Jay, and the MSA at John Jay was never a named subject of any investigation.” Instead, Hoban said in his legal filing that Rahman was tasked with following a specific group of people who the police were investigating after getting the inquiry approved under the Handschu guidelines. Hoban added that Rahman monitored the Muslim Student Association and other Muslim groups only because the specific group of individuals being investigated for terrorism went there.

Hoban also claimed that Rahman “spontaneously went to the [Muslim American Society] Youth Center…I was told they went there after-the-fact.” But messages sent from Rahman’s phone that were shared with the AP read: “Afterwards I might go to the mas center.” Hoban responded: “Ok. let me know who is there.”

Jethro Eisenstein, the civil rights lawyer part of the team working to halt the NYPD’s expansive surveillance program that includes infiltrating mosques, eavesdropping on coversations and cataloging Muslim-owned businesses, says that Rahman’s text messages are crucial and that “there’s a real contradiction between what Hoban says and what’s in his exchanges with the confidential informant, and that has to be explored.” The NYPD wants to distance themselves from the tactics Rahman describes, Eisenstein said.

“Hoban isn’t saying, ‘oh my god, what are you doing? Don’t do that!’ This is the back and forth between [Rahman and Hoban]. It’s clear to me at least that that was part of their vocabulary and part of what they were talking about and doing,” Eisenstein said in an interview.

Besides shedding new light on informant activities and how they operate as part of the NYPD surveillance program, the legal filings raise questions about whether the police are following the Handschu guidelines. If it’s true that Rahman was instructed to use the “create and capture” methodology–as his text messages indicate–it may have violated those guidelines. “There’s a specific prohibition on encouraging people to engage in inflammatory rhetoric and then using that as a basis for an investigation, or as a basis to create a file about somebody,” said Eisenstein.

The NYPD also denies that they kept files on Muslims not associated with terrorism investigations, which would also be a violation of the guidelines. The NYPD is allowed to enter public places under the Handschu guidelines and take photos–they just can’t retain them if they’re unrelated to an investigation. The guideline were loosened after the September 11 attacks. For instance, the process of approval for an investigation, which has to be based on suspicion of criminal activity, is now all done internally within the police department–a change from the pre-9/11 guidelines.

If you take Hoban’s word as the truth, his informant may not have engaged in activities that violate the Handschu guidelines. But the overall thrust of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press series has lead lawyers to say that the police are violating the guidelines. The AP reported that after the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD engaged in a widespread program of spying on Muslims in mosques, businesses and schools. Many of these spying expeditions were taken with no basis for criminal suspicion, the AP reports indicate, and the police collected and kept files on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses.

The lawsuit filed by Eisenstein and his colleagues against the program reads in part:

There is substantial persuasive evidence that the defendants are conducting investigations into organizations and individuals associated with the Muslim faith and the Muslim community in New York, and have been doing so for years, using intrusive methods, without a reasonable indication of unlawful activity, or a criminal predicate of any sort.

As part of the same program, agents of the NYPD have persistently visited public places associated with the Muslim faith and the Muslim community, without detecting evidence of potential unlawful or terrorist activity, and have nonetheless retained detailed records concerning such visits. Moreover, while flouting the requirements of the Handschu Guidelines, the NYPD has publicly claimed to be complying with the requirements of those Guidelines.

The NYPD’s latest legal filings responding to the lawsuit strongly dispute that narrative. “The NYPD Intelligence Division does not now conduct, nor has it ever conducted, investigations based solely on the fact of one’s status as a Muslim or because they associate with Muslims,” said David Cohen, a former CIA agent and now the deputy commissioner of intelligence for the NYPD, in a May 17 legal filing.

Cohen stressed that New York is continually under the threat of a terrorist attack. He added that the measures civil rights lawyers want to implement–like appointing an outside monitor to ensure adherence to the Handschu guidelines and enjoining the surveillance program–would endanger the city.

(Source / 25.05.2013)

Witnesses: Israel detains 3 in Nablus village

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested three people in the Nablus village of Urif early Saturday, locals said.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles raided the village and detained Muhammad Zedan Safadi, Ahmad Abed al-Karim Safadi, and Muhammad Abed al-Karim Safadi.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said there were no reports of arrests overnight.

(Source / 25.05.2013)

Stel jezelf de vraag

By Marianna Laarif

De waarde van het leven hier op aarde is niks vergeleken de waarde van het
leven na de dood. Het leven hier op aarde is niks meer dan een test, om te laten
zien welke plaats we verdienen in het hiernamaals. Het Paradijs, of de Hel.

Stel jezelf eens de volgende vragen:

Weet je zeker dat je dit jaar je verjaardag gaat meemaken?
Weet je zeker dat je morgen naar je werk zult gaan?
Weet je zeker dat je vanavond je avond eten gaat eten?

Het antwoord op al deze vragen is nee, omdat de dood onverwachts een einde
kan maken aan dit leven. Het enige wat je op dit moment zeker weet is dat je
ooit dood zal gaan en uitleg moet geven over wat je wel en niet hebt gedaan op
deze aarde. Op dat moment dat je dood bent is het te laat om te zeggen het
spijt me, ik wil nog een kans, stuur mij terug dan ga ik zeker bidden, dan doe ik
geen dingen meer die haram zijn, dan zal ik nooit meer liegen, dan ga ik elke
vrijdag naar de moskee etc. op dat moment kan je niks meer veranderen en niks
meer verbeteren.

Hoe kan het dan dat zoveel mensen zich alleen maar bezig houden met het leven
op deze aarde terwijl dat elk moment afgelopen kan zijn, en zich helemaal niet
bezig houden met het hiernamaals, dat 100% zeker gaat komen. Deze mensen
bidden niet, gaan nooit naar moskee, en plegen veel zonden. Als je jezelf herkent
in dit of ook maar een ding van dat. Bedenk dat het nu nog mogelijk is om
vergiffenis te vragen voor je voorafgaande daden, om je leven te beteren, om te
beginnen met bidden, om te stoppen met liegen, om je aan de soenna en de
koran te houden, en om te streven naar een plek in het Paradijs. In plaats van
een plek in de hel.

Hieronder een aantal ahadith:

zoals Allah (ST) in de Qoran zegt:

En wij zullen u zeker beproeven totdat wij degene onder u onderscheiden
die ijverig streven en standvastig zijn. En wij zullen uw feiten aan u
openbaar maken. (Qoran 47:31)

Allah zegt in de Qoran:

Het wereldse leven is niks meer dan een spel en een ijdel vermaak.
doch voor degenen die god vrezen, is het thuis van het hiernamaals beter.
Willen jullie dan niet begrijpen?(Qoran 6:32)

Ibn Oemar verhaalt:

De boodschapper van Allah (SAWS) greep mij bij mijn schouders en
zei: “Wees in de wereld alsof je een reiziger of een vreemdeling bent”.
Ibn Oemar zei vaak:”Als het avond wordt verwacht dan niet dat het
weer ochtend wordt, en als het ochtend word verwacht dan niet dat
het weer avond wordt. Profiteer van je gezondheid voordat je ziek
wordt, en profiteer van je leven voordat je dood bent”.(Boecharie)

Een hadith vertelt:

Naar zijn graf wordt een overledene door drie dingen gevolgd:
zijn familie, zijn rijkdom en zijn daden. Maar na zijn begrafenis keren
twee dingen terug: zijn familie en zijn rijkdom. Slechts een ding blijft
bij hem, dat zijn zijn daden…

Ibrahim ibn An-Nakh’i zei:

Iedereen die niet zijn gebeden verricht is een ongelovige.
(Ayyoeb As-Soektiyani is het met Ibrahim eens)

Aboe Hoerairah (RA) zei:

De metgezellen van de profeet hebben allemaal gezegd dat er geen
andere daad van ongeloof is zoals het niet verrichten van de gebeden.
(overgeleverd door Al-Jarri op gezag van Abdoellah ibn Shaqiq)

De profeet (SAWS) heeft gezegd:

“Laat het gebed niet opzettelijk na, degene die het gebed met opzet nalaat,
dan zal Allah en zijn boodschapper afstand van hem nemen”.
(Overgeleverd door Ahmed in zijn moesnad )

Ik denk dat dit allemaal genoeg bewijzen zijn om te weten dat je eerst moet
denken aan het hiernamaals en pas daarna aan het dagelijkse leven hier. Nogmaals
je weet zeker dat je dood gaat, maar niet dat je morgen weer wakker gaat worden.
Stel alle dingen dus niet uit tot morgen maar begin nu, op dit moment, verricht je gebed,
ga naar de moskee op vrijdag (voor mannen) betaal de zakaat, doe mee aan ramadan
hou je aan de soennah en de Koran, en leg je vertrouwen in de handen van Allah.
Vraag nu om vergeving en verander je slechte daden in goede, voordat het te laat
is, en de dood je treft, en de kans groter is dat je voor eeuwig zal leven in de hel.

wat klinkt beter:

Allah ST zegt in de Qoran:

Voorzeker de hel ligt in een hinderlaag.
Een thuis voor de opstandigen.
Die daarin lange tijd zullen vertoeven.
Zij zullen daar geen koelte hebben en geen dronk smaken.
Behalve kokend water en een stinkende vloeistof die verschrikkelijk
koud is. (Qoran: 78:21-25)

of klinkt dit beter:

Allah (ST) zegt in de Qoran:

Waarin een stromende bron is,
Waarin hoge rustbanken opgericht zijn.
En drinkschalen gereed gezet.
En kussens gerangschikt,
en tapijten uitgespreid.
(Qoran 88:12-16)

Moge Allah ons leiding geven en ons hart verruimen voor het ware geloof AMIN.

‘Hezbollah supports Syria’s anti-Israel resistance’

Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah Sheikh Naim Qassem

Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah Sheikh Naim Qassem
The Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah Sheikh Naim Qassem says that the Lebanese movement supports those in Syria backing resistance against Israel.

The Lebanese resistance official made the remarks during an interview with Beirut’s al-Mayadeen news channel.

Sheikh Naim Qassem reiterated that political dialogue is the only way to resolve the current crisis in the Arab nation.

He also said that Hezbollah was playing a supportive role in Syria.

The Hezbollah figure further warned that Western powers and some Arab states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia are provoking a backlash in their own countries through their stance on Damascus.

Earlier in May, Sheikh Qassem said that Tel Aviv was aiming to boost the morale of foreign-backed militants fighting in Syria by its recent airstrikes against the country.

“An aggression by Israel against Syria has taken place which means that Syria represents an obstacle in the face of Israel. But Syria is unwavering in the face of [Israel],” he added.

Israel has carried out at least three airstrikes in Syria so far this year.

On May 22, Israeli Major General Amir Eshel said that Israel was prepared to attack Syria the moment the government of Bashar al-Assad collapses.

The unrest in Syria has dragged on for over two years, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the foreign-sponsored militancy.

(Source / 25.05.2013)

Israel says Syria seeks to provoke conflict

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Israel on Saturday accused Syrian forces of trying to provoke conflict as the two sides rowed over responsibility for a border clash.

Tensions around Golan Heights ceasefire zone between the two rivals have escalated since Syrian forces fired across the UN-patrolled ceasefire line and hit an Israeli military vehicle on Tuesday.

“This week’s events are part of a disturbing pattern of events intended to spark provocation with Israel,” said Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor in a letter to the UN Security Council.

“Responsibility for the event rests entirely with the government of Syria which instructed its troops to fire on the jeep. Despite numerous complaints, they have persisted in these acts of aggression,” Prosor added in the letter, which was released by Israel’s US mission.

“We expect the international community to hold the government of Syria accountable for undermining international agreements and regional stability,” Prosor said.

Israel says the shooting and other recent incidents are a breach of the 1974 accord which set up the Golan ceasefire zone.

Other shells and fire from the Syrian side have landed inside Israel during the 24-month Syrian conflict and UN observers have been abducted at least three times by Syrian rebels in incidents inside the zone.

In a rival letter to the 15-nation Security Council, Syria said the Israeli vehicle was targeted because it had crossed the ceasefire line and was heading toward a village where rebels had made a base.

Syria’s UN envoy Bashar Jaafari said President Bashar Assad’s forces would respond immediately to any other violation of its sovereignty. Syria expects the Security Council “to put an end to Israel’s violations,” Jaafari said.

Jaafari said the Israeli vehicle had been headed for the village of Bir Ajam. “The presence of armed terrorist groups in that village led the Syrian armed forces to target the above-mentioned Israeli vehicle,” he said.

Assad’s government calls opposition fighters “terrorists.”

Jaafari said Israel is interfering in Syrian affairs “through its provision of logistical support for armed terrorist groups in Syria, including those that are active in the area of separation of forces.”

Israel’s air force chief, Major Gen Amir Eshel, warned Wednesday that tensions with Syria could escalate into a “surprise war”.

(Source / 25.05.2013)

PA increases VAT by 1%

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – The Palestinian Authority decided Thursday to raise the VAT by 1 percent starting in June, an official said.

Head of taxes and VAT Ahmad Al-Hilo told Ma’an that the raise will lead to an increase of 1 percent in overall prices. The rise puts the overall tax rate on goods at 16 percent.

Al-Hilo told Ma’an that authorities were forced to raise the VAT because Israel raised it to 18% and, according to the Paris economic
agreement, the difference between the Palestinian Authority and Israel should not be more than 2 percent.

Al-Hilo said the VAT increase will affect all goods in the Palestinian market without any exceptions.

He added that the VAT is the basis for commercial exchange between the PA and Israel, and the PA has no choice but to enforce it.

(Source / 25.05.2013)

Egypt court rejects election law, further poll delays expected

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi (C) arrives at Bole International airport for the 21st Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa May 24, 2013. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

(Reuters) – Egypt’s highest court ruled on Saturday that parts of a revised election law setting out terms for a parliamentary election were unconstitutional, casting fresh doubt over a poll that has already been delayed.

The Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament had approved the law last month and sent it to the Supreme Constitutional Court to check the legality of the voting procedures for a new lower house.

Opposition politicians had denounced the text of the revised election law approved by parliament and repeated threats to boycott the vote.

The court ruled that four provisions of the bill were unconstitutional, a judicial source said. The bill will now be sent back to parliament for review.

The ruling is the latest sign of friction between the judiciary, which Islamist lawmakers accuse of being loyal to deposed leader Hosni Mubarak and obstructing elections and legislation, and President Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Mursi, an Islamist elected last year, originally called elections for April but postponed them when the court annulled the decree setting the dates.

Mursi has said elections could now begin in October, completing the democratic transition from Mubarak’s rule.

A separate court ruling last year dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood-led lower chamber elected in 2011-12.

Egypt has been plagued by political instability since Mubarak’s ouster, scaring away investors and tourists who are needed to keep the economy afloat.

Outside parliament, baton-wielding police pushed back activists who were protesting against a controversial judicial reform law that was being discussed inside the chamber.

Parliament voted to continue discussions of the law, angering secular MPs who wore black sashes condemning it.

Islamist lawmakers allied to the Brotherhood are pushing the bill, which would force out more than 3,000 judges by lowering the retirement age.

The bill has also angered liberal, leftist and ultra-conservative Islamist opposition groups which accuse the Brotherhood of trying to control state institutions rather than pressing genuine reforms. The Brotherhood denies this.

Mursi has faced a revolt against Islamist attempts to force out thousands of judges and he has alienated some of his aides.

Earlier this month, senior Egyptian judges halted talks with Mursi on judicial reforms after parliament decided to discuss the proposed laws despite presidential promises to seek consensus first

(Source / 25.05.2013)

Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

‘Work for us or we will say you are a terrorist’

Five Muslim community workers have accused MI5 of waging a campaign of blackmail and harassment in an attempt to recruit them as informants.

The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas.

They have made official complaints to the police, to the body which oversees the work of the Security Service and to their local MP Frank Dobson. Now they have decided to speak publicly about their experiences in the hope that publicity will stop similar tactics being used in the future.

Intelligence gathered by informers is crucial to stopping further terror outrages, but the men’s allegations raise concerns about the coercion of young Muslim men by the Security Service and the damage this does to the gathering of information in the future.

Three of the men say they were detained at foreign airports on the orders of MI5 after leaving Britain on family holidays last year.

After they were sent back to the UK, they were interviewed by MI5 officers who, they say, falsely accused them of links to Islamic extremism. On each occasion the agents said they would lift the travel restrictions and threat of detention in return for their co-operation. When the men refused some of them received what they say were intimidating phone calls and threats.

Two other Muslim men say they were approached by MI5 at their homes after police officers posed as postmen. Each of the five men, aged between 19 and 25, was warned that if he did not help the security services he would be considered a terror suspect. A sixth man was held by MI5 for three hours after returning from his honeymoon in Saudi Arabia. He too claims he was threatened with travel restrictions if he tried to leave the UK.

An agent who gave her name as Katherine is alleged to have made direct threats to Adydarus Elmi, a 25-year-old cinema worker from north London. In one telephone call she rang him at 7am to congratulate him on the birth of his baby girl. His wife was still seven months’ pregnant and the couple had expressly told the hospital that they did not want to know the sex of their child.

Mr Elmi further alleges: “Katherine tried to threaten me by saying, and it still runs through my mind now: ‘Remember, this won’t be the last time we ever meet.’ And then during our last conversation she explained: ‘If you do not want anything to happen to your family you will co-operate.'”

Madhi Hashi, a 19-year-old care worker from Camden, claims he was held for 16 hours in a cell in Djibouti airport on the orders of MI5. He alleges that when he was returned to the UK on 9 April this year he was met by an MI5 agent who told him his terror suspect status would remain until he agreed to work for the Security Service. He alleges that he was to be given the job of informing on his friends by encouraging them to talk about jihad.

Mohamed Nur, 25, a community youth worker from north London, claims he was threatened by the Security Service after an agent gained access to his home accompanied by a police officer posing as a postman.

“The MI5 agent said, ‘Mohamed if you do not work for us we will tell any foreign country you try to travel to that you are a suspected terrorist.'”

Mohamed Aden, 25, a community youth worker from Camden, was also approached by someone disguised as a postman in August last year. He alleges an agent told him: “We’re going to make your travelling harder for you if you don’t co-operate.”

None of the six men, who work with disadvantaged youths at the Kentish Town Community Organisation (KTCO), has ever been arrested for terrorism or a terrorism-related offence.

They have repeatedly complained about their treatment to the police and to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which oversees the work of the Security Services.

In a letter to Lord Justice Mummery, who heads the tribunal, Sharhabeel Lone, the chairman of the KTCO, said: “The only thing these young people have in common is that they studied Arabic abroad and are of Somali origin. They are not involved in any terrorist activity whatsoever, nor have they ever been, and the security services are well aware of this.”

Mr Sharhabeel added: “These incidents smack of racism, Islamophobia and all that undermines social cohesion. Threatening British citizens, harassing them in their own country, alienating young people who have committed no crime other than practising a particular faith and being a different colour is a recipe for disaster.

“These disgraceful incidents have undermined 10 years of hard work and severely impacted social cohesion in Camden. Targeting young people that are role models for all young people in our country in such a disparaging way demonstrates a total lack of understanding of on-the-ground reality and can only be counter-productive.

“When people are terrorised by the very same body that is meant to protect them, sowing fear, suspicion and division, we are on a slippery slope to an Orwellian society.”

Frank Dobson said: “To identify real suspects from the Muslim communities MI5 must use informers. But it seems that from what I have seen some of their methods may be counter-productive.”

Last night MI5 and the police refused to discuss the men’s complaints withThe Independent. But on its website, MI5 says it is untrue that the Security Service harasses Muslims.

The organisation says: “We do not investigate any individuals on the grounds of ethnicity or religious beliefs. Countering the threat from international terrorists, including those who claim to be acting for Islam, is the Security Service’s highest priority.

“We know that attacks are being considered and planned for the UK by al-Qai’da and associated networks. International terrorists in this country threaten us directly through violence and indirectly through supporting violence overseas.”

It adds: “Muslims are often themselves the victims of this violence – the series of terrorist attacks in Casablanca in May 2003 and Riyadh in May and November 2003 illustrate this.

“The service also employs staff of all religions, including Muslims. We are committed to recruiting a diverse range of staff from all backgrounds so that we can benefit from their different perspectives and experience.”

MI5 and me: Three statements

Mahdi Hashi: ‘I told him: this is blackmail’

Last month, 19-year-old Mahdi Hashi arrived at Gatwick airport to take a plane to visit his sick grandmother in Djibouti, but as he was checking in he was stopped by two plainclothes officers. One of the officers identified himself as Richard and said he was working for MI5.

Mr Hashi said: “He warned me not to get on the flight. He said ‘Whatever happens to you outside the UK is not our responsibility’. I was absolutely shocked.” The agent handed Mr Hashi a piece of paper with his name and telephone contact details and asked him to call him.

“The whole time he tried to make it seem like he was looking after me. And just before I left them at my boarding gate I remember ‘Richard’ telling me ‘It’s your choice, mate, to get on that flight but I advise you not to,’ and then he winked at me.”

When Mr Hashi arrived at Djibouti airport he was stopped at passport control. He was then held in a room for 16 hours before being deported back to the UK. He claims the Somali security officers told him that their orders came from London. More than 24 hours after he first left the UK he arrived back at Heathrow and was detained again.

“I was taken to pick up my luggage and then into a very discreet room. ‘Richard’ walked in with a Costa bag with food which he said was for me, my breakfast. He said it was them who sent me back because I was a terror suspect.” Mr Hashi, a volunteer youth leader at Kentish Town Community Organisation in north London, alleges that the officer made it clear that his “suspect” status and travel restrictions would only be lifted if he agreed to co-operate with MI5. “I told him ‘This is blatant blackmail’; he said ‘No, it’s just proving your innocence. By co-operating with us we know you’re not guilty.’

“He said I could go and that he’d like to meet me another time, preferably after [May] Monday Bank Holiday. I looked at him and said ‘I don’t ever want to see you or hear from you again. You’ve ruined my holiday, upset my family, and you nearly gave my sick grandmother in Somalia a heart attack’.”

Adydarus Elmi: ‘MI5 agent threatened my family’

When the 23-year-old cinema worker from north London arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare airport with his pregnant wife, they were separated, questioned and deported back to Britain.

Three days later Mr Elmi was contacted on his mobile phone and asked to attend Charing Cross police station to discuss problems he was having with his travel documents. “I met a man and a woman,” he said. “She said her name was Katherine and that she worked for MI5. I didn’t know what MI5 was.”

For two-and-a-half hours Mr Elmi faced questions. “I felt I was being lured into working for MI5.” The contact did not stop there. Over the following weeks he claims “Katherine” harassed him with dozens of phone calls.

“She would regularly call my mother’s home asking to speak to me,” he said. “And she would constantly call my mobile.”

In one disturbing call the agent telephoned his home at 7am to congratulate him on the birth of his baby girl. His wife was still seven months pregnant and the couple had expressly told the hospital that they did not want to know the sex of their child.

“Katherine tried to threaten me by saying – and it still runs through my mind now – ‘Remember, this won’t be the last time we ever meet”, and then during our last conversation explained: ‘If you do not want anything to happen to your family you will co-operate’.”

Mohamed Nur

Mohamed Nur, 25, first came into contact with MI5 early one morning in August 2008 when his doorbell rang. Looking through his spyhole in Camden, north London, he saw a man with a red bag who said he was a postman.

When Mr Nur opened the door the man told him that he was in fact a policeman and that he and his colleague wanted to talk to him. When they sat down the second man produced ID and said that he worked for MI5.

The agent told Mr Nur that they suspected him of being an Islamic extremist. “I immediately said ‘And where did you get such an idea?’ He replied, ‘I am not permitted to discuss our sources’. I said that I have never done anything extreme.”

Mr Nur claims he was then threatened by the officer. “The MI5 agent said, ‘Mohamed, if you do not work for us we will tell any foreign country you try to travel to that you are a suspected terrorist’.”

They asked him what travel plans he had. Mr Nur said he might visit Sweden next year for a football tournament. The agent told him he would contact him within the next three days.

“I am not interested in meeting you ever.” Mr Nur replied. As they left, the agent said to at least consider the approach, as it was in his best interests.

(21 MAY 2009 / Source / 25.05.2013)

New News 25.05.13

From now on Altahrir.wordpress.com and Khamakarpress.com will publish the articles of Jamal KanjKhamakarPress is very proud to share these articles on both sites.

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Jamal Kanj wil write on politic issues. Jamal writes weekly newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.

KhamakarPress  is very proud that after Jafar M Ramini and Marianna Laarif there will be articles on both sites of Jamal Kanj.

KhamakarPress