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Wednesday, February 08, 2006 

Abu Hamza: The bullshit and the reality.

As could be expected following the conviction of Abu Hamza, the tabloids, BBC and the government have realised they can get some mileage out of this. For the Sun and the Mail, it means that every word they published about him before was true. The BBC did a similarly sensational report, just as they did after the ricin plot which never was. The government has used it to once again call for support for their "glorification" part of the terror bill.

The Sun has to be congratulated most of all though for their brilliant exclusive that he cheated on his wife in the 80s with a prostitute. The exposure of his relationship with her led to him becoming a religious fanatic, although the paper neglects to mention how or why. The same article mentions that the 7/7 attackers visited the mosque, although police have since said that they have no evidence that they did, and seeing as they and the spooks have had 6 months to follow up all of their movements, they should know. The paper has conveniently put up a number of its front pages on him, which brings us to the next charge. The "Bomb Big Ben Book" was actually a single paragraph in a 5,000 page manual produced at the time of the Afghan-Russia war, which is now regarded as a "terrorist" manual, even though at the time the muhjadein was being funded by the US.
Patrick Searle, an author and former Middle East correspondent for the Observer gave evidence saying that he had seen the manual on the shelves of academics, and that it included material provided by the CIA. Yet another article details all the terrorists which apparently visited the Finsbury Park mosque. Again without providing evidence, it names the four 7/7 bombers, which is dealt with above. It also mentions another person involved in the "ricin" plot (despite all the others charged were acquitted, and that an informer on them in Morocco has never been tried), where there was no ricin, where the recipe for creating it would not have worked anyway, and that their plans to smear it on doorknobs would not have worked because ricin cannot be absorbed through the skin - it has to be injected, ala the infamous umbrella assassination. They also say Bourgass was "despatched to London by his al-Qaida masters" even though there was never any al-Qaida link proved with his ridiculous plot. And then there's "terrorism expert" Neil Doyle:

“There’s a jihad army in this country and that’s thanks to Hamza and others like him.

“This country still faces the grim prospect of more suicide bombings carried out by people who have been inspired by his passion for violence.”

Again without providing any evidence, and ignoring the fact that spooks are now monitoring anyone who so much as squeaks what can be felt "extremist". The so-called "hands-off" approach is long over.

All the above is great, but it doesn't get any better than the Sun's leader on the subject:

SEVEN YEARS for running a viper’s nest of terror linked to every major atrocity from 9/11 to our 7/7.

SEVEN YEARS for defiling a holy mosque and turning it into a murderous al-Qaeda training camp.

SEVEN YEARS for recruiting impressionable young Muslims, some of whom went on to kill or attempt murder.

Evil Abu Hamza connived at mass slaughter. His sentence should be TWICE as long.

Yet he will be eligible for parole in just over three years - with more than a year lopped off for his time on remand.

This rabid peddler of hate could be free to vote at the next election.

The most shocking fact is that Hamza would never be inside at all — but for Sun readers.

For three long years, this newspaper has campaigned relentlessly for justice.

There was plenty of horrific evidence.

# In 2003, police raided Finsbury Park mosque, a byword for peddling anti-Western bile.

# They found a terror manual, blank-firing pistols, CS spray, a stun gun, knives, gas masks, nuclear protective suits and forged passports and driving licences.

# Police also recorded tapes of his despicable sermons, preaching terrorism, homicidal violence and hatred.

The damage, said the judge, was “simply incalculable”.

“You used your authority to encourage your audiences to believe it gave rise to a duty to murder,” he said.

Yet while Hamza was acting as a recruiting sergeant for Osama bin Laden, police treated him like a harmless pantomime clown.

It took TWO more years and the fear of a Twin Towers-style outrage in London to tip police into action.

Misguided policy — denounced by our incredulous allies — allowed suspects to stay free so they could be kept under supervision.

This licence to roam was exploited by Hamza whose terrorist “sleepers” spread like spores on the wind.

Experts fear the cast of potential suicide bombers in Britain has mushroomed.

Hamza’s manic lawyer predictably rounded on the jury for turning Hamza into a “martyr” of Islam.

To their credit, the Muslim Council of Britain wanted no truck with this rubbish. “Abu Hamza was allowed to bask in the limelight and seemed to relish using inflammatory language,” they said.

“We respect the verdicts today.”

Hamza now risks extradition to America on more serious charges.

No one must stand in the way.

Ah yes, it was the Sun wot did it. Apart from their rather curious claims to have brought him to justice (despite the security services being in constant contact with him, even relying on him to inform on those even more extreme than himself and MI5 having a mole inside the mosque for two years), the Sun seems most concerned that he could vote at the next election. When referring to his sentence of seven years, the paper doesn't feel that it's worth mentioning that it's incredibly likely that he'll be deported to the US at the end of his sentence, because that would of course ruin their outrage, leaving it instead till right to the end, when it demands that "NO ONE MUST STAND IN THE WAY", probably because he'll be sentenced to life imprisonment. It's also worth remembering Nick Griffin, who was acquitted on race hate charges last week. If he had been convicted, and he still might be, would he have got 7 years? I somehow doubt it.

The most craven reaction though has to be that of the government and especially Blair, who following on from Charles Clarke today demanded that David Cameron drop his opposition to the glorification clause, even though it would have a chilling effect on activists and the outspoken, who have never incited murder. Of course, that Hamza was convicted under current laws and that government lawyers have made clear that the protesters at the weekend could also be, doesn't matter. The law obviously needs to be "strengthened" and groups need to be banned, even though Hizb-u-Tahrir, one of the groups set to be outlawed held an entirely peaceful protest at the weekend and is committed to peaceful activism.

Abu Hamza was a man filled with hate. He preached murder, indoctrinated the vulnerable and has been linked to acts of terrorism. But he should have been dealt with sooner. The security services apparently used him as a "honeytrap" to monitor many other extremists, which ended once 9/11 happened. It then took two further years for them to raid the Finsbury Park mosque, which they were reasonably afraid of doing for provoking a backlash. What happened was that the media were allowed, as they often do, to vilify a whole community based on the speeches and lunacy of one man. With Hamza gone, they've had to find new targets, such as Omar Bakri, who is now also outside the country. The government has used these preachers, however isolated they are and however much their own community hates their views to pass through significant reductions of civil liberties. Along with the tabloids they have preached fear, as shown today by the notion that there is a "jihad army" in the country, and that there were terrorist training camps, despite no evidence being produced for either. MPs and the Conservatives should not give in to those who wish to reduce our freedoms because of a tiny minority who preach hate, and should reject this government's mendacity.

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