An update on Ishaq Kanmi, whose “loyalty to his form of Islam exceeds his loyalty to this country.”
“‘Al-Qaeda in Britain’ leader who threatened Gordon Brown and Tony Blair pleads guilty,” by Duncan Gardham for the Telegraph, May 10:
Ishaq Kanmi, 23, from Blackburn, Lancashire, posted messages on a well-known extremist website announcing the formation of the British branch of al-Qaeda and stating that it aimed to launch attacks on “places of benefit to the crusaders” and to target political leaders.
He called on “all Muslims in Britain to join us and prepare themselves for martyrdom operations and not lose this golden chance.”
In his postings, Kanmi demanded the withdrawal troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and the release from prison of the radical preachers Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada.
The statements appeared in January 2008 on an Arabic language web-site called al-ekhlaas.net, which often carries messages from senior members of al-Qaeda.
Calling himself Shaykh Umar Rabie al-Khalaila, he said the aims of the group were:
“1- huge attacks on centres and places of benefit to the crusaders.
“2- the elimination of political leaders and capitalists Blair and Brown.
“3- The implementation of god’s ruling [on] those who oppose al-Mujahideen [holy fighters], the honest ones, and implement god’s ruling on all those who helped the crusaders against Muslims.”
He called for Muslims in Europe to “make us victorious…with men and money” and the message was signed “Leadership of al-Qaeda in Britain”.
Kanmi also posted links on an American internet chatroom called Infovlad which directed users to sites which included a recipe for the poison ricin and a film on how to make a suicide bomber’s vest.
Computer analysis traced many of his postings to Blackburn Library where police and MI5 set up a covert surveillance operation in March 2008.
Kanmi was arrested at Manchester Airport as he waited to board a flight to Helsinki, Finland in August 2008 where he was to work as an Islamic teacher.
He had three electronic storage devices in his suitcase and a mobile phone which contained a film from the media wing of al-Qaeda about the July 7 bombings in London and photographs of the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi….