Their opponents are making bomb threats and planting actual bombs at EDL demos, and the leaders of the EDL are the ones who are in prison, on far less serious charges. "Bomb hoax sent to English Defence League ahead of Bristol march 'for a laugh' - Court," from The Bristol Post, January 23 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
A BOMB hoaxer sparked a security alert days before a controversial right-wing group marched through Bristol.
A court heard Sakander Mahmood sent a message to the English Defence League saying: "Fourteenth July in Bristol – You are getting bombed."
The threat to bomb the demonstration was made "just for a laugh", it is claimed – but was taken "very seriously" by police and the EDL, a volunteer for the organisation has told a jury.
The EDL march from Redcliffe Wharf to Queen Square, staged to protest at what it called the "Islamification" of Bristol, was the focus of a huge police operation to keep supporters of the right-wing group and anti-fascist counter demonstrators apart.
More than 1,000 officers from forces across the UK were on the streets of the city and two were injured in violent clashes. The operation cost the taxpayer about £500,000.
Police estimated about 300 EDL took part, with about 500 attending a counter-demonstration called We Are Bristol.
Yesterday a court heard that 26-year-old Mahmood, who lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, had the idea of making the threat after reading online that a car containing explosives had been intercepted on its way to another EDL rally.
Samuel Green, prosecuting, told the city's Crown Court how Mahmood told police who came to his home: "Yes. Hands up. Just for a laugh. They've got a march. I've put on a bomb threat."
He said the defendant claimed he got the idea for the bomb threat as he was on the internet and saw a news item, dated July 10, about the bomb found in a car on the motorway.
Mr Green said there was no suggestion the defendant was connected in any way to the motorway incident.
But Helen Gower, the personal assistant of EDL leader Tommy Robinson, told the court she was "very distressed" when the email sent to the group's website was forwarded to her on July 11, the day after Mahmood sent it.
Asked how seriously the organisation took the threat, Mrs Gower said: "Very seriously."
Mrs Gower, who gave evidence over a videolink from Kent, said she was concerned because the style of the email was similar to that used by Muslim hacking groups who had attacked the EDL website before.
She said she also feared for EDL supporters due to gather in Bristol.
Mrs Gower was asked about the news reports of a car stopped on the M1, a week before the threat was received. The car reportedly contained a nail bomb intended for use against the EDL.
Mrs Gower said the organisation decided that bomb threats should always be reported to police after the incident on the M1. She added that the EDL had received between 15 and 20 bomb threats through its website since 2010.
Mr Green told the jury it was irrelevant whether they agreed with the EDL and said the issue they had to decide was Mahmood's state of mind when he sent the email. He said he defendant must have realised the message would cause "fear, inconvenience and panic".
No doubt that was the idea.
Mahmood denies a charge of communicating a bomb hoax....