Yet any public questioning of the extent of jihadism in Muslim communities in Britain or the US brings immediate cries of “racism!” From the TimesOnline, :
TONY BLAIR is facing new controversy over his efforts to secure the release of the Britons held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba after America accused one of the detainees of being an Al-Qaeda terrorist who volunteered for a suicide mission.
American court papers revealed for the first time this weekend say that Feroz Abbasi, a college dropout, had received advanced military training at terror camps in Afghanistan and was present on at least two occasions when Osama Bin Laden visited.
Abbasi, 24, from Croydon, south London, is alleged to have met other senior Al-Qaeda figures and fought with a crack unit of Islamic terrorists during the Afghan conflict with America and its allies. The revelations “” the most detailed account to date of the US case against any of the four Britons at Guantanamo Bay “” are likely to leave Blair with a diplomatic dilemma.
Less than a fortnight ago the prime minister raised the plight of the Britons with George W Bush during a trip to Washington. Blair is believed to have asked for the prisoners to be returned to Britain unless they could be guaranteed a fair trial. His wife Cherie recently criticised the lack of legal rights afforded to prisoners at Camp Delta. However, the serious nature of the American allegations against Abbasi “” and the security concerns they raise if he were to be freed “” could wreck a potential deal.
The new documents obtained by The Sunday Times have been filed in a district court in Washington DC where lawyers acting for Abbasi and the three other British prisoners are challenging their detention.
The papers outline the proceedings of a military tribunal which was convened at Guantanamo Bay last month to determine whether Abbasi should continue to be held as an “enemy combatant”.
On the basis of the evidence presented to them “” only some of which has been unclassified “” the three-man tribunal panel unanimously found Abbasi to be “a member of, or affiliated with, Al-Qaeda”.