More on Pakistan’s well-documented jihad factories — and more adventures of the notorious Omar Bakri. “Pakistani Islamist group training, exporting youths for Al Qaeda,” from the Indo Asian News Service, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
Islamabad, June 19 (IANS) An US-based security think tank has linked recent arrests in the US and one associated with the July 7, 2005, London bombings to the Pakistani branch of the Islamist militant group al-Muhajiroun.
The group has evolved into one of many support networks connecting Western Muslim youths, mostly from Europe, to jihad in southwest Asia, according to an analysis circulated by Stratfor, the US-based online news analysis service.
This occurred after the Pakistani branch’s 2003 announcement of independence from the parent group in London. The Pakistani branch of al-Muhajiroun had decided to participate more actively in the jihad in Afghanistan, which necessitated its secession from the parent body.
Omer Bakri Mohammed, the organisation’s founder, blessed this decision as he wanted to maintain plausible deniability for the group as a whole, the Daily Times newspaper said in a report from Washington.
Stratfor writes: ‘Groups like al-Muhajiroun’s Pakistani branch are channels for bringing conditioned Western Muslim youths into contact with Al Qaeda recruiters. This is likely the same medium that allowed the July 7 London bombers to go from being radicalised youth to becoming actual suicide bombers.’
Stratfor cites the example of Syed Hashmi, a 26-year-old US Muslim and New York City resident, who was arrested on June 6 at London’s Heathrow Airport as he prepared to board a plane for Pakistan. He was charged with aiding an Al Qaeda plot to stage attacks in London and shipping equipment to the jihadi network headquartered in Pakistan.
Hashmi, the analysis notes, is a US citizen of Pakistani origin who grew up in New York. He graduated from college in 2003. During his student days, he was exposed to radical Islamic ideas, particularly those of the now defunct London-based group al-Muhajiroun.