The hydra grows new heads: 81 front organizations in 6 countries. “Banned Islamists spawn front organisations,” from the Guardian, with thanks to JE:
A British Islamist group which is to be outlawed under new anti-terror laws has already formed scores of front organisations in an attempt to ensure its survival, according to investigators in New York.
Al-Ghurabaa, formed by Omar Bakri Mohammed before he fled to Lebanon in the wake of the 7/7 bombings, heads the list of four organisations which are to be proscribed under legislation which prohibits the glorification of terrorism.
However, an investigation by police in New York – where al-Ghurabaa raised funds and recruited members under another name – alleges that it has formed 81 front organisations, support groups and affiliates in six different countries. The overwhelming majority are based in London, the home counties, the Midlands, Lancashire and West Yorkshire.
A counter-terrorism unit of the New York police department (NYPD), established after the attacks of September 11 to monitor Islamist organisations, says al-Ghurabaa’s predecessor, al-Muhajiroun, had spawned all of the connected organisations by the time John Reid, the home secretary, moved to proscribe al-Ghurabaa on Monday.
In addition, a number of groups of Muslim professionals in the UK are alleged to be front organisations. A report by the unit names publishing companies and student bodies, a software company, and Islamic societies in 21 British towns and cities.
By monitoring Islamist websites and the Arabic and Pakistani press, as well as the organisation’s own pronouncements, the NYPD unit says it has identified a number of groups in the US, Canada, Pakistan and Portugal as front organisations, as well as affiliates in Algeria….
Al-Ghurabaa, which is Arabic for the Strangers, was formed after Bakri announced he was “disbanding” its predecessor, al-Muhajiroun, in October 2004, apparently believing that it was about to be outlawed. Earlier this year the Guardian identified two groups which appeared to be essentially the same as al-Muhajiroun. They were al-Ghurabaa, and al-Firqat un-Naajiyah, or the Saved Sect, which is also to be banned. A Home Office spokesperson said: “Other groups may not be on the list now, but will be kept under review.”…
Both al-Ghurabaa and al-Firqat un-Naajiyah stand accused of glorifying terrorism, a criminal offence since the act came into force last April. One of al-Ghurabaa’s spokesmen has described the 7/7 suicide bombers as “completely praiseworthy”.
Critically, al-Muhajiroun and its successor organisations are also suspected of acting as a “conveyor belt”, encouraging young Britons to join terrorist organisations in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. Its supporters have killed more than a dozen people in suicide bomb attacks in Israel, on behalf of Hamas, and in Kashmir, for Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistani Islamist organisation.