This group, clearly well-groomed for jihad, used the Qur’an and invited this prospective convert to a mosque. How odd that those in the mosque who understood their peaceful religion correctly didn’t explain the True, Peaceful Islam to this hirsute quartet.
“Police officer infiltrated group who “˜groomed men for jihad”, court told,” by John Scheerhout for the Manchester Evening News, May 10 (thanks to all who sent this in):
A police officer has told a terror trial he went undercover to infiltrate a gang of alleged radical Muslims accused of urging British men to fight holy war.
The officer, known in court as “˜Ray”, said he adopted the Islamic name Abdul Rahman during a 12-month operation into the activities of a group of four men.
The men deny allegations that they urged undercover cops to carry out Jihad — or holy war — in Afghanistan.
The Crown allege Munir Farooqi — said to have fought alongside the Taliban in 2001 — and three other defendants used stalls in Longsight and central Manchester to convert people to Islam. The prosecution say they tried to groom both Ray and a second undercover officer, known in court as “˜Simon”, to fight and if necessary die in Afghanistan.
Ray — who gave evidence from behind a screen on the third day of the trial at Manchester Crown Court — said he spent two or three weeks establishing himself in Longsight before getting to know Mr Farooqi.
He said: “I was playing the part of someone who has very low social ties, who did not have a social background as such. Somebody who was for want of a better word down on their luck. Somebody who was looking to be befriended or speak to somebody.”
Apparently Farooqi tried to convert Ray to Islam and make him a jihadist:
Ray said he had approached Mr Farooqi’s stall and the pair had exchanged pleasantries.
He said Mr Farooqi then asked him if he was a Christian, the jury heard.
“I asked him what he meant by that,” said Ray. “He asked me if I was an atheist and I asked what he meant by that. He said, “˜Do you believe in God?”
“My reply to that was that I believed in something, and the conversation went from there.
“He asked me if I knew what the Koran was. I think I explained it was the Islamic version of the Bible, or words to that effect, and the conversation went from there.”
The jury heard the pair exchanged mobile phone numbers and Ray was handed a series of Islamic leaflets, a copy of the Koran and some DVDs.
Ray then told the jury the pair discussed the difference between a church and a mosque before Mr Farooqi invited him to a mosque in Ardwick.
Mr Farooqi, 54, and his son Harris Farooqi, 27 – both of Victoria Terrace, Longsight – are charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism by attempting to recruit others to engage in violence abroad.
Matthew Newton, 29, and Israr Malik, 22, face the same charge….