This man was let into the UK, while Pamela Geller and I were banned. The British government, in other words, is more interested in stopping foes of jihad terror than in stopping jihad terror. They have chosen what they have chosen, and are already reaping the consequences, with special forces in London today to guard against a jihad terror attack. Britain has such a bright future ahead: chaos, civil war, and Sharia. “Radical cleric uses UK as base to preach in support of violent Islamists,” by Patrick Sawer, the Telegraph, August 30, 2014 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
A radical foreign cleric was last night accused of using a British based Internet TV channel to encourage Islamist fighters trying to overthrow the government in Libya.
Grand mufti Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani, Libya’s highest spiritual leader, is alleged to be using the UK as a base from which to help orchestrate the takeover of his home country by extremist militias with ideological links to the brutal Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq.
Home Office officials are understood to be examining whether the cleric is breaching any British laws by using an Internet channel based here to preach support for Libya Dawn, the Islamist militia which has captured large parts of Tripoli and forced the Libyan government to flee the relative safety of eastern parts of the country.
Mr Al-Ghariani, who is understood to have travelled to London on a tourist visa “several months ago”, could be excluded from Britain on national security grounds and on grounds of ‘unacceptable behaviour’, including extremist speech, according to officials.
In a statement issued from Britain only a few days ago and seen by The Telegraph, he urged Libya Dawn to “use a firm hand to consolidate the victory that they gained on the battlefield”.
He added in his statement that there are “those who are enemies of this victory, outlaws who would attempt to spoil the victory”.
The cleric has been using Tanasuh, an Internet channel run from a back street in Exeter, to make broadcasts exhorting Libya Dawn to widen its rebellion against the government. The day after Tripoli fell to the militia he used the channel to praise its fighters, stating: “I congratulate the revolutionaries in their victory. I give blessing to the martyrs.”
In a sermon last week he also appeared to call for Libya Dawn to widen their assault on the regime, urging “revolutionaries” to turn their fire on Bayda, the seat of the Government, and Tobruk, to where the country’s Parliament has fled.
Mr Al-Ghariani’s presence in the UK is likely to embarrass the British government at a time when it is warning that Britain faces “a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have ever known before” after Isil fighters seized huge swathes of Iraq and Syria, with dozens of young British Muslims travelling to the region to join their cause.
It is also likely to place strain on relations with Washington, where officials will be angry that the cleric is being allowed a platform to preach from the UK. Mr Al-Ghariani is previously understood to have praised the extremist Ansar al-Sharia militia, blamed by the Americans for the killing of its ambassador in Benghazi, Chris Stevens, in 2012.
Mr Al-Ghariani also faces a possible war crimes investigation after the UN Security Council issued a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Libya and threatening to indict those who incite and encourage militant fighters.
The cleric’s sermons are broadcast by an Arabic-language channel set up in 2007 by Sohayl Elgariani, reportedly a close relative of Mr Al-Ghariani, which is run from a house in a shabby alleyway close to Exeter city centre.
The house, which sits between a computer repair shop and an accommodation lettings agency, is a short walk from Exeter University, where a Sohayl Elgariani is listed as working as a PhD researcher in the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies. He could not be contacted for comment last night.
Labour called for steps to be taken over Mr Al-Ghariani’s presence in the UK.
David Hanson, the shadow immigration minister, said the Home Secretary had “serious questions” to answer.
Ain’t that the truth.
He added: “There are very serious allegations about someone that has been given permission to enter the country and the home secretary needs to explain how he was able to travel here and continue to seemingly instigate action in Tripoli.”
Mr Al-Ghariani was appointed to the position of grand mufti two years ago, following the downfall of Col Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011. He has since backed Islamist factions and issued fatwas calling for Libyan women to be banned from marrying foreigners and for an end to the import of lingerie.
He has also urged Libyans not to fight against Islamist groups, stating in June this year: “If you die fighting ‘Islamists’ you will die as a non-Muslim.”
Abdullah al-Thani, Libya’s Prime Minister, last week condemned the cleric’s broadcasts, accusing him of issuing “false fatwas”. He also urged the Libyan parliament to strip him of his title.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases. But we are clear that those who seek to foster hatred or promote terrorism are not welcome in the United Kingdom. We will take action against those who represent to our society or seek to subvert our shared values. All cases are kept under review.”
Exeter was the scene of a failed suicide bombing in May 2008, at the city’s Giraffe café and restaurant in Princesshay, when Nicky Reilly, 22, a Muslim convert from Plymouth, tried to blow himself up. He was the only person injured and later pleaded guilty to terrorism offences.