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Entries in Muslims Against Crusades (3)

Wednesday
Apr272011

Muslim Group Cancels Protest Outside Royal Wedding

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- A radical Muslim group that had threatened to turn the royal wedding into a "nightmare" with a protest outside Westminster Abbey on April 29 now says it has canceled the demonstration because the threat of an "imminent" terror attack on the ceremony is too great.

In a press conference at Westminster Abbey Wednesday and in a statement on its website, Muslims Against Crusades said it does not support an attack on the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, but believes there is a high risk of violence because of Britain's military role in Iraq and Afghanistan, and advises Muslims in the U.K. to boycott the celebrations and avoid all public transport on the day of the wedding.

"Careful plans were laid out," said the group in its online statement, "in order to inflict maximum damage both to the reputation of the Crusader and Nazi Prince William as well as Queen Elizabeth II and the British government in general. Unfortunately, it is has recently come to our attention ... that the threat of an imminent attack against those attending the royal wedding on 29th April 2011, is too strong to substantiate the presence of any Muslims within the locality."

"In line with the very real possibility of a large scale attack on British soil," continued the statement, "we are left with no other alternative but to cancel the planned demonstration on 29th April 2011." The statement laid the blame for the terror threat on U.K. foreign policy, and said "Muslims cannot be held responsible for any carnage caused in reaction to such unwarranted oppression."

Anjem Choudary, a radical Muslim activist and leader of the now-banned group Islam4UK, has been linked to Muslims Against Crusades and has coordinated anti-American demonstrations with them in the past, according to both groups' websites. In an interview broadcast Friday on "Brian Ross Investigates," he said the royal wedding would "certainly be a target for those who want to cause havoc in Britain," including al Qaeda.

Top al Qaeda operatives Ayman al-Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki, said Choudary, are "actively encouraging people to carry out [do-it-yourself] operations]" similar to the attempted attack by alleged 'Underwear Bomber' Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on a Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in 2009.

"There's nothing really which is outside of the realm of a possible attack, from biological to nuclear to very high profile events like 9/11," said Choudary. "So I think it's a case of all-out war."

While the Royal Wedding "is certainly a target for those people who want to cause havoc in Britain," Choudary said as a Muslim residing in Britain he lives "under a covenant of security" and as such is "not allowed to carry out such an operation." However, while he stopped short of supporting a violent attack by those living outside Britain, he did say, "I do believe that a Muslim, whenever he is being attacked, or whenever his land is being occupied, or whenever his honor is being violated, he has a divine duty to defend himself."

On Friday, Scotland Yard had rejected Muslims Against Crusades application to demonstrate for "obvious" security reasons, but the group said it was planning to protest anyway.

"Whether Scotland Yard gives us permission or not is irrelevant," a spokesman for the group told ABC News at the time. "We plan to make the Royal Wedding a day that the world will never forget and although we are non-violent, we are confident that our presence will be enough to make a nightmare out of the situation, God willing."

A spokesman for the London police force told ABC News that "of course" security concerns were a consideration when the application to demonstrate outside Westminster Abbey was rejected, but also, "There's a wedding going on... It's not appropriate."

Scotland Yard would not comment on whether it considered Muslims Against Crusades a direct threat to the royal couple and spectators' safety, but security officials previously told ABC News they are more concerned the group's vague threats could spur violence by other, "self-radicalized" Muslims.

Muslims Against Crusades continues to post on its website a countdown clock to the April 29 wedding under the title "Muslims to Disrupt Royal Wedding." The site features pictures of the "Crusader" royal family members -- including one that labels Prince Harry a Nazi.

In a statement on the website explaining the rationale for the now-cancelled demonstration, the group cited "continued interference in Muslim lands" and called on Prince William to "withdraw from the crusader British military," promising a "nightmare" on his wedding day should he refuse. Prince William pilots a search-and-rescue helicopter in the Royal Air Force.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr252011

Radical UK Cleric: Royal Wedding Attractive Target for Al Qaeda

Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) -- As the royal wedding nears and the eyes of the world turn to London this week, a radical Muslim cleric in Britain tells ABC News the celebrations are a "prime target" for al Qaeda franchises and wannabe jihadists alike.

Top al Qaeda operatives Ayman al-Zawahiri and Anwar al-Awlaki are "actively encouraging people to carry out [do-it-yourself] operations]" similar to the attempted attack by alleged 'Underwear Bomber' Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on a Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in 2009, says Anjem Choudary in an interview on the current episode of ABC’s Brian Ross Investigates.

"There's nothing really which is outside of the realm of a possible attack, from biological to nuclear to very high profile events like 9/11," said Choudary, whose extremist Islam4UK organization was recently banned by the British government under counter-terrorism laws. "So I think it's a case of all-out war."

He said there is a "very real possibility" that attackers "will come into [Britain] via the sea or via ports where they can slip under the security."

While the Royal Wedding "is certainly a target for those people who want to cause havoc in Britain," Choudary said as a Muslim residing in Britain he lives "under a covenant of security" and as such is "not allowed to carry out such an operation." However, he said "there is a difference of opinion" and while he stopped short of supporting a violent attack by those living outside Britain, he did say, "I do believe that a Muslim, whenever he is being attacked, or whenever his land is being occupied, or whenever his honor is being violated, he has a divine duty to defend himself."

Choudary does support a planned protest by the activist group "Muslims Against Crusades" outside Westminster Abbey, where the wedding is being held, during the wedding on April 29.

Scotland Yard rejected the group's application to demonstrate, but the group says it is going ahead with its protest, with a spokesman telling ABC News, "We plan to make the Royal Wedding a day that the world will never forget and although we are non-violent, we are confident that our presence will be enough to make a nightmare out of the situation, God willing."

Scotland Yard would not comment on whether it considers Muslims Against Crusades a direct threat to the royal couple and spectators' safety, but security officials previously told ABC News they are more concerned the group's vague threats could spur violence by other, "self-radicalized" Muslims.

For weeks Muslims Against Crusades has posted on its website a continuous countdown clock to the wedding under the title "Muslims to Disrupt Royal Wedding."

"Attacks on the mainland, particularly here in London, I think remain the holy grail for these organizations," said Martyn Frampton, professor and author of Legion of the Rearguard: Dissident Irish Republicanism. "An attack on London is worth 10, 20 times more to them in terms of bringing attention to their cause and to the fact, as they see it, that the conflict is not over."

Brian Ross Investigates airs every Friday on Hulu.com and ABC News Now, the network's 24-hour news channel available throughout the U.S. and Europe. Each show is also available on mobile devices.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr192011

Brits Nix Muslim Westminster Abbey Protest

Niall Carson - WPA Pool / Getty Images(LONDON) -- Scotland Yard has rejected a Muslim activist group's application to demonstrate at Westminster Abbey during the upcoming royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton for "obvious" security reasons, but the group said it is planning to protest, anyway.

"Whether Scotland Yard gives us permission or not is irrelevant," a spokesman for the group "Muslims Against Crusades" told ABC News on Tuesday. "We plan to make the Royal Wedding a day that the world will never forget and although we are non-violent, we are confident that our presence will be enough to make a nightmare out of the situation, God willing."

A spokesman for the London police force told ABC News that "of course" security concerns were a consideration when the application for demonstration outside Westminster Abbey on the April 29 wedding day was rejected, but also, "There's a wedding going on... It's not appropriate." He said they are in negotiations to find a more suitable location for the demonstration.

Scotland Yard would not comment on whether they considered Muslims Against Crusades a direct threat to the royal couple and spectators' safety, but security officials previously told ABC News they are more concerned the group's vague threats could spurn violence by other, "self-radicalized" Muslims.

For weeks Muslims Against Crusades has posted on its website a continuous countdown clock to the wedding under the title "Muslims to Disrupt Royal Wedding." The site features pictures of the "Crusader" royal family members -- including one that labels Prince Harry a Nazi.

"Unfortunately, Britain's continued interference in Muslim lands is showing no signs of abating," a statement posted on the website reads. "In light of this, sincere Muslims have decided to organize a forceful demonstration."

The statement goes on to call for Prince William to "withdraw from the crusader British military," promising a "nightmare" on his wedding day should he refuse.

The group claims to have "hundreds if not thousands" of supporters in the U.K. and abroad, but said they are uncertain how the demonstration will turn out.

Scotland Yard said it is also in negotiations with another group, the right-wing opponents of "global jihad" English Defence League, to find a safe location for a similar demonstration which they are planning.

Far beyond protestors, English security officials have been planning for months to protect the royal couple and the countless spectators from a potential terrorist threat.

Vigilant authorities have build multiple layers of heavy security around the processional route Prince William and Kate Middleton will take on their wedding day.

From making full use of London's robust closed circuit television (CCTV) camera system, to dispatching hundreds of undercover police officers and even inspecting and sealing sewer drains, authorities are pulling out all stops to protect the prince, the future princess and the throngs of spectators expected to turn out for the wedding procession, officials told ABC News.

Though there has been no specific threat against the wedding, bomb-sniffing dogs, hazardous material teams, riot police and roof-top snipers will be dispatched on the day of the ceremony, and foreign intelligence services will also be participating in the massive security effort, they said.

Anjem Choudary, a radical Muslim activist and leader of the now-banned group Islam4UK, has been linked to Muslims Against Crusades and has coordinated anti-American demonstrations with them in the past, according to both groups' websites. He said the royal wedding would "certainly be a target for those who want to cause havoc in Britain," including al Qaeda.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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