Muslim leader calls for Blair's assassination : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 10 2001 Muslim leader calls for Blair's assassination BY PHILLIP WEBSTER, RICHARD FORD AND TIM REID SCOTLAND YARD was last night examining what one leading QC described as remarks that were a “prima facie” case of inciting Muslims to murder Tony Blair and his senior colleagues.

Abdul Rehman Saleem, a spokesman for the fundamentalist group al-Muhajiroun, said that anyone Muslim, British or foreign, who “wants to get rid of him” would not be punished under Islamic law but praised. He also said that government buildings including Downing Street and British military installations were “legitimate targets”.

In comments delivered as the Prime Minister departed on a diplomatic mission to the Gulf region to reassure Arab countries that the West was not at war with Islam, Mr Saleem said: “Because the allies, the British and the Americans, have started bombing the Muslims of Afghanistan, for those people over there, the government buildings here, the military installations, including 10 Downing Street, become legitimate targets.

“That includes the Cabinet and it includes the Prime Minister as well.”

Mr Saleem added: “If a Muslim of this country decides to do it, or if a Muslim who is over there fighting in the front line comes here and decides to do it, this person is not going to be punished for that act under Islamic law, this person is going to be praised.”

Scotland Yard said that it was looking at the remarks: “Any evidence we do get will be considered and appropriate action will be taken.”

Mr Saleem made his comments in a taped telephone conversation to a journalist at the London office of the news agency Agence-France Presse (AFP). However, within hours of the conversation other members of the Tottenham-based al-Muhajiroun organisation denied that Mr Saleem had called for Mr Blair’s assassination.

Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, head of the organisation, who himself is under police investigation for allegedly calling for the assassination of President Musharraf of Pakistan, insisted: “I doubt anybody from al-Muhajiroun would use those type of words.

“It is misrepresentation because it is not allowed for Muslims in the West to attack anybody or to attack any Prime Minister in the West.”

He confirmed that Mr Saleem was a member of his organisation but insisted that he spoke for the organisation in Lahore, Pakistan, and not for British Muslims.

He said that Mr Saleem was a British citizen, married with two children, educated at Queen Mary College, London, and the London School of Islamic Law, but had been in Lahore for several days.

The Times was given a mobile phone number in Lahore for Mr Saleem. A man who said that he was Mr Saleem answered it and denied that he had spoken to a journalist from AFP yesterday.

He said that Mr Blair and President Bush were legitimate targets but only for Muslims in Afghanistan who were justified in attacking them as they would be acting in selfdefence. He added: “In Britain Muslims do not have the right to attack Tony Blair or the Cabinet.”

AFP said last night that Mr Saleem had been contacted via a mobile telephone, on a number that had been given by the al-Muhajiroun group. “We are 100 per cent sure that we spoke to the right person,” a spokesman said.

Security was tighter than usual at Heathrow as the Prime Minister flew out in a chartered British Airways Boeing 777. Police armed with machineguns patrolled the VIP lounge.

Mr Blair’s first port of call last night was Geneva where he held talks with Sheikh Zayed, ruler of the United Arab Emirates and one of the most experienced figures in the region. Mr Blair’s spokesman said that the Prime Minister, given the UAE’s importance as a financial centre, wanted to discuss what more could be done to combat those who funded terrorism.

Mr Blair, interviewed in Geneva for Abu Dhabi television, refused to rule out the possibility of attacks on other countries beyond Afghanistan.

He said that there were two phases of the mission; the first to deal with Afghanistan and the second to deal with the broader network of terrorists.

He said that no other country would be attacked unless there was clear evidence of them harbouring and sponsoring terrorism, as was the case in Afghanistan. The American Government has been increasingly talking of extending the campaign to Iraq.

Mr Blair became passionate when he was asked if he could respect Osama bin Laden. He said that he could not respect a man who had killed thousands of innocent people.

Mr Blair said that he had become even more determined to defeat him, adding: “We will prevail.” The Prime Minister said that bin Laden had no right to speak for the Palestinian people.

Mr Blair yesterday gave an interview to the BBC World Service — to be broadcast in Afghanistan — in which he delivered a pledge to the Afghan people that they would not be ignored after the conflict was over.

Mr Blair conceded: “At the end of the Eighties and early Nineties we, in a sense, walked away from the people of Afghanistan after the Russians had left. We really should, at that point in time, have put together a proper rescue plan — but we didn’t.

“We are not going to walk away again.”,,2001350004-2001352244,00.html

-- Martin Thompson (, October 10, 2001


Scotland Yard said that it was looking at the remarks: “Any evidence we do get will be considered and appropriate action will be taken.”

In this country the secret service would have been all over this guy like fleas on a dog.

-- Martin Thompson (, October 10, 2001.

Unbelievable;Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad should be in cutody or in their crosshairs ASAP.

-- Steve McClendon (, October 10, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ