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The war is just beginning, say extremists in Britain

The war is just beginning, say extremists in Britain

Author: Richard Alleyne
Publication: The Daily Telegraph, UK
Date: November 15, 2001

Members of extreme Muslim groups in Britain remained defiant yesterday despite the apparent collapse of the Taliban regime.

Omar Bakri Muhammad, the leader of Al-Muhajiroun group, claimed that far from the war coming to an end it had only just begun.

And Abu Hamza, of the Supporters of Shari'ah, said that even if the Taliban regime had been defeated, the war would only increase solidarity among Muslim people around the world.

Mr Muhammad, who in the past has been reported as issuing a fatwa against John Major, said that the "withdrawal" of the Taliban was a tactic to draw in Western soldiers, who would become legitimate targets.

"The Taliban have not fallen," he said. "They let the Northern Alliance come in. They welcomed them in. It is the only wav they can stop the bombing of the cities.

"It is a tactical withdrawal. They want the Western forces to come. It will justify the jihad.

"They will now become guerrillas. It will be hit and run. The war will go on and on as long as there are foreign forces with the Northern Alliance. The Taliban forces are now in a safe place. I have no doubt they will claim back the cities."

Mr Muhammad, who has a home in Edmonton, north London, and used to run an office in nearby Tottenham, said that the Northern Alliance soldiers had betrayed their religion.

"As far as Muslims are concerned the Northern Alliance soldiers are traitors. Whoever aligns with non-Muslims against Muslims are no longer Muslim," he said.

"It is written in the Koran. This is not the end. It is the beginning. The fighters against America and Britain will become martyrs. They die for their own belief. To be killed in a horrible way is the best way to become a martyr.

"Those seen to die in the media are going to eternity in paradise. These deaths by the Northern Alliance will provoke more Muslims to choose to become martyrs.

"The Arabs and Pakistanis killed were aid workers. I do not know if there were any Britons. But it makes no difference. They will all become martyrs."

Abdul Rehman Saleem, the spokesman of the group in Pakistan, added: "Of course this is a tactical retreat. They will now begin guerrilla warfare. I have been told that Osama bin Laden has 500 people ready for suicide operations."

He then criticised mainstream Muslims in Britain. "They are not clerics. They are stooges of the Western government."

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