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Welsh muslims say aircraft bomb plot 'a fake'

Welsh muslims say aircraft bomb plot 'a fake'

Author: Nathan Bevan
Publication: icWales.co.uk
Date: August 13, 2006
URL: http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200wales/tm_objectid=17555315&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=welsh-muslims-say-aircraft-bomb-plot--a-fake--name_page.html

Young Welsh Muslims have accused the Government of master-minding this week's plot to blow up transatlantic jets mid-air to justify Tony Blair's war on terror.

Some followers of Islam have claimed the arrest of more than 20 people on suspicion of scheming to kill thousands of passengers travelling to America using liquid explosives is designed to bolster the Prime Minister's flagging credibility over the Iraq and Lebanon-Israel crises.

Speaking to Wales On Sunday last night, members of the Cathays Dar-ul-Isra Muslim Community Centre in Cardiff said it was a ploy to reinforce Mr Blair's alliance with US President George W Bush, who waged war on Saddam Hussein on a discredited claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

"I believe this so-called plot is all a fabrication aimed at covering up the actions of George Bush and Tony Blair," said Abdul Ullah, 26. "Sadly, people will believe whatever they are told these days."

Dr Sam Ben, 29, added: "As far as I can make out, people have been arrested but none have been charged with anything or were caught at the scene of any crime. I believe the whole operation has been a smoke-screen."

Another said: "It's all a lie from the government. I think they want to cover up what's going on in the Middle East and it's just another way to take attention away from what is happening there and to frighten people into silence.

"It's similar to what happened with Iraq. It will probably take years before the truth finally comes out."

Other Muslims, however, refute the idea, believing Islam's real enemy are the extremists responsible for the alleged plot.

Plaid Cymru councillor for Riverside in Cardiff Mohammed-Sarul Islam said: "These kind of people give Muslims a bad name. It's just a minority courting more bad feeling and resentment towards the rest of us. The first word in Islam is peace and this kind of behaviour is disgraceful."

Asghar Javad Ali, chairman of Madina Mosque in Cardiff, said: "I've never seen any mad men like that, and if this thing is a hoax or just more false intelligence then it wouldn't be the first time.

"If there is a contingent of Muslims behind all this then it's a very small one, and in doing it they're killing Islam.

"Our religion's number one priority is to look after all human beings, not just other Muslims."

Commentators say accusations of a Government plot arise from a home-grown threat - a disbelief that the British Muslim community could foster suicide bombers.

But there are theories that anti-West propaganda videos for sale in the UK, on the street and over the internet, fill the gap left by 'out-of-touch' mosques. Indeed, on-line Muslim messageboards in Wales show youngsters accusing mosques of being "depressing and backward".

The videos are said to capitalise on the British and American Governments, who play down the effect of military force on foreign soil, and breed a sense of injustice and frustration among the young.

Reflecting the threat, the UK's highest-ranking Asian police officer has called for an independent judicial inquiry into radicalisation of young Muslims after July 7, in which three of the London bombers were British.

Yorkshire's Mohammed Siddique Khan referred to the Iraq situation as the reason for his 'martyrdom'.

"I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters," he said. "Until you stop the bombing and torture of my people we will not stop this fight."

It is a sentiment not lost on Madina Mosque's Asghar Javad Ali.

"No doubt some people see what terrible things are going on in places like Lebanon and they lose their heads," he said.

"Watching other Muslims across the world being killed can only breed hatred and as far as US foreign policy is concerned, well, the UK just follows right behind.

"But there can be no excuse for this sort of thing."

Last night, Downing Street denied any cover-up. A spokesman said: "We should always remember that the terrorism affecting the West today has blighted Muslim countries for several decades. It certainly pre-dated our decision to support democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq and of course the September 11 attacks. Our foreign policy is focused on supporting the people of those countries in their desire to live in a democracy just as we enjoy in the UK."

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