January 29, 2008

January 27, 2008

Reda Hassaine gets citizenship

Among the new Britons taking part in citizenship ceremonies today will be one man who has already put his life on the line to protect his adopted country.

Reda Hassaine will stand in Islington Town Hall, North London, to affirm allegiance to the Queen and pledge to give his “loyalty to the United Kingdom and to respect its rights and freedoms”.

I arrived at Islington town hall a bit late to catch Reda Hassaine. Shame. I was wondering if he could fill me in on events in Finsbury park from his angle. He has a very interesting story.

I've been chatting to a few media organisations about Atilla's story and I've been advised to disable my videos for the meantime.


The warning, posted last week by a new group calling itself Al-Qaeda in Britain, states that Al-Qaeda "martyrdom seekers" — code for suicide bombers — will target Brown, Blair and other political leaders unless its demands are met by the end of March. It stated that the attacks would start unless all British troops were pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan and all Islamic terror suspects were released from Belmarsh high security prison.

It singles out Abu Qatada, the alleged leader of Al-Qaeda in Europe, and Abu Hamza, the preacher of hate, as the two prisoners it most wants to be set freed. There are more than 115 Islamic prisoners held under anti-terror laws in high security jails in Britain.About 50 of these are held together in a special wing in Belmarsh, south London. About 40 of those are on remand awaiting trial.

Security experts are divided about the true identity of the group and the significance that should be attached to the warning. A Whitehall official said MI5 was aware of the internet statement and intelligence officers were investigating its origins. The official played down the threat but, significantly, did not dismiss it.

"We do come across quite a lot of this kind of stuff. We judge it to be aspirational rather than to be taken literally. People who plan to carry out attacks tend to do it covertly," she said.


Skepticism greets "Al Qaeda in Britain" founding

"You don't ignore this sort of thing," Pauline Neville-Jones, the former head of the British joint intelligence committee, told the Newsnight program.

"It may not be a threat from an existing cell ... but it does represent a move in the propaganda game and the propaganda game is not something we should ignore. This is after all a struggle over ideology."

Britain has become the main target for a resurgent al-Qaida, which has successfully regrouped and now presents a greater threat than ever before, according to counter-terrorist officials.

The court documents, part of the trial of seven Al-Qaeda suspects, reveal that after September 11 the network began to train a new army of suicide units, codenamed Force 9. Investigators say more than 200 terrorists were recruited.

Al-Qaeda's leadership has surveyed the world and it has identified Britain both as a rich source of recruits and as an important target. The leaders' simple strategy is to put the two together, so today their proxies know every way there is to take average young British men and deliver them to martyrdom.

Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that "Al Qaeda" is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan.

January 25, 2008


Further to my insane turn blog- I was speaking to my girfriend who told me the third monday of January was the most popular day of the year to commit suicide. Bloody bizzare no? I didn't know what the fuck was going on, just that I needed alcohol really badly to make it stop. Strange. Oh well. Hopefully that will be the last one till next Jan (I wish)

January 23, 2008


Had this been a routine demonstration and had the marchers been the usual type of demonstrators - anarchists, strikers or hunt protestors - the Home Office would have been the obvious place to vent their anger.

But these were police officers under orders to protest in a dignified manner. There were a few boos and catcalls, one man shouted “Jacqui, Jacqui, Jacqui...” but no one joined in his lonely refrain of “out, out, out”.

This was very possibly the dullest demonstration in Britain's long and noble history of dissent. A parade of sensible men and women in stout footwear confining the expression of their fury to the wearing of white baseball caps printed with the slogan “Fair p(l)ay for police”.


In Finsbury park worshippers always focused on rulings about everything. What was and wasn't Islamically correct.

On January 18, 2008, a member of the Al-Ekhlas English forum (www.ek-ls.org ) posted the following inquiry in English: "Can anyone [provide clarification regarding] the covenant of security [i.e. assurance of protection]? In the U.K., there seem to be many opposing views on this subject. On the one hand, some brothers say we must respect the covenant of security because in the U.K. we live among the kuffar [i.e. non-believers] and [therefore] we have a covenant with them. Others say we no longer have a covenant of security because of the arrests, detentions, and charges [against our brothers], and the monitoring of mosques by the British government...

"British foreign policy in Afghanistan and Iraq has caused the murder of women and children. Some brothers have suggested that this also justifies [the revocation of the] covenant of security in the U.K.. Other brothers have said in the forums that if you live outside the U.K., there is no covenant of security and that it [i.e. the U.K.] may be targeted.

"With all the sheikhs arrested or exiled, i.e. Sheikh Abu Hamza, Sheikh Abu Qatada, and Sheikh Omar Bakri, [and] surely with the British troops murdering Muslims, there can be no covenant of security with the U.K..

"Can someone please clarify for me what the correct situation is regarding the covenant of security with the U.K. and with other European countries, as I am very confused?"

Do read the rest.

Also British Muslims are too Extreme

January 21, 2008



I had a bit of a strange turn mentally over the last few days which has driven me to get incredibly pissed and wander round bars on my own to see what happens. I've been ranting at people. Yesterday I saw the Respect party screening of Nick Broomfields Battle for Haditha in the Curzon, Soho. There is a behind the scenes article in Timeout, also the Times is interesting.

The guardian says

Where Broomfield's film stumbles slightly is in its recourse to set speeches in which characters outline their inner thoughts; perhaps a hangover of the documentary habit of getting people to explain themselves.

I thought this a few times watching it but the characters involved were great.

Afterwards Broomfield took questions, along with an Iraqi journalist who didn't seem to be part of the project. Lindsey German chaired. It was quite funny as it beame obvious the Iraqi guy didn't seem to like Broomfield or his film. First he questioned the veracity of the story, where Broomfields film claims a guy who filmed the famous scene where the Iraqi girl talks about Americans killing her family- was actually one of the guys who planted the roadside bomb.

Broomfield says he got that from the family. He said he had also done extensive interviews with kilo company, all of whom were quite fucked up. The Iraqi journalist also went on to niggle about accents, saying some of the Iraqi actors were Jordanian. This was all very amusing.

I thought the film was great, and I can see how tempting it must be to piece together such a story from so many peoples perspective. I just worry a bit about how the film will be used by people who want to believe all US soldiers are like this, and I worry that Republicans won't watch it. I didn't think it was anti the soldiers involved. Broomfield said he believed they were victims.

Afterwards I went round the corner with some Respect party workers and talked about revolution. I was wanting to buy another drink before I had finished the one I had. I'm not sure why these phases are occurring. I just feel an incredible darkness in my head which is lifted into blissful euphoria by alcohol.


Interestingly, both the activists themselves, in their public and private statements, and those watching them tend to describe a similar phenomenon and factors leading to radicalisation and eventual violence. Recruiters are not "the preachers of hate" but older brothers, respected peers, charismatic strong characters. Many militants are "self-starters", not brainwashed recruits. The images that bombard us all are important - not just clever propaganda. Yes, frustration, alienation, a sense of injustice, a search for adventure, a need for recognition is all important but so are "small group dynamics", who you happen to meet and when. Increasing isolation within the group is essential for the progressive dehumanisation of "the enemy" and the hardening and maintenance of psychological readiness to die "for the cause".

January 14, 2008


I thought the trial was over, but it looks like it is carrying on. Confusing.

Terror accused wanted to live like monk, court hears
By Court Reporter

A former bus driver accused of training would-be terrorists wanted to live like a monk, a court heard today.

Kibley Da Costa, 24 of Bentons Lane, West Norwood, is accused of helping self-styled "Osama Bin London" Mohammed Hamid prepare Muslim men for Jihad at terrorist training camps.

But Da Costa's supposed extremism was likened to the beliefs of Christian monks by his barrister Paul Keleher at Woolwich Crown Court.

Mr Keleher told jurors observant Muslims have the same values that monks and nuns espouse - finding God through physical struggle and hardship.

"Court reporter" is Patrick who the fuckers don't credit properly. Who'd be a fucking reporter?

I was humbled, astounded, amazed to see that Rachel North has spent time rounding up a comprehensive summary of me and my trial watching. Around all this "War on Terror" stuff there are a few people who have the light properly switched on if you catch my drift. Rachel is one of them.

She has featured a bit of Musa Ahmet's filming at the end. Musa watched a bit of the trial with me sometimes. It was strange going for lunch with him into a hallal kebab place up the road from the court. He is quite a sharp dresser and some very sexy black girls were giving him a good looking over which he seemed oblivious to. With most of my friends who are single I'd be nudging them to "crack on" to them in this situation. Because Musa is a Muslim I didn't know what to do.

I went to see Charlie Wilson's War last night. I won't spoil it for you here, go see it. It is fucking fantastic. Warm, funny, crazy, beautiful stuff. A really literal, punching script. I came out of the cinema a different person and promptly headed for the cinema bar and got totally pissed. My girlfriend woke me up this morning angrily telling me that my snoring had given her nightmares.

January 10, 2008

Paddick Fan club message

Today's Evening Standard has a fantastic write up of the first televised debate
between the three main contenders for Mayor of London, which will be shown on
ITV1 at 11.05pm tonight (Thursday).

The Evening Standard said of Brian:
"Lib-Dem rival Brian Paddick looked and sounded the part."

And they said of the debate:
"Much remains to play for - and from this initial skirmish, it's going to be
hell of a battle. But we may just have seen the first signs of the end of the
Livingstone era."


UPDATE: I watched the debate, run by an air headed Blue Peter presenter. Brian Paddick positively shone under questioning. A hostile Black conservative woman asked him why he favoured letting murderers and rapists into the classroom, he replied with a lovely story about having met someone who had done twenty years for murder, converted to Christianity inside and was desperate to stop kids wasting twenty years as he had done.

It was just the right story for the woman. You could see her face visibly soften and Brian's eyes sparkle as he smiled back. I don't think I've seen anything quite like it in politics since... I can remember.

He defended his policy of targeting dealers or crack and heroin instead of personal use cannabis. Even red Ken looked impressed. When it came to his turn he struggled with an audience hostile because he's already mayor and so the focus of peoples gripes. I didn't sit around and watch Boris Johnson for more than two minutes. He seemed like a spoilt kid in comparison to the other two.

Bloody hell. I might even register to vote. I've only voted once in my life when |I was 18. What difference would Brian make? I would imagine an openly gay Mayor might be divisive amongst Muslim community leaders. Ken said he and Brian would probably agree on 90% of the issues, which the lib dems in the audience applauded. Fascinating.


Oona's diaries are interesting


Today, the British police want to question and/or arrest the British blogger known as Lionheart. His crime? Turning his life around as a young school dropout and petty drug dealer and emerging as a believing Christian who opposes the drug plague in his hometown of Luton and who views the Pakistani Islamist and al-Qaeda control of the drug trade in Luton as both criminally and politically dangerous. For this, Lionheart has been charged with “stirring up racial hatred”—which is a crime in the UK.

Yes, Luton—where the 7/7 suicide bombers, Omar Bakri, and the hook-handed Abu Hamza of the Finsbury Park Mosque all came from.

(err... I don't think they did.)

In fact, according to Lionheart, one of his supporters is Glen Jenvey, the man who helped imprison Abu Hamza and aided in the expulsion of Omar Bakri from Great Britain.

The article goes on to an interview with Lionheart his blog is here.

January 08, 2008


I managed a coupla hours down at Belmarsh watching the prosecution summing up against Hamid and a bit of the case against Mousah Brown... Yeah anyway. I was going to go back tomorrow and watch Mr Bennathan summing up for the defence but, err... I don't think so.

The jury might well retire to consider their verdict by Monday.


Hail the rise of the new JFK

I don't get sucked in to believing in Politics anymore these days. Blair nailed that coffin pretty soon after he took power. I have been watching events in the States with a lot of amusement through the lense of Sparklevision mainly, and also on UK Channel 4 News a bit. Before a vote was cast I didn't fancy Obama's chances against this "Hillary machine", and I don't think anyone over in Sparkleland did. Now things look a lot different don't they? I think Obama could win. That is presuming the neoCONS don't do the funny buisness with the chads eh. His oposition is hillarious, especially that Romney guy. He'd address the nation in shirtsleeves with one of those flip charts.

My spies tell me the prosecution in Hamid and others trial is summing up today. I'm heading down.

January 03, 2008


Hope its a good one. For new Years Eve we managed to get on to the Fish seeks Bicycle stage at the very last minute. We didn't get on till 6 AM and the style we ended up playing didn't really suit the stage we were on. The performers looked great from where I was standing and I think the audience enjoyed them. Was a great party run by a well sound crew and we got a lot of inspiration from the other acts to incorporate a more structured dance set into the show. We were joined at the last minute by a very random saxophonist who I had met previously years ago playing by a fire in the meadows on the edge of Oxford. We aren't going to play live for a couple of months now, we will experiment with midi drum kit and vocoder as I haven't really used the thing in anger yet.

Michael Moore has an interesting take on the US elections here