October 30, 2012


Just finished it, I thought it was going to be good. It was excellent. This obviously contains spoliers, so if you are reading for fun, just buy the book. it is really worth it.

"Corporate American" with a taste for travel off the beaten track gets kidnapped, doesn't take it lying down and in the cross fire of being held as a human shield for not a short time either, she finds a rugged cool headed survivalist in herself and lives to tell the tale. Not only lives, but reappraises her life and follows the story of her kidnap wherever it may lead.

Obviously I was reading it, and if I was a journalist would have read it ages ago for the cross over with this blog. Her meeting with Hamza in Finsbury park is very interesting, she obviously arrived before they closed down the mosque, just before my interest in this story began. I will be very interested to hear her testimony in a New York court, as I will be to hear how much invovlement Hamza had over satellite phone in her kidnap.

The really interesting stuff for me was her encounter with Shahid Butt, and Hamza's sons Mustafa  and Mohssain Ghalian. It seems like she spent about the same amount of time as I did with them but in very different circumstances, as she spoke to them in a Yemeni jail. She seems in no doubt that they were on a mission to bomb British interests in Yemen, although she says that Hamza told her that he didn't know his sons had gone and told her he was angry with them.

She definitely saw a different Shahid Butt than I did, not surprisingly I suppose, but she reads a lot more into Mohssin's reticence than I did. I thought he was just a bit shy and didn't even realise he was part of the group I was being introduced to. I couldn't make any comment about either of them really, or about the merits of British relationships with Yemen whether they are a good thing, a bad thing or if Muslims should be doing something about it. I would imagine if you believed they were a bad thing and you believed in your religion as a Muslim it would feel like it was incumbent about you to do something about it, and according to the CIA training manuals the Encyclopedia of Afghan Jihad is based on, bombing strategic buildings and boats would do the trick, and if you were caught in the process your mates would probably kidnap some Westerners. I know Hamza has preached from the Koran about such things.

Mary Quinn is a great writer about this stuff. I sort of wish she would become a War on Terr-r journalist as she is way better than most of them. She says what she thinks about things no problem but she also tries to understand situations from all perspectives which is the best part of reading her story.

Mary Quin: Woman set to testify against 'terror' preacher Abu Hamza ..

October 27, 2012


Very interesting change of emphasis as Mr H comes to trial in the US

AN Egyptian-born preacher charged in multiple terror plots will be outfitted next week with new prosthetic arms to replace the hooks he used before, his lawyer says.

Mustafa Kamel Mustafa needs all the help he can get while at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan awaiting trial, attorney Jeremy Schneider said after a hearing...

...He has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with some Seattle men to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon and to helping abduct two American tourists and 14 other people in Yemen in 1998...

... Schneider told US District Judge Katherine B. Forrest that Mustafa, 54, "has an extraordinary knowledge and interest in helping with his defence" despite the challenges of being housed in solitary confinement in a prison wing where defendants facing terrorism charges are typically held.
"This defendant is going to get the appropriate resources" necessary for a fair trial, the judge said as she assigned a legal team of at least five people to assist him.
"This is an almost never-ending job," Schneider said as his client looked toward the judge.
"This case occurred approximately 14 years ago covering three continents."
Schneider said researching the case will likely cause the defence team to reach out to Yemen, England and Pakistan to collect evidence.
Prosecutors said 47 boxes of materials were being shipped from England, including computer disks and hard drives.
Outside court, Schneider said Mustafa was "ready, willing and able" to assist in his defence but it was difficult for attorneys to confer with him because the prison forces them to interact with a barrier between them...

...“You’re talking about thousands of documents, you’re talking about [foreign] bureaucracies that I don’t think are going to be friendly to us,” he told U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan federal court on Friday afternoon.
Prosecutors said large volumes of evidence exist in the case, including 47 boxes of material and 700 CDs. They said they are seeking to have some evidence shipped from the U.K...

October 23, 2012

9/11 times 1000

You can't fault the enthusiasm but it's probably not going to help his case-

SOMALI militants linked to al-Qaeda have threatened to inflict on the UK a terrorist attack worse than the London bombings of 7 July 2005 for extraditing the Islamist cleric Abu Hamza to the United States.

Al-Shabaab made the threats in a series of messages on Twitter, The Times reports.
One tweet threatened the biggest Islamist terrorist attack yet on Britain: "The nightmare that surreptitiously looms on British shores is bound to eclipse the horrors of 7/7 and 21/7 combined."
Another read: "Britain will pay the heftiest price for its brazen role in the war against Islam and endless brutality against innocent Muslims."
Al-Shabaab also said it would "go to every possible length to attain the freedom of imprisoned Muslim scholars".

more detail here

October 12, 2012


Alun Jones QC says in the Independent

something Boris and Ken seem agreed on in the case of Babar Ahmed

I am interested to hear evidence, and just got hold of Mary Quinns Kidnapped in Yemen, something I should probably have read a long time ago.

 American woman set to testify against 'terror' preacher Abu Hamza after she was kidnapped by his militants in Yemen


October 10, 2012


An American woman who was kidnapped in Yemen is expected to stand up in court against the Islamic hate preacher who orchestrated her terrifying ordeal.
Mary Quin was abducted along with 15 other tourists in 1998 by militants who were instructed by hate preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri. 

Abu Hamza's wife 'should be kicked out of her £1m council house' now hate preacher has been extradited to the US, says MP

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza, who was extradited from Britain last week, has pleaded not guilty to terror charges in the US.

Terror suspect Abu Qatada is "scraping the barrel" in an appeal against deportation which "bears all the hallmarks of a last-ditch argument"

From Fox News-

..."He's presumed innocent," his court-appointed lawyer, Jeremy Schneider, said outside court afterward. When someone asked Schneider whether he thought his client was a terrorist, he snapped: "That's a silly question."... 

 Also from The Village Voice-

... What's does an alleged terrorist have to do to get some attention in this city?...

... The quiet reception of al-Masri stands in stark contrast to the outcry caused by plans announced in 2009 to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York federal court.
"It really seems to show that this whole panic and screaming about not having terrorists tried in New York or anywhere else in this country is really red herring," Brigitte Nacos, a political science professor who specializes in terrorism and mass media at Columbia University, tells the Voice. "This guy is certainly not less dangerous than anyone else New York had to deal with."...