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    Default How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    'Work for us or we will say you are a terrorist'

    Five Muslim community workers have accused MI5 of waging a campaign of blackmail and harassment in an attempt to recruit them as informants.

    The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas.

    They have made official complaints to the police, to the body which oversees the work of the Security Service and to their local MP Frank Dobson. Now they have decided to speak publicly about their experiences in the hope that publicity will stop similar tactics being used in the future.

    Intelligence gathered by informers is crucial to stopping further terror outrages, but the men's allegations raise concerns about the coercion of young Muslim men by the Security Service and the damage this does to the gathering of information in the future.

    Three of the men say they were detained at foreign airports on the orders of MI5 after leaving Britain on family holidays last year.

    After they were sent back to the UK, they were interviewed by MI5 officers who, they say, falsely accused them of links to Islamic extremism. On each occasion the agents said they would lift the travel restrictions and threat of detention in return for their co-operation. When the men refused some of them received what they say were intimidating phone calls and threats.

    Two other Muslim men say they were approached by MI5 at their homes after police officers posed as postmen. Each of the five men, aged between 19 and 25, was warned that if he did not help the security services he would be considered a terror suspect. A sixth man was held by MI5 for three hours after returning from his honeymoon in Saudi Arabia. He too claims he was threatened with travel restrictions if he tried to leave the UK.

    An agent who gave her name as Katherine is alleged to have made direct threats to Adydarus Elmi, a 25-year-old cinema worker from north London. In one telephone call she rang him at 7am to congratulate him on the birth of his baby girl. His wife was still seven months' pregnant and the couple had expressly told the hospital that they did not want to know the sex of their child.

    Mr Elmi further alleges: "Katherine tried to threaten me by saying, and it still runs through my mind now: 'Remember, this won't be the last time we ever meet.' And then during our last conversation she explained: 'If you do not want anything to happen to your family you will co-operate.'"

    Madhi Hashi, a 19-year-old care worker from Camden, claims he was held for 16 hours in a cell in Djibouti airport on the orders of MI5. He alleges that when he was returned to the UK on 9 April this year he was met by an MI5 agent who told him his terror suspect status would remain until he agreed to work for the Security Service. He alleges that he was to be given the job of informing on his friends by encouraging them to talk about jihad.

    Mohamed Nur, 25, a community youth worker from north London, claims he was threatened by the Security Service after an agent gained access to his home accompanied by a police officer posing as a postman.

    "The MI5 agent said, 'Mohamed if you do not work for us we will tell any foreign country you try to travel to that you are a suspected terrorist.'"

    Mohamed Aden, 25, a community youth worker from Camden, was also approached by someone disguised as a postman in August last year. He alleges an agent told him: "We're going to make your travelling harder for you if you don't co-operate."

    None of the six men, who work with disadvantaged youths at the Kentish Town Community Organisation (KTCO), has ever been arrested for terrorism or a terrorism-related offence.

    They have repeatedly complained about their treatment to the police and to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which oversees the work of the Security Services.

    In a letter to Lord Justice Mummery, who heads the tribunal, Sharhabeel Lone, the chairman of the KTCO, said: "The only thing these young people have in common is that they studied Arabic abroad and are of Somali origin. They are not involved in any terrorist activity whatsoever, nor have they ever been, and the security services are well aware of this."

    Mr Sharhabeel added: "These incidents smack of racism, Islamophobia and all that undermines social cohesion. Threatening British citizens, harassing them in their own country, alienating young people who have committed no crime other than practising a particular faith and being a different colour is a recipe for disaster.

    "These disgraceful incidents have undermined 10 years of hard work and severely impacted social cohesion in Camden. Targeting young people that are role models for all young people in our country in such a disparaging way demonstrates a total lack of understanding of on-the-ground reality and can only be counter-productive.

    "When people are terrorised by the very same body that is meant to protect them, sowing fear, suspicion and division, we are on a slippery slope to an Orwellian society."

    Frank Dobson said: "To identify real suspects from the Muslim communities MI5 must use informers. But it seems that from what I have seen some of their methods may be counter-productive."

    Last night MI5 and the police refused to discuss the men's complaints with The Independent. But on its website, MI5 says it is untrue that the Security Service harasses Muslims.

    The organisation says: "We do not investigate any individuals on the grounds of ethnicity or religious beliefs. Countering the threat from international terrorists, including those who claim to be acting for Islam, is the Security Service's highest priority.

    "We know that attacks are being considered and planned for the UK by al-Qai'da and associated networks. International terrorists in this country threaten us directly through violence and indirectly through supporting violence overseas."

    It adds: "Muslims are often themselves the victims of this violence the series of terrorist attacks in Casablanca in May 2003 and Riyadh in May and November 2003 illustrate this.

    "The service also employs staff of all religions, including Muslims. We are committed to recruiting a diverse range of staff from all backgrounds so that we can benefit from their different perspectives and experience."
    MI5 and me: Three statements

    Mahdi Hashi: 'I told him: this is blackmail'


    Last month, 19-year-old Mahdi Hashi arrived at Gatwick airport to take a plane to visit his sick grandmother in Djibouti, but as he was checking in he was stopped by two plainclothes officers. One of the officers identified himself as Richard and said he was working for MI5.

    Mr Hashi said: "He warned me not to get on the flight. He said 'Whatever happens to you outside the UK is not our responsibility'. I was absolutely shocked." The agent handed Mr Hashi a piece of paper with his name and telephone contact details and asked him to call him.

    "The whole time he tried to make it seem like he was looking after me. And just before I left them at my boarding gate I remember 'Richard' telling me 'It's your choice, mate, to get on that flight but I advise you not to,' and then he winked at me."

    When Mr Hashi arrived at Djibouti airport he was stopped at passport control. He was then held in a room for 16 hours before being deported back to the UK. He claims the Somali security officers told him that their orders came from London. More than 24 hours after he first left the UK he arrived back at Heathrow and was detained again.

    "I was taken to pick up my luggage and then into a very discreet room. 'Richard' walked in with a Costa bag with food which he said was for me, my breakfast. He said it was them who sent me back because I was a terror suspect." Mr Hashi, a volunteer youth leader at Kentish Town Community Organisation in north London, alleges that the officer made it clear that his "suspect" status and travel restrictions would only be lifted if he agreed to co-operate with MI5. "I told him 'This is blatant blackmail'; he said 'No, it's just proving your innocence. By co-operating with us we know you're not guilty.'

    "He said I could go and that he'd like to meet me another time, preferably after [May] Monday Bank Holiday. I looked at him and said 'I don't ever want to see you or hear from you again. You've ruined my holiday, upset my family, and you nearly gave my sick grandmother in Somalia a heart attack'."

    Adydarus Elmi: 'MI5 agent threatened my family'


    When the 23-year-old cinema worker from north London arrived at Chicago's O'Hare airport with his pregnant wife, they were separated, questioned and deported back to Britain.

    Three days later Mr Elmi was contacted on his mobile phone and asked to attend Charing Cross police station to discuss problems he was having with his travel documents. "I met a man and a woman," he said. "She said her name was Katherine and that she worked for MI5. I didn't know what MI5 was."

    For two-and-a-half hours Mr Elmi faced questions. "I felt I was being lured into working for MI5." The contact did not stop there. Over the following weeks he claims "Katherine" harassed him with dozens of phone calls.

    "She would regularly call my mother's home asking to speak to me," he said. "And she would constantly call my mobile."

    In one disturbing call the agent telephoned his home at 7am to congratulate him on the birth of his baby girl. His wife was still seven months pregnant and the couple had expressly told the hospital that they did not want to know the sex of their child.

    "Katherine tried to threaten me by saying and it still runs through my mind now 'Remember, this won't be the last time we ever meet", and then during our last conversation explained: 'If you do not want anything to happen to your family you will co-operate'."

    Mohamed Nur


    Mohamed Nur, 25, first came into contact with MI5 early one morning in August 2008 when his doorbell rang. Looking through his spyhole in Camden, north London, he saw a man with a red bag who said he was a postman.
    When Mr Nur opened the door the man told him that he was in fact a policeman and that he and his colleague wanted to talk to him. When they sat down the second man produced ID and said that he worked for MI5.

    The agent told Mr Nur that they suspected him of being an Islamic extremist. "I immediately said 'And where did you get such an idea?' He replied, 'I am not permitted to discuss our sources'. I said that I have never done anything extreme."

    Mr Nur claims he was then threatened by the officer. "The MI5 agent said, 'Mohamed, if you do not work for us we will tell any foreign country you try to travel to that you are a suspected terrorist'."

    They asked him what travel plans he had. Mr Nur said he might visit Sweden next year for a football tournament. The agent told him he would contact him within the next three days.

    "I am not interested in meeting you ever." Mr Nur replied. As they left, the agent said to at least consider the approach, as it was in his best interests.

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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    those must be the dumbest recruiting officers I've heard of.
    Last edited by doorster; 05-21-2009 at 10:27 PM.

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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    just out of interest, if they did work for them, would that be considered as spying in islaam? or not, cause they doin a job to protect the queen, whom we love very dearly.... not


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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by doorster View Post
    those must be the dumbest recruiting officers I've heard of. It is illogical!
    not really, this is a standard police recruiting tactic with criminals, 'cooperate and we'll let you go, dont cooperate and we'll make your life hell.' why wouldnt they try it with muslims?

    it would also work with weak muslims, who fearing being labelling a terrorist on the one hand being given a fat pile of cash on the other hand will sell their religion and their brothers in islam and turn munafiq.


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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by chacha_jalebi View Post
    just out of interest, if they did work for them, would that be considered as spying in islaam? or not, cause they doin a job to protect the queen, whom we love very dearly.... not
    I do not think she travels on public transport, which is the usual target of these criminals

    there is no need/real benefit to go to or coerce criminal community to help because much of the time it will be false/half true help

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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by doorster View Post
    I do not think she travels on public transport, which is the usual target of these criminals

    there is no need/real benefit to go to or coerce criminal community to help because much of the time it will be false/half true help
    doorster, i think you should thank Allah for having led a sheltered life but in my time i have known of amongst other things, a drug left to deal crack and smack in my home town by the police just because they inform on others in the community.

    generally criminal types keep an ear to the ground and will tell each other information that we or the police might never hear.

    now the police being the police obviously think it is the same amongst muslims, that we must know more than they do so best to get a few paid informants in there and will use every nasty trick they can to get it.


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    "I spent thirty years learning manners, and I spent twenty years learning knowledge."

    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawud_uk View Post
    doorster, i think you should thank Allah for having led a sheltered life but in my time i have known of amongst other things, a drug left to deal crack and smack in my home town by the police just because they inform on others in the community.

    generally criminal types keep an ear to the ground and will tell each other information that we or the police might never hear.

    now the police being the police obviously think it is the same amongst muslims, that we must know more than they do so best to get a few paid informants in there and will use every nasty trick they can to get it.
    tsk tsk tsk...your average PC. Plod is a person who failed the interview to be a dustman, so it is expected that he will use the system/tactics you propose but men of Security Services are a different class of people

    "Good intelligence is vital to our security, but it is totally counter-productive to risk alienating communities through heavy-handed recruitment and intelligence-gathering tactics.
    unless the motivation is other than gathering info on terrorist (i.e. a sustained campaign to vilify and demonize us by not letting public forget about what happened on tube and bus) if they really wanted to eliminate terror they will not let your favorite "scholars" out of jails (where they go to be debriefed, methinks) to preach hate, instead they will silently eradicate those monsters the way they used to do to IRA men, but there will be no profit in that!
    Last edited by doorster; 05-24-2009 at 09:30 AM.

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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    tsk tsk tsk...
    whoa run everyone, the rampaging elephant has returned


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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    This post has filled me with rage. How can they do such things!

    I remember almost 2 years ago, something silly happened to my husband and son, who was barely a few months old back then.

    My husband being a chemical engineer, and an "asian" origin british at that ( not that he sees himself that way!) had recently grown a beard, although it was a stylish one, his work required him to go back and forth to europe and middle east, they detained him in airports twice, telling him he was a terror suspect, simillarly my son, ( all my fault my husabnd says for giving my kids such "orthodox" muslim names) was refused entry to a western country that his name resembled a terrorists name!!

    They said that when he grows up it would be definately hard for him to travel so we should change his name!!
    Eventually I didn't

    Such harrassment will continue, but all I can say is:

    May Aallah protect us all from harm , ameen.


    Remember Allah much..

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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    Comment by Zin Derfoufi:

    MI5: leave young Muslims alone

    MI5's harassment of Muslim students is not exposing terrorists it's just alienating innocent people.

    Last week, the Independent led with the story of how MI5 agents are harassing young British Muslims and bullying them into becoming informants. Although I'm sure these cold-war tactics have shocked many, it came as no shock to me.

    The tragic events of 7/7 marked a key turning point for the Muslim youth in the UK. Before 7/7, the word terrorist or extremist conjured up images of a middle-aged, big-bearded radical preacher given asylum or residence in the UK, preying on the ignorance of young people exploiting legitimate grievances to recruit them to some seemingly noble cause. One that involves ****ing and bringing down western democracy the very same democracy that facilitates his right to attack it and the very same country whose benefit system he (typically) feeds off. However, the perpetrators of 7/7 did not fit this stereotype. They were young, British-born Muslims. They were people like us.

    Since then, the security services have been hellbent on "disrupting" terrorist cells in the UK, trying to use the Muslim community to weed out any would-be attackers and, with the US, stopping at nothing to destroy what they see as safe havens of extremists overseas often, in the process, creating new enemies where it would not otherwise have found them.

    I have frequently been involved in trying to persuade politicians, community leaders and activists of just how serious this issue is, yet many of them, until now, remained sceptical. They asked: "Are security services really resorting to such underhand and ill-conceived tactics?" Yes, it seems extraordinary, yes, it sounds unbelievable, but it is ordinary practice.

    I have been heavily involved in student activism and politics. I've been engaged since I was in the sixth form, where I was elected by my fellow students as the president of their students' union. Since then, right through to my involvement in my university's students' union, the National Union of Students and the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, a union of Muslim students, I have come across many cases of harassment, bullying and intimidation suffered by Muslim students at the hands of the very people who are supposed to be protecting them.

    These include cases of security agents harassing Muslim student activists, members of the university students' Islamic Society (Isoc) and general Muslim students, threatening to send them to prison if they do not co-operate, barring them from leaving the country, making false accusations that they are somehow linked to people who pose a threat to our national security, getting them to spy on each other, attending and recording Isoc lectures and seminars and pressuring university staff to spy on Muslim students. I have spoken to a number of elected students' union sabbatical officers across the UK who have told me of how their Muslim students have been threatened and intimidated by these agents. In a few cases, which includes one prominent university in Scotland, these agents were even knocking on the doors of Pakistani students' residences asking them foolish questions like: "Have you met Bin Laden? Do you know where he is?" As if they would say yes, even if they did. As if it were a casual game of Where's Wally! Well, he's certainly not in my back yard!

    And then the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) recently had the nerve to say that MI5 did not have the manpower to keep a closer eye on Mohammad Sidique Khan and thus could do little more to prevent 7/7 from happening. Well, if the security services keep wasting their energy and our money on harassing innocent Muslim students instead of keeping an eye on those that actually pose a threat to our national security, then there is a real danger of another Sidique Khan slipping through the net.

    To date, we have had an innocent man fatally shot in the head, one shot in the arm, many sent on rendition flights to be tortured and countless innocent international students who, if they haven't already been unfairly booted out, are currently facing deportation. Innocent people's lives have been destroyed, their livelihood and aspirations shattered, their faith in the system smashed and a whole community alienated. The current strategy is not working.

    Recently, the Home Office published some deeply worrying figures on terrorism arrests and outcomes. Between 9/11 and March 2008, there have been 1,471 arrests on terrorism grounds. Of those, only 340 were charged, many of whom were later released, all charges dropped, leaving only 146 convicted of any offence. The figures show that a success rate of arrests on specific terrorism grounds remained stable through the seven years at just 7%, which rises to 14% if we include other terror-related convictions. These figures also include arrests of non al-Qaida-related extremism (such as the activities of IRA and animal rights activists). This means that a whopping 86% of those arrested on terrorism grounds were completely innocent of any offence. Something is seriously wrong here.

    The current strategy is counterproductive, not least because it causes unnecessary damage. Surely intelligence gathered through fair persuasion and trust is far more effective than that from coercion and threats. Perhaps the reliance on evidence supplied by amateur informants is a major contributing factor behind why so many have been arrested and later freed without charge. It only exacerbates the problems, hinders progress and whips up mistrust and suspicion within the Muslim community. It also plays into the hands of the real extremists operating on our campuses the BNP and their sympatisers many of whose activists are actively promoting their party and recruiting members in universities across the UK, dishing out leaflets, spewing their filth, causing division within the student community and writing racist, Islamophobic, antisemitic and homophobic messages on toilet walls, library tables and in library books.

    No one can deny that it is important to keep tabs on people who may pose a threat to national security. But the current draconian anti-terror strategy is not working and it has got to change. Harassing, bullying and arresting random bearded brothers or deporting international students innocent of any crime is unfair and sends a dangerous message: if you're Muslim, you are guilty until proven innocent.

    Yes, this has led to arrests of a small number of people who did pose a threat, and yes, informants do play a key role in keeping us safe; but something is clearly wrong if such a massive number of innocent people are harmed in the process. This is nothing less than systematic abuse. If the security services adopt these tactics because they are finding it hard to recruit Muslim spies, then let it look at its own track record for why this may be.

    A recent poll conducted and published by Gallup (Coexist Index, 2009) revealed what we should already know: that British Muslims feel a deep sense of loyalty to and pride in their British roots. Furthermore, it found that Muslims in the UK not only welcomed but had more faith and confidence in the British democratic institutions than the general public did. However, it also showed that there were barriers to British Muslims achieving their full potential. It is these heavy-handed cold-war tactics that are preventing many Muslims from engaging fully with the political system. People are fast losing faith in the security services and in the democratic process.

    Its unbelievably hard to engage any marginalised community. Each time we make some sort of progress, another wave of people innocent are arrested and later released without charge, whipping up fear, resentment and suspicion, and rendering our efforts useless.

    Do the security officers really believe the current measures are actually working? Perhaps they watching one too many James Bond movies. How on earth does brutalising the Muslim youth help in winning over their hearts and minds? Finally, the "If they're innocent, there's no reason why they shouldn't help us" approach does not wash. The innocent are innocent until proven guilty. So leave us alone!

    Source

    Zin Derfoufi recently graduated from Queen Mary University of London and has been very active in student politics holding many positions from equalities officer, to student governor to president of his student union. He is now a Parliamentary intern in the office of Dawn Butler MP and part of the Young Foundation's UpRising leadership program.



    "I spent thirty years learning manners, and I spent twenty years learning knowledge."

    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    Comment by Kawsar Zaman:

    How to alienate Muslims even more

    Claims of MI5 blackmail suggest that for Muslims, the presumption of innocence is no longer a right but a privilege.

    It recently emerged that MI5 has been busy not encouraging Muslims to work in concert with the authorities to root out extremism, but "blackmailing" Muslims to provide intelligence. This is a truly disturbing development, but one sadly stemming from a wider misguided strategy of engaging with the Muslim community.

    Commentators including Zin Derfoufi who wrote on this topic earlier in the week have failed to appreciate the severity of these latest allegations or have drawn inappropriate comparisons with previous issues engulfing the Muslim community. Let there be no ounce of doubt. These allegations will cause the gravest level of discomfort amongst Muslims more than any other issue past and rightly so. It frankly beggars belief.

    Young men say they were detained by MI5 agents simply by virtue of the fact that they were Muslim. They say they were then threatened that unless they provided intelligence for the security services they would face entirely false accusations of extremism. Over a period of 18 months they claimed to have been harassed by taunting phone calls, including one saying: "If you don't want anything to happen to your family you will co-operate." On one occasion a MI5 agent rang one of the men at 7am to congratulate him on a baby girl when the man's wife still seven months' pregnant the couple had told the hospital they didn't want to know the sex of their child. One man said that his house was entered by a man dressed as a postman who, in fact, turned out to be an MI5 officer with access to his house. He said he was told: "If you do not work for us we will tell any foreign country you try to travel to that you are a suspected terrorist." None of the men have ever been arrested any terrorism-related offence.

    Many of those who commented on Zin's article cited cases of when they were searched and detained and were entirely content. I am too. But there are boundaries. And these boundaries have now been grossly breached. Dicey's classical conception of the rule of law dictates rule by law alone; a man may be "punished for a breach of law, but he can be punished for nothing else". Yet the definition may well now have an extra addition, "save for Muslims". The rules now appear to be: if you are a Muslim, accept that you are a terror suspect, accept infringement of your liberties, accept being treated differently prove that you are one of us. For Muslims the presumption of innocence is no longer a right but a privilege.

    What is most concerning is that it appears Jacqui Smith was aware of these serious allegations as long as nine months ago but did nothing. She will no doubt, as usual, claim that it was an operational decision made without the interference of her department. But it will fall on deaf ears. With a summer cabinet reshuffle looming, her actions or lack of them in these unprecedented allegations may well prove fatal for an already beleaguered home secretary, who will now have the Muslim community asking serious questions about her judgement and why she failed to act.

    The true significance of this development is lost without mention of the backdrop. The government's Contest 2 strategy has achieved unequivocal condemnation from Muslim leaders across the spectrum for its baseless approach. It criminalises that which is perfectly legitimate and within the confines of the law. Suspicion about the real motives of our government has spread deep into the Muslim community and particularly affects those most vulnerable to radicalisation, young Muslims, who are, at present, facing an identity crisis.

    More than ever before, the government desperately needs to command the full support, confidence and, most importantly, the trust of the Muslim community which they have at present unquestionably lost. Perhaps the reaction of the British public to the headlines engulfing Westminster in the last couple of weeks can teach a few lessons. And equally the response of the political elite illustrates that where there is complete lack of trust and confidence, it calls for bold action and a radical shift in policy.

    But the story will reverberate strongly into the homes of every Muslim with mounting disbelief and deep distrust about the direction of our country's policy on engagement and counter-radicalisation. This descent to nowhere will only be counter-productive.

    Source

    Kawsar Zaman is the vice-chair of the Muslim Council of Britain's Youth Committee and is being sponsored through university by 2 Hare Court.

    He has conducted internships at Allen & Overy LLP, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and more recently with the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee. An ambassador of the Social Mobility Foundation, he was a founding member of Dare London and in 2006 the recipient of the Channel S community award for 'Contributions to the Bangladeshi Community'.



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    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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    Default Re: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims

    MI5 'still using threats to recruit Muslim spies'

    Security Service used blackmail to turn us into informers, immigrants say.

    MI5 faces accusations that its officers have blackmailed and harassed vulnerable immigrants living in Britain as part of a campaign to recruit spies to report on Muslim communities.

    In one case, a man who escaped persecution in Africa where members of his family were murdered claims that for the past nine months he has been harassed by MI5 agents who have tried to force him to work for the Security Service.

    Isahaq Elmi, 31, says he was bombarded with more than 200 phone calls and tricked into attending meetings at police stations in Birmingham.

    In one of the most recent phone calls, Mr Elmi says an MI5 officer calling himself Jahil threatened him by saying: "One way or another we are going to get you."

    Ahmed Diini, a Dutch citizen who has settled in Britain, says that he was visited by agents at the Birmingham school where he worked and threatened with arrest. When he went on holiday he says he was twice detained at UK airports. Mr Diini, 21, alleges he was also bombarded with phone calls and threatened with detention under the Terrorism Act. On three occasions, he claims, MI5 agents, a man called James and a female officer, suggested that his life would be made easier if he agreed to work for MI5. He also alleges that his wife was harassed by a female MI5 officer while she was shopping at an airport.

    Both men are originally from Somalia. Mr Diini came to Europe when he was three years old and Mr Elmi was granted British citizenship in 2006.

    The new allegations raise concerns about the tactics used by MI5 to recruit informers from Muslim communities. Last year The Independent reported five cases in London where young Somali men complained of similar harassment.

    British Muslim groups have warned that these alleged heavy-handed tactics risk alienating Asian communities. They also question the quality and reliability of the intelligence being gathered if it is secured through coercion.

    Britain's security services stepped up covert operations in 2008 against Britain's Somali and Yemeni communities over concerns that UK citizens were travelling to Africa and the Middle East to join extremist training camps with links to al-Qa'ida. The attempt to blow up a US-bound airliner by a Nigerian man who spent time in Yemen and a suspected similar attack launched from Somalia has increased MI5's interest in British residents with links to both states.

    Mr Elmi said yesterday: "I came here in 2000 after my family and business were targeted by extremists operating in Mogadishu. I thought I was safe after I was granted asylum in 2006 but since the visits and phone calls from MI5 my life has fallen apart. I told them that I didn't want to work for them by spying on my community. I said if they need informers they should go to the job centres and find work for people who have lost jobs in the recession but I already have a job." Mr Diini said that his life had been badly affected since his contacts with MI5. "I personally got morally and mentally affected since I am being victimised. Even now I have to live with the fact that I won't be able to travel somewhere without being stopped for a minimum of two hours and being seen as a criminal, since the people around me in the queue don't get stopped but I am the only one that gets picked on.

    "It even brought too much worrying to my Mum to the extent that she even has headaches and psychology difficulties. My wife also became angry because I hadn't told her about the problems with MI5 before we married."

    A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "The Security Service operates within the law. If anyone feels they have been unfairly treated then there are clear procedures for asking the investigatory powers commissioner, who is a senior judge, to investigate any complaints."

    Isahaq Elmi: 'They phoned me nearly every day for months'


    Isahaq Elmi came to the UK in 2000 after his family business was targeted by militants from a tribe called Habar Gidir. His brother was killed. His family fled the capital and Isahaq paid $3,000 to an agent to arrange his transit to the UK. He was granted citizenship in 2006, and lives in Birmingham.

    In March 2009 he visited his mother who had relocated to Kenya. On his return to Heathrow he was approached by anti-terror police officers who questioned him and took a DNA sample. They threatened to arrest him and detain him at Paddington Green police station where terror suspects are held. After three hours of questioning Mr Elmi, a community worker with no criminal record, was released.

    Two months later he was contacted on his mobile phone by a man who requested a "follow-up chat" to discuss his detention at Heathrow. "I thought they wanted to apologise to me for violating my human rights. But when I realised this was not the case I refused to go. Then they phoned me nearly every day for two months."

    Mr Elmi finally agreed to meet the men at a police station. "I was taken to a room where two men, called William and Jahil, introduced themselves as belonging to MI5 and said they wanted to talk to me about a Somali man they named. They said that they were concerned about Muslim extremism in Mogadishu where they were recruiting young Western fighters. I said I had no information. After all, I hadn't been to Somalia for 10 years. But they still said I could help and could work for them. But I said I already had a job and didn't want to spy on my friends and neighbours."

    The phone calls continued. "It was the one called Jahil. I told him that I never wanted to see him again. Jahil began shouting, he said, 'One way or another we are going to get you.'"

    Source



    "I spent thirty years learning manners, and I spent twenty years learning knowledge."

    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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