The recent Reading terrorist attack, where at least 3 people lost their lives in a mass stabbing, for which the 25-year-old Libyan suspect Khairi Sadhallah was arrested, has rekindled attention to the risks posed by Libyan extremists and preachers who have found refuge in the UK over the years. According to preliminary informations, Sadhallah fled Libya in 2012 and he has been part of the 17th Revolutionaries Brigade, an armed militia today affiliated to the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).
A report dated 17 December 2015 “Muslim Brotherhood Review: Main Findings”, ordered by the House of Commons, express concerns for the complex historical relationships between Muslim Brotherhood chapters, the governments in the Islamic world and other terror organization. The report shows that the Hamas founding charter claims they are the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim Brotherhood treat them as such. “In the past ten years support for Hamas (including in particular funding) has been an important priority for the MB in Egypt and the MB international network”. The expert John Jenkins said.
The Italian professor Lorenzo Vidino, Director ofthe Program on Extremism at the George Washington University, confirmed that the goal of the Muslim Brothers, such as the Libyans currently operating in London, is to support the activities of the mother groups in their home countries, spread their religious and political views to British Muslim communities, become official or de facto representatives of British Muslim communities in the eyes of the government and the media, support domestic and international Islamist causes with local Muslim communities and British policy-makers and public.
An example is the Libya’s highest spiritual leader, the grand mufti Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, who has been banned from entering the UK after it emerged, he had been helping direct the Islamist-led takeover of Tripoli from England. Ghariani fled the UK in August after the Guardian revealed that he was broadcasting to militants in Libya from the UK.Speaking from the UK via the Libyan television station Tanasuh, the radical cleric celebrated the violent capture of Tripoli by Islamist militia force Libya Dawn, and ordered a widening of the rebellion.
Home Office officials examined his broadcasts and issued a Risk and Liaison Overseas Network (Ralon) order excluding him from entering the UK.A Home Office spokesman said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases. But we are clear that those who seek to foster hatred or promote terrorism are not welcome in the United Kingdom. We will take action against those who represent a threat to our society or seek to subvert our shared values.” Today the old man is living in Turkey, where he continues to spread the insane ideas of Jihad, manipulating Libyan youth.
In 2011, speaking via Tanasuh TV, the influential cleric broadcast to jihadi militants battling government forces in Tripoli. “I congratulate the revolutionaries in their victory, I give blessing to the martyrs,” he told his followers the day after Tripoli fell to extremists of Libya Dawn.More recently through his malevolent fatwas, Ghariani has incited hatred against the international community, against the United Nations Mission and the European Union.
In his latest televised speech, he also invited Libyan youth to detonate themselves against police stations and checkpoints, to consider killing suicide bombers if the can harm the enemy, referring to the Libyan National Army (LNA).First from the United Kingdom, then from Ankara, the grand mufti incited the Libyans to hatred, to fratricide, prompting them to kill each other.
In his report, Lorenzo Vidino stress that many of the Muslim Brothers arrived in the UK as students, often scions of wealthy families who already belonged to the Brotherhood or at least had been exposed to its ideology. But many arrived as refugees, escaping waves of persecutions in their home countries. While many were low- and mid-ranking members, some were top leaders – tellingly, by the late 1990s the general secretaries of the Syrian, Iraqi and Tunisian branches of the Brotherhood were all living in London. As Rachid Ghannouchi, head of the Tunisian al Nahda, said a few months after settling in London to escape persecution from Ben Ali’s regime: ‘We Islamists may have a lot of criticism of Western values, yet we are seeking refuge in such atheist countries because we appreciate the benefits of freedom and the value of democracy.’ Ghannouchi is one of the main supporters for the Turkish intervention in Libya along the GNA.
Historically, Brotherhood members who arrived in the UK took two opposing approaches to their sojourn. Some remained extremely insular, focused exclusively on supporting the struggle in their home countries and not involving themselves in activities and debates related to Islam in Britain. Others, while never forgetting the vicissitudes of their countries of origin and the region, eventually decided to focus a significant part of their energies on British Muslim communities and British society more broadly.
The recent terrorist attacks in the UK, from Ariana Grande’s concert to Reading’ mass stubbing, proves the Brotherhood’s ability to carry out attacks, recruit new attackers, as well as Vidino wrote the ability to resurge from time of crisis. The movement still possesses a sophisticated structure inside the country, including a financial infrastructure the exact extent of which is difficult to determine. The UK Government cannot underestimate these risks and constantly monitor the large network of characters, in particular the Libyan citizens, who live between Manchester and London. Many of them are directly related to the Libyan Tripoli-based institutions, that raises further questions about the British policy in the Mediterranean.
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