By Umberto Bacchi June 5, 2014 07:30 BST
British hate preacher Abu Hamza has told his US terror trial how he once jointly managed a London strip club in his quest to live a Western, movie-style life.
NEW YORK: British hate preacher Abu Hamza told his US terror trial on Wednesday how he once jointly managed a London strip club in his quest to live a Western, movie-style life.
Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, 56, better known in Britain as Abu Hamza al-Masri, has pleaded not guilty to 11 kidnapping and terror counts that pre-date the 9/11 attacks.
Blind in one eye and with both hands blown off in an explosion in Afghanistan, he faces life in prison in a maximum security US prison if convicted by jury at the New York court.
Taking the stand for the first time in his trial, wearing tracksuit bottoms, a blue T-shirt and orange socks, the Egyptian-born former civil engineer spoke softly. Continue reading
Defence IQ recently investigated the current gamut of new gadgets on offer to military and police forces confronted with the task of defeating the growing tide of explosive ordnance being used among insurgencies, terrorists, and even criminal organisations.
At a London-based industry event, we met up with Major Chris Hunter QGM, a former British Army Bomb Disposal Operator in Iraq, now a senior IED analyst, and the inspiration and advisor on the recent Hollywood film ‘The Hurt Locker’.
On the subject of counter-IED technology, Hunter points first to the nature of the bomb itself and the ease with which it grows in sophistication.
“If you look at the IRA, for example, who were our primary threat for thirty years, the level of sophistication they achieved in that time – and they were the best bombmakers in the world – was superseded in just 12 months when we went into Iraq in 2003-2004,” he says.
“That’s just continued at a rapid and alarming rate. It was superseded in Afghanistan in just 18 months.”
As the IED presents a variety of problems, Hunter confirms that there is now a need for technology to respond in kind, offering technologies that are not specific to one solution, but to many.
“As every IED specialists will say, there is no silver bullet. But if you’re talking about the Defeat the Device component, where we’re looking at technologies to detect and neutralise, we have to really focus on multi-sensor technologies.
The British navy and Spanish civil guard faced off today over a fishing dispute off the Gibraltar coast. Spain maintains it only ceded Gibraltar to the British, not the waters around it.
By Andrés Cala, Correspondent / May 24, 2012
Jon Nazca/Reuters Enlarge –Madrid
The British Royal Navy and Spain’s Civil Guard engaged in a testy three hour standoff this morning over the sovereignty of waters off Gibraltar that devolved into bad-mouthing and at least one small collision.
Spanish boats were fishing in waters claimed by both Spain and the UK when Gibraltarian police speedboats, backed up by the British Royal Navy, encircled them. Spanish Civil Guard armed patrollers and a helicopter came to the fishermen’s defense, prompting the Royal Navy ship to intervene, setting off a shouting match, and causing at least one minor, and apparently accidental, collision.
IN PICTURES – The Queen’s diamond jubilee
It’s not the first standoff at sea between Spain and Britain, but it is the most serious in decades. The new Gibraltar government said when it came to power in December that a 1999 agreement that gave Spain rights to fish off its coast was unconstitutional and began forcing back Spanish ships. Spain insists on returning to the 1999 agreement, but refuses to negotiate with Gibraltar.
The spat is exacerbating strains that began last week, when Spain’s monarchy snubbed Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee in protest of next month’s planned official visit to Gibraltar of Britain’s Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth, and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Continue reading
PUBLISHED: 14:17 GMT, 26
March 2012 | UPDATED: 17:29 GMT, 26 March 2012
Something like you love life, we love death, but only for other people.
Abu Qatada, you will recollect, is the man once described by a judge as Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe. He is living in Britain courtesy of the European Court of Human Rights, which has ruled he could not get a fair trial if he were deported to his native Jordan. The Strasbourg judges fear evidence gained through torture could be used against him.
We know that Qatada is enjoying life because we have it from his brother in Jordan, who has said that ‘right now he is the happiest man in England’.
Rehoused: Qatada has been handed a more expensive taxpayer-funded home
This is a major endorsement for the Court of Human Rights, the European human rights convention which it enforces, and of course the Human Rights Act, which gives these rules precedence in our own law. In America, the Declaration of Independence offers the right only to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.
Here the European court will give you happiness on a plate, although there has to be some doubt about the life bit if Abu Qatada is allowed to hang around for long.
According to his brother Ibrahim Othman, Qatada spends his days with his wife and five children living the simple life, watching Islamic TV channels and reading Islamic texts.
I’m surprised he’s not a Rolling Stones fan. You may remember Keith Richards saying happiness is not a Lear Jet to fly home on.
But if we are to believe Mr Othman, the main source of Qatada’s happiness is not his piety but his house. Let him tell it: ‘They have now given him a very nice new place, bigger than the first house he went to.
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Pakistan’s Supreme Court rejects Prime Minister Gilani’s appeal; Supreme Court gives Inter-Services Intelligence until February 13 to present missing detainees; “Memogate” commission says Mansoor Ijaz may record statement from London; Interior Minister Malik says Pakistan is ready to begin talks with Baloch separatists; Police disperse protest rally in Karachi; Pakistan “strongly rejects” findings of U.S. Congressional hearing on Balochistan; Malik says NATO is not sending supplies through Pakistani airspace; PTI Chairman Imran Khan says his party will “shoot down” U.S. drones if it gains power; Pakistani security forces kill 11 militants in Kurram agency; Indian government releases five Pakistani prisoners; President Zardari suggests increasing bilateral trade with Sri-Lanka; Pakistani government allegedly arrests suspected assassins of former Afghan president.
- On Friday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court rejected Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s appeal against contempt charges. Gilani will have to appear before the court on Monday to face contempt proceedings for refusing to reopen an investigation into President Asif Ali Zardari’s corruption charges. If he is found guilty, Gilani could face six months in prison and removal from office.
- On Friday, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court heard the case regarding the seven suspected militants who have been detained by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate since 2010. Four of the detainees in this same group died under mysterious circumstances over the past six months. The court ordered the Director General of ISI, the Director General of Military Intelligence and the Judge Advocate General branch to bring the missing prisoners to the Supreme Court hearing on February 13.
January 30, 2012 by Joseph Fitsanakis
Confidential documents leaked to the British press show that a leading medical examiner wants to reinspect the 2006 death of a former Soviet intelligence officer, in light of new revelations. Alexander Litvinenko was an employee of the Soviet KGB and its successor organization, the FSB, who in 2000 defected with his family to the United Kingdom. He soon became known as an increasingly vocal critic of the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2006, Litvinenko came down with radioactive poisoning soon after meeting a former colleague, Andrey Lugovoy, in a London restaurant. The latter is believed by British authorities to have assassinated Litvinenko “with the backing of the Russian state”. Although much of the case remains shrouded in mystery, an important new clue was added to the equation in October, when Litvinenko’s widow publicly admitted that her husband had been a paid employee of British intelligence services MI5 and MI6. Marina Litvinenko told British tabloid newspaper The Mail on Sunday that Alexander had advised both agencies on “combat[ing] Russian organized crime in Europe”.