WikiLeaks Cites London as Muslim Extremist Training Ground

Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011 12:50 PM

By Martin Gould

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London was a center for training Muslim extremists who then went on to fight in Afghanistan, newly leaked papers from Guantanamo Bay show. Four mosques and an Islamic center were highlighted as places where young Muslim men were radicalized and turned into future fighters, the Daily Telegraph  reports.

The Telegraph has seen the papers, which senior U.S. military commanders at Guantanamo produced, and the WikiLeaks website obtained.

The documents show that at least 35 Guantanamo detainees — 17 British nationals and 18 from overseas — had been indoctrinated in the mosques before going on to fight in Afghanistan, according to the Telegraph.

The papers identify two preachers, Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza al-Masri, as being key to the indoctrination process. Egyptian-born Hamza is being detained in Britain, which refuses to extradite him to the United States because he might face the death penalty here. Qatada, described as “the most successful recruiter in Europe,” also is in detention awaiting deportation to his native Jordan.

Hamza’s power base, the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London was described in the papers as “a haven for Islamic extremists from Morocco and Algeria.”

The papers show that Muslim men traveled to mainland Europe, where they picked up fake European Union passports. They then moved to London to claim political asylum, and were radicalized by preachers who showed them videos of atrocities committed against Muslims in Bosnia and the Russian enclave of Checnya.

“The files help to explain American anger towards the British authorities, who have been regularly accused of failing to tackle radicalization,” the Telegraph reported.

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