Monday, April 30, 2007

Power Struggle in Al Muhajiroun?

Since it emerged that all six men arrested last week were members of Al Muhajiroun, there has been renewed interest in the group. The protest on Friday raises a question - is there a struggle for control of Al Muhajiroun?

At the time we noted that there was apparent confusion as to who organised the protest. The IHT quoted Anjem Choudary as calling on people to rally on behalf of Abu Izzadeen, while the BBC claimed that it was relatives and friends of Rajib Khan who were organising it.

Another article, quotes two men. One is Abu Farooq. He said he was a relative of one of the men but refused to say which one. He is, in fact, a relative of Khan. (This source places him outside his relative's house in Luton after the arrest and Khan was the only one from Luton). The other man quoted is Sayful Islam. He is the head of Al Muhajiroun in Luton and is quoted as the organiser of the event. He claims to be "very close" to Khan. And in this Evening Standard story from 2004 he is apparently quite close to Abdul Haq too.

There is a real possibility that Sayful Islam is trying to place himself as the new leader of Al Muhajiroun. Choudary was Omar Bakri's right hand man - but Bakri is stuck in Lebanon. And with Izzadeen now in prison too there may be room for Islam to make a bid for leadership. So, is there any proof? Well, possibly.

Towards the end of last year there were two notable protest events; the heckling of John Reid and the protest outside Westminster Cathedral. The Westminster Cathedral protest took place a week earlier. Now, at that protest there were two types of placard/poster. The first was a piece of paper with a black line at the bottom containing the words (in white) "The Muslims". These were exactly the same posters used in the heckling of John Reid (see here).

However, there were some other posters at the Westminster Cathedral protest. If you look at the pictures here you'll see that, while most posters are the ones described above, there are others which do not have the black line and are stuck onto a cardboard backing.

Apparently there were two suppliers to that protest. Choudary was connected to the black line posters as he was the second man heckling John Reid holding the same posters (again see here). Now that some photos are available of the Paddington Protest (here) you can see that the placards used for that protest are pieces of paper stuck on cardboard backings with not a black line in sight.

What does all this add up to? Possibly, it means that back in September Choudary was in charge, hence most of the posters were his style, and now he isn't. This could be bad news because when extremists vie for power they tend to score points by who can cause the most mayhem.

And, to be honest, it doesn't matter much who is in charge as they all have one aim - to turn Britain and the world into one giant Islamic Caliphate. They all incite violence and they all need to be shut down.