Archive for UK

What was Mr Blair’s role in Megrahi’s release?

Posted in arrested terrorists, counterterrorism, foreign policy with tags , , , , , , on September 15, 2009 by admin

The Independent had an article some days ago about this that is interesting reading:

MPs are set to demand the minutes of an extraordinary cloak-and-dagger summit in London between British, American and Libyan spies held three days before Mr Blair announced that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was surrendering his weapons of mass destruction programme.

At the time of the secret meeting in December 2003 at the private Travellers Club in Pall Mall, London – for decades the favourite haunt of spies – Libyan officials were pressing for negotiations on the status of Megrahi, who was nearly three years into his life sentence at a Scottish jail.

 Was Mehgrahi’s release mentioned on that particular meeting? Perhaps 2003 seems somewhat far away but it would help us to understand the actual role of the three parties here.

Before:
Lybian Govt paid doctors to secure Megrahi’s release
Who really freed Megrahi?
UK Ministers release letters about Lockerbie deal.
Lockerbie bomber on show at Gadhafi’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Lybia’s Gadhaffi: the forgotten story of his links to terror.
Brown denies deal for Megrahi.
Jack Straw’s letter on Megrahi’s release
Scotland denies any oil deal in Mehgrahi case.
US offered money to stop Mehgrahi’s release.
Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal.
On Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal?
Gadhaffi’s son asks why so angry about Lockerbie bomber’s release.
More details on Lockerbie bomber’s health asked.
Victims from Lockerbie bomber against Gadhafi’s visit to NJ.

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Plane plotters’ group likely to try again

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 9, 2009 by admin

Britain Fears More Airline Bomb Plots Likely

The convictions of three British Muslims for plotting to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners are evidence of al-Qaida’s “obsession” with using commercial aircraft to attack the West, anti-terrorism officials told the BBC Tuesday. And they say the group is “likely” to try again.

Before:
British jury find three Islamists guilty of plotting to explode planes

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The Guardian on Rashid Rauf

Posted in counterterrorism, court decisions, terrorist attacks with tags , , , on September 8, 2009 by admin

Terror suspect ‘was not prosecuted because of torture in Pakistan’ | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Plans to prosecute a terrorism suspect who is said to have played a key role in the airline bombing plot were abandoned because of the severe torture he suffered after being detained in Pakistan, according to intelligence sources who have spoken to Human Rights Watch.

In a report on Britain’s involvement in torture in Pakistan ‑ due to be published by the New York-based organisation later this month ‑ intelligence officials from Pakistan and the UK are quoted as saying Rashid Rauf could not be extradited and put on trial because of the extent of the mistreatment he had suffered.

The Pakistani officials are quoted as saying that their British counterparts were fully aware of what was happening to Rauf after he was detained in August 2006, while a former senior British intelligence officer is quoted as saying they were not.

The conviction of three men who attempted to blow up at least seven transatlantic airliners and murder more than 1,500 people has thrown up new questions about Rauf, who was born in Pakistan in January 1981 but was raised in Birmingham.

So, just considering he effectively was subjected to terrible torture (and if it’s true that he was subjected to electric shock indeed he was). But the problem to be prosecuted now is that it seems he was killed in Pakistan, after fleeing from West Midlands police while praying alone in a mosque before escaping. Afterwards, it was announced he was killed by a drone in north Waziristan.

If this guy really fled in this manner, being one of the main suspects of the plot to explode planes, leaving him alone praying there, was s truly stupid error. But that’s because we know the result. Imagine that police would have entered with him to control him while he was praying. I am sure the policemen would have been called everything from Islamophobes to racists.

What I really can’t understand yet, is why Pakistan is considered an “ally”. They are now claiming that fighting the taliban is “too difficult”, so they are not going to fight the new cruel (and effective) Taliban chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, because they “are worried” about him. But they engage with suspects brutally. This contradiction can’t be explained only or mainly by just US influence. My opinion is that the Taliban are allies against India specially because of Kashmir, while this guy from AQ can be threatening Pakistan, because of AQ’s stated goal related to Paki nukes.

British jury find three Islamists guilty of plotting to explode planes

Posted in arrested terrorists, court decisions with tags , , , on September 7, 2009 by admin

The jury at the Woolwich Crown Court in London found the three men, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain, guilty of planning to kill passengers in mid-flight using liquid explosives disguised as soft drinks. The three will be sentenced next week.

The prosecution said the attacks would have “exceeded the carnage” of the September 11 attacks in the US in 2001 and would have “inflicted heavy casualties in the name of Islam.”

British police said on Monday that they believed the group was within days of carrying out the attacks when they were arrested.

“We believe that they were contemplating some sort of dummy run,” a British police representative said.

The police source said the men were planning to bomb at least seven airliners one week after this practice run.

The other 5 are still waiting for the verdict.

Britain’s Home Office releases terrorist suspect

Posted in arrested terrorists, counterterrorism, court decisions with tags , on September 7, 2009 by admin

Another Lybian:

Britain’s Home Office has released a man from a house-arrest style program only weeks before a hearing in which the government might have been forced to disclose the intelligence that led to his arrest, a newspaper reported Monday.

The Times of London said the man — a Libyan-British dual national identified only as AF — was released last week.

He had been part of the so-called “control order” program, which allows the government to tell terror suspects where they can live and when they can leave their homes.

The reported release comes after Britain’s highest court decided the orders were illegal in some cases because the suspects had not been given sufficient details of the cases against them. The paper quoted Carl Richmond, an attorney acting for AF, as saying he has had his electronic tag removed and is “trying to readjust to normal life.”

Gordon Brown won’t press Lybia over compensation for IRA’s victims

Posted in counterterrorism, foreign policy, funding with tags , , , , on September 6, 2009 by admin

Gordon Brown declined to put formal pressure on Libya to get compensation for IRA victims, No 10 has confirmed.The victims say Libya should pay compensation because it supplied the IRA with explosives used in atrocities.

Mr Brown told a victims’ lawyer it was not “appropriate” to discuss the claims, but aides have denied he was trying to protect oil deals with Libya.

Related:
Lybia’s Gadhaffi: the forgotten story of his links to terror.
Will Lybia compensate IRA victims?.

Hannibal Gaddafi’s detention: Wilmshurst to defend Switzerland in Tribunal

Posted in court decisions with tags , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by admin

Switzerland has chosen an “iconic” British lawyer to sit on a tribunal probing the arrest of Moammar Gaddafi’s son.

Elizabeth Wilmshurst came to public notice in 2003 when she stepped down from the British Foreign Office in disagreement over the legality of the Iraq war. Two years later the details of her resignation were made public under the Freedom of Information Act and reignited controversies over the war.

Wilmshurst, now an international law specialist at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House and a professor at University College London, will represent Switzerland on a three-party tribunal that is being set up to review the 2008 arrest in Geneva of Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife for assaulting two domestic employees.

According to an agreement signed in Tripoli by the Swiss president, Hans-Rudolf Merz, and the Libyan prime minister, al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, on August 20, each country must designate an independent representative to the tribunal. The tribunal will sit in London and be presided over by a third arbitrator.

Related:
Oil seen as key to Swiss-Libyan relations