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Zionist inspired prosecution of British Muslim flops

IslamOnline & Ummahnews
9 August 2002


The first Muslim to be tried under Britain's sweeping terrorism laws following September 11 was cleared Friday, August 9, 2002, of offering weapons training over the Internet.

The acquittal of Sulayman Zain-ul-abidin, 44, who embraced Islam in 1979, is seen as a setback for British attempts to crack down on people it allegedly suspects were linked to the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Zain-ul-abidin was charged under the Terrorism Act - a law strongly condemned as draconian and unjust by Muslim groups and human rights activists - of setting up an Internet site offering paramilitary training in the United States and of recruiting terrorists, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The native Londoner left the Old Bailey criminal court with his lawyer shortly after jurors, who deliberated for five days, handed down their verdict.

He smiled but refused to speak to the press as he left by taxi. "He has nothing now, yet he is a totally innocent man," said lawyer Muddassar Arani, who added that it was too early to say whether her client would consider suing for false arrest.

Prosecutors alleged that his Internet site, called the Ultimate Jihad Challenge and offering two-week courses in the U.S. for 3,000 pounds (4,570 dollars), was launched to "assist or prepare for terrorism".

They also alleged that police found a laptop in a locker belonging to Zain-ul-abidin containing articles about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, who are blamed by Washington for allegedly carrying out the September 11 attacks.

However, Zain-ul-abidin, a chef at a London medical school, defended himself by arguing that he was prosecuted as a "trophy" terrorist scapegoat.

He said in court, "September 11 happened and they have got to show the public they are fighting Islamic terrorism.

"It's a joke - the bottom line is that if September 11 never happened I wouldn't be standing here and trying to justify trying to make a business.

"I'm their trophy, I'm their prize. They have got to convict me," he said.

He said he was merely running a legitimate security service and that the only person who took a course in the past two years was a London supermarket security guard.

Zain-ul-abidin was arrested three weeks after September 11 and two weeks after going to a London police station to complain he did not feel safe following a newspaper article outlining his activities.

A police spokesman said anti-terrorist investigators believed the prosecution's case was "properly brought to the court (and) meticulously prepared".

But Labour MP Andrew Dismore called the outcome "very disappointing".

Dismore is a member of the arch-Zionist Labour Friends of Israel, a shadowy lobby group which does Israel’s bidding in the British Parliament. He reported Zain-ul-Abidin to the police and pressed hard for them to prosecute.

"I have been following the activities (of the Ultimate Jihad Challenge) for getting on three years now and certainly from their website there was, I thought, quite substantial evidence," he said. The British Board of Jewish Deputies, which acts as a mouthpiece for the Israeli government, also expressed disappointment over the result saying it would send the wrong signal to terrorists.

However, John Wadham, director of human rights organization Liberty, said his group was opposed to people being trained in the use of lethal weapons. "But the fact remains that offering such training in the USA is legal," he stressed.

"Since September 11, draconian anti-terrorism powers have been used to justify a string of high-profile arrests of people found to have done nothing wrong," he said.

"It's a real problem both for the integrity of our criminal justice system and for the confidence of Britain's Muslims, who have been the target of most of these arrests."