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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2902

Memoirs of a Counter-Rebel Spy in London - PART VI: al-Qaeda flies high in London

By Glen Jenvey - Exclusive to "Asian Tribune"
Edited By - Joseph Thavaraja

Though both outfits –the LTTE and the al-Qaeda – stay banned by the British Government, there is a difference between them – the British had spent millions of pounds on fighting the Al-Qaeda through MI5 while LTTE on the other hand makes millions of pounds under the very nose of the British security services.

The LTTE's hatred of the Jewish state for supplying high speed naval boats and weapons to Sri Lanka shows there could be room for the LTTE to work with Islamic Terror Groups.

I remember my time spent making contact with embassies in London with LTTE statements at the request of the LTTE London leadership. Once there was breaking news on TV about an Israeli attack on a refugee camp in Lebanon that went wrong.

The Arab world was up in arms and out of sheer interest I wanted to find out what the press was saying –and more importantly, being told by diplomats from the middle-east.

I contacted the Lebanese embassy in London asking for a press statement and after several faxes from me on LTTE headed paper with a hand written request, I got a press statement back. I explained that LTTE had major press offices in London and if no one else could get international fair coverage, I could.

The statements were released thanks to LTTE office and everyone –especially the Arab Diplomats – was happy.

I found it most interesting that the Lebanese government officials would deal with a member of the LTTE press corps with no compunction since the LTTE at that time was known for their hatred towards Muslims.

But there was worse: I also found that many Arab embassy staffs or diplomatic corps were not showing any concern –at least even to the extent of my own – of bombing of an Arab refugee camp!

A famous mosque I contacted in the UK did not want to even lift a finger for the victims of this attack.

The camp victims were civilians and I initially felt this act might push Middles East people over the top-therefore I wanted to monitor it for the right reasons, but the British press as usual played it down, Middle Eastern Arabs in London did not give a damn, and subsequently, there was not much happening in the UK.

I thought to myself -here was another group of innocent civilians dragged through a war they never wanted and not many cared.

However, al-Qaeda used many such incidents to boost its London membership---By 2001, it developed as many as 5000 supporters from the young Muslim crowd in Britain, and I wonder what would be their number today!

Such incidences would promptly be video recorded by al-Qaeda cells in London, re-edited, interspersed with Osama Bin Laden footage and released to the young Muslim crowd in Britain.

Also In 2001, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper's reporter was told by Mohammed Salah that Al-Qaeda has other 'procurements'.

(Mohammed Salah was a personal assistant to Ayman Zawahiri, lieutenant to Osama bin Laden and who was thought to have masterminded the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Salah was arrested in Baku, Azerbaijan, and was extradited to Egypt for sentencing).

When Al-Hayat newspaper's reporter asked him if al-Qaeda had procured nuclear weapons "….he told me that both al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad had done so with the help of several different countries," says Salah. "He said that bin Laden had told his men not to use them except when ordered to."

I also understood that apart from al-Qaeda members/supporters, there was no one offering support for the Palestinian victims ---unlike for the British Communist Party or Socialist Worker Party…Many a times I have witnessed that thousands of demonstrators would throng London's streets every now and then at a whistle's call from these parties. But no one turned up when there was a human tragedy…..

I received a fax….I reported to the LTTE that I had a press statement from the Lebanese. They were most interested.

I assume they were 'more interested' in the connections between Mid-Eastern Groups and perhaps the money they could cream from their contacts. From another contact I had with the Persians, at one time I came to know that the LTTE were having high level talks with the Government of Iran, but the purpose of the talks eluded many of us…

The LTTE also hoped that they could attract support from groups fighting the Indian government (of which the LTTE hated) against Sri Lanka, as Sri Lanka was quietly engaged in mine-clearing work in Kashmir at that time. And the Kashmir militants got wind of this and made a note of it.

It was speculated that if Sri Lanka were quietly clearing mines for India, then both rebel groups had the same enemy.

I felt that this in itself would forge a link between Islamic Terrorist Groups and the LTTE as Sri Lanka had many friends in the Middle East. And many Sri Lankans worked in Arab countries.

In addition to its networking activities, al-Qaeda and several other mid-eastern groups were calling for the overthrowing of Arab Governments.

In fact, Arab money also owned a major share in the Sri Lankan air lines-almost 44%. Sri Lankan airlines therefore became a 'legitimate target' later when the rebels' spectacular and meticulously planned Sri Lanka airport attack took place in July 2001. Arab governments who had invested money in Sri Lanka were classed as "fighting a war against terrorist groups"

(To be continued)

- Asian Tribune –

Part I: Memoirs of an anti-LTTE undercover agent in London

Part II: Delicious Curry served with a Stark Warning!

Part III: "Is there a D-Notice on us?"

Part IV: Oh what a Friday it was….

Part V: The South African Roulette and 'Shots of Arrack'

Next: On the Trail of Radical Islamic Groups

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