Saturday, October 18, 2003

The Jews and the crusaders

I'm not quite sure what to make of this report:

Australia's leading radical Islamic cleric has revealed he was told of a planned terrorist attack in Australia only months before the Sydney Olympic Games.

Sheik Mohammed Omran, the Melbourne-based leader of the fundamentalist Ahl Sunnah wal Jama'ah Association, claims he advised against a plot to bomb targets in Australia in 2000 and threatened to go to the police.

And a separate source has supported Sheik Omran's extraordinary revelation, saying a letter sent to Indonesian terrorist figure Abu Bakar Bashir prominently quoted the Melbourne cleric's view that bombings should not be carried out on Australian soil.

[...]

Sheik Omran says he does not support terrorism and claims he is a force for peace within Australia's fundamentalist Muslim community.

But he admits to knowing many people who have been jailed for terrorist activities around the world. These include his long-time friend Abu Qutadar, the suspected head of al-Qa'ida in Europe, who is under arrest in Britain, and Bashir, , who is serving a jail sentence in Indonesia.

Sheik Omran was recently named in Spanish court documents as having links with the suspected leader of al-Qa'ida in Spain, Abu Dahdah - claims which the sheik has denied.

It's good that the attack was stopped, but Sheik Omran isn't sqeaky clean:

Sheik Mohammed Omran said court documents detailing alleged phone conversations he had with al-Qaida operatives in Madrid, including detained terror suspect Abu Dahdah, were "absolute rubbish".

"This allegation, it has no basis, it has no foundation," he said outside his home in Coburg.

"I never had any contact with Spain, in personal (sic) or in organisation-wise."

Sheik Omran said he had never been interviewed by the Australian Federal Police and claimed his organisation -- the Islamic Information and Support Centre of Australia -- had a great relationship with the Federal Government.

[...]

The centre's website, www.iisca.org, has information on raising Muslim children and interpreting the Koran.

It also has an essay by Sheik Abdus-Salaam Zoud that calls for support for Muslim guerillas and condones violence against Jews.

"Allah digrace (sic) the Jews and the crusaders -- Crush them," the article says.


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