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Don’t let in banned Muhajiroun’ warning to East End venues

PUBLISHED: 07:04 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:32 05 October 2010

POLICE and Town Hall bosses are warning public venues in London’s East End not to let the banned al-Muhajiroun hire their premises for meetings in future. The Islamic extremist organisation has been deemed illegal from today

By Mike Brooke

POLICE and Town Hall bosses are warning public venues in London’s East End, where airline bomb suspect Umar Abdulmutallab is thought to have been inspired, not to let the banned al Muhajiroun hire their premises for meetings in future.

The Islamic extremist organisation has been deemed illegal by the Government from today (Thursday).

It can no longer operate legally in the UK, warns Tower Hamlets council.

It is now a criminal offence for the group to hold meetings or raise funds, while it is also an offence to become a member, a Town Hall statement stressed.

“We are sending out a clear message that groups like this are not welcome in Tower Hamlets,” said Abdal Ullah, Council cabinet member responsible for violent extremism issues.

“In the specific case of al Muhajiroun, it is a criminal offence to aid and abet their activities.

“We are working to prevent extremism gaining a foothold in the community and are determined to continue.”

The warning follows controversy earlier this month when the Quilliam Foundation think tank’ called for an investigation into Whitechapel public library where cassette tapes of sermons by al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki were available to take out.

Awlaki is believed to have inspired Umar Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian arrested for attempting to bomb a US-bound plane on Christmas Day who later referred to the cleric as his spiritual mentor. Abdulmutallab is also reported to have worshiped at the East London Mosque a few hundred yards from the library.

All 285 tapes which had been stocked on the library shelves were removed when a Sunday newspaper contacted the council. But the Foundation criticised the authority for allowing the tapes in the first place, calling it a “disgrace that a publicly library should have been distributing sermons from Islamist extremism.”

The Town Hall has now set up a hotline’ in co-operation with the Met Police to give advice and information on al Muhajiroun’s ban, under its prevent extremism’ programme manager Habib Hoque-Habib, on 020-7364 4763. The Police contact is Sgt David Shipp by email here or on 020-7275 4513.


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