According to event publicity materials, UK Muslim Brotherhood leader Anas Altikriti was the lead speaker in a demonstration held today in support of ex-Guantanamo prisoner Moazzam Begg, recently arrested by UK counterterrorism officials and on suspicion of terror offenses connected to the on-going conflict in Syria. A poster featured on various Twitter pages promotes an event titled “#MOAZAAMBEGG Is It a Crime to Fight Injustice” held outside the UK Home Office in London Westminster. In addition to Altikriti, other speakers of interest included:
- Haitham Al-Haddad (extremist preacher hosted by FOSIS)
- Azad Ali (defended the killing of British troops in Iraq)
- Ismail Patel (heads Friends of Al-Aqsa, close to Hamas)
Originally from Birmingham, Mr Begg moved to Afghanistan with his family in 2001 before taking them to Pakistan in 2002 when the war began.
He was detained in Islamabad, Pakistan, as an “enemy combatant” in January 2002 and was taken to the Bagram internment centre for about a year before being transferred to Guantanamo.
The British citizen was released along with three others in January 2005 and was allowed to return to the UK where he was arrested by the police before being released without charge.
Mr Begg, now a director of campaign group Cage, has always maintained that he was only involved in charity business and that he has never been involved in any kind of terrorist activity.
Despite his denials of involvement in terrorism, the Weekly Standard recently posted quite a different picture of Mr. Begg. The article begins:
February 25, 2014 Ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg was arrested earlier today as part of raid conducted by counterterrorism officials in the UK. Begg has spent most of his time living in the UK following his release from Guantanamo in 2005. He is one of the most prolific anti-Guantanamo advocates.
Counterterrorism officials say he is suspected of committing ‘Syria-related terrorism offenses.’ The BBC reports that he ‘was detained on suspicion of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas.’ Three others were also arrested on the same charges.
It remains to be seen what specific charges Begg will face, if any. But the allegations are anything but surprising.
As the Weekly Standard has repeatedly documented, there have always been two Moazzam Beggs. There is the Moazzam Begg so many on the left prefer to see, a victim of America’s post-9/11 excesses. And then there is the real Moazzam Begg, an advocate for jihadism.
Read the rest here.
Anas Al-Tikriti is the son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in that country. In addition to his role at Cordoba, Al-Tikriti is one of the leaders of the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood but many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form the BMI. According to an Israeli think-tank report, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue.