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A Monthly Newsmagazine from Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought 

Manchester, Friday May 26, 2017 
While the Theresa May regime in Britain has put the country on maximum alert with armed troops patrolling the streets following the Manchester terrorist bombing of Monday (May 23) night, news has emerged that the alleged bomber, Salman Abedi was known to the authorities. 

The British Home Secretary Amber Rudd has also confirmed this saying British-born Abedi of Libyan parents, was known “up to a point” to the British intelligence services and police. 

Her “up to a point” remark is misleading. Muslims in Britain had warned the British anti-terrorism hotline, not once but twice and as early as 2011, about Abedi’s radical views and behavior, according to Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadan Foundation in Manchester. 

In a May 25 interview with CBC’s ‘As it Happens’ program, Shafiq told the host Carol Off that on two separate occasions Muslim leaders in Manchester contacted the anti-terrorism squad hotline warning them about Abedi. Why the British authorities took no action against him raises serious questions. 

Shafiq’s revelation also puts to rest the scandalous allegation that Muslims do not condemn terrorist attacks and that they do not cooperate with the authorities. Several terrorist acts in Britain have been thwarted as a result of information provided by Muslims, according to Shafiq. 

Interestingly, a day after Shafiq’s interview, a search of the CBC website found no link to his interview. Instead, the ‘As it Happens’ lead story is about a pregnant teenage girl at an American school who has been barred from participating in the graduation ceremony to receive her diploma because she broke the school rule by indulging in immoral activity and becoming pregnant. Immoral conduct, according to the student, Maddi Runkles, is quite common at the Maryland school, indeed the norm. She just happened to be unfortunate to get pregnant. 

The British regime has said that MI5, the domestic intelligence agency, was aware of Abedi’s extremist views as early as 2011, according to the New York Times (May 25, 2017). The regime, however, insisted, he was “only a peripheral figure, and not someone whose behavior would have warranted immediate action.” 

There is clearly more to the Abedi story than the regime in London is admitting. As Tony Cartalucci, writing on his landdestroyer blog [May 24, 2017] ( rists.html) pointed out: “As suspected and as was the case in virtually all recent terror attacks carried out in Europe - including both in France and Belgium - the suspect involved in the recent Manchester blast which killed 22 and injured scores more was previously known to British security and intelligence agencies.” 

Quoting from the Rupert Murdoch-owned right wing daily, The Telegraph, “Salman Abedi named as the Manchester suicide bomber - what we know about him,” Cartalucci points out: “Salman Abedi, 22, who was reportedly known to the security services, is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week.” 

The same Telegraph article would also admit (emphasis added), according to Cartalucci: “A group of Gaddafi dissidents, who were members of the outlawed Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), lived within close proximity to Abedi in Whalley Range [in Manchester]. 

“Among them was Abd al-Baset Azzouz, a father-of-four from Manchester, who left Britain to run a terrorist network in Libya overseen by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor as leader of al-Qaeda. 

“Azzouz, 48, an expert bomb-maker, was accused of running an al-Qaeda network in eastern Libya. The Telegraph reported in 2014 that Azzouz had 200 to 300 militants under his control and was an expert in bombmaking. 

“Another member of the Libyan community in Manchester, Salah Aboaoba told Channel 4 news in 2011 that he had been fund raising for LIFG while in the city. Aboaoba had claimed he had raised funds at Didsbury mosque, the same mosque attended by Abedi.” 

While the British regime had placed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) on its list of terrorist organizations as early as 2005 (it is listed on the UK government website as a terrorist group: Proscribed terrorist groups or organisations) as had the US State Department, the group continued to operate freely in Manchester, even fund-raising. 

The fact is, Western regimes have for a long time used terrorist groups and organizations to advance their nefarious agendas worldwide. Al Qaeda, al Nusra Front and ISIS/ISIL are all part of this, as was LIFG that was used to overthrow the government of Muammar Qaddafi. 

But terrorists can also go their own way, as happened with al Qaeda and LIFG. The terrorists rampaging in Iraq, Syria and a number of other places have all had close links with the LIFG and with the Western regimes. Weapons taken from Libyan army depots have also been used in Syria, courtesy of the American CIA. 

The Manchester bombing, while tragic, shows once again the sordid conduct of Western regimes and their intelligence agencies in using groups and patsies to carry out their criminal agendas. 

It is ordinary people—in this case the people of Manchester—that end up paying the price for such policies. 

While visiting injured teens in a Manchester hospital, Queen Elizabeth said what the terrorist did was “very wicked”. 

Perhaps, her Majesty should also have said what her own government, led by Teresa May and her predecessors have done over the years is not just wicked, it is absolutely criminal. 

But who should hold these war criminals to account? 


The truth is that the tragic deaths in Manchester only serve to remind us of the bloodshed and insecurity that wreaks havoc across this chaotic world dominated by capitalist states. What had seemed to afflict the Muslim world daily for the past 17 years, now sadly seems to occur periodically in Britain and Europe. The numbers may not be as great but the sense of fear is nonetheless apparent. 

Politicians may escalate security measures but sadly nothing will change whilst they are unwilling to admit the causes of terror in the world – whether the oppression of rulers who are courted for their petrodollars; or the interventionist policies of the colonial powers that have destabilised whole regions of the world for decades. 

Muslims in Britain can speak out strongly against such violence, but should not let it change our Islamic way of life, that is targeted by politicians every time such events happen, ironically exposing the contradictions in the rights and values they pretend to be upholding. 

Muslims should present Islam as a solution and not to allow this beautiful deen to be put in the dock. When Islam was the basis of intellectual and political life in the Muslim world, the world witnessed a phenomenal civilisation, able to create a society where justice and security was for all citizens, and where technology and education flourished. And since the colonisation of that part of the world, it has seen nothing but instability, insecurity and despair. 

Muslims should hold firmly to their deen (way of life) and always speak out for what is right and against all terror – not selectively according to what the media highlights. 

Muslims should interact with the wider society and explain Islam – its beliefs and values – and its alternative political vision for the Muslim world. A vision that will actually break the political mould of this world as it currently is. That is so badly needed, and without it, anarchy and vigilantism like this is unlikely to cease. 

We have a message for those Muslims who may be angry and frustrated at the oppression and injustice they see created by western states. Unlike western states, we do not take innocent human lives in order to achieve political objectives. The carnage created by western states angers Muslims and non-Muslims across the globe. However, any action a Muslim does must be in accordance with the Shariah – and Islam does not advocate that such indiscriminate killings are the way to change the situation. Rather the Messenger ? gave a method for change – which was a political and intellectual struggle based on his model, that led to the establishment of a righteous Islamic Khilafah state, that looked after people’s affairs by Islam and carried the light of Islam to the world. That is the only way to success in this world and the next. Any alternative, whether adopting a secular method, or the way of indiscriminate killing, can only lead to the Hellfire. 



In the aftermath of tragedies like Manchester – when Islam becomes part of the causal narrative – media interviewers are adamant that Muslim leaders and personalities do more to ‘condemn’ such events. 

Even to question a Muslim to condemn such an incident is insulting, as it questions their human concern towards others, expecting them to prove it more than others. 

Muslim do not need to join in that sort of condemnation, that is part of a political agenda to demonise their community, their deen and distract from the real issues – especially when our own creed, which demands we follow only what Allah Azza wa Jall and what the Prophet (saw) commanded, has made it clear that the action of taking innocent lives is explicitly forbidden. 

No community should feel the need to apologise for tragedies that they did not initiate, encourage, or carry out. Expecting Muslim families, colleagues and individuals to apologise is unfair and unjust, and implies a collective blame. 

When the MP for Batley, Jo Cox was murdered by a man radicalised by far right/fascist ideas, the media did not call on all white British men to apologise. 

When a woman is assaulted, no one expects all men to apologise. 

When Western governments waged wars across the Middle East with tens of thousands of people losing their life, or leaving them with horrendous life changing injuries, no government has offered an apology for such inhumane activities- even though they have been directly involved. 

So it is nonsense to expect Muslims to apologise for what happened in Manchester. 

What needs to be examined is the cause of this global chaos and bloodshed. 

It is not Islam that is dominant in the world, it is global capitalism and two hundred years of a colonial foreign policy that has brought us to this sorry state. 

This is where the narrative needs to begin and end. 


Upon the tragic deaths of children in Manchester, as expected, the media and politicians have once again turned their head towards the Muslim community. Whilst we may never know what caused Salman Ramadan Abedi to murder and maim so many young people at Manchester Arena on Monday night, the conclusions have already been implied by the politicians and media, that due to his connections with war-torn Libya and Syria, he was likely to have been “radicalised by an extremist ideology.” There is now a debate taking place once again about the effeciveness of the Government’s PREVENT strategy which is based upon the theory of radicalisation. 

Since the time of Tony Blair where he infamously stated that the ‘rules of the game have changed’, the British government has pinned the actions of a very few to an entire community. The strategy has been heavily criticised throughout the last few years for discriminating against Muslims and viewing them as a suspect community, but now it is being given vindication by some in light of the Manchester attacks. Ironically, what the attacks show is that the PREVENT strategy has failed to prevent such attacks. 

Preventing violent extremism has been the mantra but it has not been able to ‘prevent’ horrors in mainland Britain. Instead it has focused on law abiding Muslims in every town and city in England. It has questioned Muslim children in Schools and Colleges, leaving them psychologically damaged by the experience. It has integrated draconian legislation into statutory services, where normal Muslim families have not been able to travel without disclosing their entire family makeup and political views. Mosques have been ordered to curtail legitimate Islamic opinions and integrate their views with British values. 

An entire community has been viewed with suspicion and contempt, because of deficient narratives engineered by a government that is adamant to change Islam, not to prevent violence. 

The Muslim community in Britain has endured a torturous journey of villification from the media and the government, for actions it did not commit. 

Whilst Islamic values have been criticised and British values celebrated, Muslims have been at the receiving end of endless violation of their core Islamic ideas. This has included indisputable beliefs around world politics, segregation, caliphate, marriage and many other aspects. 

However the time has now arrived to question the government in these difficult times- what has the Prevent agenda and anti- radicalisation agenda actually achieved? It did not stop the murder of Lee Rigby. Neither did it stop the dreadful killing of children in Manchester. 

So what has it acheived, apart from marginalizing the Muslim community, instilling fear and creating discord between Muslims and non Muslims? Absolutely nothing. 

The Muslims in Britain have exhausted themselves, by making it explicitly clear that Islam does not allow the killing of innocent men, women and children. However the British government still throws out the narrative that there is a problem with Islam and that the community needs to do more to tackle ‘extremism’.

The very few committing violent atrocities is not because of Islam. It is not because Muslims encourage these actions. It is not because of Mosques preaching hate to people. It most definitely is not because Muslim women cannot speak English, as indicated by the poorly articulated Casey Report. 

Indeed Islam does not associate itself to any of these crimes – therefore it is the apt time for the government to take a deep look at itself and ask another question – why do these violent actions take place?

British foreign policy will be a good starting point. It’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan will provide an insight. Propping up tyrants in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world will give a perspective. 

An attempt to answer these questions will provide an understanding of the reason why the very few engage in physical violence. The Prevent agenda does not even attempt to answer or engage the real narrative, rather it completely misses the point and as one critic described “barking up the wrong tree.” 

Muslims will continue to challenge the perverse government narratives of extremism and question draconian policies- especially as they have achieved no outcome whatsoever. 

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do” {An-Nisa: 135} 

John Pilger - 31 May 2017

[Image: JohnsPhoto.png]

The unsayable in Britain's general election campaign is this. The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy.

Critical questions - such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist "assets" in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst - remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal "review".

The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years.

The LIFG is proscribed by Britain as a terrorist organisation which seeks a "hardline Islamic state" in Libya and "is part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement, as inspired by al-Qaida".

The "smoking gun" is that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in "battle": first to remove Mu'ammar Gadaffi in Libya, then to join al-Qaida affiliated groups in Syria.

Last year, the FBI reportedly placed Abedi on a "terrorist watch list" and warned MI5 that his group was looking for a "political target" in Britain. Why wasn't he apprehended and the network around him prevented from planning and executing the atrocity on 22 May?

These questions arise because of an FBI leak that demolished the "lone wolf" spin in the wake of the 22 May attack - thus, the panicky, uncharacteristic outrage directed at Washington from London and Donald Trump's apology.

The Manchester atrocity lifts the rock of British foreign policy to reveal its Faustian alliance with extreme Islam, especially the sect known as Wahhabism or Salafism, whose principal custodian and banker is the oil kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Britain's biggest weapons customer.

This imperial marriage reaches back to the Second World War and the early days of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The aim of British policy was to stop pan-Arabism: Arab states developing a modern secularism, asserting their independence from the imperial west and controlling their resources. The creation of a rapacious Israel was meant to expedite this. Pan-Arabism has since been crushed; the goal now is division and conquest.

In 2011, according to Middle East Eye, the LIFG in Manchester were known as the "Manchester boys". Implacably opposed to Mu'ammar Gadaffi, they were considered high risk and a number were under Home Office control orders - house arrest - when anti-Gadaffi demonstrations broke out in Libya, a country forged from myriad tribal enmities.

Suddenly the control orders were lifted. "I was allowed to go, no questions asked," said one LIFG member. MI5 returned their passports and counter-terrorism police at Heathrow airport were told to let them board their flights.

The overthrow of Gaddafi, who controlled Africa's largest oil reserves, had been long been planned in Washington and London. According to French intelligence, the LIFG made several assassination attempts on Gadaffi in the 1990s - bank-rolled by British intelligence. In March 2011, France, Britain and the US seized the opportunity of a "humanitarian intervention" and attacked Libya. They were joined by Nato under cover of a UN resolution to "protect civilians".

Last September, a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee inquiry concluded that then Prime Minister David Cameron had taken the country to war against Gaddafi on a series of "erroneous assumptions" and that the attack "had led to the rise of Islamic State in North Africa". The Commons committee quoted what it called Barack Obama's "pithy" description of Cameron's role in Libya as a "shit show".

In fact, Obama was a leading actor in the "shit show", urged on by his warmongering Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and a media accusing Gaddafi of planning "genocide" against his own people. "We knew... that if we waited one more day," said Obama, "Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world."

The massacre story was fabricated by Salafist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be "a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda". The Commons committee reported, "The proposition that Mu'ammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence".

Britain, France and the United States effectively destroyed Libya as a modern state. According to its own records, Nato launched 9,700 "strike sorties", of which more than a third hit civilian targets. They included fragmentation bombs and missiles with uranium warheads. The cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. Unicef, the UN children's organisation, reported a high proportion of the children killed "were under the age of ten".

More than "giving rise" to Islamic State - ISIS had already taken root in the ruins of Iraq following the Blair and Bush invasion in 2003 - these ultimate medievalists now had all of north Africa as a base. The attack also triggered a stampede of refugees fleeing to Europe.

Cameron was celebrated in Tripoli as a "liberator", or imagined he was. The crowds cheering him included those  secretly supplied and trained by Britain's SAS and inspired by Islamic State, such as the "Manchester boys".

To the Americans and British, Gadaffi's true crime was his iconoclastic independence and his plan to abandon the petrodollar, a pillar of American imperial power. He had audaciously planned to underwrite a common African currency backed by gold, establish an all-Africa bank and promote economic union among poor countries with prized resources. Whether or not this would have happened, the very notion was intolerable to the US as it prepared to "enter" Africa and bribe African governments with military "partnerships".

The fallen dictator fled for his life. A Royal Air Force plane spotted his convoy, and in the rubble of Sirte, he was sodomised with a knife by a fanatic described in the news as "a rebel".

Having plundered Libya's $30 billion arsenal, the "rebels" advanced south, terrorising towns and villages. Crossing into sub-Saharan Mali, they destroyed that country's fragile stability. The ever-eager French sent planes and troops to their former colony "to fight al-Qaida", or the menace they had helped create.

On 14 October, 2011, President Obama announced he was sending special forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, US combat troops were sent to South Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic. With Libya secured, an American invasion of the African continent was under way, largely unreported.

In London, one of the world's biggest arms fairs was staged by the British government.  The buzz in the stands was the "demonstration effect in Libya". The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a preview entitled "Middle East: A vast market for UK defence and security companies". The host was the Royal Bank of Scotland, a major investor in cluster bombs, which were used extensively against civilian targets in Libya. The blurb for the bank's arms party lauded the "unprecedented opportunities for UK defence and security companies."

Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May was in Saudi Arabia, selling more of the £3 billion worth of British arms which the Saudis have used against Yemen. Based in control rooms in Riyadh, British military advisers assist the Saudi bombing raids, which have killed more than 10,000 civilians. There are now clear signs of famine. A Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes from preventable disease, says Unicef.

The Manchester atrocity on 22 May was the product of such unrelenting state violence in faraway places, much of it British sponsored. The lives and names of the victims are almost never known to us.

This truth struggles to be heard, just as it struggled to be heard when the London Underground was bombed on July 7, 2005. Occasionally, a member of the public would break the silence, such as the east Londoner who walked in front of a CNN camera crew and reporter in mid-platitude. "Iraq!" he said. "We invaded Iraq. What did we expect? Go on, say it."

At a large media gathering I attended, many of the important guests uttered "Iraq" and "Blair" as a kind of catharsis for that which they dared not say professionally and publicly.

Yet, before he invaded Iraq, Blair was warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee that "the threat from al-Qaida will increase at the onset of any military action against Iraq... The worldwide threat from other Islamist terrorist groups and individuals will increase significantly".

Just as Blair brought home to Britain the violence of his and George W Bush's blood-soaked "shit show", so David Cameron, supported by Theresa May, compounded his crime in Libya and its horrific aftermath, including those killed and maimed in Manchester Arena on 22 May.

The spin is back, not surprisingly. Salman Abedi acted alone. He was a petty criminal, no more. The extensive network revealed last week by the American leak has vanished. But the questions have not.

Why was Abedi able to travel freely through Europe to Libya and back to Manchester only days before he committed his terrible crime? Was Theresa May told by MI5 that the FBI had tracked him as part of an Islamic cell planning to attack a "political target" in Britain?

In the current election campaign, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has made a guarded reference to a "war on terror that has failed". As he knows, it was never a war on terror but a war of conquest and subjugation. Palestine. Afghanistan. Iraq. Libya. Syria. Iran is said to be next. Before there is another Manchester, who will have the courage to say that?

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