‘Islamic fanatic has top job at Home Office’

Islamic fanatic has top job at Home Office

By Gabriel Milland

Daily Express, 15 November 2006

A RADICAL Muslim leader holds a highly sensitive job at the Home Office, it has emerged. In a major security blunder, a leader of Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir is working for the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND). The IND is charged with ensuring foreign suspects with terror links are kept out of Britain.

Moderate Muslim leaders in south London told BBC2’s Newsnight last night key Hizb ut-Tahrir leader Awid Jawaid worked at the IND’s processing office in Croydon, south London. Mosque elder Shoib Minhas said: “He gave me his card and it showed he worked at the Home Office.” Mr Jawaid admitted to the programme that he was a member of Hizb ut-Tahir.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: “This is a shocking revelation given Tony Blair’s insistence that Hizb ut-Tahrir should be proscribed, and after illegal immigrants were discovered working in the Home Office. It is even more extraordinary following John Reid’s assertion that his system for screening employees who work in the Home Office deserved an accolade for its efficiency.”

The revelation came hours before Labour efforts to put itself at the forefront of the fight against terrorism were expected to dominate today’s Queen’s Speech to Parliament.

Hizb ut-Tahrir wants the world ruled by a Muslim “caliphate”. It claims it is a peaceful organisation – but it is banned in many Arab countries and is fighting Germany’s efforts to do the same. Mr Blair announced in August last year that it would be banned in the UK because of links to hate preachers and accusations of anti-Semitism. He made it a key part of his 12-point anti-terror plan after the July 7 bombings in London last year. But he backed down after claims from police, intelligence chiefs and civil liberties groups that a ban could force Hizb ut-Tahrir underground.

A former member told Newsnight the group had promoted “hatred and hostility” towards non-Muslims. The show also claimed gang members were being lured into the group. The ex-member said he had been told to carry out muggings to prove loyalty. He said leaders showed fake videos of torture carried out on Muslims by Americans to stoke anger.

Many moderate Muslims say Hizb ut-Tahrir targets ordinary mosques to turn youngsters into radicals. A mosque in Croydon said radicals with possible links to the group had brandished knives and swords outside services, and elders had to ask police to attend services.

The Home Office admitted Mr Jawaid was a member of its staff. It said: “Home Office civil servants are expected to abide by Home Office rules governing their conduct. They are also subject to the Civil Service Code.”

The revelation follows news that the convicted terrorist son of hook-handed preacher Abu Hamza had been working on the London Underground network.