EIR Warned About Ansar Al Shariah in 2000 Dossier
October 20, 2012 • 7:42AM

In December 2000, EIR filed a brief with then-US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, demanding that Britain be placed on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. The brief was based exclusively on government documents from more than a dozen countries that filed formal diplomatic protests with the British Foreign Office, over London's housing, funding, and protecting of international terrorist organizations, waging asymmetric war against those governments and populations.

The EIR brief included a grid of formal diplomatic protests with details of the incidents involved — including links between Ansar al-Shariah and the overall bin Laden networks operating with full political backing and protection in Britain. From that dossier:

"Russia: On Nov. 14, 1999, the Russian Foreign Ministry filed a formal protest to Andrew Wood, Britain's Ambassador in Moscow, after two Russian television journalists were brutally beaten as they attempted to film a London conference, where bin Laden's International Islamic Front, Ansar as-Shariah, Al-Muhajiroon, and other Islamist groups called for a jihad against Russia, in retaliation for the Russian military actions in Chechnya.

"One of the victims of the beating, ORT cameraman Alexander Panov, told Kommersant daily that he was 'very surprised at the indifference of the British government. Some of the participants at the charity event were people wanted by Interpol, but Scotland Yard, although evidently aware of their residence [in Britain], does not react.'

"On Nov. 10, 1999, the Russian government had already filed a formal diplomatic démarche via the Russian Embassy in London, protesting the attacks on the Russian journalists, and also the admissions by Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, the head of the "political wing" of the bin Laden organization, Al Muhajiroon, that the group was recruiting Muslims in England to go to Chechnya to fight the Russian Army. Bakri's organization operates freely from offices in the London suburb of Lee Valley, where they occupy two rooms at a local computer center, and maintain their own Internet company. Bakri has admitted that "retired" British military officers are training new recruits in Lee Valley, before they are sent off to camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or are smuggled directly into Chechnya.

"On Nov. 20, 1999, the Daily Telegraph admitted, following the release of the U.S. State Department's updated list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, that 'Britain is now an international center for Islamic militancy on a huge scale . . . and the capital is the home to a bewildering variety of radical Islamic fundamentalist movements, many of which make no secret of their commitment to violence and terrorism to achieve their goals.'"

While there are Ansar al-Shariah groupings in several countries, the fact is that at the time of the EIR dossier, the head of Ansar al-Shariah in the Benghazi/Derna area of Libya, al-Qumu, was in Afghanistan and Pakistan serving as the personal driver for Osama Bin Laden, having earlier been a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, the larger Al Qaeda affiliate in Libya.