Three Islamic terrorists slaughtered innocent civilians and injured numerous others in London on Saturday, but it didn’t have to be that way. While the details are still emerging regarding the terrorists, there were a number of red flags about one, Khuram Shazad Butt, that should have resulted in the authorities taking action against him.
Here is the complete current list of red flags about the London terrorists:
Butt appeared on a 2016 documentary about jihadists. Butt was featured on Britain Channel 4’s The Jihadist Next Door documentary and can be seen on camera brandishing an ISIS flag and then arguing with police about it. He is also seen with two other radical Islamic preachers of whom police are suspicious.
The Sun has pictures from the documentary here, although Butt’s face is blurred out.
The police were alerted about Butt in 2015 when he attempted to spread Islamic propaganda to children in a park. Per the Telegraph:
Erica Gasparri, an Italian mother of three who lived close to him, claimed she had reported him to Barking police two years ago, after he began “brainwashing” her children at a local park. She said she had confronted him after her two children came home and said: “Mummy I want to become a Muslim.”
She said the police had told her the information had been passed to Scotland Yard but she had heard nothing more.
Ms Gasparri said: “He was trying to radicalise the children, he would go down to the park and talk to them about Islam. He also came to the houses and gave the kids money and sweets during Ramadan.”
A friend of Butt’s also reported him to the police due to comments he made to justify a terror attack. The friend, who remained anonymous, told BBC’s Asian network that Butt had become radicalized due to YouTube videos of Salafist preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril, it was only his excuses of a terror attack that prompted the friend to take action.
“I phoned the anti-terror hotline,” the friend said. “I spoke to the gentleman. I told him about our conversation and why I think he was radicalised.”
But nothing happened.
Jibril, despite not having made any new posts since 2014, has a large following online. According to Newsweek, Jibril is one of the key inspirations for radical Islamists to fight in Syria and has constantly suggested that there is “a Western conspiracy against both Islam and Muslims.” It was also discovered that in 2004 he “owned a website that promoted radical Salafism.”
The Brookings Institute defines Salafism as “the idea that the most authentic and true Islam is found in the lived example of the early, righteous generations of Muslims,” which is why Salafists tend to imitate the early Muslims as much as possible, including “dressing like the Prophet” and lobbying for Sharia law. Salafi-Jihadism is defined by Brookings thus:
This is an approach to jihadism that is coupled with an adherence to Salafism. Salafi-jihadists tend to emphasize the military exploits of the Salaf (the early generations of Muslims) to give their violence an even more immediate divine imperative. Most jihadist groups today can be classified as Salafi-jihadists, including al-Qaida and ISIS. Given their exclusivist view that their approach to Islam is the only authentic one, Salafi-jihadists often justify violence against other Muslims, including non-combatants, by recourse to takfir, or the excommunication of fellow Muslims. For these groups, if Muslims have been deemed to be apostates, then violence against them is licit.
It’s easy to see then how Jibril’s material could have influenced Butt’s Islamist views.
Butt was part of a radical Islamic organization known as Al Muhajiron. Al Muhajiron has long lobbied for Sharia law to be implemented in the United Kingdom and has been linked to 50% of all terror attacks in Britain over the past 20 years. Britain has banned the organization but it has masqueraded underground since.
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