Tag Archives: islamophobia

Police to screen EDL rally footage on Crimewatch in fresh appeal to trace 100 thugs

Looking like the state may be turning on its very own bootboys –  The English Defence League.

From the Birmingham Mail (Jan 19).

Smoke bombs, cobble stones, bottles and coins were hurled at police as the EDL and their opponents descended on Birmingham city centre for simultaneous demonstrations

Police are to make a fresh appeal to identify up to 100 demonstrators involved in bloody clashes at an English Defence League march last year.

Smoke bombs, cobble stones, bottles and coins were hurled at police as the English Defence League and their opponents descended on Birmingham city centre for simultaneous demonstrations.

One policeman suffered concussion during scuffles while other demonstrators were left bloodied by missiles and clashes with police in the shadow of the city’s new library.

An estimated 2,000 EDL supporters poured into Centenary Square last July, chanting hate-filled anti-Islam slogans.

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In Chamberlain Square about 300 people – some hiding their identities by wearing balaclavas – from Unite Against Fascism turned out for their counter-demonstration.

More than 1,300 officers from 12 forces were drafted in for a £1 million pound operation designed to guarantee public safety. It was West Midlands Police’s most expensive ever policing bill.

Set against the backdrop of soldier Lee Rigby’s murder, and three bomb attacks on Midland mosques, the demos were held at a time of heightened tensions.

Around 20 arrests were made at the time with 16 further suspects from across the country being detained and bailed since the incident.

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But police have spent the last six months scouring CCTV footage of the rally and say it has given them access “to a wealth of exceptional quality footage” likely to provide “significant investigative opportunities to bring a large number of offenders to justice”.

It is understood that officers have managed to collate images of up to 100 suspects and an appeal will be made to identify them on BBC’s Crimewatch programme on Wednesday.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “A team of detectives continue to investigate disorder which broke out at Birmingham’s EDL demonstration in July 2013, and to date 16 people have been arrested post incident.

“Those detained have been arrested from across the country – from Newcastle to Exeter – and they remain on police bail pending further enquiries.

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“Efforts continue to identify others involved in the violence in Centenary Square and a fresh appeal will be made on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme January 22.”

Last night online EDL chat forums were buzzing with activity as members discussed impending arrests and the upcoming Crimewatch appeal.

A spokesman for fascist monitoring site EDL News said: “Some EDL who were there have gone on social media sites, saying they are planning to hand themselves in to the police in an effort to pre-empt ‘a knock on the door by Old Bill’.

“It’s really got them worried, especially after 30 or so EDL members were sentenced recently for violence at their Walsall demonstration.”

The EDL and its splinter groups have held five demonstrations in Birmingham. The first two, in 2009 and 2010, resulted in serious disorder while others in 2011 and last January passed peacefully.

But the July 20 demo last year marked a return to violence.

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In a move criticised by some, EDL supporters had gathered from late morning at Broad Street’s Bar Risa as agreed beforehand with the police, who were keen to keep them in one place before the official rally.

Anti-Islam chants were soon echoing as attendees queued at the bar for their pre-demo drinks. Outside, flags of St George boasting EDL divisions from as far afield as Grimsby were unfurled as members chanted “England Til I Die”.

As the crowd gathered, more police riot vans lined up along the street, forming a barricade between the demonstrators on one side and onlookers on the other. At one point about 20 climbed on top of a small fast food van, prompting fears that the roof would collapse under their weight.

Eventually, the EDL were escorted by a heavy police presence down Broad Street, at which point the first of a series of scuffles took place.

Opponents to the group became more vocal as they marched, yelling “Scum!” and “Not in my name!”

Progressing towards Centenary Square, where the main demonstration with speeches took place, EDL leader Tommy Robinson, flanked by watchers, was quickly ushered to the staging area.

But even as the speeches began, many of the EDL supporters clashed with police.

One group clambered on top of a bus shelter while fellow EDL members held up the roof to stop its collapse. Others attacked the construction fence around the new Library Of Birmingham, only to find riot police waiting on the other side as they broke through.

And as speeches from Robinson and others, speaking out against Islam, continued, flashpoints erupted from one end of Centenary Square to another.

One EDL member said: “These are our streets we can be here if we want. It’s nothing to do with the police – they shouldn’t be here.”

In the shadow of the ICC and Symphony Hall red smoke bombs were hurled at riot gear-clad police while fences surrounding the REP Theatre were also attacked. On the other side of the square plastic bottles, gravel and coins were thrown at a line of police.

While cheers rang out every time a missile found its mark, one man pulled up a cobble stone, smashed it in two, before covering his face and hurling it at the line of police. During the disturbances some suffered head injuries and were seen wandering around with bleeding wounds.

One appeared to be hurt when fencing around the library was pulled down on top of him.

Robinson told the gathered crowd that the EDL wanted CCTV cameras returned to Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook. Around 200 cameras – costing £3 million – were removed in 2011 after an outcry from local communities concerned about civil liberties.

Robinson also said the jailing of six Birmingham men, who planned to attack an EDL rally in Dewsbury, was behind the protest.

As the EDL were gradually ushered to waiting coaches along Broad Street, some broke through lines at Regency Wharf.

A window at the Blue Mango Indian Restaurant was smashed as a small group ran along the canal towpath and plant pots were strewn around. But with coaches waiting and the afternoon heat taking its toll, the earlier anger of the group faded as they waited to be released by police.

Broad Street re-opened at about 6pm and council clean-up crews arrived to tidy litter and debris before the crowds of regular Saturday night revellers arrived.

As the clean-up continued West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe hailed the operation a success.

“A great deal of time, effort and thought has gone into today’s events and it is reassuring to see that both demonstrations have largely passed off without serious incident,” she said.

“We are aware of some instances of criminal damage and a number of assaults have been reported, which will be the subject of our ongoing inquiries as we move forward from today’s operation.

“Most people who came to Birmingham to go about their daily business in the shopping areas would have done so without having been greatly affected by the protests, which is pleasing.

“Arrests were made where necessary and further inquiries will be made to determine if any other offences were committed.

“That said, this has been a successful operation, due in no small part to the excellent work between police, our partner agencies and representatives of our communities. She added: “We recognise that the people of Birmingham have been both concerned and inconvenienced and we would like to thank them for their tolerance, co-operation and patience.”

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A medal at the British embassy for Birmingham’s Neo-Nazi terrorist

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Of all the circumstances surrounding last week’s conviction of Britain’s Neo-Nazi Ukrainian born terrorist, Pavlo Lapshyn, the London press’ failure to join the dots, even to call him a terrorist, is scandal all of its own.

When considering state actors’ role in aiding domestic terrorism, the London press has a blind spot. They seem to forget that during the 1970s & 1980s Irish troubles, state complicity and ‘collusion’ was pouring petrol on the flames. Evidence has been around for years that the British Army’s Force Research Unit (FRU), Brigadier Gordon Kerr specifically, was an integral part of the anti-IRA, Loyalist terror program.

State terrorism in Northern Ireland

State collusion with British terrorists arguably represents the greatest threat to UK national security, because it has gone almost entirely unrecognized and unpunished. This week Irish writer, Anne Cadwallader, pointed out in her new book about the Irish troubles, ‘Lethal Allies’, that serving policemen in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) instigated and took part in terrorist murders of Catholics. Along with the unofficial ‘shoot to kill’ policy, this collusion was a powerful recruiting tool, generating ever more terrorism.

Collusion also turned Northern Ireland into a civil war training ground for the police and army, pitting soldiers against urban guerrillas. Cadwallader says: “There was systematic collusion in the 1970s… there must have been somebody trying to push Northern Ireland over the edge of the abyss. If there had been a virtual civil war, I think it would have suited some people in London.” 

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The disbanding first of the British Army’s Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and then the RUC police force in Northern Ireland were, arguably, two of the most important acts that paved the way for the peace we see in the province today. Since so few were brought to justice for these state-sanctioned assassinations, it is absurd to suggest, as so many do, that UK state terrorism is ‘all in the past’.

Birmingham’s summer of terror

Britain’s most recent terrorist, 25 year old Ukrainian, Pavlo Lapshyn, who was convicted last week, was extraordinary in many ways. Despite a racially motivated murder and three bombs including Mosque bombings and a nail bomb, most of the London media used the word ‘murderer’ rather than ‘terrorist’ to describe him. The fact that no-one was killed by his bombs, which terrorized Birmingham’s Muslim community over the summer months, was described by the city’s spiritual leaders, quite rightly, as a miracle.

Lapshyn turned up in Britain in the spring, having won a work experience intern competition run by the robotics software company, Delcam. Astonishingly, this competition was run in conjunction with the British Embassy in Kiev, where he received his ticket to the UK from the British ambassador himself.

It is the Diplomatic Service and Foreign Office’s job to look into the credentials of anyone taking up residence in Britain. Yet not only, it seems, did they miss Lapshyn’s fanatical Neo-Nazism but failed to notice that he had been arrested in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, in 2010 for using home-made explosives to virtually destroy the flat he was living in. Despite blowing out his mother’s doors and windows, Ukrainian police let him off with a caution because he said he was simply doing a ‘science experiment’.

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Whether MI6 and the Diplomatic Service failed to do their job when vetting Lapshyn or not rather depends what their real job was. Incredible though it will seem to some, Lapshyn might have been identified by MI6 as a useful puppet to fuel sectarian strife in Britain and been conveyed to the UK for that very purpose. This is precisely the covert role the British Secret State has taken on in the past and does regularly abroad, all shrouded under the guise of ‘national security’.

Just like MI5 and GCHQ, the top echelons of MI6 operate like a cult, light years and several hermetically sealed cordons of security from democracy. The MP charged with their oversight, former Conservative Defense Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, has even been criticized by former GCHQ boss Sir Francis Richards as being inappropriate.

One of Rifkind’s many jobs is working for LEK, who consult on satellite, missile, security systems and electronic warfare. He is blatantly a fox in charge of the democratic henhouse, a front in the corridors of power for the private profiteers of the NATO zone Military Industrial Complex.

The ‘lone wolf’ theory

Just five days after entering Britain and taking up residence at the Birmingham flat Delcam software provided for him, Pavlo Lapshyn crept up behind 82 year old Muslim grandfather, Mohammed Saleem, and killed him by plunging a knife into his back three times. The explanation he later gave to police was simply that Saleem ‘was not white’ and that he ‘wanted to start a race war’.

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Mohammed Saleem’s daughters, Shazia Khan and Maz Saleem, say whilst dealing with the trauma of their father’s murder their grief was made worse by an excruciating struggle. It took them weeks to convince West Midlands police that their father’s murder was racially motivated.

The two sisters expressed their relief when Lapshyn confessed to the murder because they would not have to endure a lengthy and painful trial. The flip side though is we may never know whether, as the police say, the Ukrainian really was a ‘lone wolf’. The Norwegian police insisted Norwegian neo-Nazi killer of 77, Anders Breivik, was a ‘lone wolf’ too, despite some evidence of state collusion.

In the 1970s and 1980s, MI6 and the CIA were lead agencies in Operation Gladio, which recruited European Neo-Nazis like Lapshyn to commit terrorist acts in Italy, Germany, Belgium and elsewhere. The aim was to create a state of panic, a ‘Strategy of Tension’ which would enable governments to scapegoat society’s innocent minority groups and to take draconian measures, running rough-shod over civil liberties.

Otherwise professional, British police and journalists seem reluctant to take state collusion with far right terrorists seriously. One look at the 1992 three-part BBC Timewatch series on Operation Gladio should put them straight on that though. After watching it they’ll wonder, as with Norway’s Anders Breivik, are all these Nazis really just lone wolves?

In a country where the greatest threat to national security and natural justice is arguably the secret state itself, MI6 staff have once again let us all down in Birmingham. So rather than just shrugging their shoulders and turning a blind eye, perhaps named officers should be standing in the dock alongside Pavlo Lapshyn this week, ‘fessing up, and serving long jail sentences too.

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Black Country mosque bomber Pavlo Lapshyn jailed for life

A racist terrorist who planted bombs at three mosques in the Black Country and murdered a man was today jailed for life.

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Pavlo Lapshyn will spend a minimum of 40 years behind bars after mounting his campaign of terror across the West Midlands.

His sentencing was delayed after a suspect package was found in the court sparking an evacuation of the Old Bailey.

Staff and members of the public were told to leave the building shortly after 1pm while investigations were carried out.

After the unnamed item was checked thought officials said it was not a danger to the public.

No –one was detained in relation to the drama.

Jailing Lapshyn at the Old Bailey today, Judge Nigel Sweeney said: “You clearly hold extreme right wing, white supremacist views.

“Such views, hatred and motivation, are abhorrent to all right thinking people and have no place whatsoever in our multi faith, multi-cultural society.

“You were intent on finding a Muslim to murder, it seems to me you acted alone and were motivated by your extreme, appalling prejudices.”

West Midlands Police footage of the interview with jailed terrorist Pavlo Lapshyn.

The 25-year-old Ukranian had wanted to start a race war and told police he targeted his victims simply because they were not white.

But today Lapshyn, who was described by police as ‘extremely dangerous’, was handed the lengthy prison term.

The nail bomber’s 90-day campaign of terror began just five days after he entered the country.

He stabbed Mohammed Saleem three times in the back, killing the 82-year-old as he walked home from evening prayers in Birmingham on April 29.

On June 21, he targeted Walsall’s Aisha Mosque in Rutter Street, Caldmore, when he planted explosive devices in a child’s lunch box at the mosque gates.

Then seven days later he placed a bomb on a roundabout near Wolverhampton Central Mosque.

But his most serious attack was at Kanz-ul-Iman mosque in Tipton, where he packed hundreds of nails in a bomb on a railway embankment next to the mosque’s car park.

Pavlo Lapshyn is seen blowing up a tree believed to be in Ukraine in footage released by West Midlands Police.

Worshippers were only saved from serious harm as Friday afternoon prayers were being held an hour later than usual on the first Friday of Ramadan.

Lapshyn said he had planted the bombs because he wanted to ‘increase racial hatred’.

On Monday Lapshyn admitted murdering Mr Saleem, causing an explosion on July 12 and engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts between April 24 and July 18.

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Man admits pensioner murder and mosque attack

A Ukrainian student with a hatred of “non-whites” pleads guilty to stabbing an 82-year-old grandfather to death and causing explosions near mosques in the West Midlands.

Pavlo Lapshyn

Pavlo Lapshyn

Pavlo Lapshyn, a postgraduate student from Dnipropetrovsk, in Ukraine, who moved to Birmingham after winning a work placement contest, was charged with the murder of Mohammed Saleem as he walked home from a mosque.

Mr Saleem, the pensioner and father-of-seven, was stabbed three times just yards from his house as he walked home alone after worship on 29 April. He was described as “a much-loved and respected community member” in a family statement at the time.

Twenty-five-year-old Lapshyn also admitted to causing an explosion on 12 July near the Kanzal Iman mosque in Tipton and planting bombs near mosques in Walsall and Wolverhampton, researching locations to plant bombs and buying chemicals on the internet to make explosives.

He will reappear at the Old Bailey for sentencing on Friday 25 October.

Mohammed Saleem

Mohammed Saleem

The court heard how the self-confessed racist, from Dnipropetrovesk but in the UK on a year-long visa had “acted alone.”

Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “In interview Lapshyn stressed he was acting alone – not part of a wider cell or influenced by any group – and was keen to take credit for masterminding and carrying out the attacks.”

Mr Lapshyn would undoubtedly have gone on to ramp-up his bombing campaign, had he not been caught, the court heard.

Mr Edwards added: “We found part-made devices in Lapshyn’s room – plus chemicals and bomb-making equipment – so it is clear he planned to place further devices with the intention of killing or maiming innocent members of the public.

Nails collected from the blast site in Tipton

Nails collected from the blast site in Tipton

“All three of the devices he detonated were powerful but his final attack in Tipton was the first to feature shrapnel and nails.

“He placed this near the mosque’s car-park with the intention of hitting worshippers as they arrived for prayers – thankfully the service had been put back an hour so the mosque was largely deserted when the bomb went off.”

Mr Lapshyn planted the first of his improvised explosive devices – hidden in a child’s lunchbox – by gates outside Walsall’s Aisha Mosque in Rutter Street on 21 June and followed that seven days later by detonating an IED on a roundabout near Wolverhampton Central Mosque.

And on 12 July he packed hundreds of nails into a bomb placed on a rail embankment near Kanzul Iman Masjid mosque in Binfield Street, Tipton, which sent debris flying across the car-park and into a residential street.

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Detectives investigating the initial Walsall blast trawled many hours of CCTV and managed to identify Lapshyn arriving at the scene with his deadly package and leaving minutes later empty handed.

More security camera scrutiny enabled officers to plot the Ukraine Metallurgical Academy graduate’s route on a bus to Birmingham and an earlier service taking him into the city centre from Small Heath.

The Ukrainian had been in the UK on a sponsored work placement at a software firm in the Small Heath area of Birmingham when he was arrested on suspicion of Mr Saleem’s murder nearby on 20 July.

Speaking outside the court, Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale described Lapshyn as “dangerous and evil.”

He said: “I hope they (Mr Saleem’s family) get some solace from it. You must feel for them when they lose their dad in such circumstances.

“But hopefully it will be one small step in coming to terms with what has been an awful, awful time.”

He added: “He (Lapshyn) was extremely dangerous. It is of great relief that he is not free to walk the streets any further.

“He’s a dangerous, evil and completely ill-informed man. There is no justification for the crimes he committed or the intent that he has.

“He was operating alone, he was a lone actor.”

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