‘Jihadi John’ part of network linked to failed London bombers: court papers

admin   •   March 2, 2015   •   2627

A masked, black-clad militant, who has been identified by the Washington Post newspaper as a Briton named Mohammed Emwazi, brandishes a knife in this still image from a 2014 video obtained from SITE Intel Group February 26, 2015.
CREDIT: REUTERS/SITE INTEL GROUP/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

(Reuters) – Islamist militant Mohammed Emwazi, identified as ‘Jihadi John’, was a member of a network in contact with one of the men convicted of trying to bomb the British capital’s underground railway in 2005, according to the government.

The man dubbed by British media “Jihadi John” has fronted Islamic State videos from Syria that showed either the killing or bodies of victims including British, U.S. and Japanese citizens and Syrian soldiers. U.S. security sources last week identified the man, who appeared clad in black and brandishing a knife, as Mohammed Emwazi.

The British government’s view is set out in court papers, reviewed by Reuters and publicly available on the Internet, which refer to 2011 and 2013 British legal hearings concerning two of Emwazi’s London associates, known only as Iranian-born “CE” and Ethiopian-born “J1.”

The court papers reported in the Observer and Sunday Telegraph newspapers, offer a fleeting glimpse of Emwazi’s life in London before he left for Syria.

They show that Emwazi was known to Britain’s security services as early as 2011 and that they believed he was part of a group involved in procuring funds and equipment “for terrorism-related purposes” in Somalia.

They show that authorities thought Emwazi was part of a network that numbered at least 12 people.

One of the same network’s members, “J1”, spoke on the phone with Hussain Osman, one of the men convicted in connection with an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the London underground in 2005, on the day of the failed attack itself, the papers show.

British Islamists killed 52 people in an attack on London’s transport network on July 7, 2005. Another group of Islamists — of which Osman was one — tried and failed to pull off a second attack two weeks later.

Osman, who like “J1” was also born in Ethiopia, was convicted by a London court of conspiracy to murder in 2007 and sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison.

The same documents show that “J1”, Emwazi’s associate, was stopped by police in Scotland in 2004 with three others wearing plastic gloves. The men said they were on their way to an area where the authorities said an extremist training camp was being held.

The camp’s organizer, a man identified in court papers only as Hamid, was subsequently convicted of soliciting to murder and of providing terrorism training.

TRAINING CAMP

Four of the men involved in the failed London bombings had attended a similar camp organized by Hamid earlier that same year, the court papers said.

The 2011 court papers pertained to a case between the British government and “CE” over the authorities’ decision to relocate him outside London as a preventative measure.

The 2013 papers referred to an immigration appeal case between the British government and “J1.”

The legal documents came to public attention as a political row over the way Britain handles militants broke out with the opposition Labour Party accusing Prime Minister David Cameron’s government of “tying the hands” of security services with insufficiently robust legislation.

Separately, a dispute flared between Cameron’s Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats — their junior coalition partners — over what guidance should be given to universities to prevent militant preachers spreading their message.

The Liberal Democrats said they wanted to ensure that only people known to be inciting violence, rather than advocating Islamic caliphates, were prevented from debating.

(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Ralph Boulton)

PH Embassy in US urges Filipinos to avoid areas with massive protests

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 8, 2021

The Philippine Embassy in the United States has warned Filipinos in Washington D.C. to avoid areas with massive protests to ensure their safety.

Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez reminded Filipinos residing in the U.S. capital and other nearby areas to steer clear from protest and remain vigilant until the tension eased.

Simula ngayon hanggang sa paghupa ng public emergency, pinapayuhan namin ang mga Pilipino, iyong mga nakatira, nagta-trabaho, pumupunta sa Washington D.C. at mga kalapit na lugar na palaging mag-ingat at maging mapagmasid sa kanilang paligid (From now until the public emergency has subsided, we advise Filipinos residing, working, or visiting Washington D.C. and nearby areas to be careful and be alert of their surroundings), he said.

Iwasan din ang mga lugar kung saan may kilos-protesta at malaking pagtitipon at sumunod sa mga emergency measure na ipinatutupad ng mga otoridad (Avoid areas with protests and mass gatherings, as well as, follow emergency measures implemented by authorities), he added.

This is after several protestors breached the US Capitol in a bid to stop Congress from officially declaring Joe Biden’s victory over former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Malacañang already instructed the PH Embassy in the U.S. to continue monitoring the situation especially if there is a Filipino that is injured or affected by possible violence during one of the protests. AAC

Washington protesters rally against stay-at-home order

UNTV News   •   April 20, 2020

Over 2,000 people rallied at the Washington state capitol on Sunday (April 19) to protest Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order to limit the spread of coronavirus, defying a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people.

Despite pleas from rally organizers to wear face coverings or masks, many did not.

Police estimated the crowd at 2,500, making it one of the largest protests in U.S. states against lockdowns over the past week. In Olympia, hundreds gathered in close quarters on the steps of the capitol building and around a fountain, contravening state and federal health guidelines during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Protesters drove vehicles to the state capitol, honking horns and clogging streets.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday (April 17) tweeted implying support for similar protests in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia to “liberate” them from social distancing rules.

Washington state had the nation’s first confirmed coronavirus case in late January and the first deadly cluster at a nursing home outside Seattle.(Reuters)

(Production: Bob Mezan)

Trump urges U.S. to halt most social activity in virus fight, warns of recession

UNTV News   •   March 17, 2020

President Donald Trump urged Americans on Monday (March 16) to halt most social activities for 15 days and not congregate in groups larger than 10 people in a newly aggressive effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.

Announcing new guidelines from his coronavirus task force, the president said people should avoid discretionary travel and not go to bars, restaurants, food courts or gyms.

As stocks tumbled, Trump warned that a recession was possible, a development that could affect his chances of re-election in November. The Republican president said he was focused on addressing the health crisis and that the economy would get better once that was in line.

The task force implored young people to follow the new guidelines even though they were at lesser risk of suffering if they contract the virus. Older people, especially those with underlying health problems, are at the greatest risk if they develop the respiratory disease.

Reporters staggered their seating, sitting in every other seat in the White House briefing room, to follow social distancing measures.

Trump said the worst of the virus could be over by July, August or later. He called it an invisible enemy.

The president has taken criticism for playing down the seriousness of the virus in the early days of its U.S. spread. On Monday, when asked, he gave himself a good grade for his response.

“I’d rate it a 10. I think we’ve done a great job,” he said.

Trump said a nationwide curfew was not under consideration at this point.

Normally a cheerleader for the U.S. economy, he acknowledged the possibility of a recession while brushing off another dramatic decline on stock markets as investors worried about the virus.

“We’re not thinking in terms of recession, we’re thinking in terms of the virus. Once we stop, I think there’s a tremendous pent up demand, both in terms of the stock market and in terms of the economy,” Trump said. The president has long considered soaring stock markets to be a sign of his administration’s success.

Trump said the administration had talked regularly about domestic travel restrictions but hoped not to have to put such measures in place.

He said he thought it would still be possible for G7 leaders to meet at the Camp David retreat in Maryland in June. Trump upset European countries, which make up a large part of the G7, by instituting travel restrictions from European countries without consulting with them first. (Reuters)

(Production: Katharine Jackson)

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