ACT Mission Viejo
English Defense League Video - Counter Protest on October 31, 2009

The English Defense League produced this video about a counter protest to a “March 4 Shari’ah” on 10/31/2009 sponsored by a group called Islam4uk.  The march is scheduled to start at 1 pm at the House of Commons, continue to Downing Street and end at 4 pm at Trafalgar Square.  

Watch video here

Update: The October 31, 2009 march was canceled due to officials' concerns about security.  Islam4UK announced that they would meet at an undisclosed location.  The counter protest still took place as scheduled.  Click here to read more and see photos

Abdulla Ahmed Ali: A terrorist in the making at the age of 14

Last week a court found Abdulla Ahmed Ali guilty of plotting murder. What turned a British schoolboy into a would-be killer?

By David Harrison and Adam Lusher
Last Updated: 8:22PM BST 13 Sep 2008

With his striped school tie and crisp white shirt he looks like a typical schoolboy. But 12 years after these photographs were taken, Abdulla Ahmed Ali was convicted of plotting to kill thousands of people in terrorist attacks.

Until now, little has been known about the making of Ali the terrorist. But The Sunday Telegraph has pieced together how the 27-year-old, described as the leader of the liquid bomb plot, "hero-worshipped" the Taliban as a teenager and went on to turn against his British homeland despite having taken advantage of the higher education system, state benefits and council housing. According to Imtiaz Qadir, 51, a friend of the family, Ali, while growing up in the 1980s, encountered people who visited Afghanistan at a time when the Islamic Mujahideen (holy warriors) – backed by the United States – were fighting against Russian occupying forces. The war led ultimately to the Taliban regime.

The meetings appear to have had an impact on the young Ali. His religious education teacher at school, Mark Hough, who taught Ali at Aveling Park secondary school in Walthamstow, east London, said: "He thought the Taliban had created a model society in Afghanistan."

By the time the photographs were taken, Ali, who was then 14 or 15, was already praising the Taliban and calling for sharia to be introduced alongside British laws, according to Mr Hough, 53. While he described Ali as "an ordinary lad, a good athlete and basketball player", the teacher said the youth had come under the influence of "slightly older college-age students" outside school and had begun watching videos about the Taliban and about how Muslims were being treated in Bosnia and Chechnya. "He was always trying to persuade other people that Islam was the path to follow," said Mr Hough.

At the time – before home-grown terrorists had attacked British people – the teacher was not concerned about the change in his pupil, and assumed that he would grow out of his views.

However, Ali was already visiting a mosque two or three times a week and attending religious meetings at a house in the Higham Hill area on Fridays. "I was shocked when he was arrested," he said. "When I saw that he said on his martyrdom video that he'd wanted to do this since he was 15, I did remember how he had looked up to the Taliban."

Mr Qadir, who runs a gym and youth club in east London that are part of the Active Change Foundation, set up in 2004 to stop young Muslims becoming radicalised, claimed that Ali's parents and the rest of his family would be shocked by what their son had done, and would never condone any attack on innocent civilians. The foundation's goal is to counter radicalisation by inviting extremists to debate with moderates.

Ali is also believed to have made links with the"preacher of hate" Abu Izzadeen, 32, who is serving a jail term for inciting terrorism. The two were members of Mr Qadir's gym at the same time.

Izzadeen has praised the 7/7 London bombers and even heckled John Reid, then Home Secretary, when he addressed a Muslim gathering in 2006. Mr Qadir said: "Ahmed Ali and Omar Brooks were members of the gym at the same time. It is possible they exchanged views."

He said he could not rule out the possibility that Izzadeen had influenced Ali's drift towards violence.

Mr Qadir said he had "no inkling" that Ali had been radicalised. "He slipped under the radar. I feel I let him down," he said.

Ali and two others, Tanvir Hussain, 27, and Assad Sarwar, 28, were convicted on Monday of conspiracy to murder "persons unknown" although the jury could not agree on whether they had chosen specific targets.

Police believe they planned to use liquid bombs disguised as soft drinks to blow up airliners flying to the United States. Four other men are expected to face a retrial after the jury members at Woolwich Crown Court were unable to agree on whether they had been involved.

The plot was foiled when anti-terrorism police and MI5 swooped on a bomb factory in Walthamstow after secretly bugging the gang.

When he was arrested, Ali was living in a one-bedroom council flat on the first floor of a low-rise block in Walthamstow with his wife Cossor and their two-year-old son.

One of his neighbours, Shaw Mckenzie, 28, a Christian who is unemployed, said Ali, who he knew casually, invited him in for tea two months before his arrest.

They talked about "life, politics, religion" for two hours, Mr McKenzie said. "He asked me: 'Do you believe in your God?' And he said he disapproved of what the Government had done in Iraq."

Ali was born in Newham, east London, in October 1980. His father was a businessman who owned factories in Pakistan and England. They moved to a modern semi-detached home on a housing estate, a mix of council and private dwellings.

He went to Chapel End Primary School in Walthamstow and Aveling Park from 1992 to 1997. The young man then won a place to study computer systems engineering at City University, in London, and graduated with a BSc in 2002.

Former classmates remembered Ali as a devout Muslim but said they saw nothing to indicate that he would be involved in a plot to murder thousands of people.

One said he was "shocked" to see Ali on the television in a martyrdom video.

"The aggression on his face, that wasn't the boy I knew," one classmate said.

"He was one of the lads, but one of the quiet lads; not the ringleader. He talked about having a family one day, and that was another thing that shocked me – to hear that he had contemplated taking his wife and child with him to do whatever he planned to do."

Another classmate, who sat next to Ali at school, said: "All the memories I have are of him laughing and joking.

"He always joined in and accepted Western society."

But in 2003, a year after leaving City University, he went to Pakistan with a British charity, helping in camps for refugees from the fighting in Afghanistan.

He was in Pakistan at the same time as the leaders of the two 2005 London suicide bomb plots and it is there he is thought to have learnt to make bombs.

He said that he was shocked by the "appalling" conditions in the camps, and resolved to tackle what he believed was the root cause: Western foreign policy.

The transformation from religious schoolboy to hate-filled extremist was complete.

CNN Report by Christiane Amanpour
 Radical Islam Taking over Britain