Great outrage as MI5 and Britain blamed for radicalising ISIS Jihadi John

February 27, 2015 11:52 am

A video has surfaced of the Muslim activist who described
executioner Jihaji John as ‘a beautiful man’ supporting Jihad at an
anti-US rally in London.
, leader of campaign group
CAGE, was filmed urging protesters to ‘support the jihad of our brothers
and sisters’ in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Chechnya.
today Qureshi, who helped to name ISIS militant as west
London student Mohammed Emwazi, caused outrage by saying the murderer
was ‘beautiful’ adding that he ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly’.

CAGE research director, Asim Qureshi talks during a press conference. Photo / AP
CAGE research director, Asim Qureshi talks during a press conference. Photo / AP
Speaking while close to tears at a press conference, he
blamed MI5 for radicalising Emwazi, saying the security services
harassed him and alienated him.

In the earlier footage, Qureshi can be seen speaking through a microphone at the the pan-Islamic Hizb ut-Tahrir movement rally.
says: ‘When we see the example of our brothers and sisters fighting in
Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, then we know where the
example lies.
‘When we see Hezbollah defeating the armies of Israel, we know where the solution is and where the victory lies.
know that it is incumbent upon all of us, to support the Jihad of our
brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the
oppression of the West.
‘Allahu Akhbar! Allahu Akhbar! (God is great, God is great!)’
Qureshi stands alone on a stage in the 54 second clip, shot at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in 2006.
London School of Economics graduate Qureshi worked for CAGE at the time of his passionate speech, then known as CAGE Prisoners.
organisation claims to ‘strive for a world free from oppression and
injustice’, ‘working to empower communities impacted by the War on
However, the video footage, posted on YouTube, now
raises questions about Qureshi, who alongside former control order
detainee Cerie Bullivant tried to pin the blame for Mohammed Emwazi’s
radicalisation on the British Government.
Earlier today Qureshi was branded an ISIS sympathiser as he appeared to launch a defence of Emwazi and his barbaric crimes.
said: ‘When are we going to finally learn that when we treat people as
if they’re outsiders, they are going to feel like outsiders and they
will look for belonging elsewhere.’
He also revealed that he’d been in regular contact with Emwazi before he left for Syria.
in a second video, in which Qureshi is quizzed by Juliane Assange on
his view of Sharia law, in particularl stoning, he said: ‘I agree with
Islamic concepts of how we practice our punishments.’
Asked if he
believes in the use of the death penalty, he added: ‘From an Islamic
perspective, yes. As long as all the due process elements are met.’
the wake of Emwazi’s unmasking as the world’s most wanted man, CAGE
yesterday released a statement entitled ‘Jihadi John: ‘Radicalised’ By
The release stated that Emwazi ‘desperately wanted to
use the system to change his situation, but the system ultimately
rejected him,’ a view later echoed on CAGE’s press conference, which was
broadcast live on both BBC and Sky .
Qureshi then used the
statement to criticise the British security services, arguing that
counter-terror measures turned young Muslims into extremists.
Rafiq, managing director of the anti-radicalisation think-tank the
Quilliam Foundation, told Newsweek that CAGE’s accusation that Britain
was to blame for Emwazi’s radicalisation was ‘rubbish’.
He said:
‘It is not anybody else’s fault. It’s not the British or Kuwaitis fault.
It is his fault and the people who radicalised him. He is a
cold-hearted killer.’
‘If you look at [CAGE’s] raison d’être,
they are there to defend these kind of people. There has been evidence
that these guys are sympathetic to this type of ideology.’
Qureshi criticised the British security services, arguing that counter-terror measures turned young Muslims into extremists
posts made on Twitter, Quilliam co-founder and chairman Maajid Nawaz,
also blasted CAGE, hinting that Qureshi was a supporter of controversial
speaker, Haitham Haddad.
Emails releases by CAGE today revealed
how MI5 repeatedly tried to recruit Mohammed Emwazi as an informant and
put him on a terror watchlist to stop him leaving Britain.
is believed to have become known to the security services in 2009 when
he was accused of trying to fight with Somali terror group Al-Shabaab in
east Africa.
The British citizen, who was born in Kuwait and
moved to the aged six, flew to Tanzania with two friends after he
graduated from the University of Westminster claiming he was going on
But he was arrested as soon as he touched down in capital Dar es Salaam and deported by Tanzanian’s officials.
flew back to Britain via Amsterdam and told a friend MI5 were waiting
for him at Schiphol Airport and tried to recruit him to share
information on extremists, Emwazi told a confidant.
claimed that an MI5 agent called Nick accused him of trying to go to
Somalia to fight for Al Shabaab and said: ‘Listen Mohammed: You’ve got
the whole world in front of you; you’re 21 years old; you just finished
Uni – why don’t you work for us?’.
The Jihadi John suspect turned
down the offer and claims he was told: ‘You’re going to have a lot of
trouble …you’re going to be known…you’re going to be followed…life
will be harder for you.’
Emwazi claimed in emails to Qureshi
that he was repeatedly approached by the security services over the
course of the following year but he said he refused to co-operate and
denied he had any links to .
Hostages who have survived
being held by ISIS in Syria and Iraq have said that Jihadi John is a man
‘obsessed’ with Somalia and would make them watch Al-Shabaab videos
while in captivity.
In June 2010 counter-terrorism officers,
linked to the security services and Scotland Yard, allegedly arrested
him as he tried to fly to Kuwait. He was fingerprinted and searched, it
was said, and put on a terror watchlist preventing him from leaving
In an email to Mr Qureshi he said: ‘I feel like a
prisoner, only not in a cage, in London. A person imprisoned &
controlled by security service men, stopping me from living my new life
in my birthplace & country, Kuwait’.
Another friend said that Emwazi later tried to travel to Saudi Arabia to teach English in 2012 but again stopped from leaving.
was ‘desperate’ to leave Britain and ‘was ready to exhaust every single
kind of avenue within the machinery of the state to bring a change for
his personal situation’, Mr Qureshi said.
Mr Qureshi said he last
heard from him that year and said the Jihadi John supect believed
‘actions were taken to criminalize him and he had no way to do something
against these actions’.
Soon afterwards he vanished and is believed to have travelled to Syria, where he may now be ISIS’ figurehead.
Emwazi’s account of his contact with MI5 is accurate, his case has a
parallels with that of Lee Rigby’s murderer Michael Adebolajo, who was
jailed for life in 2013.
His trial heard that just three months
before the appalling murder in Woolwich, MI5 was trying to recruit
Michael Adebolajo as an informant.
He had been on their radar for ten years and in 2010 was even arrested with fellow Al Qaeda followers in Kenya.
complained of being ‘harassed’ by MI5 agents before the killing and it
later it emerged that they had failed to watch him carefully enough
before he murdered Drummer Rigby with the help of his friend Michael
A representative from CAGE was not immediately available for comment when requested.

Skip to toolbar
shared on