April 11, 2012
A British court has ruled that intelligence asset Haroon Rashid Aswat will not be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges. According to The Telegraph, a deportation appeal was adjourned because of concerns over Aswat’s mental health. He is said to be suffering from schizophrenia and is currently interned at the Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security psychiatric hospital in Berkshire, England.
Aswat attended militant training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He recruited al-Qaeda fighters for the covert U.S. and NATO efforts to destabilize Bosnia and Chechnya. In the late 1990s, he became a “highly public aide” to London Finsbury Park mosque imam Abu Hamza al-Masri, who worked as an informer for the Special Branch of the British police and MI5.
Aswat is billed as the “mastermind” behind the 7/7 London bombings. Prior to the bombings, he was “monitored” (handled) by U.S. and British intelligence, according to the London Times.
After the Times reported that Aswat had been in regular phone contact with the supposed bombers Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, British authorities warned “that the calls may have been made to a phone linked to Aswat, rather than the man himself.” It would be revealed later that U.S. intelligence was surveilling calls between Aswat and the alleged bombers on the day of the attack.
Khan was also working for the British intelligence agency MI5 as an informant at the time of the attacks, according to Charles Shoebridge, a noted terror expert.
“This is the guy [Aswat], and what’s really embarrassing is that the entire British police are out chasing him, and one wing of the British government, MI6 or the British Secret Service, has been hiding him. And this has been a real source of contention between the CIA, the Justice Department, and Britain,” former U.S. government prosecutor and former Army intelligence officer John Loftus told Fox News after the bombings.
Authors Sean O’Neill and Daniel McGrory have pointed out that many of the radical London imams, including Abu Hamza al-Masri and Abu Qatada, worked with British intelligence and were protected by them. “The [imams] all claimed that Islamist radicals felt safe in London as they were protected by what they called the ‘covenant of security.’ This, they explained, was a deal whereby if extremist groups pledged not to stage attacks or cause disruption in [Britain], the police and intelligence agencies left them alone,” the authors write.
As usual, the corporate media is ignoring the real story behind the Haroon Rashid Aswat extradition – British intelligence is protecting Aswat by claiming he is in a hospital suffering from mental illness. If it is determined he is insane and thus untouchable, he will not be sent to the United States and the degree of his complicity with intelligence agencies may never be known.