Hackers have traced Islamic States social media posts back to the British government.
— Anonymous (@LatestAnonNews) December 15, 2015
The posts are from internet addresses linked to the Department of Work and Pensions. The British, however, have an explanation for this: the government says it sold a large number of internet addresses to Saudi Arabia.
“Westminster said it could not control the use of these addresses, which originally belonged to the Department of Work and Pensions, amid fears they may have allowed ISIS extremists to connect to the internet and spread their message of hate,” the Mirror reports today.
“The government owns millions of unused IP addresses which we are selling to get a good return for hardworking taxpayers,” said a Cabinet Office spokesperson.
This professed beneficence should be weighed against the previous behavior of the British government in regard to terrorists and suspected terrorists.
Her Majesty’s Terrorist Network
British intelligence has played a key role in creating and fomenting terrorism.
As documented by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, authors of The Forbidden Truth, in 1996 British intelligence paid al-Qaeda around $160,00 to fund an assassination plot against Libyan leader Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi. The British press was banned from discussing the case.
A member of the group, Anas al-Liby, was given political asylum in Britain. He lived there until May 2000 despite being an important al-Qaeda figure who would later be implicated in the alleged al-Qaeda bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
In the late 1990s British intelligence recruited, groomed and protected a number of terrorist figures, including Abu Qatada. The radical imam told MI5 agents he exercised “powerful, spiritual influence over the Algerian community in London,” said he would look after the interests of the British state, and “would not bite the hand that fed him.”
Qatada would later figure as a key figure in terror. “The authorities said that a number of people arrested in connection with terrorism had described Abu Qatada’s influence. Richard Reid, the would-be mid-Atlantic shoe bomber, and Zacarias Moussaoui, both jailed for involvement in terrorism, are said to have sought religious advice from him. The cleric’s sermons were found in a flat in the German city of Hamburg used by some of those involved in 9/11,” the BBC reported.
A friend of Qatada’s, Bisher al-Rawi, would later become a key operative for British intelligence. He acted as a go-between for Qatada and MI5, The Independent reported in March, 2006.
Another important figure on the “Londonistan” scene was Abu Hamza al-Masri, the imam presiding over the infamous Finesbury Park mosque, described as “a first port of call, a meeting place and a haven for terror suspects arriving and operating in the UK,” including Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui. “Hamza, as the imam of the mosque and its central figure, wielded a powerful influence over those who passed through its doors,” The Independent reported.
Hamza began working for British intelligence and police in 1997. He informed on fellow Muslims and was granted favors by MI5, including the release of suspected terrorists. Hamza told his aides he was “beyond the reach of British law,” according to authors Sean O’Neill Daniel McGrory (The Suicide Factory). An admission “that Abu Hamza and his followers were using [Britain] to raise funds to finance terrorism overseas did not seem to cause a blip on the MI5 agent’s radar,” O’Neill and McGrory write.
In 1999 Hamza would be implicated in the kidnapping and murder of Western tourists in Yemen. He would tell police he was following the Koran and would be released. The police returned to Hamza audio tapes “packed with the usual messages of intolerance and hatred, and culminating in exhortations to kill the enemies of Islam.”
His Finsbury Park mosque sermons were attended by alleged 9/11 hijackers Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer. Haroon Rashid Aswat, a top aide to Abu Hamza, would later be singled out as the mastermind of the London 7/7 bombings. Aswat is also suspected of working with British intelligence.
Another leading imam, Omar Bakri Mohammed, who collaborated with Osama bin Laden, also worked for British intelligence. “The British government knows who we are. MI5 has interrogated us many times. I think now we have something called public immunity,” Bakri admitted in 2001. Like many jihadists, the Syrian born imam was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, a documented British (and later CIA) intelligence asset.