The long arm of the militant al-Muhajiroun group
One of the three terrorists who attacked London Bridge on June 3, killing seven, turned out to be of Pakistani origin. Khuram Shahzad Butt, whose parents hailed from Jhelum, was reportedly radicalized in his 20s and was maladjusted in his East London milieu. He stabbed innocent people in the name of Islam before London police shot him. The Islamic State militant group owned the grisly event.
Butt was on a British intelligence list of 3,000 people suspected of jihadi activity and also figured among 20,000 former suspects police believed did not pose any imminent threat. The police were similarly mistaken about killer Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old British-born Libyan youth who killed 22 people and wounded another 59 last month in a suicide bombing outside a concert in Manchester city.
Butt allegedly told a neighbor: “I’m ready to do whatever I need to do in the name of Allah. I am ready in the name of Allah to do what needs to be done including killing my own mother.” He had also urged Muslims at his local mosque to abstain from voting, claiming democracy was an enemy of Islam.
Butt associated with the banned terrorist group al-Muhajiroun, run by now-in-jail Anjem Choudary. Among his many abhorrent views was a claim that non-Muslims were “less than” their Muslim fellows: “Allah said very clearly in the Quran ‘Don’t feel sorry for the non-Muslims.’ So as an adult non-Muslim… if he dies in a state of disbelief then he is going to go to the hellfire… so I’m not going to feel sorry for non-Muslims.”
Al-Muhajiroun came to Pakistan along with the British-based Hizbut Tahrir in the mid-2000s and recruited a number of people before being banned by the Musharraf government. Pakistan’s Brigadier Ali Khan was arrested and spent five years in jail for his alleged ties to Hizbut. Two years earlier, in 2009, Colonel Shahid Bashir, the commanding officer of the Shamsi Air Force Base, was also apprehended by military police for keeping links with this banned pan-Islamic political outfit.