It’s official now..it was the Queen herself that lobbied for the arrest of one of the biggest terrorism suspects of all time (though Osama bin Laden was foremost in this list but as the investigations put out Abu Hamza al-Masiri is not the kind that contributed any less in aiding the way terrorism has evolved on the world stage).The security correspondent of BBC has broken out the fact to public recently.
The Queen told Frank Gardner that she could not put up with the fact that how the Islamist cleric has not been sent behind bars even after expressing strong anti-Britain sentiments as Finsbury Park Mosque imam from north London on mass media.
Gardner recently shared his views on BBC Radio 4’s program on how the just passed order on 54 year old cleric’s extradition to US can affect the world far and wide. Gardner also outlined the delay in assessment of the situation by MI5 on how Hamza could impact the safety and peace in Britain and internationally by radicalizing others.
Frank Gardner went on further to say, “Actually, I can tell you that the Queen was pretty upset that there was no way to arrest him. She couldn’t understand – surely there had been some law that he had broken? In the end, sure enough, there was. He was eventually convicted and sentenced for seven years for soliciting murder and racial hatred.”
James Naughtie termed the revelation as “a corker” while interviewing Gardner. To the expression, Gardner said “Yes, I thought I’d drop that in. She told me.”
Gardner also said in the interview, “She spoke to the home secretary at the time and said, surely this man must have broken some laws. Why is he still at large? He was conducting these radical activities and he called Britain a toilet. He was incredibly anti-British and yet he was sucking up money from this country for a long time. He was a huge embarrassment to Muslims, who condemned him.”
The irony of the whole situation remains that it could not be validated by any authority as the tradition goes that none of these conversations taking place at the receptions in the Palace are usually off record. The Buckingham Palace spokeswoman just refused to comment citing the convention.
Though no Home Secretary has been named by Frank in person but chances are that David Blunkett may be the one, as it was him who had the post during 2001-04. It was during this time period that Abu Hamza performed his best as a radicalism promoting cleric.
Abu Hamza has been arrested in 2004 and pronounced guilty in 2006 on as much as 11 charges concerning soliciting murder and racist hatred. Blunkett’s office also didn’t respond to the queries sent by The Guardian.
The republican pressure group Republic’s spokesman said that if the claims made by Frank are true, it was totally uncalled for the monarch to interfere in the issue. He also shared his opinion on the controversy saying “It is up to parliament and the courts to deal with these complex issues, not the Queen. Monarchists argue the Queen always remains above politics. Clearly that is not the case.”
To secure extradition of Abu Hamza has also not been easy for the government taking as much as eight years to get the required orders passed from the court. Hamza is required in US for his alleged role in setting up terrorist training camp in Oregon. Hamza is also wanted for having lent significant support to Taliban in the past. The hostage situation of Yemen in 1998 also has his name in the list of co-conspirators.
Abu Hamza lost the case to prevent his extradition going on in the European Court of Human Rights on Monday along with four other suspects. The court rejected their appeal stating the earlier precedent that human rights of these people will be not be in danger while completing their life imprisonment and solitary confinement terms in US prisons.
Source: The Guardian