Daily Mail (UK), Nov. 15, 2006
A leading member of an extremist Islamic group is working as a senior official at the Home Office, it has emerged.
Abid Javaid is a ‘senior executive officer’ in the IT department at the scandal-hit Immigration and Nationality Directorate which processes tens of thousands of asylum and visa applications every year.
But he is also an activist in the fundamentalist Islamic group Hizb-ut Tahrir which believes in a worldwide Islamic state under Shariah law.
This is despite Tony Blair calling for the group to be banned last year.
The group’s smartly dressed spokesmen have caused repeated outrage over their refusal to condemn terrorist attacks including last year’s London bombings.
One of their leaflets called for Jews to be murdered and for the destruction of Israel.
Another spokesman, Dr Imran Waheed, refused to condemn the July 7 suicide bombs, saying he would only do so after Western leaders apologise for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last night the Tories described Javaid’s employment as a ‘disgrace’ and said it was further proof that both the Home Office and the IND remained ‘unfit for purpose’.
Patrick Mercer, the party’s Homeland Security spokesman, said: ‘I am amazed that this man has managed to infiltrate such a sensitive government department.
‘I find it deeply worrying. This is an insidious and dangerous organisation that is clearly trying to worm its way into as many government organisations as possible.
‘In August 2005, the Prime Minister said that these people should be banned.
‘Now, less than 18 months later, they are, to all intents and purposes, legal. This is a clandestine organisation which seeks to infiltrate wherever it can.
‘This is further proof, if any were needed, that both the IND and the Home Office are unfit for purpose.’
Javaid works at Lunar House in Croydon, South London.
The tower block processes many of the tens of thousands of claims for asylum which are made to this country every year.
The IND has been at the centre of a series of recent scandals including the failure to deport foreign prisoners and claims that case workers offered a premium service to migrants if they agreed to perform sexual favours.
In another case, one senior official was sacked after being caught on camera offering to help a Zimbabwean rape victim with her claim in return for having sex with him.
Hundreds of thousands of claims for visas and asylum are stacked in cardboard boxes and the IND has been accused of losing track of
Javaid’s dual role was revealed by a joint investigation by BBC2’s Newsnight and File on 4 into ‘Islamic infiltration’ in to everyday UK life.
The probe reveals that the civil servant is a prominent Hizb-ut Tahrir activist in South London.
He has represented the group in talks with the Croydon Mosque — which has been trying to kick out radical influences.
Tony Blair made his pledge to ban the group in a tough talking speech after the July 7 bombings in London last year.
He vowed to outlaw extremist groups and said: ‘Let no one be in any doubt that the rules of the game are changing. People can’t come here and abuse our good nature and our tolerance.
‘They can’t come here and start inciting our young people in communities to take up violence against British people here.’
Last year, the group said suicide bombers were no worse than moderate Muslims. Their articulate spokesmen frequently appear on TV as the ‘respectable’ face of Islamic extremism.
But critics point out that the group has been particularly effective at radicalising young students on university campuses.
The investigation also revealed that exiled Islamic cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed is allegedly using a variety of pseudonyms to broadcast support for terrorism in the UK via the Internet.
Bakri, who was banned from the UK last August, apparently praised the July 7 bombers and, in a chatroom conversation, appeared to advocate an attack on Dublin airport.
In one recent broadcast, he said the 7/7 suicide bombers were ‘in paradise’.
He also reportedly said: ‘How can you condemn those great men — it’s not something so bad, something so good.
‘Something so good to be involved in.’
The BBC said Bakri’s chatroom had been infiltrated by a group called Vigil, including former police and security service personnel, which aims to disrupt extremist activity.
Asked by one of its undercover operatives whether Dublin Airport should be a terrorist target because US troops transit there on the way to Iraq, Bakri allegedly said in response: ‘Hit the target and hit it very hard, that issue should be understood. Your situation there is quite difficult therefore the answer lies in your question.’
One academic, who is a member of Vigil, said he went to the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist hotline with more than 100 hours of material from the chatroom only to be told to contact his local police station.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: ‘The Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command is working closely with Vigil, and in particular its director and spokesman who has made officers aware of chatroom material.
‘This material will be considered and appropriate action taken.’
Bakri was barred from Britain last August after the then Home Secretary Charles Clarke ruled his presence was ‘not conducive to the public good’.
He founded the now-disbanded radical Islamic group Al Muhajiroun, which was based in Tottenham, North London.
Last night a Home Office spokesman said: ‘Home Office civil servants are expected to abide by Home Office rules governing their conduct. They are also subject to the Civil Service code.’