Andrew Gilligan, London Telegraph, November 4, 2010
A website which influenced a young Muslim to stab an MP has posted dozens more MPs’ names on a ‘death list’ with an exhortation to Muslims to follow her example.
Revolutionmuslim.com was named by Roshonara Choudhry in her police interviews as one of the sites which radicalised her. Choudhry was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday for attempting to murder the former Labour minister Stephen Timms.
The site praises her as a “mujaahidah,” or holy warrior, saying: “We ask Allah to keep her safe and secure, to hasten her release and to reward this heroine immensely.”
It published a list of all the MPs who voted for the Iraq war together with an instruction to Muslims to try to kill them, saying: “We ask Allaah for her action to inspire Muslims to raise the knife of Jihaad against those who voted for the countless rapes, murders, pillages, and torture of Muslim civilians as a direct consequence of their vote.”
It also appears to incite further attacks on Mr Timms, publishing details of his constituency surgery times and venues, and even a link which shows readers where they can buy a £15 kitchen knife, similar to the one used by Choudhry, from Tesco Direct.
The website adds: “If you want to track an MP, you can find out their personal website after typing their name in this website. In their personal website, you can usually find the time and location of their surgeries where you can encounter them in person.”
The site then lists the 139 Conservative MPs that voted for the war and the 244 Labour MPs. It said that no Liberal Democrats voted for the war but added: “They have now formed a coalition government with the Conservatives.” Accompanying the statement is a prayer in Arabic to “destroy your enemy and the enemies of Islam” naming Mr Timms and the judge in the Choudhry case, Jeremy Cooke.
The website is hosted in the US, where the White House has been urged by British ministers to take urgent action against similar sites.
Patrick Mercer, a former chairman of the Commons homeland security subcommittee and one of the MPs on the ‘death list’, said: “If they think this will change my opinions or my conduct in any way, they can think again. These sites are extremely dangerous, as the case of Choudhry has shown, and this one must be taken down immediately.”
Choudhry stabbed Mr Timms twice at one of his surgeries in Beckton, east London, in May, saying she had done so to punish him for voting for the Iraq war.
The Revolutionmuslim website claims some foreknowledge of Choudhry’s actions, saying that four days before her “operation,” she read a work entitled “The Book of Jihad” by Abi Zakaryya Al Dimashqi Al Dumyati, something not reported in any of the coverage of the case.
It is not clear whether this claim is true. However, Choudhry did directly cite “a website called revolutionmuslim” in her police interviews as one of several radical sites she looked at.
She told officers that she had been radicalised after “learning more about Islam” online. She said she had dowloaded more than a hundred hours of sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki, the terrorist cleric described by the US as the spiritual leader of three of the 9/11 hijackers. Awlaki, an American citizen living in Yemen, has been singled out by the head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, as a figure “of particular concern” to the security services.
Revolutionmuslim.com includes a number of YouTube videos of Awlaki, which can still be accessed, despite the provider promising to take them down. It also includes a video by Abdullah Azzam, the al-Qaeda spiritual leader, another figure cited as an influence by Choudhry in her police interviews.
The website claims a number of authors. It appears to be strongly influenced by supporters of the British Muslim extremist Anjem Choudary, formerly a senior figure in the now banned Al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK groups. It carries a number of press releases and video clips from Choudary and also includes a video of Abu Izzadeen, another British extremist linked to Choudary, emerging from prison.
Islam4UK earned notoreity when it proposed to demonstrate against the ceremonies held in Wootton Basset, Wiltshire, to honour service personnel killed in Afghanistan, though the demonstrations never took place. Revolutionmuslim recently publicised a flag-burning ceremony to be attended by Choudary–which also apparently never happened–outside the US embassy in London on the ninth anniversary of September 11.
One of the site’s alleged authors, a 20-year-old American from Virginia, Zachary Chesser, was arrested in July and charged with providing material support to a Somali-based al-Qaeda terrorist group. Chesser, an alleged follower of al-Awlaki, was reported to have written a post on the site threatening the creators of the American cartoon series, South Park, with death for including a caricature of Mohammed in one episode.
Revolutionmuslim’s writers–all operating under aliases–include at least three people who state on their online profiles that they are British. Three of the profiles link to websites closely connected to Choudary and his allies, including the banned cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed. Revolutionmuslim.com advertises an “Islamic revival conference” due to take place later this month in East London with speakers including Choudary, Izzadeen and, by telephone from Lebanon, Bakri Mohammed.
The website appears to be hosted by a service provider called Enom, based in Bellevue in the US state of Washington. Calls to the company were not answered.
Choudary could not be reached for comment. Contacted by The Daily Telegraph, Izzadeen denied involvement in the site but said it was a product of the “awakening” of Muslims. He did not endorse the site’s call for killings of MPs but refused to condemn it, saying: “I’m not a condemner of anything. People have their own views. We’ll just wait and see if anything happens.”