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TMCNet:  MOSQUE LEADER CLAIMS YOUNG WELSH MUSLIMS ARE RADICALISED ON THE INTERNET ; Student Nasser Muthana stunned his family and community this weekby... [Wales on Sunday (Wales)]

[June 22, 2014]

MOSQUE LEADER CLAIMS YOUNG WELSH MUSLIMS ARE RADICALISED ON THE INTERNET ; Student Nasser Muthana stunned his family and community this weekby... [Wales on Sunday (Wales)]

(Wales on Sunday (Wales) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) MOSQUE LEADER CLAIMS YOUNG WELSH MUSLIMS ARE RADICALISED ON THE INTERNET ; Student Nasser Muthana stunned his family and community this weekby appearing in a terror-recruiting video. We ask, how did this happen? THE young Welsh Muslim in a terror-recruiting video that has stunned his family was radicalised over the internet, a senior figure at his mosque has said.


Muslims in Cardiff were in shock yesterday as former medical student Nasser Muthana, 20, from Cardiff, was revealed to be one of the men in a video posted from Syria by accounts with links to Islamist militant group Isis.

A second man from Cardiff is also believed to be in the video urging young British Muslims to join the fight in Syria and Muthana's younger brother Aseel, 17, is also believed to be with him in Syria.

Saleem Kidwai, general secretary of the leading Muslim body, said he believed there were as many as five Welsh muslims already fighting in Syria and Iraq with the now-outlawed terror group Isis.

The mosque where Muthana worshipped yesterday denied being a source of radicalism and said that young people were being radicalised over the internet.

Barak Albayaty, a trustee at the mosque, the Al Manar Centre, said that Muthana had been "just like any other guy" and he had been shocked to see him in the video.

He said: "What I'm sure of, being part of here, it's not to be taken as a source of radicalism.

"We're against going to Syria for the armed struggle and have spelt this out on many occasions." He added: "It is worrying. We have to do something collective about the media and how these youths are getting affected.

"They're affected by the internet. It's not just Cardiff, it's all over the UK. I'm told the numbers could be in the hundreds all over the UK." Mr Albayaty said there would be a meeting between trustees who will discuss the issue.

He added that he felt for Muthana's parents and added that members of the mosque were out in the community yesterday, picking up litter.

Mr Albayaty said: "It's very important to show that we're open." He added that Al Manar is teaching their youths not to take from society, but to give back and "engage through volunteering".

The 13-minute video featuring Muthana, entitled There is No Life Without Jihad, emerged on Friday and appears to show six fighters urging Muslims to join the conflicts abroad.

It is part of Isis' attempts to add Western recruits to its estimated army of 10,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, around 400 to 500 of who were recruited in the UK.

The Home Office said it wanted to "further restrict access to terrorist material" and use "family-friendly filters" to prevent other young Muslims being radicalised.

A report by the government's extremism taskforce, carried out after the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, said it would work with internet companies to "restrict access to terrorist material online which is hosted overseas but illegal under UK law".

A YouTube spokesman said it had "clear policies prohibiting violent content or content intended to incite violence, and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users", although the There is No Life Without Jihad video was still available on YouTube yesterday.

Saleem Kidwai, of the Muslim Council for Wales, said he believed many of the Welsh Muslims went out to Syria without realising who they were fighting for.

He said: "I know there are a few from Wales who have gone to (Syria). I don't know them personally, but I've been given to understand there are about four or five boys who have gone to Syria." He added: "The four of them who have gone are very unhappy about it because when they went they thought it would be an adventure. But realising what they have put themselves into it's very difficult for them to come out of it.

"They are young boys and they feel it's an adventure, but when they are thrown into the frontline it's a different picture when you see people dying and you are killing your own people." Mr Kidwai said the families of the men were "concerned and worried".

The war has left more than 162,000 dead, according to anti-Assad group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Assad has been accused of launching chemical gas attacks on his own people, while a recent vote that saw him re-elected was dismissed as a "farce" by opponents.

In April the assistant chief constable of South Wales Police Liane James said she could see why people would feel they wanted to "assist in some way".

But she urged those who wanted to help to channel assistance through charities, rather than to "allow our young people to go out to Syria and cause problems for themselves and their families".

At the time the Metropolitan Police urged Muslim women to inform on family members intending to head to the warzone.

Police say so far this year the number of "Syria-related arrests" has increased substantially, to 40 between January and March, compared with 25 people in the whole of 2013.

Police warned those travelling for "humanitarian reasons" were "very likely" to be drawn into contact with terror groups and may get drawn into their activities.

Mr Kidwai said the security services, with the co-operation of the Muslim community, will ensure the havoc engulfing Iraq does not end up visiting the streets of Britain.

He said the community would "look for anybody who feels they might have wrong ideas about doing anything here because we want this place to be peaceful".

Prime Minister David Cameron has warned of the threat to the UK posed by an extreme Islamist regime in Iraq.

In February 2012 Cardiff brothers Gurukanth Desai, and Abdul Miah, were jailed over a terror plot.

The al-Qaeda-inspired pair were among four men who admitted planning to detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange.

Desai got 12 years, while Miah was sent down for 16 years and 10 months. A third member of the nine-strong group Omar Sharif Latif, also from Cardiff, was jailed for 10 years and four months.

THE heartbroken father of Syria ghter Nasser Muthana said that his son had betrayed his family and betrayed Britain.

Ahmed Muthana, 57, said his wife fainted and he collapsed shaking and in tears after police showed them the video in which his son urges other British Muslims to ght in Syria.

He said: "I feel sick and devastated that my son is caught up in this - he was brought up to love and respect my country which is Britain.

"I am his father and naturally I'm worried about his safety while he is out there.

"But I am also worried about the evil messages he is spreading in this video - I am concerned that other boys may follow him there." And he said his message to his son " would be: "Stop being stupid and radical and come back here to nish your studies." ...e father-of-four has got rid of " most of the family photographs of Nasser.

Mr Muthana, who has lived in the UK since he was 11, has not seen Nasser, 20, since last November when he gave him Pounds 100 "pocket money" to attend a Muslim seminar in Shrewsbury.

He said: "It was a public open meeting to hear a visiting cleric from Saudi or the Emirates, there was "nothing radical about it.

"If there had been I would not "have let him go.

"But when we didn't heard from him for ve days I reported him as a "missing person to the police.

"...ey came to see me some days "Ilater to say he had OEown to Turkey.

"I don't know if he went to the seminar, the police had tracked him to Coventry and then Gatwick airport.

"He OEew to turkey then a few days later crossed the border into Syria." Yemeni-born Mr Muthana and his " Samira, 53, rang Nasser's phone without reply before it was cut o". ...ey had not seen their son again until police called at their home in Butetown, Cardi", to tell them about the video - I.

Out-of-work electronics engineer Mr Muthana, said: "...ey asked me if I had a computer and then showed me it on the screen.

"I was shaking and in tears - my wife fainted and has not recovered from what she saw.

"I believed it was my son in the video but I did not believe his "I believed it was my son in the video but I did not believe his words.

"I am fearful he was being fed "I am fearful he was being fed Those words." ...e couple's 17-year-old son " Aseel, who had dreamed of being an English teacher, is believed to have quit his A-level studies at Fitzalan High School in Cardi", to join Nasser in Syria.

Mr Muthana believes Nasser left Britain with three other Muslim friends who he knew from school in Cardi". He said: "Both my sons have been inOEuenced by outsiders, I don't know by who.

"He is a calm boy, very bright and a high achiever who had been of-of fered a place at four di"erent universities to study medicine.

"He loved rugby, playing football and going camping with his friends.

" "But he has been got at and has left his home and everyone who loves him." Mr Muthana said there was part of him that wants his boys safely home - but he also feels like disowning them.

He said: "I wish they would come back, that's all I would say to them - come back.

- "I think they are in the wrong hnds. I don't know why they would have done this.

"As far as I know my sons they are very good boys, we had no problems, nothing." (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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