Trojan Horse Plot: How Birmingham became hub of jihadis from Pak and Kashmir
Birmingham is in the news again. The police had named the Westminster attacker as Birmingham-based Khalid Masood. Four persons were killed in the London attack that took place on Wednesday. Birminghman has a distinction of being one of the major jihadi breeding grounds.
Interestingly, there are several jihadis at Birmingham whose families are linked to Pakistan and Kashmir. Most of the jihadis who grew up in Birmingham have left to Pakistan and Kashmir to fight along with terror groups. Birmingham is considered to be the place where the first suicide bomber was born has become for jihadi elements.
Indoctrination would take place through mosques. One such plot known as the 'Trojan Horse Plot," was busted in Birmingham. The plot revolved around organising a group of jihadis who sought to infiltrate and take over the education system.
Several young Muslims were brought in to Birmingham by jihadi elements. They were radicalised and trained to launch terror attacks and also fight in the Middle East, Asia and Britain. The plot circled around creating a pool of fighters.
What is interesting is that whenever one speaks of terror, there has to be a Pakistan link to it. Take the case of Rashid Rauf, an Islamist alumni from Birmingham. He is of British and Pakistan background and was one of the key players in a plot that sought to blow up the transatlantic airliner in 2006. Investigations showed that Rauf enjoyed the support and protection of the Inter-Services Intelligence. He, in fact, managed to escape from a jail in the UK with the support of the ISI. He was however killed in a drone strike in 2008. These reports remain unverified and another version is that he still lives in North Wazirstan.
Birmingham was also home to Moinal Abedin. He was the first al-Qaeda inspired terrorist. He too trained in Pakistan and returned to Birmingham. During a raid on his house a huge quantity of explosives were found. Another person with a Pakistan origin is Irfan Khalid. He was involved in the 7/7 bombings. He is currently in jail.