A British government worker who helped regulate the country’s anti-terror planning was fired after superiors learned of his Islamist sympathies, the Telegraph reported.
Abdullah al Andalusi said the brutal exploits of ISIS were “no different to the history of some Western armies” and supported the right of youths to venture to Syria to fight.
“If merely going to fight overseas is condemned as terrorism, shouldn’t the UK arrest British volunteers joining the Israeli Defense Force which kills civilians in Gaza in a war against the Gazan government?” al Andalusi wrote in a September 2014 article for the Muslim Debate Initiative, a group he co-founded.
"IS’s crime is being actually a good student of the West"
- Abdullah al Andalusi
He compared ISIS to Western armies “and even some of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of Western nations” in a June 2014 post on his own website.
“IS’s crime is being actually a good student of the West, right down to their corporate structure and organization and ability to use social media!” al Andalusi wrote.
During a Jan. 16 talk at Queen Mary University, he dismissed the 9/11 terror attacks as “the day a vicious world empire found a publicly-acceptable excuse to bomb others, invade non-threatening nations, torture political dissidents and kill at least 300,000 innocent people,” according to the Telegraph.
But al Andalusi says his words have been taken out of context, and on Sunday he posted to his website a full-throated, 2,300-word rebuttal.
“I have never worked in any government counterterrorism work, team or department,” he wrote, before offering a point-by-point refutation of the claims made in the Telegraph.
Even his denial, however, contained a few questionable passages.
“Do I support the re-establishment of a Caliphate? Of course, because a Caliphate is a part of Islamic belief, so integral is it to Islam that Sunnis and Shias originally split merely due to the question of who should be the Caliph,” al Andalusi wrote.
Al Andalusi, whose real name is Mouloud Farid and who has used at least one other alias according to the Telegraph, worked for nearly two years at the London office of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, which assesses police forces and activity “ranging from neighborhood teams through serious crime to the fight against terrorism.”
HMIC said al Andalusi passed an initial security vetting and had been promoted to a management-level position, according to the Telegraph. He didn’t handle classified material, HMIC said; however, a former MDI colleague told the Telegraph that al Andalusi talked about having access to sensitive information.
“His work did involve security areas,” said the colleague, who was quoted anonymously. “He said he had a role in overseeing the police response to terrorism and there were areas he couldn’t talk about.”
At least one member of parliament can’t believe al Andalusi’s statements didn’t raise a red flag earlier.
“The man’s unsuitability for sensitive work should have been obvious from the start,” Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said.