One witness feared the men were ISIS extremists and counter-terrorism officers later raided the three men’s homes
A gang of Muslim men rampaged through Liverpool city centre attacking strangers because they were white “non-Muslims”.
One witness feared Amin Mohmed, Mohammed Patel and Faruq Patel were ISIS terrorists.
The drunken yobs targeted three unknown men before Mohmed, 24, and Mohammed, 20, set upon Gary Bohanna when he revealed he was Christian.
Laughing Faruq, 19, who was not convicted of a racial or religious motive, then filmed Mohmed punching St Helens councillor Paul Lynch to the ground, as his terrified girlfriend tried to protect him.
Liverpool Crown Court heard counter-terrorism officers raided the three men’s homes in Bolton after the shocking incident on March 20 last year.
The judge, Recorder Louise Brandon, said: “This was a disgraceful and sustained campaign of violence carried out on the streets of this city.”
Paul Treble, prosecuting, said fellow-Muslim Edris Nosrati spotted two of the gang attacking a man in Bold Street at around 3.30am.
He said: “He was concerned because one of them seemed to be using racist language, talking about Muslims and Christians.
“One of them came up to Mr Nosrati and said ‘are you a Muslim?’ Mr Nosrati said he was, but the man said ‘well, what’s the Muslim word?’”
He said Mr Nosrati replied with a “well-known” Arabic phrase: “There is only one God, and Muhammad is a messenger.”
Mr Treble said: “He said it’s a phrase often linked with ISIS.
“He was concerned as to their exact intent and that they might be associated in some way to an extremist organisation.”
Mr Nosrati was told “you can go”, but when he tried to stop them punching another man, one replied: “It’s none of your business.”
He followed the gang to Renshaw Street, where Mr Bohanna was asked: “What are you?”
The victim was confused but when one of them said “I’m a Muslim, what are you?” he answered “I’m a Christian”.
The attacker shouted “Why aren’t you a Muslim?” before punching him twice, breaking his glasses and causing a 2cm cut above his left eye.
The gang then encountered Mr Lynch, Labour councillor for Moss Bank, and his girlfriend Jill Newton.
Footage taken by Faruq captured Mohmed punch Mr Lynch with a “sickening blow” that could be “seen and heard”.
No racist comments were used, but Liverpool John Moores University student Faruq could be heard laughing as the victim fell.
Mr Nosrati called police but Faruq fled, so the witness chased and caught him.
The teenager punched Mr Nosrati and struck him in the eye with his phone, but the hero held on.
Mr Bohanna and Mr Lynch – who suffered bruising and bleeding to his eyes – were taken to hospital.
Mohmed made no comment to police, but later claimed he could not remember anything because he was so drunk.
Mohammed initially denied the assaults and suggested they had been racially abused by other men.
However, he confessed to “targeting people because they were white and non-Muslim”.
Faruq told officers people called him and his friends a “dirty p***” and they retaliated.
He admitted filming “because he thought it was funny” and described it “as a laugh”.
Mohmed, of Perendale Rise, Bolton, and Mohammed, of Eastbank Street, Bolton, admitted racially or religiously aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm.
The pair, along with Faruq, of Crumpsall Street, Bolton, also admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and affray.
Martine Snowdon, defending Mohammed, said her “deeply remorseful” client was “terrified” of being locked up.
The university expelled him but he had re-enrolled at Salford University and asked for “mercy” to continue his studies.
Andrew Costello, defending Faruq, said his “ashamed” client was “very drunk” but maintained he did not hit anyone or use racial abuse.
However, he conceded the “apologetic” accountancy student “tried to lie his way out of it”.
Mohmed has previous convictions for criminal damage and battery, relating to a family row last November.
Sarah Johnston, defending Mohmed, said it appeared the group were racially abused but that was not an excuse.
She said: “He has brought not only shame and embarrassment but also distress to his family.
“The Counter Terrorism Unit became involved in the investigation and the defendants’ family homes were turned upside down by the police.”
Recorder Brandon said the group may have suffered racist abuse, but targeted innocent men in “violent and senseless attacks”.
She said Mohmed and Mohammed’s punching and kicking of Mr Bohanna was aggravated by “hostility based on his religion”.
The judge said: “References to the fact he was not a Muslim was made and you appeared to justify your actions because of certain beliefs you held.”
Recorder Brandon said after the joint enterprise attack on Mr Lynch, “frightened” Miss Newton “had no idea what you were going to do next”.
She said Mohammed “confirmed those targeted that night were targeted because they were white and non-Muslim.”
Mohmed cried as he was jailed for 42 weeks. Mohammed and Faruq Patel received 42 and 18 weeks respectively in a young offenders institution.
Girls as young as nine are “physically and spiritually” ready for marriage, a Malaysian MP says, also claiming there’s “nothing wrong” with females marrying their rapists. It comes after Malaysia failed to criminalize child marriage in a recent law.
“They reach puberty at the age of nine or 12. And at that time, their body is already akin to them being 18 years old. So physically and spiritually, it is not a barrier for the girl to marry,” Shabudin Yahaya, a member of the Barisan Nasional Coalition, told Parliament on Tuesday, as quoted by Reuters.
He went on to say there is “nothing wrong” with a rape victim marrying the man who raped her, as doing so would allow her to avoid a “bleak future.”
“Perhaps through marriage they can lead a healthier, better life. And the person who was raped does not necessarily have a bleak future. She will have a husband, at least, and this could serve as a remedy to growing social problems,” he said, as quoted by Malaysian newspaper the Star.
Shabudin’s comments have prompted outrage online, including from fellow government minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who said he received the comments with “utter shock and disappointment.”
Others accused Shabudin of “perpetuating a rape culture” with his remarks.
Some suggested the minister take his own advice when it comes to marrying rapists.
One even doctored an image of the MP, portraying him as a devil on a ‘wanted’ poster.
However, it appears Shabudin isn’t the only MP in favor of child marriages. A proposal by an opposition member in parliament to amend the Sexual Offenses Against Children bill to include a ban on child marriages was struck down on Tuesday.
Under Islamic law, children younger than 16 can get married if the Sharia courts allow it.
Malaysia’s civil law sets the minimum age of marriage at 18, but those above 16 can be married with the permission of their state’s chief minister.
Despite failing to criminalize child marriage, parliament did pass a law on Tuesday which criminalizes ‘grooming’, the touching and befriending of children with the intent to sexually abuse them, and outlines penalties for making and possessing pornography involving those under the age of 18.
A special court will also be set up to deal with child sexual abuse cases more quickly.
The vast majority of child sexual abuse in Malaysia does not result in successful prosecutions, largely due to weaknesses in the criminal justice system, Reuters reported last year.
Only 140 of the 12,987 cases of child sexual abuse cases reported to authorities between 2012 and July 2016 resulted in convictions.
A 22-year-old Moroccan citizen was arrested on charges of ‘spreading terrorist material’ in the town of Balmaseda, northern Spain, Wednesday.
The police arrested the suspect’s during a dawn raid on his home in the Basque Country, before searching the premise.
The detainee faces charges of ‘spreading terrorist ideology’ through Facebook, and maintain contact with members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL/ISIS).
The posts were made over the period 2013 to the present day, and included an annual event celebrating the 9/11 attacks on the United States, as well as ‘constant allusions to Jihad and the armed conflict to defend Islam.’
Not everything needs commentary; sometimes words just speak for themselves.
For example, hear what Imam Ammar Shahin told an audience at Islamic Center of Davis, located across the street from the University of California-Davis, in his sermon on Friday: Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Jews. Oh Allah, destroy those who closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Oh Allah, show us the black day that you inflict upon them, and the wonders of your ability. Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them.
Citing an anti-Semitic verse from the Hadith, Shahin added that “Allah does not change the situation of people until they change their own situation.
The Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews.’”
Shain then made sure to note that “We don’t say if it is in Palestine or another place,” making clear that Jews will be fought and killed everywhere. It is hard to believe that Shahin, who is teaching the Muslim faith to impressionable students at a public university in America, is spewing this kind of hate about “the filth of the Jews,” whom Allah should “annihilate.”
A knife-wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar” has attacked police on the Spanish-Moroccan border, injuring an officer, according to Spanish authorities. The attacker was immediately arrested by Spanish law enforcement.
Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi’s remains are lying alongside those of Moors Murderer Ian Brady in a “monster morgue” because nobody wants to claim them. Mosques and crematoria have refused to touch either body.
Abedi blew himself up in the foyer of the Manchester Arena on May 22, moments after a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande, killing 22 people.
The Manchester-born Daesh sympathizer, who had apparently received bomb-making training in Libya, deliberately targeted children attending a harmless concert.
So horrific were his actions that mosques in the Manchester area refused to carry out a funeral for him or have anything to do with his remains.
Brady, who was 79, died of pneumonia a week earlier, on May 15. He had been incarcerated since 1966, when he was convicted of murdering three children. But he was believed to have killed at least five children with his partner in crime, Myra Hindley.
Brady and Hindley were known as the Moors Murderers because they dumped their victims on Saddleworth Moor, high above Manchester.
Because of the nature of their crimes — they had tortured the children and tape-recorded their ordeals — they were considered the most horrific British killers of the 20th century.
Brady died in Ashworth Hospital on Merseyside, and the local council has refused to have anything to do with his remains.
“We have not been approached by his executor to cremate his body. The simple answer, if asked, would be a no,” said a Sefton Borough Council spokesman.
Glasgow City Council has also refused to take his remains, despite him being born in the city.
Several online petitions have been set up suggesting various ways of disposing of Brady’s remains.
One suggests interring his remains in the grounds of Ashworth Hospital, a place he despised.
“Why can’t we have his remains buried in a pauper’s grave in the grounds of the one place he tried desperately to get out of? That place of course is Ashworth Secure Hospital. I think it would be a fitting place. Keep him there even in death. A true fitting degradation of his memory that he would not have liked,” writes petitioner Brad Savidge.
Another petition calls for him to be buried in a landfill site, and a third suggests his ashes should simply be flushed down the toilet.
This is not the first time the authorities have struggled to know what to do with infamous criminals.
On New Year’s Day 1995 serial killer Fred West hanged himself in prison while awaiting trial.
His funeral was held in secrecy at a crematorium in Coventry, 100 miles from the scene of his crimes in Gloucester, with only two relatives present and his son, Stephen, is understood to have scattered his remains on the beach at Barry Island in south Wales, the killer’s favorite seaside resort.
In January 2016, Robert Black, a Scottish-born serial killer, died in jail in Northern Ireland. He had been convicted of murdering four little girls during the 1980s while driving a van delivering advertising posters around the country.
Nobody claimed his remains when he died of a heart attack, aged 68.
“In the absence of anyone claiming the remains of Robert Black, his ashes have been scattered at sea, without ceremony, beyond these shores,” said a Northern Ireland Prison Service spokesman at the time.
“This has been done in accordance with the legal requirements for disposal,” it added.
One of Black’s victims was nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy, whose mother Pat showed astonishing dignity after his death.
“This is a man that we have to treat with respect — we have to treat his body with respect. Everybody needs to be treated with respect,” she told a local newspaper, although she said she was glad he would not have a permanent grave.
But sometimes it can be beneficial to retain a body.
The Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, died in 1973 and was buried in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in Peabody, just outside Boston.
DeSalvo had always denied being the infamous 1960s serial killer, and the relatives of one of his victims, Mary Sullivan, were unsure of his guilt right up until 2013 when his body was exhumed and DNA tests proved he was the Strangler.
“It’s a great day. This is now full justice for my aunt, Mary Sullivan,” said her nephew Casey Sherman.
A 17-year-old girl has been charged with terrorism offences after allegedly communicating with an Isis fighter in Syria and arranging to receive weapons in order to conduct an attack in the UK, Scotland Yard said.
She is also alleged to have received instructions on how to train and use weapons and asked for assistance in completing a plan, contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006.
The charge follows an investigation by officers from the Metropolitan police’s counter-terrorism command.
She was previously charged on 12 April with acts in preparation contrary to section five of the Terrorism Act 2006 and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on Thursday in relation to these matters.
The teenager was remanded in custody and is due to appear at Westminster magistrates court on Wednesday.
An Islamic businessman who makes money certifying that food is fit for Muslims predicts all non-Muslims in Australia will be eating more halal than ever.
Halal Certification Authority president Mohamed Elmouelhy says the third-party certification industry will keep booming.
‘Everyone will be eating more halal than ever, we have just employed three more auditors to cope with the extra work,’ Mr Elmouelhy told his Facebook followers.
It’s occurring even as cereal makers Kellogg’s and Sanitarium stop paying fees to Muslim businesses on the grounds their products are plant-based and don’t contain any pork or alcohol.
Chocolate brand Cadbury, Bega cheese, Vegemite and Sara Lee desserts pay third-party certifiers an undisclosed fee to declare their foods are halal, an Arabic term for permissible.
Mr Elmouelhy, who declines to name his clients, rubbished senators Pauline Hanson and Cory Bernardi, who have spoken out against the halal certification industry in Parliament.
‘Those who advocate boycotting halal in Australia have failed miserably, instead halal is actually increasing in leaps and bounds, despite all the false information and speeches from the coward’s castle (parliament),’ he said.
‘Anti Muslims will be supporting halal and I thank them in advance.’
Daily Mail Australia broke the news earlier this month that Kellogg’s and Sanitarium have stopped paying third-party halal certifiers on the grounds their cereals are planted based and therefore don’t contain any pork or alcohol products.
Nestle has stopped paying halal fees for his chocolate bars but continues to have commercial halal arrangements for Maggi noodles, Nescafe coffee and condensed milk.
Halal Choices founder Kirralie Smith, a northern New South Wales farmer, argues that halal certification is unnecessary because most food products didn’t contain pork or alcohol.
Private and non-profit halal certifiers give their proceeds to Islamic schools and mosques.
Mr Elmouelhy told Daily Mail Australia he had every right not to disclose which companies paid him a halal certification fee or which Islamic groups he gave his proceeds to.
‘I am not going to say what I spend my money on. This is a private company and I’m a private person and I have every right to spend the money whichever way I want to,’ he said.
‘It is my private money, my private company and I can do with it what I like.’
His daughter Nadia, who is the chief executive of her father’s company, has halal certified a book by Iranian-born Labor senator Sam Dastyari, ‘One Halal Of A Story.’
The right-faction powerbroker even produced a certificate from Nadia Elmouelhy which said the binding, paper and air between the pages was halal.
Her father Mohamed noted that while Kellogg’s no longer paid halal-certification fees, Senator Dastyari was giving his industry some good publicity.
‘Kellogg’s dropped its certification but Sam’s halal-certified book more than picked up the slack,’ he said on Facebook on Tuesday.
As the Islamic State’s territory continues to be squeezed, most notably in the Iraqi city of Mosul, primary revenue-generating streams are drying up—including oil and gas extortion, taxation of the local populations it once controlled, and money earned from phosphate and cement plants. This will likely force the group to seek new, opportunistic revenue streams to exploit, including drug trafficking, to raise money.
One major consequence of the Arab Spring, the anti-government uprising that spread across the Middle East more than six years ago, and the geopolitical tumult that followed has been that new smuggling and trafficking routes and networks throughout the Middle East and North Africa have emerged, with criminal groups and terrorist organizations taking advantage of continued instability in key geographic hubs throughout the Mediterranean region.
Islamic State, or ISIS, fighters are cognizant of the benefits this instability affords. In Rumiyah, an online magazine the organization uses for propaganda and recruitment, ISIS stressed in May that conflict zones such as Ukraine and Syria provide ample opportunities for connections to underground criminal networks.
In September, the New York Times reported on a new drug trafficking route the Italian navy discovered that stretched from Sicily to Libya. The new route is thought to be a response to increased surveillance along the Spanish coastline and an opportunity provided by the implosion of Libya, where drugs can now be moved to Egypt and the Middle East before entering Europe through the Balkans.
An investigation conducted by Italy, other European countries and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration revealed that, at least for a time, drugs were being taken through Islamic State-controlled territory in Libya and were likely being taxed by the group, which carried out similar procedures in Iraq and Syria. Other reports have detailed a transactional relationship between ISIS militants in Libya and long-standing Italian criminal organizations, including the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, which is working with the Neapolitan Camorra. There was also a report that a shipment containing 26 million tablets of the synthetic opiate Tramadol was intercepted last summer by Greek authorities. Originating in India and destined for Libya, it was bound for entities associated with the Islamic State.
An ISIS-linked group operating in North Africa, Jund al-Khilafa, has allegedly profited from providing armed protection to cocaine traffickers in North Africa, while the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported that ISIS has been profiting from the trafficking of cannabis, moving it from Iraq through Syria and Turkey into Europe.
And ISIS militants are not just in the business of profiting from drugs, but appear to be taking them, too. Many reports have suggested that terrorists are widely using captagon, nicknamed “jihad pills,” an amphetamine that suppresses feelings of pain, induces euphoria and allow fighters to remain awake for lengthy battles.
The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, a non-governmental organization dedicated to studying organized crime, estimates that the captagon market could be worth approximately $1.39 billion. Criminal gangs from Syria and Bulgaria and other terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, are thought to be involved with the production and sale of captagon throughout the Middle East, which could potentially bring them into contact with ISIS militants as fighters flee the collapsing caliphate.
The predecessor of ISIS, al-Qaeda in Iraq, was led by criminal-turned-jihadi Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose background included street gangs and prison time for sexual assault. Indeed, ISIS seems to attract many jihadists with a similar profile. Salah Abdesalam, the terrorist who was the main link between the Paris November 2015 attacks and the Brussels March 2016 bombings, was known for his penchant for drinking, smoking, and gambling, rather than his piety. Abdesalam frequented a bar in the gritty Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels for drug dealing and other illicit activity.
Involvement in crime, especially drug trafficking, can lead to prison, which, in some cases, serves as an incubator for religious radicalization and violent extremism. As criminals become radicalized, this potentially increases involvement in the plotting and execution of terrorist attacks.
A 2012 European Parliament report, “Europe’s Crime-Terror Nexus: Links Between Terrorist and Organised Crime Groups in the European Union,” pointed out the pervasiveness of jihadi attacks linked to criminality, including drug trafficking. A background in the criminal underworld left behind for militant Islam can play into the appeal of what has been called “jihadi cool,” which blends “traditional notions of honor and virility, but also a strong undercurrent of oppositional, postmodern cool,” journalist Simon Cottee wrote in The Atlantic.
The modus operandi ISIS has developed for funding foreign fighter travel and for financing external operations to conduct attacks in the West works particularly well with a local criminal funding model. This model fits into how ISIS conceives of extra-territorial contributions on a tactical level.
Terrorist organizations other than ISIS may have less of an affinity for this model, especially those that place a high value on political coherence and central control, with funds being central to the management of more disparate elements. But for ISIS, this model works extremely well. First, ISIS has less concern than other groups about what happens outside of the caliphate. Second, the religious stance of ISIS offers a redemptive narrative for petty criminals to carry out terrorist attacks.
Many ISIS recruits, particularly those from Europe, have relied on drug trafficking as a means of generating revenue at a low level in what Swedish terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp has called “micro-financing the Caliphate.” Proceeds garnered from peddling narcotics affords jihadis in Europe the financial flexibility to travel back and forth to Syria as well as to save the money to help procure the resources necessary for planning a terrorist attack (such as weapons, vehicles, and cell phones).
Deepening involvement in the drug trade could also provide ISIS militants with much-needed financing to flee Iraq and Syria and pay for their return trips home. And as the caliphate collapses, captagon-fueled fighters could reinforce new fronts in the global jihad, from Western Europe to Southeast Asia.
The officer was attacked by a man shouting “Allahu Akbar”, AFP quoted a police source as saying.
The incident occurred at the border between the North African Spanish enclave of Melilla and Morocco.
Police said the knifeman charged at a group of officers manning the border zone between Melilla and the Moroccan city of Beni Ansar.
He is believed to have shouted slogans as he ran at the group, slightly injuring one officer who managed to restrain him.
Police have categorically dismissed the incident as a terror attack.
They said the incident was instead carried out by a “disturbed person” who tried to use the knife on himself before attacking police.
Spain’s interior minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said: “The police have arrested a man who attacked with a knife the agents in the border crossing of Beni Enzar, one of them slightly wounded.”
The police officer received a hand injury during the attack.
The incident occurred at around 7.45am local time (6.45am BST) this morning.
Police have arrested a suspect, a Moroccan man, following the incident.
An investigation is now underway.
Melilla, along with Ceuta, another Spanish enclave in North Africa, are popular targets for migrants attempting to reach Europe.
Attempts are regularly made to breach border fences and then seek asylum in the European Union.