The ‘DIY jihadists’ paid for by us… Roshonara Choudhry supporters are living on benefits
By SUE REID
They refuse to apologise for their vile rant at the Old Bailey that made a mockery of our justice system.
Nor are they repentant over supporting the radical Muslim woman on trial there for trying to kill an MP in a knife attack.
As 21-year-old London University student Roshonara Choudhry was sentenced to life on Wednesday, they cursed the judge from the public gallery and hurled abuse at a terrified female juror wearing a Muslim headscarf, screaming ‘Shame on you, sister’.
The three agitators were then bundled out of court where, incredibly, were allowed to continue their poisonous rant. With faces twisted in fury, they waved banners saying ‘Islam will dominate the World’, yelled ‘British soldiers must die’, and screamed that the knifed Labour MP, Stephen Timms, should be killed.
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Until now, they have been unidentified. But the Mail can reveal their names and that they operate at the centre of a dangerous organisation intent on bringing hard-line Islamic sharia law to Britain and flying the flag of Islam over Downing Street.
They warned me that Choudhry is only one of hundreds of home-grown ‘DIY jihadists’ – many female and some recently converted to Islam – prepared to die as martyrs.
I met two of the protesters in a coffee bar in Ilford, East London, after receiving a call from an intermediary within the fanatical group Islam4uk. I found that both are living on benefits, one claiming to suffer from chronic fatigue disorder, while they orchestrate an Islamic backlash against Britain.
Protest: Roshonara Choudhry, left, who was jailed for life for the attempted murder of Stephen Timms, and her supporter Mohammed Haron Saleem
Although both use Islamic pseudonyms – Abu Saalihah and Abu Abdullah – their birth names are Mohammed Shamsuddin and Mohammed Haroon Saleem. As Shamsuddin, 34, told me: ‘The majority of Muslims sympathise with our Sister Roshonara. They view her as their heroine now.
‘The Islamic websites and forums are full of messages of support for her and anger at the Old Bailey judge. Men and women are inflamed by the harshness of the sentence she was given.’
Shamsuddin and Saleem, along with a third radical, East London office administrator Abu Yahya, 27, (who refused to give his birth name) escaped scot free after the Old Bailey outrage despite some MPs’ demands for their arrest for contempt of court.
‘We were told by a police officer outside the court that the judge had sent us a message to say, “Don’t do this again and you’ll be all right”. I would have gone to prison for a week and was surprised I wasn’t sent there. I would happily have done so,’ said Shamsuddin, with a smile playing on his bearded face.
Saleem, 29, added: ‘It is going to happen again, I promise you.
‘We won’t stop. There are plenty of young Muslims who are angry and frustrated. They think they are treated as second-class citizens.
‘They want to take their fight on to the streets of Britain. It isgoing to get worse after this.’
The two men are obviously well-educated. Shamsuddin studied at Southampton’s Solent University and ran the Islamic Society there. He was brought up in North London, by his Indian parents who came to Britain 40 years ago. His father was the head chef at the Bombay Palace near Oxford Street, until his death two years ago.
He was radicalised after inviting Omar Bakri Mohammed (an extremist Muslim cleric now banned from Britain) to speak at the university. Shamsuddin now has four children, three girls and a boy. Two of them go to private schools at a cost of £2,000 a year each, although he is living off benefits at a family house in Walthamstow.
Saleem has four children, two girls and two boys, and lives in Ilford. He too is jobless and claiming benefits. ‘I used to be a quality controller at a meat factory but they laid people off last year. I am looking for another job,’ he told me.
It was after watching abhorrent hate-filled sermons by the fanatic Anwar al-Awlaki on the internet that Choudhry decided to attack Stephen Timms because he had voted in the Commons for Britain’s war with Iraq. Her Bengali family have, apparently, disowned their daughter and she refused to appear in person at the Old Bailey (saying she did not recognise the British justice system because it was not sharia law), receiving news of her sentence by video link in prison.
When I meet Shamsuddin and Saleem they appear polite. But their conversation is littered with hatred of non-Muslims.
The white working class are ‘riff raff’, they say, and non-Muslim women flaunt themselves as sex objects by putting on make up in the morning to attract men. As for the moderate Muslim Council of Britain, that is the puppet of Government ministers.
So why, I ask, did they shout abuse in a British court room at a woman juror from their own community? ‘It is unacceptable for one Muslim sister to condemn another,’ says Shamsuddin.
They may speak in moderate tones, but it is what they say that shocks.
These two radicals have never, so they say, trained at terror camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan.
They wouldn’t know how to put a bomb together (although they assure me plenty do and it is only a matter of time before one ‘gets through’).
Yet as they walk the streets of Britain with State money in their pockets and time to preach a divisive creed, it is hard not to conclude they are every bit as dangerous.