Mar 30 2014
Why has a Muslim terror suspect who trained the ringleader of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London been allowed to set up an Islamic primary school, teaching children as young as three?
As a member of a banned terrorist group, Sajeel Shahid, 38, called for violence against British troops and ran a training camp in Pakistan where known terrorists learned how to make bombs and fire rocket- propelled grenades. One of his graduates was Mohammed Siddique Khan, who led the gang of four suicide bombers on the deadliest terrorist attack ever committed in Britain, killing 52 people on the London Underground and a bus on July 7, 2005.
UK Daily Mail Shahid also allegedly trained four convicted terrorists who tried to blow up the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent and London’s Ministry of Sound nightclub in a foiled plot.
The jihadist – who was raised in Britain but spent years in Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks – was detained for three months in 2005 by the Pakistani security forces over his suspected links to Al Qaeda.
The Department for Education said last night it was ‘urgently’ looking into Shahid’s case, which critics said exposed the lack of checks on potentially dangerous individuals who set up schools in the UK.
Lord Carlile, the Government’s former adviser on counter-terrorism, said: ‘It is a matter of real concern that somebody should be able to slip through the net and run a school where there has been substantial concern about his activities in the past. ‘People who have been involved in terrorist activity anywhere in the world should not be allowed to run schools, unless there is the clearest evidence they have rejected the views that made them turn towards terrorism.’
Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday show Shahid was registered as director and proprietor of the Ad-Deen Primary School in Ilford, Essex, which teaches 54 pupils aged three to 11. He is thought to have founded the £2,000-a-year school in 2009, where, using the pseudonym Abu Ibrahim, he taught children to recite the Koran.
He was able to operate his school for five years, despite the DfE launching a Due Diligence and Counter-Extremism Unit in 2010 to prevent individuals with a history of extremist beliefs running schools. A cursory internet check on Shahid reveals his past as a terror suspect, as he even has a profile on Wikipedia stating his involvement with Al-Muhajiroun, the group founded by Omar Bakri Mohammed.
In 2001, Bakri sent Shahid and his elder brother Adeel, 39, also a member of Al-Muhajiroun, to Pakistan to set up a branch of the group there.
In December 2001, Shahid gave an interview to a British newspaper. He said: ‘We say the Pakistan army, navy and air-force should be fighting US and British forces which are killing our Islamic brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. We see the US and British governments as the biggest terrorists in the world.’
He also called on Muslims to rise up and ‘throw out their rulers implementing kufr [infidel] laws to be replaced by the Islamic law and order,’ adding, ‘jihad was the only solution for Muslim lands under occupation.’