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Proletarian issue 65 (April 2015)
MI5 and the jihadists: an unholy alliance
Britain's secret services and reactionary islamists united against Syria.
On 13 March, a teenager from London’s Kurdish community, who was allegedly trying to join a Kurdish military women’s unit fighting against the Islamic State (IS) terrorists in Syria, was herself charged with a terrorist offence and remanded in custody to Holloway prison.

Shilan Ozcelik, aged 18, was arrested earlier this year at Stansted airport and is charged with engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism under the 2006 Terrorism Act.

Her supporters say she travelled to Brussels in an attempt to join the Women’s Protection Units that have fought heroically for the liberation of Kobane from the IS thugs.

Considering the saturation propaganda concerning the barbaric practices of IS (all the better to demonise all people of muslim heritage), one might be forgiven for thinking that Ms Ozcelik would be commended for her courage and her desire to help her people. But clearly one would in fact be very wrong to do so.

Indeed, increasing evidence shows that, all the propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding, the imperialists’ ‘secret state’ is working hand-in-glove with reactionary islamist terrorism. And, as they share the same objective, to destroy any secular, progressive, democratic or socialist-oriented government in the muslim world, it is only natural that they should do so.

This unholy alliance is at work in Syria today, as it was in Libya yesterday, in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, in Afghanistan in the 1980s, in Nasser’s Egypt in the 1960s, and so on.

Moazzam Begg

One central figure in this current enterprise is former Guantánamo detainee Moazzam Begg. On 2 October 2014, under the heading, ‘Moazzam Begg was in contact with MI5 about his Syria visit, papers show; Defence case corroborated as documents revealed agency told Begg he could continue work for opposition in Syria “unhindered”’, the Guardian newspaper reported:

“The terrorism case against former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg collapsed after MI5 belatedly gave police and prosecutors a series of documents that detailed the agency’s extensive contacts with him before and after his trips to Syria, the Guardian has learned.

The documents included minutes of meetings that MI5 officers and lawyers held with Begg, at which he discussed his travel plans and explained he was assisting opposition fighters in their war against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“On seeing the material, Crown prosecutors realised it corroborated Begg’s defence case: he insists he was always perfectly candid with MI5, and says the agency assured him no attempt would be made to hinder him if he wanted to return to Syria.

“Begg’s lawyers had disclosed that the meetings had taken place earlier this year during a hearing in open court during which they made an unsuccessful attempt to secure Begg’s release on bail.

“On Wednesday prosecutors told an Old Bailey judge they had ‘recently become aware of relevant material’, and would be offering no evidence against Begg.

“The judge formally entered not guilty pleas on all seven of the terrorism charges that Begg was facing, and he was freed from Belmarsh high-security prison in south London a few hours later.”

The report went on to state that “it is now clear that police and prosecution lawyers involved with the case are angry that the documents were disclosed to them after Begg had spent several months in prison on remand ... The Crown Prosecution Service says that had it possessed the material, Begg would not have been charged.

According to the Guardian report: “After the Syrian civil war broke out in March 2011, Begg made several trips to the country, most recently in December 2012 ... However, he maintains that during this time he had been in close contact with the intelligence services, keeping them abreast of his plans ...

In the meeting Begg said MI5 were concerned about ‘the possibility of Britons in Syria being radicalised and returning to pose a potential threat to national security. I told them that Britain had nothing to worry about, especially since British foreign policy, at the time, seemed in favour of the rebels.’

“Begg then says he was ‘assured by MI5’ that he could return to Syria and continue his work ‘unhindered’.”

Jihadi John

Begg is closely associated with a pro-fundamentalist outfit called Cage. In February, further details emerged of the kind of company he and they keep, when the psychopathic butcher dubbed ‘Jihadi John’ in the media – a participant in a vicious and illegal war against the government and people of Syria, and star of revolting IS ‘snuff movies’ depicting the decapitation of hostages – was unveiled as one Mohammed Emwazi, a man who it transpires had numerous contacts with both Cage and MI5.

Bizarrely, Cage maintains that MI5’s attempts to recruit Emwazi are responsible for turning him into a sadistic monster. Prior to this, claimed Cage director Asim Qureshi at a London press conference, Emwazi was an “extremely kind” and “extremely gentle man”.

Whatever the exact relationship between Emwazi and MI5, what nobody has disputed is that he was on their radar in some shape or form for years. Yet, unlike the unfortunate Ms Ozcelik, and despite his apparently being deported from Tanzania years ago at MI5’s behest, he was allowed to slip away unhindered to Syria.

Perhaps this is not so surprising, seeing as how the Islamic State and the British imperialist state are united in their view that “Assad must go”.

Michael Adebolajo

Nor is Emwazi’s the only case of its kind. One of the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo had been “on MI5’s radar” for 10 years and also had extensive contacts with Cage.

The Mail on Sunday reported: “MI5 let Adebolajo go to Kenya where he had terror training and its agents failed to monitor him properly when he returned ... After Adebolajo was arrested for butchering Fusilier Rigby, he refused to tell counter-terrorism police where he lived. But in a telling remark, the Old Bailey was told he said ‘MI5 could provide the location because they had visited him earlier this year’.” (‘MI5 tried to recruit Rigby’s killer: agents were courting islamic fanatic just weeks before Woolwich horror’, 19 December 2013)

The Guardian reported: Cage also represented the family of Michael Adebolajo, the man who butchered Lee Rigby in a London street in May 2013. After the terrorist atrocity Cage revealed that Adebolajo, seemingly like Emwazi, had been harassed by the security services prior to his violent action.”(‘Cage: the campaigners put in the spotlight by Mohammed Emwazi’, 26 February 2015)

Shame of Stop the War

What passes for an anti-war movement in this country has said and done nothing in support of Shilan Ozcelik.

But who, one might ask, chaired the surreal press conference where the killer Emwazi was lovingly described as ‘extremely kind’ and ‘extremely gentle’? None other than John Rees, top honcho of the Stop the War Coalition and of the counter-revolutionary Trotskyite sect Counterfire.

It will be recalled that the CPGB-ML was unconstitutionally expelled from Stop the War for our exposure of its misleadership’s support for the counter-revolutionary war unleashed against the progressive Gaddafi government in Libya – a war that has left that once proud African country in ruins. However, the stench from StW’s political corpse is now more revolting than even we could have imagined.
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