Trial puts Dewsbury Islamic group in spotlight

THE Home Office is being asked to examine the work of a Dewsbury-based Islamic movement in the wake of the liquid bomb trial.

Patrick Mercer, the former Tory shadow security minister, is writing to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for "reassurances" about the "credentials" of Tablighi Jamaat.

The movement, which describes itself an Islamic missionary organisation, has its European headquarters in the Markazi Mosque in Savile Town, Dewsbury.

The organisation, which has 80 million followers worldwide, insists it is a peaceful, apolitical revivalist movement that promotes Islamic consciousness among individual Muslims.

It has however been put under the spotlight after some of the defendants in the terror trial that ended this week professed links with Tablighi, with several having passed through mosques and religious study meetings run by the group.

Ahmed Abdulla Ali, 27, the plot ringleader who was convicted of conspiracy to murder, told Woolwich Crown Court that he had been a Tablighi follower since he was in his mid-teens.

Meanwhile, Muktar Ibrahim, leader of the failed 21 July bomb plot in 2005, is reported to have attended a Tablighi Jamaat mosque in east London.

And Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, two of the 7/7 suicide bombers, are also both reported to have attended the Tablighi headquarters in Dewsbury. This was yesterday denied by a senior Tablighi figure.

Mr Mercer wants reassurance that the leadership of the group is "working with the government to prevent radicalisation."

Shabbir Daji, a secretary and trustee at the Markazi Mosque, yesterday told the YEP that members of the movement work for "peace" and "humanity".

He said: "It is totally unfair linking the people to us. We do not know them, we do not have such activities in our organisation.

"Our group is working through the UK and are very open to the public.

"Any people who do these sort of activities are not part of us. It's totally against our work."

Denying that Khan and Tanweer attended the Dewsbury mosque he added: "Unfortunately he (Sidique Khan) happened to live in Dewsbury and married a Dewsbury girl. But we never knew who he was."

A Home Office spokesman said: "Once the Home Secretary receives the letter she will respond to it."

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