Thursday, 8 June 2017

Preacher who 'influenced' London attacker Khuram Butt is 'still loose'

Neighbours of the radical preacher who reportedly influenced one of the London terror attackers have told Sky News of their concern that he is "still loose".
American-born Ahmad Musa Jibril lives in Dearborn, Michigan.

When news of  his potential connection to London emerged, he left the neighbourhood and has not been seen for days.

His material is a well-known inspiration to Islamic State fighters and extremists, including, reportedly, London terror attack ringleader Khuram Butt.

Jibril, whose work is still widely available online, has previously been to prison for fraud.

But authorities have also been concerned about his hardline views on religion, and his neighbours report regular visits from the police.

"He is still loose," said a man who lived two doors down but didn't want to give his name.

"Of course I worry.

"We have kids to worry about."

Another, who confided that he had spoken to the police about Jibril but did not know if anything had ever come of it, said: "The FBI or whoever came over.

"I don't know what is going on.

"It is up to authorities to do something if he is dangerous."

The pair discussed how Jibril would circle around the street on the bike but hardly ever interacted with the residents.

A mother living on the opposite side of the road said: "People talk around here.

"People said he was with ISIS, in prison … he was scary."

Razi Jafri got to know Jibril through a university Muslim association but became worried about his hardline ideas.

Mr Jafri eventually left a message with Jibril telling him he was not welcome to speak at campus events anymore.

He said: "It was just a kind of general intolerance not just for people outside the Muslim faith but within it too.
"This was in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and we were trying to promote understanding and spiritual and social growth.

"Jibril threatened that."

Any possible connection to the London attack is particularly hard for Dearborn to bear.

It is home to America's largest Arab population and is often held up as a model of unity and co-operation in the fight against extremism.

In part that is due to the deep and hard-won ties between local police and community leaders.

Dearborn police chief Ron Haddad described how his department's outreach programme could well have saved lives.

He said that there had been five cases of families turning their own children in when they had been veering towards violence or even a full-blown terror attack.

Early intervention meant that each potential offender was given the help they needed to recover, with a particular focus on mental health.

He said: "What works here might not work perfectly everywhere else, but I will tell you that people in this community report crimes to us every single day.

"I think we do lead the nation with community policing, it has been recognised countless times.

"The vast majority of people in this country are good people and they want to be a part of the solution."

Nearby, at one of America's largest mosques, Kassem Allie reflected on a fight his congregation cannot afford to lose.

He said: "Extremism of any type is about division.

"We need to be resilient.

"We are vigilant because we are aware that whatever happens in our community will affect us first and foremost.

"It is in our own best interests to counter that message."

SKY     News.