Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Not so rag-tag after all 

Yesterday, the lawyer for Osman Hussain, one of the accused London bombers-not-to-be who was arrested in Rome, said on behalf of her client that he was not a terrorist, was not connected to Al Qaeda, and the bomb was not designed to go off - it was merely meant to be a peaceful protest (albeit one that was supposed to "terrorize") against the occupation of Iraq. Expect that line to get milked for what it's worth, since judging by the opinion polls and op-ed pages it will resonate very with the public.

Osman Hussain might or might not be a terrorist, but his brother Remzi, who runs a souvenir shop in Rome, apparently has been under surveillance by the Italian authorities since September 11 for suspected connection with an Al Qaeda finance network:
Last night police said that Remzi Hussain is under arrest for "falsifying documents". It was to his flat in Rome that his brother fled after escaping Britain's biggest manhunt on July 29. When police searched the flat on the Via Aurelia at Tor Pignatarra, a Rome suburb, they found records of air tickets used in "recent times" by Remzi Hussain to Dubai, Geneva, Zurich, Munich and Amsterdam.

In public, senior Italian officials said that Osman Hussain, who is thought to have tried to kill himself and others by blowing up a Tube train at Shepherd's Bush, was part of "a rag tag" group and not linked to a major terror network.

Behind the scenes, however, Italian security forces have stepped up their investigations, fearing that their country may be the next to suffer a terrorist strike.

At the weekend Giuseppe Pisanu, the Interior Minister, said that Hussain, his brothers and friends formed part of a "tightly knit network" that posed a threat to Italy.
Poor Osman might have been radicalized by the Iraq war, but his brother Remzi appears to have bettered him, having been radicalized by the Iraq war pre-emptively, well before September 11 by the looks of it.

As we all know, neo-cons have been plotting to invade Iraq well before September 11 - it looks like jihadis were planning to avenge the invasion well before then, too.


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