– HAROON RASHID ASWAT
Haroon Rashid Aswat was born in UK in 1975 to an Indian Muslim Family. He grew up in Dewsbury south of Leeds. Haroon Rashid Aswat moved to Green Woods, London, in 1995 and became associated with Abu Hamza al-Masri, later the dominant figure in Finsbury Park Mosque in London, when he helped to organize a group of about 200 British men of Pakistani origin to go fighting in Indian Jammu and Kashmir. The group was, eventually, deployed to Bosnia and joined Abdelkader Mokhtari’s battalion, in the 7 Mujahideen Brigade, in Zenica.
In 1999 Haroon Rashid Aswat, with Abu Hamza al-Masri and James Ujaama, was involved in an attempt to buy land in Oregon, USA in order to build there a training camp for young Muslims. (see – Oregon camp ) In order to handle the deal he lived in Seattle, Oregon, for a month. Some reports suggested that at that time, in 1999, Haroon Rashid Aswat was an MI6 (British Intelligence Service) informant and due to him the Oregon deal was foiled.
In mid 2002 Haroon Rashid Aswat hosted, for a short while, at a religious school in Lahore, Pakistan, Mohammed al-Ghabra.
Haroon Rashid Aswat continued to travel all over the world and in 11/2004 met in Pakistan with Mohammad Sidique Khan, the ringleader of the London 7/7 attack, and Shehzad Tanweer -another suicide bomber in this attack.
On 05/2005 Haroon Rashid Aswat was located in South Africa and USA authority asked for his arrest and extradition to USA for charges related to the Oregon training camp from 1999. The South African authority refused to arrest Haroon Rashid Aswat on the grounds that as a British citizen that committed no crimes in South Africa the arrest need the Britain s’ authority consent.
In the beginning of 06/2005, a month before the London 7/7 attack, Haroon Rashid Aswat returned to Britain through Flixton, a ferry harbor in Suffolk. He left Britain to India on 07/06/2005, a day before the London 7/7 attack.
During the month in Britain Haroon Rashid Aswat was in contact with all the London 7/7 suicide bombers and visited each one of them. After he left Britain Haroon Rashid Aswat was in an intensive phone connection with Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer and spoke with them more than 20 times in the last hour before the attack on the morning of 07/07/2005.
The Britain authority believed that Haroon Rashid Aswat was a key figure in the masterminding of the London 7/7 attack and after an international man hunt he was arrested in Lusaka, Zambia on 07/20/2005. In his primary investigation by British intelligence in Lusaka, Haroon Rashid Aswat boasted that he was for some time one of Osama Bin Laden s’ body guards.
Haroon Rashid Aswat was extradited to UK on 08/03/2005 but, despite all the circumstantial evidences, was never charged for the London 7/7 attack. On 12/01/2006 the House of Lords in Britain, as a high court, confirmed his extradition to USA. Today 04/2007, he is waiting for extradition in Belmarsh high security prison in London.
In 2008 Haroon Rashid Aswat was transferred to Broadmoor Hospital, a high-security psychiatric hospital after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
In 2010 the European Court of Human Rights blocked the extradition orders of Aswat, Abu Hamza, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan.
On 104/16/2013, the European Court of Human Rights decided that Aswat’s extradition to the USA would violate his right for protection against inhumane treatment, given his mental state. The UK Government appealed to for the case to be reconsidered by the court’s Grand Chamber, but on 09/11/ 2013 that was rejected, making the decision became final that Aswat cannot now be extradited.
** Haroon Rashid Aswat was, eventually, handed over to US authorities. on Friday 10/05/2012.
The behavior and movements of Haroon Rashid Aswat indicated that he was indeed an MI6 informant. The question is if, as it has happened many times, he changed his attitude and became a sympathizer of radical Islam. Did he manage to deceive his operators in MI6, or did the British intelligence community fail to understand and to share the information that Haroon Rashid Aswat provided – remains unsolved.
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