For almost two years, an Islamic activist who ‘despised Britain’ and said ISIS is ‘no different’ to Western armies led a double life working within a government police watchdog, the UK’s Daily Telegraph has reported.
Using his real name Mouloud Farid, Abdullah al Andalusi, an Islamic preacher with extremist views, went to work at the London offices of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the regulatory body responsible for assessing police activity - including “the fight against terrorism” - across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
But, as it has been reported, al Andalusi moonlights as a regular speaker on the extremist lecture circuit - and he allegedly has ties to Cage, a London-based lobby group that once leapt to the defence of ISIS-hostage killer Mohammed Emwazi, or “Jihadi John” as he is more widely recognized.
Placing him at the centre of HMIC, al Andalusi was promoted to executive grade, a management position within the civil service and may have had access to sensitive information, according to the Daily Telegraph.
A former colleague of Al Andalusi’s at the Muslim Debate Initiative, an organization he co-founded which is reportedly backed by donations from a wealthy Saudi businessman, told the Daily Telegraph: “He said he had a role in overseeing the police response to terrorism and there were areas he couldn’t talk about.
“He would discuss the reports that HMIC were working on and the data they needed to present.
“His story is so odd and so scandalous in many respects,” the Daily Telegraph’s anonymous source continued. “He had these two completely incompatible lives that went on for years. He despised Britain, yet worked for the British government […] Opportunities came along to do dawah [preaching] as a full-time job, but he was never tempted to do that because he had a stable income and pension with the civil service.”
HMIC has admitted to hiring al Andalusi who had passed a security check. Shockingly, given that his association with groups of questionable motive and extensive online presence are matters of public record, al Andalusi was only found out and fired after bosses saw him on television defending his extremist positions on behalf of the Muslim Debate Initiative.
“This man’s unsuitability for sensitive work should have been obvious from the start,” said Labour MP Khalid Mahmood.
Condemning Western judgement of ISIS in a particularly incendiary blog post published on June 30 last year, al Andalusi said: “The simple reason is if [ISIS] do create a state using terrorism and brutal actions - it wouldn’t be any different to how many Western nations were formed and rose to power.
“[ISIS] are no different to the history of some Western armies, Western-backed groups and even some of the ‘founding fathers’ of Western nations - therefore they have no basis to judge [ISIS] - [ISIS’s] crime is being actually a good student of the West.
“[And] another reason that can’t be used to reject a claim of Islamic State, is the method used to create it, whether it was done by coup, revolution or elections. Despite some of those methods being illegitimate, once the Islamic State is created and fulfills all the criteria, it is accepted on the basis of its factual description.”
Responding to the Daily Telegraph’s report in a 2,400-word blog post to his website, al Andalusi said: “Of course I [support the re-establishment of a Caliphate], because a Caliphate is a part of Islamic belief […] Caliphate is not a totalitarian theocratic dictatorship, but an open pluralist, elected and accountable government under rule of law.
“[And] sure, I criticise the [British] government, and talk about the West, but discussing politicians and ruling elites is different from talking about the land, culture and the people.
“The British people are humans, like me, whom I grew up amongst and experienced much goodness, love and warmth, I have no enmity to the people – quite the contrary."