Oh, well. Again.
Cageprisoners, a self-styled human rights organisation, has a long association with Anwar al-Awlaki, who was last week accused of being one of the figures behind the terrorist plot to blow up cargo planes which saw a powerful device defused at East Midlands Airport.
The Islamic preacher, based in Yemen, was invited to address two Cageprisoners’ fundraising dinners via video link, one last year and one in 2008.
The group has now told its backers that it no longer supports the cleric and that it “disagreed” with him over “the killing of civilians“.
But an examination of the Cageprisoners website last week suggested that its support for the cleric was as strong as ever.
Cageprisoners was set up to lobby on behalf of terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay and those monitored under control orders in the UK.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that it is being funded by the Joseph Rowntree Trust, a Quaker-run fund set up by the chocolate-maker and philanthropist a century ago, and The Roddick Foundation, a charity set up by the family of Anita Roddick, the Body Shop founder, after her death three years ago.
The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is giving Cageprisoners £170,000 in donations over three years – with the latest payment due this month – and The Roddick Foundation another £25,000.
In its website, recently re-branded with some of the charities’ cash, Cageprisoners carries more than 20 articles about al-Awlaki, describing him as an ‘inspiration’ and casting doubt on the evidence he is involved in terrorism.
Awlaki is believed by Western intelligence services to be an ideological figurehead of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the group blamed for the cargo bombs. Last year he praised the Muslim US soldier who killed 13 colleagues at Fort Hood, Texas.
Yet despite the heads of both MI5 and MI6 saying Awlaki uses the internet to foment terrorism, the Cageprisoners website also contains video messages from the American-born radical.
Cageprisoners – a not for profit company – is headed by Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, and also employs Feroz Ali Abbasi, another detainee freed from the controversial US base.
As recently as last month its website highlighted claims by Yemeni politicians that they had “never been given evidence against [Awlaki]“.
Earlier in the year one leading activist wrote: “Anwar al-Awlaki’s contribution to Cageprisoners has always been positive, particularly when invited to our events he has only spoken from his experiences as a former prisoner.”
Foundation of the Body Shop’s founder. That was a suprise for me.
Anyway, Al-Awlaki has been involved in several plots, the last one being the woman who actually stabbed an English MP, Mr. Timms, over Iraqi war vote. He actually ruled Molly Norris, the US cartoonist who began “Mohammad’s Draw Day”, should be killed in a fatwa. He also supported and influenced Jihad Jane, the woman who wanted to kill Mohammad’s cartoonists, Abdulmutallab aka the Pantybomber, Mj. Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, and Sharif Mobley, the NJ Muslim who worked in a nuclear plant, linked to Al-Qaeda.