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07/11/2005

Jailed American link to London bombing?

By Aaron Klein, World Net Daily

An American citizen arrested last year by the FBI, and who has admitted to being a sleeper agent for al-Qaida, may be a key source of information regarding last week's London terror attacks, WorldNetDaily has learned.

Mohammed Junaid Babar, a naturalized citizen from Pakistan, was secretly taken into custody by the FBI last April. He has since admitted to aiding an al-Qaida plot to blow up discos, restaurants and train stations in London in 2004. He also told interrogators he smuggled money and military supplies to a senior al-Qaida operative in Pakistan and helped set up a jihad training camp in south Waziristan.

British authorities foiled the 2004 London bombing plot following Babar's admissions, which led to the arrests of eight British suspects of Pakistani origin and the seizure of 1,000 pounds of ammonium-nitrate fertilizer, which can be used to make explosives, from a storage locker near central London.

But sources close to Babar's interrogation told WND elements of the foiled bombing Babar helped to plan bear striking resemblance to last week's bus and subway attacks.

They also say a London native in custody in Pakistan who has been previously identified by Babar as an al-Qaida agent could be a major source of information regarding last week's attacks.

After his arrest Babar told interrogators Zeeshan Siddique, a British national with known links to al-Qaida, was involved in the 2004 London bombing plot.

According to Pakistani authorities, Siddique has talked about Babar, but has revealed little about his involvement with al-Qaida. Investigators say they uncovered phone numbers from Siddique linking him to al-Qaida operatives, including some of the eight arrested in the foiled London attacks.

But investigators are now interested in a note Siddique supplied during initial interrogations that may have contained codeword references to a future attack, sources say.

"There are specific troubling elements that have us concerned both Junaid [Babar] and Siddique might have a lot more information they could give us. They could prove to be good leads for the London bombing," said an FBI source.

The source would not say whether the U.S. or Britain will request the extradition of Siddique, who is still being held in Pakistan, or if either country would send interrogators to Pakistan.

Also of interest to investigators is Babar's connection to al-Muhajiroun, an Islamic fundamentalist organization based in London that claims it disbanded last year.

WND first broke the story Babar was a member of al-Muhajiroun, led by London cleric Sheik Omar Bakri Muhammad. The group maintained branches in Pakistan and in Queens, N.Y.

A U.S.-based leader of al-Muhajiroun who operated openly in Queens previously told WND on condition of anonymity: "I've known Junaid [Babar] for a long time. I met him about seven years ago in a local mosque in Queens before we both became involved with Muhajiroun."

The leader would not comment on Babar's involvement with his group, except to say Babar was involved in "organizational operations" in Queens and later in Pakistan, where he traveled after leaving a $70,000-a-year computer job because he wanted to join the jihad in Afghanistan.

Al-Muhajiroun has long been suspected of ties to al-Qaida. One of the Sept. 11 hijackers reportedly was involved with al-Muhajiroun, and according to an internal FBI memo by Phoenix agent Kenneth Williams, another Al-Muhajiroun member with ties to al-Qaida trained at an Arizona flight school prior to 9-11.

Following intense scrutiny by British officials, al-Muhajiroun last year claimed it disbanded, but sources say the group still operates underground.

It's leader, Bakri Muhammad, was recently caught delivering extremist sermons on the Internet in which he preached the destruction of Britain and America. And some of its Queens branch leaders are now suspected of forming the Islamic Thinkers Society, a controversial activist group that recently held a protest in New York in which American flags were desecrated and Islam's dominance over the U.S. was declared.

Bakri, who is suspected of having links with Abu Qatada, the alleged al-Qaida leader in Europe, warned last year of a pending attack in London.

"Here in London there is a very well-organized group, which calls itself al-Qaida-Europe," Bakri told the Portuguese daily Publico in an interview published April 18 last year. "I know they are on the verge of launching a big operation."

Said an FBI source: "We don't necessarily suspect al-Muhajiroun was directly involved in the London attacks. We are, however, concerned those involved could have attended Muhajiroun functions or may have links to some of its members."

Sources say Babar in 2004 told investigators al-Qaida is planning more attacks in the United States, and revealed a detailed plan to smuggle al-Qaida agents across the Mexican border.

Babar's assertions were reportedly part of the intelligence that led to warnings about a 2004 summer threat from the terror network.

Babar first appeared on the FBI's radar and was put on a terror watch list after he made anti-U.S. remarks to a Canadian news reporter in Pakistan following the Sept. 11 attacks.

He said despite the fact his mother had escaped from the ninth floor of one of the World Trade Center towers, his loyalty was "to the Muslims, not the Americans." He also announced his intention to fight with the Taliban against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

WND was told an al-Muhajiroun leader in Pakistan, who appeared behind Babar in a British documentary aired on ITN television network in November 2001, may have been instrumental in arranging for Babar to travel there.

"I'm willing to kill Americans," Babar said in the television interview, adding that he had no plans to return to New York.

But Babar returned to New York April 6, 2004, and was placed under surveillance by a team of police investigators and FBI agents. He was arrested four days later on his way to a school for taxi drivers in Long Island City.

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