Thursday, February 12, 2009

COMMENT: Hassan Butt turns out to be a Claytons jihadi ...

Many years ago, a famous Australian actor (I think it was Jack Thompson) appeared in an advertisement for a drink called Claytons. I'm not sure if it was a non-alcoholic drink, but the slogan of the advertisement was "Claytons - the drink you're having when you're not having a drink".

Since then, Australians have been referring to half-baked or fraudulent things using the adjective "Claytons". In this sense, if recent media reports are correct, it seems that Hassan Butt, darling of the UK tabloid media and ex-jihadi pinup boy, has turned out to be a complete fraud, a Claytons jihadi.

The Guardian and Reuters report that Hassan Butt was all along speaking out of his backside to various media outlets and journos about his alleged exploits in al-Qaeda. Here's what the Guardian says:

Hassan Butt received significant media attention for his claims to have helped send scores of Britons to terrorist training camps overseas and to have met Mohammad Sidique Khan, the ringleader of the 7 July 2005 attacks on London.

Butt was the former spokesman for the extremist group al-Muhajiroun and was invited to meet a government minister to discuss ways to combat terrorism, as well as featuring heavily in BBC News, national newspaper and US television reports on al-Qaida.

However at a trial of another man accused of terrorist offences, Butt said he had told journalists stories "the media wanted to hear", admitting that he was "a professional liar". He also admitted faking his own injuries to make it appear that he had been attacked by extremist Muslims.

Butt was arrested in 2008 over his planned autobiography Leaving Al Qaeda: Inside The Life And Mind of a British Jihadist, in which he was planning to claim involvement in the US consulate attack in Karachi, Pakistan, in June 2002, which killed 12 people.

The book was being co-authored by freelance journalist Shiv Malik, who became a media cause celebre after counter terrorism officers demanded he hand over his notes.

But in court Butt agreed he had taken Malik for a "right patsy"

Here is how Reuters reported it:
He made the confession in December during the trial of a former friend, Habib Ahmed, who was subsequently convicted of belonging to al Qaeda. Restrictions on the reporting of the case have only now been lifted following the conclusion of another trial involving Butt's wife.

"At no point have I ever been training, have I ever been a jihadi," Butt told the court, according to a transcript of the proceedings.

Questioning Butt about his past, prosecutor Andrew Edis asked: "So, you were a professional liar then?"

Butt replied: "I would make money, yes." He had, he said, told stories that "the media wanted to hear".

The confession will come as a surprise to many as Butt was for years regarded as a leading Islamist who had subsequently turned himself into a proponent for "de-radicalising" young men in order to combat extremism.

He has been widely profiled in newspapers, magazines and in television documentaries, and even met members of the government to discuss his plans for combating radicalism.

What a bullsh*t artist this guy is. Seriously. God knows just how many people have been arrested or detained or subject to various restraining or control orders thanks to his evidence.

I wonder who will be caught out spinning crap next. Will the UK government now investigate some of the crazy claims of other alleged ex-jihadis and ex-"Islamists"? Will Ed Husain cut the nonsense and admit that so many of his claims about his HT involvement are about as real as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy?

Hassan Butt ran this imbecilic line that all jihadis had the same "Islamic theology" which inspired them all to commit acts of terror. Butt, speaking out of his surname-sake, told Muslim-phobic tabloid morons exactly what they wanted to hear - that the problem wasn't with violence or terror but with religion itself. But with Butt's cover blown, fruitloops like Robert Spencer and Mad Mel Phillips won't have many native informants to assist in their misinformation campaigns.

Writing in the Daily Mail under the headline I was a fanatic...I know their thinking, says former radical Islamist, Butt writes:
The attempts to cause mass destruction in London and Glasgow are so reminiscent of other recent British Islamic extremist plots that they are likely to have been carried out by my former peers.

Which peers were they, Mr Butt? Were these the non-existent peers you told 60 Minutes about in 2007?

Butt's nonsense has been published by an impressive list of media outlets including Commentary Magazine based in the United States, The Times of London, NPR and BBC. Check out this interesting summary of Hassan Butt's butt-headed nonsense and his numerous supporters here. For more blog commentary, check out UmmahPulse and Indigo Jo.

I feel rather strange now. I've just finished the manuscript of my own memoir of my own teenage and young adult flirtation with Jamaat-i-Islami and Iranian literature during the years of the Afghan jihad of the 1980's. After finishing it, I wondered whether anyone would find it slightly entertaining or enlightening given the more exciting memoirs of people like Hassan Butt and Ed Husain. Well, all I can say now is that my memoir might be a little less dramatic, but at least it is honest.

Words © 2009 Irfan Yusuf

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Anonymous said...

It's non-alcoholic. You can still buy it in the supermarket. Rather nice with dry ginger ale.

When's the book coming out????

Irf said...

Next time I'm in Mexico City, you should invite me over for a Claytons' Party!

Book out in late April or early May. The cover is a friggin hoot.