Poway synagogue shooting: suspect John T Earnest linked to mosque arson last month

The 19-year-old man detained by police following an antisemitic-inspired mass shooting at a California synagogue ‘took inspiration’ from the Islamophobic terror attack in New Zealand last month.

Police named the suspect as John T Earnest and said he entered the synagogue in northern California during Passover celebrations and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing one person and injuring three others, including the rabbi.

An antisemitic and racist manifesto attributed to Mr Earnest was uploaded to 8Chan, a website popular with neo-Nazis and white supremacists before the shootings took place, came a bold claim: that John T Earnest had attempted to burn down a local mosque days after the terroristic mass shootings which left 50 Muslims dead in New Zealand.

Police have confirmed that John T Earnest is a suspect in the attempted arson of a mosque in Escondido, California, on March 25.

CCTV footage from the mosque captured the moment when an individual had poured petrol against a side door and started a fire, which was soon extinguished by worshippers, who were inside the mosque for Fajr (morning) prayers.

Details from the alleged manifesto of John T Earnest reference the mosque arson and take ownership of it – including the praise of Brenton Tarrant, which appeared in the car park. The manifesto states, however, that the message was spray-painted.

The manifesto used the racist epithet “Sandn******” to describe Muslims praying inside of the  Escondido mosque, which furthers how any understanding of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred must factor how racialisation impacts on Muslims. This understanding departs from traditional understandings transcends the “black-white divide” and welds Muslim with a singular racial category, often Asian or Arab, despite the racial diversity of Muslims in the United States (with notable numbers of Muslims identifying as black or Latinx).

Such “othering” works to further the dehumanising idea that Muslims are a cultural menace or securitised threat, which, in turn, helps to pre-empt empathy.

The synagogue shooting came six months after a white supremacist murdered 11 people inside of a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Robert Bowers, the main suspect, faces the prospect of the death penalty if convicted. Bowers’s name appeared in the manifesto attributed to John T Earnest.

Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch terror suspect, is ‘credited’ with inspiring this latest act of antisemitic violence, which, if true, demonstrates how emboldened white supremacists and white nationalist feel to act upon the violence which underpins their ideologies.

White supremacist attacks on other faith groups remain in the headlines in the United States, as weeks earlier, a 21-year-old man, who once ‘joked’ about white power online, was charged with hate crime offences, following several arson attacks on black churches in Louisiana.




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Categories: Antisemitism, California, Far Right groups, mosques, News, terrorism

U.S: One Dead After Man Opens Fire on Worshippers in California Synagogue

A woman has died and three other people are in hospital after a shooting at a synagogue outside San Diego, California.

County sheriff William Gore said a white man opened fire on worshippers at Chabad of Poway with an AR-type assault weapon.

San Diego Police chief David Nisleit said the 19-year-old suspect called police to report the shooting, and was subsequently arrested by a California Highway Patrol officer.

Mr Nisleit said the suspect got out of his car with his hands up and was taken into custody without incident.

Mr Gore confirmed a woman died from her injuries, while a girl and two men are in hospital in a stable condition.

He said an off-duty Border Patrol agent believed to be inside the synagogue at the time shot at the suspect as he fled. The sheriff said the agent did not hit him, but struck his car.

US president Donald Trump offered his “deepest sympathies to the families of those affected”.

At the White House, Mr Trump said that the shooting “looked like a hate crime” and called it “hard to believe”.

He spoke from the South Lawn before flying to a rally in Wisconsin.

Mr Gore said he had no details on motive.

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Categories: Chapad of Poway, hate crime, News, Synagogue Shooting, United States

William’s Emotional Speech to Christchurch Mosque Survivors In Full

The Duke of Cambridge delivered an emotional speech during a visit to the Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch, where 42 people were killed last month in one of two attacks on mosques in the city.

Here is the text of William’s speech, after he greeted the guests in Maori and Arabic:

Good morning. Today we gather in a place of worship, faith, and friendship. We gather here in Al Noor mosque, a home for community and for family.

On the 15th of March, tragedy unfolded in this room.

A terrorist attempted to sow division and hatred in a place that stands for togetherness and selflessness. He thought he could redefine what this space was.

I am here to help you show the world that he failed.

Now, when I woke up in London on the morning of 15th of March, I could not believe the news.

An act of unspeakable hate had unfolded in New Zealand – a country of peace.

And it had unfolded in Christchurch – a city that has endured so much more than its fair share of hardship.

And when it was confirmed that 50 New Zealand Muslims had been killed – murdered while peacefully worshipping – again, I just could not believe the news.

I have been visiting New Zealand since before I could walk. I have stood alongside New Zealanders in moments of joy and celebration.

And I have stood alongside New Zealanders in this city in moments of real pain, after loved ones, homes, and livelihoods had been lost after the 2011 earthquake.

And what I have known of New Zealanders from the earliest moments of my life, is that you are a people who look out to the world with optimism.

You have a famous strength of character. You have a warm-hearted interest about cultures, religion, and people thousands of miles from your shores.

You acknowledge, debate, and grapple with your own cultural history in a way that has no real parallel in any other nation.

So again, I could not believe the news I was hearing on the 15th of March.

A country that seemed to be bucking global trends of division and anger, looked like maybe it too would fall victim to those intent on promoting fear and distrust. I have no doubt that this is what the terrorist had hoped for.

But New Zealanders had other plans. The people of Al Noor and Linwood mosques had other plans.

In a moment of acute pain, you stood up and you stood together. And in reaction to tragedy, you achieved something remarkable.

I have had reasons myself to reflect on grief and sudden pain and loss in my own life. And in my role, I have often seen up close the sorrow of others in moments of tragedy, as I have today.

What I have realised is that of course grief can change your outlook. You don’t ever forget the shock, the sadness, and the pain.

But I do not believe that grief changes who you are. Grief – if you let it – will reveal who you are. It can reveal depths that you did not know you had.

The startling weight of grief can burst any bubble of complacency in how you live your life, and help you to live up to the values you espouse.

This is exactly what happened here in Christchurch on the 15th of March.

An act of violence was designed to change New Zealand. But instead, the grief of a nation revealed just how deep your wells of empathy, compassion, warmth and love truly run.

You started showing what New Zealand really was almost immediately. On the road outside these walls people pulled their cars over and started caring for the victims even when they did not know if it was safe to do so. Your neighbours opened their doors to those who were fleeing the violence.

Your first responders apprehended the killer and immediately worked to save lives in the most challenging of circumstances.

In the days that followed, thousands of bouquets of flowers filled public spaces in this city, brightening the darkest of moments.

Your prime minister showed extraordinary leadership of compassion and resolve, providing an example to us all.

Imam Gamal Fouda – you displayed wisdom and grace that is almost unthinkable given what you witnessed with your own eyes. Your words in the days after the attack moved the world.

Your reminder that the victims needed to be remembered both as Muslims and as New Zealanders, showed that grief revealed you to be a man of great wisdom.

You could not have been more right when you declared that this country is unbreakable.

On the map New Zealand may look like an isolated land. But in the weeks that followed the 15th of March, the moral compass of the world was centred here in Christchurch.

You showed the way we must respond to hate – with love.

You showed that when a particular community is targeted with prejudice and violence, simple acts – like wearing a headscarf or broadcasting the call to prayer – can reassure those who have reason to be afraid.

You showed that an attack designed to divide a society against Muslims only brought us all closer to our Muslim friends.

The Muslim community showed the world the true face of Islam as a religion of peace and understanding.

I was very moved by the stories of the great distances that your friends and families travelled to support you in your time of need, even when your previous connections had not always been frequent. They travelled here to support you because you were family and that is what families do. They drop everything when it is needed.

People of all faiths and backgrounds can learn a great deal from how the Muslim families affected by the 15th of March attacks rallied around their loved ones.

The example provided by New Zealand will prove to be of enduring value to all nations. What happened here was fuelled by a warped ideology that knows no boundaries.

The world has rightly united to fight the extremism that has made sorrowful brethren out of cities like New York, Paris, London, and Manchester and that has taken so many lives in Sri Lanka in recent days.

And so too we must unite to fight the violent brand of extremism that has led to fatal shootings in a church in Charleston, South Carolina; and a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; a van attack on the streets of Finsbury Park in London; the murder of an MP in West Yorkshire; and now so many deaths in two mosques here in Christchurch.

Extremism in all its forms must be defeated.

The message from Christchurch and the message from Al Noor and Linwood mosques could not be more clear – the global ideology of hate will fail to divide us.

And just as New Zealand has taken swift action to ban physical tools of violence, we must unite to reform the social technology that allowed hateful propaganda to inspire the murder of innocents.

To the people of New Zealand and the people of Christchurch – to our Muslim community and all those who have rallied to your side – I stand with you in gratitude for what you have taught the world these past weeks.

I stand with you in optimism about the future of this great city.

I stand with you in grief for those we have lost, and with support for those who survived.

And I stand with you in firm belief that the forces of love will always prevail over the forces of hate.

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Categories: Masjid Al Noor, New Zealand Mosque Attack, News, Prince William

UKIP’s Controversial Candidates Cause Chaotic Scenes

A YouTube star-turned-Ukip candidate who said he “wouldn’t even rape” a female Labour MP has refused to apologise and insisted he was just treating women the same as men.

Carl Benjamin – known to online fans as Sargon of Akkad – said he would not “apologise for my crimes against political correctness”.

Ukip leader Gerard Batten appeared alongside Mr Benjamin as the launch of the party’s European election campaign descended into chaos as journalists attempted to question the would-be MEP.

In combative exchanges, Mr Benjamin – who is standing for election in the South West region – told journalists: “I’m not answering your questions, I’m not apologising for anything, you dirty, dirty smear merchants.”

In response to Labour MP Jess Phillips in 2016, he posted the comment “I wouldn’t even rape you, @jessphillips. #AntiRapeThreats #FeminismIsCancer” on Twitter.

Reporters were repeatedly shouted down by activists as they attempted to question Mr Benjamin and Mr Batten.

Challenged about the comment, Mr Benjamin said: “I think we should treat women the same as men.

“That means if a woman is being a giant bitch and laughing at male suicide, I’m going to be a giant dick back to her.”

Mr Benjamin said he was standing for Ukip to campaign for free speech, adding: “I’m not going to apologise for my crimes against political correctness, I hate political correctness.”

Birmingham Yardley MP Ms Phillips responded on Twitter: “Carl Benjamin will forever have whatever career he has defined by me, he will hear my name wherever he goes.

“His whole political life defined by little feminist Jess, that my friends is comedy.”

Mr Batten, who was joined on stage by both Mr Benjamin and another controversial candidate – Scottish comedian Mark Meechan, known as Count Dankula, who was fined £800 in 2018 for filming a pet dog giving Nazi salutes – defended his decisions.

Mr Meechan said: “I want to protect people from having their rights infringed upon in regards to freedom of speech and freedom of expression by draconian and authoritarian laws.”

Mr Batten said: “These gentlemen are free speech merchants making comedy acts.”

He added: “If they make jokes as part of their act, I’m not condoning any jokes or any ill-considered remarks, but this is what they are.”

Mr Batten insisted “the vast mass of people out there couldn’t care less”. He dismissed calls from local activists for Mr Benjamin to be deselected.

“There are people in Ukip who want to deselect me, it’s called politics,” he said.

“Whoever you select as a candidate, some people are going to object and some people are going to walk away.

“That’s the nature of the business.”

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Categories: Count Dankula, Jess Phillips, News, Sargon of Akkad

Jail for Somali Man Who Had Stash of IS Propaganda

A Somali man has been jailed for having a stash of Islamic State propaganda.

Abdirahman Mohamed, of Shadwell Drive in Northolt, west London, had been found guilty after an Old Bailey trial of eight charges of possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes and cleared of one count of disseminating a terrorist publication.

Police seized two laptops, a mobile phone and a USB memory stick after searching his home in July 2017.

Officers had found electronic copies of the IS magazine as well as other documents including “safety and security guidelines for Lone Wolf Mujahideen”, the court heard.

The unemployed 42-year-old was sentenced at the Old Bailey to a total of two years and three months’ imprisonment.

He was also ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge and all the items are to be destroyed.

Prosecutor Kelly Brocklehurst had said: “It is not the Crown’s case that the defendant personally engaged in, or was about to engage in, violence to kill or maim people in a political, ideological or religious cause.

“Rather the Crown say he knowingly possessed a number of documents that the Crown say are the kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.”

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Categories: Abdirahman Mohamed, IS Propaganda, Islamic State, jail, News, Somali Man

Christianity Grows in Syrian Town Once Besieged by Islamic State

A community of Syrians who converted to Christianity from Islam is growing in Kobani, a town besieged by Islamic State for months, and where the tide turned against the militants four years ago.

The converts say the experience of war and the onslaught of a group claiming to fight for Islam pushed them towards their new faith. After a number of families converted, the Syrian-Turkish border town’s first evangelical church opened last year.

Islamic State militants were beaten back by U.S. air strikes and Kurdish fighters at Kobani in early 2015, in a reversal of fortune after taking over swaths of Iraq and Syria. After years of fighting, U.S.-backed forces fully ended the group’s control over populated territory last month.

Though Islamic State’s ultra-radical interpretation of Sunni Islam has been repudiated by the Islamic mainstream, the legacy of its violence has affected perceptions of faith.

Many in the mostly Kurdish areas of northern Syria, whose urban centres are often secular, say agnosticism has strengthened and in the case of Kobani, Christianity.

Christianity is one of the region’s minority faiths that was persecuted by Islamic State.

Critics view the new converts with suspicion, accusing them of seeking personal gain such as financial help from Christian organisations working in the region, jobs and enhanced prospects of emigration to European countries.

The newly-converted Christians of Kobani deny those accusations. They say their conversion was a matter of faith.

“After the war with Islamic State people were looking for the right path, and distancing themselves from Islam,” said Omar Firas, the founder of Kobani’s evangelical church. “People were scared and felt lost.”

Firas works for a Christian aid group at a nearby camp for displaced people that helped set up the church.

He said around 20 families, or around 80 to 100 people, in Kobani now worship there. They have not changed their names.

“We meet on Tuesdays and hold a service on Fridays. It is open to anyone who wants to join,” he said.

The church’s current pastor, Zani Bakr, 34, arrived last year from Afrin, a town in northern Syria. He converted in 2007.

“This was painted by IS as a religious conflict, using religious slogans. Because of this a lot of Kurds lost trust in religion generally, not just Islam,” he said.

Many became atheist or agnostic. “But many others became Christian. Scores here and more in Afrin.”


One man, who lost an arm in an explosion in Kobani and fled to Turkey for medical treatment, said he met Kurdish and Turkish converts there and eventually decided to join them.

“They seemed happy and all talked about love. That’s when I decided to follow Jesus’s teachings,” Maxim Ahmed, 22, said, adding that several friends and family were now interested in coming to the new church.

Some in Kobani reject the growing Christian presence. They say Western Christian aid groups and missionaries have exploited the chaos and trauma of war to convert people and that local newcomers to the religion see an opportunity for personal gain.

“Many people think that they are somehow benefitting from this, maybe for material gain or because of the perception that Christians who seek asylum abroad get preferential treatment,” said Salih Naasan, a real estate worker and former Arabic teacher.

Thousands of Christians have fled the region over decades of sectarian strife. From Syria they have often headed for Lebanon and European countries.

U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017 banned entry for all Syrian refugees indefinitely and imposed a 90-day ban on travel from several other predominantly Muslim countries.

“It might be a reaction to Daesh (Islamic State) but I don’t see the positives. It just adds another religious and sectarian dimension which in a community like this will lead to tension,” said Naasan, a practicing Muslim.

Naasan like the vast majority of Muslims rejects Islamic State’s narrow and brutal interpretation of Islam. The group enslaved and killed thousands of people from all faiths, reserving particular brutality for minorities such as the Yazidis of northern Iraq.

Most Christians preferred not to give their names or be interviewed, saying they fear reaction from conservative sectors of society.

The population of Kobani and its surroundings has neared its original 200,000 after people returned, although only 40,000 live in the town itself, much of which lies in ruins.

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Categories: Christianity, Conversion, Islamic State, Kobane, Kobani, News, Syria

IS Supporter Husnain Rashid Who Encouraged Others to Target Prince George Has Sentence Cut

An Islamic State supporter who called for an attack on Prince George has had his minimum jail term cut on appeal.

Husnain Rashid used a chat group to encourage supporters to target the young prince, posting the address of his school with the chilling message “even the Royal family will not be left alone”.

The 32-year-old, of Leonard Street, Nelson, Lancashire, was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years at Woolwich Crown Court in July last year after pleading guilty to four terror offences.

But his tariff was reduced to 19 years by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Lord Justice Holroyde, sitting with two other senior judges, upheld Rashid’s life sentence, rejecting an argument by his lawyers that it was not justified.

He told the court: “We are satisfied that (the Crown Court judge) was entitled to come to the conclusion that the seriousness of these offences, taken together, was such as to justify a sentence of life imprisonment.”

However, he said the original minimum term was too long, adding: “We accept that the judge fell into error in some aspects of his application of the sentencing guidelines.”

The court heard police found nearly 300,000 messages on Rashid’s mobile phone, and further evidence on his computer, when he was arrested in November 2017.

A message sent to a Telegram chat group on October 13 that year included a photograph of Prince George, then aged four, who had started at Thomas’s Battersea in south-west London a month earlier.

The picture was superimposed with silhouettes of two masked jihadi fighters and Rashid had added: “School starts early.”

The court heard his plans were “indiscriminate” and made no distinction between adult and child, or between members of fighting forces and civilians.

Lord Justice Holroyde said Rashid’s suggestions included injecting poison into supermarket ice creams and targeting Prince George at his first school.

He also discussed how to bring down an aircraft using lasers with a British terrorist in Syria, the court heard.

He also posted suggestions of which British football stadiums terrorists could strike following the deadly attack outside Besiktas’s ground in Turkey.

Over a year-long period before his arrest he ran a Telegram channel and online magazine, both named the Lone Muhajid, where he provided detailed information to help people plan and commit terror attacks.

His list of targets for “lone wolf” attacks, involving vehicles, weapons and bombs, were wide-ranging and included British Army bases, shopping centres and Government buildings.

He also suggested supporters should target high-profile events including the 2018 football World Cup in Russia and the New York Halloween parade.

The court heard he planned to flee to Syria to fight for IS and had researched potential travel routes, but had been unable to get a “recommendation” from a jihadi fighter by the time of his arrest.

Rashid also posted a photograph of the Burmese ambassador to the UK, saying “You know what to do”, and urged others to “fight and spill the blood to the apes in your land”.

Sentencing him, Judge Andrew Lees said: “The message was clear – you were providing the name and address of Prince George’s school, an image of Prince George’s school and the instruction or threat that Prince George and other members of the royal family should be viewed as potential targets.

“You provided what you regarded as inspiration for suitable targets for lone wolf terror attacks.

“Attacks in Western countries were, in your eyes, the only suitable acceptable alternative to jihad itself.”

Rashid initially maintained his innocence, but changed his pleas to guilty after the prosecution outlined its case at trial.

He admitted three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and one count of encouraging terrorism.

Two further charges of dissemination of a terrorist publication were laid on file.


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Categories: Husnain Rashid, Islamic State, News, Prince George

Teenager Praising Adolf Hitler Tells Fellow Pupils He Was Going “On a Rampage” to “Kill Many People”

A teenager charged with terror offences told police that being arrested was “cool” and he would show off about it “forever”, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old boy is accused of accessing bomb-making instructions on the internet and making a potential bomb filled with shrapnel, but denies intending to harm anyone.

The trial at Leeds Crown Court heard that he told fellow pupils at his school that he was going to “go on a rampage” and “kill many people”.

The jury was told that the teenager also told students he was going to carry out a school shooting and had praised Adolf Hitler.

Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, read out statements from the boy’s interview with the police following his arrest in August last year.

The court heard he said he would be able to show off to his friends about being arrested “forever”.

Mr Greaney said he told police: “When I have kids I’ll probably still talk about this.”

He described being in the cells as “wicked” and said the situation was “cool and funny”, the court was told.

But the jury heard he told police it “wouldn’t be a joke any more” if he was charged with offences.

The trial has heard that the boy developed an interest in extremist far right ideology and accessed videos and information about murder, torture and mutilation on the internet.

When asked about the violent material, the court heard he told police:

“I find that stuff cool like any teenager would.”

The teenager said he was bullied at school and would say and do “stupid stuff”, the court was told.

Mr Greaney said the boy told police he talked about bombs because:

“Bombs sound cool and will make me sound cooler. It makes me stand out and I look more cool.”

The barrister said the boy added: “I know in my head I wasn’t going to do anything, or haven’t really been doing anything wrong, so it’s cool to me.

“I know I wasn’t going to do anything bad or harm to anyone.”

The court has heard that a search of the teenager’s home in Bradford, West Yorkshire, found a device made from two carbon dioxide canisters joined together and filled with metal tacks, which could have been a “viable CO2 bomb” with the addition of gunpowder and a fuse.

Talking about the device in the interview with police, the court heard that the boy said: “If I was a terrorist, do you think I would leave the device on the bedroom floor?

“If I was a terrorist, I would hide it to the best of my abilities. Why would I have it in my bedroom just sitting on the floor?”

He denied planning an attack on anyone or any place.

The boy denies one count of making an explosive substance with intent, one count of making an explosive substance and three counts of possession of a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

The case was adjourned until Tuesday.

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Categories: Adolf Hitler, News, Teenager

Why was a far-right activist ‘invited’ onto a Counter Terrorism Advisory Group panel?

A political candidate for the far-right For Britain party was pictured making the “okay” hand gesture, which depending on the context, has been used by white supremacists like terror suspect Brenton Tarrant and so-called ‘alt-right’ trolls, at a far-right event last year, a Tell MAMA investigation can reveal.

The wide-ranging investigation of Frankie Rufolo’s social media usage raises further questions about his suitability to sit on the Government’s Counter Terrorism Advisory Group for young people.

There’s another immediate concern: why was an individual, whose views on the For Britain group are traceable in 2017, who has been referred to Prevent, was able to secure such an invitation.

The photograph of Mr Rufolo and others making the “okay” hand gesture appeared on the social storytelling website Wattpad last year, in a poem titled “Union Flag” where he recalled attending a far-right rally. Without context or explanation, the photograph in question appeared at the end of the poem.

During a pro-Brexit protest in Exeter with well-known Islamophobe Katie Hopkins, Frankie Rufolo was pictured in an “Anti-Communist Action” t-shirt, the logo on this shirt, however, is closer to the neo-Nazianticom” front, which differs from the version sold by the US-based ‘Liberty Hangout’.


Mr Rufolo, however, has liked the Facebook page of the former. The page has engaged in Holocaust revisionism, including placing the number of Jewish Holocaust victims in quotation marks. Anticom helped to organise a neo-Nazi rally in Shelbyville in 2017 under the ‘White Lives Matter’ hashtag and provided security for the neo-Nazi Richard Spencer. The anticom Facebook page continues to post violent memes which target the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which mirrors the authoritarian violence of General Pinochet in Chile. Violently Islamophobic memes have also appeared on the Anticom Twitter account.

News of the Exeter bridge protest went viral after a man threatened to throw Mr Rufolo and a woman off the bridge.


Frankie Rufolo made headlines again after he burnt a copy of the Holy Quran in an Exeter pub following a ‘heated’ political debate.

Writing for “Make Britain Great Again”, the website of Luke Nash-Jones in 2017, an individual linked to the far-right storming of a left-wing bookshop in central London last year, Rufolo attempted to push the racialised idea of ‘Muslim-on-Muslim violence’, echoing a similar mythologised trope of ‘black-on-black violence’.

Frankie Rufolo has lionised Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson), and the Mussolini-praising Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, on Twitter.




On January 25, Rufolo tweeted, “Islam is evil and the sooner it dies out, the better.” Other notable tweets include a reference to a “Muslim rape gang” and following news of a stabbing in London, made a crude reference to London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, with the phrase “Khanage”’.

Other controversial ‘likes’ on the Facebook of Mr Rufolo includes the extremist Hindu nationalist Tapan Ghosh, who once claimed that “backwardsness is the most ‘powerful’ weapon of Islam,” was invited into parliament by Conservative MP Bob Blackman. Tell MAMA wrote a formal complaint to parliament following the appearances of Ghosh in 2017.

Photographs with the leader of For Britain, Anne Marie Waters, who expressed a desire to close mosques, end immigration from Muslim-majority countries, and for deportations, when standing for Ukip in 2015, appear on his social media.

Anne Marie Waters has sat on the leadership committee of Pegida UK, alongside Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and Paul Weston. In 2014, Ms Waters shared a platform with Lars Hedegaard, an individual who forms part of the wider ‘counter-Jihad’ network.

Mr Rufolo called David Lammy a “racist hypocrite” following the Labour MP’s criticism of Stacey Dooley, for perpetuating “tired and unhelpful stereotypes” about Africa, following her campaign work with Comic Relief.

He gave the Facebook page of Carl Benjamin (aka Sargon of Akkad) a 5-star review, adding that he was an “absolute lad”. Mr Benjamin, who intends to run as a candidate for Ukip at the upcoming European elections, was back in the news after their rape tweet to Labour MP Jess Phillips in 2016, was defended by Ukip leader Gerrard Batten, as “satire” during his appearance on the Andrew Marr Show. Following that tweet, Jess Phillips received over 600 rape threats.

A pro-refugee and pro-migrant group called “Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants-Bristol” was also given a 1-star review on Facebook by Mr Rufolo.

This Tell MAMA investigation raises further questions about Frankie Rufolo’s supposed involvement with any previous and future involvement in the Counter-Terrorism Advisory Group for young people.



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Categories: Anne Marie Waters, For Britain, Frankie Rufolo, News

Legal Aid for IS Teenager Shamima Begum Makes Me Uncomfortable – Jeremy Hunt

The Foreign Secretary has said giving Shamima Begum access to legal aid to challenge the decision to deprive her of UK citizenship would make him “very uncomfortable”.

Jeremy Hunt said Ms Begum, who left the UK at the age of 15 to marry an Islamic State fighter, “knew the choices she was making”, but acknowledged that the UK is a country which believes people should have access to legal representation.

The Daily Mail reports that Ms Begum is now hoping to get legal aid to challenge a decision to strip her of UK citizenship.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Hunt said: “On a personal level, it makes me very uncomfortable because she made a series of choices and she knew the choices she was making, so I think we made decisions about her future based on those choices.

“However, we are a country that believes that people with limited means should have access to the resources of the state if they want to challenge the decisions the state has made about them and, for obvious reasons, those decisions are made independent from politicians.”

Mr Hunt added: “The decision to deprive her of her citizenship was taken by a politician. Obviously the decision about whether she accesses legal aid or not has to be done independently.”

Dal Babu, a former chief superintendent in the Metropolitan Police, is a friend of the family.

He told Today that Ms Begum should have legal aid to make sure the correct process is followed.

Mr Babu said: “Isis is a murderous organisation. They are a horrendous organisation and I don’t think anyone in their right mind would be joining that organisation.

“She was a young woman. She was 15 when she was groomed. The police were aware of this, the counter-terrorism police were aware of this, the school she was at was aware of this, and the social workers at Tower Hamlets Council were aware of this.

“There has been no serious case review. Normally, when a young person dies as a result of failures in safeguarding, there is a serious case review.”

Mr Babu said that, in order for a proper review to take place, Ms Begum needed to get legal aid.

“I think legal aid is a principle of the British legal justice system.

There will be people who can afford to have swanky lawyers, there will be people who have no money who are in desperate situations.”

A Legal Aid Agency spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases.

“Anybody applying for legal aid in a Special Immigration Appeal Commission case is subject to strict eligibility tests.”

Mark Tipper, whose brother Trooper Simon Tipper was killed in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing, is among critics who have condemned the move as “absolutely disgusting”, according to the Daily Mail.

He was refused funding to pursue a case in the civil courts, although the decision was later reversed following public outrage.

Corey Stoughton, advocacy director at Liberty human rights group, described the granting of legal aid in this case as “not just appropriate but absolutely necessary to ensure that the Government’s decisions are properly scrutinised”.

She said: “Stripping someone of their citizenship is among the most severe punishments a government can exercise, and the evidence that this decision will render Shamima Begum effectively stateless presents a powerful argument for subjecting this case to rigorous scrutiny in court.

“This case could have widespread repercussions for thousands of people, and more broadly for how the Government uses dramatic powers to take away fundamental rights.”

The post Legal Aid for IS Teenager Shamima Begum Makes Me Uncomfortable – Jeremy Hunt appeared first on Faith Matters.

Categories: Jeremy Hunt, Legal Aid, News, Shamima Begum