Thursday, November 25, 2010

British cab driver fights for Taliban in Afghanistan

The above article was written by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and Jon Boone for the Thursday 25 November edition of the It is entitled "UK-based Taliban spend months fighting Nato forces in Afghanistan." It is subtitled "Taliban fighter reveals he lives for most of year in London and heads to Afghanistan for combat."

Here are some highlights: "British-based men of Afghan origin are spending months at a time in Afghanistan fighting Nato forces before returning to the UK, the Guardian has learned. They also send money to the Taliban.

"A Taliban fighter in Dhani-Ghorri in northern Afghanistan last month told the Guardian he lived most of the time in east London, but came to Afghanistan for three months of the year for combat.

"'I work as a minicab driver,' said the man, who has the rank of a mid-level Taliban commander. "I make good money there [in the UK], you know. But these people are my friends and my family and it's my duty to come to fight the jihad with them."

"There are many people like me in London," he added. ‘We collect money for the jihad all year and come and fight if we can.’

"Intelligence officials have long suspected that British Muslims travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan each year to train with extremist groups."

"Last year it was reported that RAF spy planes operating in Helmand in southern Afghanistan had detected strong Yorkshire and Birmingham accents on fighters using radios and telephones. They apparently spoke the main Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, but lapsed into English when they were lost for the right words. The threat was deemed sufficiently serious that spy planes have patrolled British skies in the hope of picking up the same voice signatures of the fighters after their return to the UK."

COMMENT: I'm reminded of the Greeks who fought only in good weather. When the weather turned bad they went home. That there are British Muslims fighting against NATO forces in Afghanistan seems beyond doubt, but is anyone in Britain doing anything about it?

It seems clear that NATO forces are going to fight whomever is fighting them and if one of them happens to be a minicab driver from East London, so be it. But why isn't anyone in Britain doing anything about it?

Some military forces seem curious. They heard Yorkshire and Birmingham accents from Afghan fighters using radios and telephones, but what they are doing about it seems ludicrous. They are spying on voices from Yorkshire and Birmingham, during the non-fighting season presumably, to see if they can hear those same voices. Presumably their voice-print technology will permit them to do that, but is a voice-print sufficient evidence for an arrest warrant; or is this just a matter of intellectual curiosity.

Why aren't you Brits worried about a situation in which you breed or at least harbor enemies? Why not change your laws a bit so that known enemies can be shipped back to wherever they came from. The mini-cab driver the Guardian interviewed said he was a mid-level Taliban commander and made "good money" in the UK, "you know. But these people are my friends and my family and it's my duty to come to fight the jihad with them." Fair enough, O Taliban fighter, but it ought to be the duty of the British, some of whom you are fighting against in Afghanistan, to object to your behavior and at a very minimum ship you back to the people you are loyal to.

British officials ought have that same level of loyalty to their own people. They should ferret out these enemies they are harboring, revoke their citizenship and send them back to Afghanistan.

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