War on Terrirism: Was This Ordinary Block of Flats in South London Home to an Academy of Terror? ; Investigation
Ian Burrell and Jason Bennetto, The Independent (London, England)
SAKINA SECURITY Services was not the simple purveyor of burglar alarms or bespoke bouncer services that its name might suggest. Instead, its clients were invited to participate in the "ultimate jihad challenge", with the chance to "fire between 2,000 to 3,000 rounds of mixed calibre ammunition" at a "state-of-the-art shooting range in the United States".
Yesterday, as police examined evidence seized in a raid on Sakina's unassuming headquarters on one of Britain's most deprived council estates, near Greenwich in south-east London, it became apparent that the organisation may have been a key part of the global terrorist network uncovered since the attacks on America.
Officers from Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch believe that behind the white front door on a windswept fourth-floor walkway of the notorious Ferrier estate in Kidbrooke, Sakina ran a British command centre for raising funds and warriors in a holy war against the West. On Monday night, they broke down the door and took away boxes and bin-liners of equipment and documents.
Scotland Yard's investigation is centred on Sakina's alleged involvement in fund-raising for Islamic Jihad, a terror group outlawed in Britain. The website invites people to "donate now" to a London account of the Woolwich bank and help pay for the "liberation" of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Islam's second holiest site.
Officers arrested Sulayman Zain-ul-Abidin, owner of the flat where Sakina is allegedly based, and were yesterday questioning him at the high-security Paddington Green police station in west London.
The Kidbrooke council flat is innocuous, like so many of the other premises raided by British and American police investigating suspected Islamic terror groups in the past three weeks. But the surprise among terrorism experts, MPs and neighbours on the Ferrier estate yesterday was not at the unlikely location of the raid, but at why Sakina has been allowed to continue operating for so long.
The company's activities have been public knowledge for more than a year and a half, during which time it has been monitored by Special Branch and the Home Office. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been aware for more than a year of information that Sakina operated firearms training courses in Michigan, Virginia and the Missouri desert.
Mohammed Jameel, a 6ft 4in-tall martial arts expert who is the operational head of Sakina, has for nearly three years been organising training camps in the English countryside for young Muslims to learn hand-to-hand combat and survival techniques.
During that period, a network of Islamist organisations that allegedly includes Sakina and al-Muhajiroun - a radical Muslim organisation which has been banned from campuses by the National Union of Students - has sent between 1,000 and 2,500 young Britons overseas to train and fight for the jihad. …