Sunday, July 12, 2015

British chemist 'groomed' Western woman into radical Islam

Dr Faisal Mostafa, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, has all-night conversations with 23-year-old American woman persuading her to live in a 'Muslim land'

Dr Faisal Mostafa has been exposed as an online 'groomer'
Dr Faisal Mostafa has been exposed as an online 'groomer' Photo: Newsteam
Dr Faisal Mostafa, a chemist from Stockport, Manchester, has been exposed as an online “groomer” who sent strict Muslim texts to a 23-year-old American woman to convert her from Christianity and lure her to a “Muslim land”.
The woman, identified only as Alex, was offered tickets from her home in rural Washington state to Europe to meet a 45-year-old potential husband.
Talha Asmal, 17, from Dewsbury, West Yorks, whose family said was 'groomed' to become islamic State's youngest suicide bomber earlier this month
Alex, who is emotionally immature and vulnerable after suffering foetal alcohol syndrome, believes Mostafa ultimately wanted her to travel to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
The case provides new insight into how Muslims based inside Britain are using the internet to draw young Westerners into extremism.
From left: Kadiza Sultana, Shamima Begum and Amira Abase left their east London homes to travel to Syria earlier this year
Experts said it provided valuable new evidence of how radicals in Britain may be playing a larger role than previously thought in recruiting young followers for Islamic State.
Mostafa, 51, has been linked with a series of terror charges spanning almost 20 years.
In 1996 he was acquitted of planning to cause explosions with other Manchester University students, but found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm and jailed for four years.
In 2000 he was charged with Moinul Abedin, a fellow Bangladeshi, of planning to cause explosions.
Police in Birmingham recovered a large cache of chemicals and detonators but Mostafa was cleared when it was accepted he was planning to open a fireworks shop. His co-defendant was jailed for 20 years.
In 2010 the Foreign Office helped secure his repatriation from Bangladesh following his arrest at an Islamic school, or madrassa, run by his UK-registered charity Green Crescent which the authorities claimed was a terror training camp.
The New York Times newspaper reported how Mostafa, a married father of three, would stay online through the night talking to Sunday school teacher Alex about Islam.
In techniques which mirrored Isil recruitment manuals, he wrote: “If you need money I can get some. Don’t be shy, just keep it quiet.”
He acted as a witness for Alex’s conversion to Islam at the end of December last year and within weeks gift packages, sent by Royal Mail, began arriving at Alex’s home.
They included a strict Muslim text, The Rights and Duties of Women in Islam;a hijab; and Lindt chocolate – the brand signifying the siege of the Lindt cafĂ© in Sydney, Australia, in December last year in which two people died.
He dissuaded her from attending a mosque near her home, claiming it had been infiltrated by the US Government.
Mostafa emphasised that it was a sin for Alex to remain in a Western country and their conversations increasingly turned to her travelling to “a Muslim land”.
He offered to pay for a flight to Austria to meet a potential suitor, who was “45, bald but nice Muslim”.
Alex’s grandmother eventually got wind of her grand-daughter’s activities online and challenged Mostafa, who promised never to contact the young woman again.
Even after she was supposed to have ceased all communication with her Muslim contacts online, Alex said: “I don’t think the Islamic State is as bad as everyone says. I think that their atrocities are exaggerated.”
Hannah Stuart, a terrorism expert at the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said: “This is a huge concern. This man has been in the security services’ radar for more than 15 years.”
Charlie Winter, of the Quilliam Foundation counter-extremism group, said: “It would make sense for the security services to keep track of what individuals like this are saying online.”
At Mostafa’s modern semi-detached family home a woman, believed to be his wife, said: "He is not here and he does not want to talk to anyone.
“He does not wish to give any interviews.
“Please go away and leave our family alone."

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