Scotland Yard urged to drop advisor with terrorist ties



For four years, the Scotland Yard, headquarters of the London Metropolitan Police Service, has employed Mohamed Ali Harrath as an “anti-terrorism advisor” while funding his London-based Muslim television station with tens of thousands of pounds. Last week The London Times discovered that Harrath is wanted by the Tunisian authorities and by Interpol “because of his links to an alleged terror organization”. The organization, known as the Tunisian Islamic Front (FIT), is said to advocate “an Islamic state by means of armed revolutionary violence”. The Tunisian government is not known for its democratic credentials, but British intelligence organizations seem to agree with its assessment of FIT. In 2003 an MI5 witness implicated “FIT [in] terrorism activities in France” before Britain’s Special Immigration Appeals Commission. Now Lady Neville-Jones, former chairperson of Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee, has written to the Metropolitan Police, the Home Office and the Foreign Office to ask why Scotland Yard employed “an individual with a red notice [by Interpol] for alleged links to a suspected terrorist organization”, even as the Tunisian government has asked “for the extradition of this man”. It is understood that both the Home Office, who allowed Tunisian-born Harrath to legally enter the UK, and Scotland Yard, who employed him, have access to Interpol’s electronic database. Many thus wonder whether Harrath provided British law enforcement and intelligence organizations with significant intelligence on FIT’s activities, in return for immunity from prosecution. The British government’s response is expected later this week. [IA]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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