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The West at War: The Traitor: WE ALL WANT TO DIE; Fanatic Hassan, 22, recruits 400 fellow young British Muslims to be martyrs for the Taliban.

Byline: ARMADEEP BASSEY in Lahore, Pakistan

THIS is the traitor who has recruited hundreds of fellow young British Muslims to die for the Taliban.

Fixer Hassan Butt is pictured holding a prayer meeting with other fanatics, including two Britons, at his nerve centre in Lahore.

The Sunday Mirror is the first British newspaper to have been allowed to interview the 22-year-old former Wolverhampton University student inside the Pakistan headquarters where he plots his international war.

We met him just days after four British Muslims died in US bomb attacks on the Afghan capital, Kabul. Far from showing regret for their deaths, Butt said: "I am envious of them and the fact that they have become martyrs.

"I wish the same happens to me, for it is every Muslim's dream to die a martyr and go to heaven.

"Their deaths are something to be celebrated, they are an inspiration to British Muslims everywhere who should try and emulate them. I can personally help them do that.

"I am being labelled a traitor, but I would rather be a traitor to Britain than my religion.

"I am a Muslim first and foremost and have no sense of duty towards Britain. Maybe now the only time I will come back to Britain will be in a coffin."

Butt, who has a brother who is a GP in Britain, is a leader of of the London-based Al-Muhajiroun - a radical Islamic group committed to armed struggle. During his interview, he was surrounded by advisers, including a 25-year-old Londoner who called himself Abdul and who claimed to have converted from Christianity to Islam and travelled to Pakistan to join Butt a month ago.

Abdul bragged: "I would have no hesitation in killing a British soldier who is oppressing Islam."

Butt, who was born in Luton, Beds, but whose family moved to Prestwich, Manchester, when he was three, then boasted how he had "helped" 400 British Muslims since the September 11 attacks.

He said: "I have direct responsibility for the British recruits. It is my job to get them into the training camps here where they prepare for war."

He claimed the Al-Muhajiroun's network of lieutenants and wealthy backers ensured a steady stream of suitable fighters from Britain and that the organisations has 15 "districts" which vet recruits before they are sent to Butt.

He claimed 60 recruits had enlisted in Britain in the last week alone and added: "If these recruits insist they want to wage a physical fight and we are confident they are genuine a British fixer will put them in contact with me.

"We can help recruits with their air fares to Pakistan - and in some cases will even look after the families they have left behind. There are many professional people in the Muslim community who have highly-paid jobs. These people, like doctors, chemists and engineers, are happy to make large private donations to help the holy war.

"The recruits who are sent from Britain normally fly into Lahore or Islamabad.

"There they are met by our senior contacts and given board and lodgings until we decide how they can best be deployed in the war against the West."

In Pakistan the recruits are given specialist military training at camps in the barren North West Frontier Province safe from the attentions of the Pakistan secret service. Butt said: "I have three mobile phones. With just one call I can get through to any of the Mujhadeen camps." British recruits, including Aftab Manzoor, Yazir Khan, Afzal Munir and Muhamad Omar - who died last month - are mainly sent to camps run by the Kashmiri terror groups harkat-Al-Mujhadeen and jais-e-Mohammed, both of which are banned in Britain.

Butt said: "The camps have a very scientific approach to war. We have worked out that the best fighters in Afghanistan should be 5ft 8in and weigh no more than 65kg because of the harsh terrain."

Butt claimed that his religious fervour is the result of his early life in Manchester where his father, Shaukat-Ali, ran a textile business. At 14 he was expelled from Prestwich High School for fighting. He later won a place at Wolverhampton University, but left before completing his degree amid claims he had made racist remarks. He said: "No matter how hard I tried I felt I did not fit in."

DO you know Abdul or any of the British recruits to Al-Muhajiroun in Pakistan? Call the newsdesk FREE on 0800 289 441.


FIXER: Hassan; INSIDE THE RING OF TERROR: Hassan (circled) and his recruits pray to Allah before plotting more ways of sending young Britains to fight to the death for the Taliban; PEDDLERS OF HATE: =Two of Hassan's helpers leave his Lahore HQ; MYSTERY MAN: Abdul; CALL TO ARMS: Butt addresses Muslims in a crowded Lahore market
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 4, 2001
Next Article:The West at War: The Traitor: Children paint a tragic picture.

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