Friend who claimed Woolwich suspect was 'offered MI5 job' is linked to banned Islamist group

  • Abu Nusaybah claimed that MI5 tried to recruit suspect Michael Adebolajo
  • But his real name is Ibrahim Hassan  a former member of  Al-Muhajiroun
  • The group was banned in 2005 after radicalising a wave of British Muslims
  • As he was interviewed, Police arrived to arrest Hassan
  • it has been alleged that this was to stop him making claims about MI5

By Robert Verkaik And Abul Taher

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The childhood friend of one of the Woolwich suspects who was dramatically arrested at the  BBC has disguised his identity and is linked to a banned extremist group, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

During an interview for Newsnight at New Broadcasting House in central London on Friday night Abu Nusaybah sensationally claimed that MI5 had tried to recruit suspect Michael Adebolajo.

But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Abu Nusaybah’s real name is Ibrahim Hassan, 31, a former prominent member of  Al-Muhajiroun, the group banned in 2005 after radicalising a wave of British Muslims including  Adebolajo.

Islamist group: Ibrahaim Hassan, far right, pictured with Anjem Choudary and convert Richard Dart

Islamist group: Ibrahaim Hassan, far right, pictured with Anjem Choudary and convert Richard Dart

As BBC reporter Richard Watson interviewed Hassan, five detectives from the Metropolitan Police counter terrorism command arrived at the studio’s glass door. 

After challenging the officers, a receptionist entered the studio and announced: ‘I’m sorry but they want to arrest someone. 

 

Last night, an unnamed friend of Hassan, who was present during the Newsnight interview, claimed the police intervention was intended to stop Hassan making claims about MI5’s alleged involvement with Adebolajo.

He said: ‘As we were wrapping up we saw policemen standing by the glass door. I looked at Richard and he wasn’t his normal self. His face was red and he looked stressed. I heard the receptionist asking the police what they were doing and then she came in.’

The arrest came just hours after Hassan had used Twitter, under the name Abu Nusaybah, to accuse MI5 of trying to  recruit Adebolajo as an agent  six months ago.

The unnamed friend said the BBC had read the tweets and contacted Hassan, who lives in Walthamstow, East London, to arrange an interview. 

Three hours later, police officers arrived at the BBC to make the arrest. 

Questions are now being asked about whether there was an attempt to stop the interview going out and silence Hassan.

Civil rights experts said the timing of the arrest was particularly worrying. Professor Anthony Glees, director of Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said: ‘This arrest is very disturbing. How did the police know he would be at the BBC? Who told them? 

‘It looks like MI5 wanted information that the BBC had. But it’s not for the BBC to do MI5’s investigating. 

‘There should be a full inquiry and someone needs to get a  grip of it.’

Describing the events in detail the friend said: ‘The BBC sent a car for us at 7.45pm near my house in East London. At 8.15 we arrived at the BBC and met Richard (Watson) in reception. 

‘We talked with Richard about the interview and what questions he would ask because we wanted it pre-planned so we knew what questions were asked. We then went to a side studio (near the reception) where the interview took place with Watson.’

Rant: A man identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, brandishes a meat cleaver with bloodied hands near the scene of the killing
Rant: A man identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, brandishes a meat cleaver with bloodied hands near the scene of the killing

Rant: A man identified as Michael Adebolajo, 28, brandishes a meat cleaver with bloodied hands near the scene of the killing. It was claimed last night that MI5 offered Adebolajo a job six months ago

Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, South East London, was named last night as one of the suspects shot by police after the brutal murder of Lee Rigby

Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, south-east London, with a knife in his hand at the scene where Lee Rigby was stabbed to death

Adebolajo, right, is pictured at an English Defence League march in 2009

Adebolajo, right, is pictured at an English Defence League march in 2009

He described how officers made the arrest an hour before the interview was broadcast. 

‘It was very shocking. One of them asked me for his (Nusaybah’s) phone which I had with me. 

‘I refused but they said if I didn’t give it to them they would arrest me and take everything. Then they ushered him out of the back of the building. 

‘When the programme was broadcast the BBC had edited a lot of it and it didn’t include lots of claims he made, particularly that MI5 had known that he was being tortured in Kenya. 

‘We were disappointed that the BBC had edited the programme like that so that full story didn’t come out.’

Last night, police sources denied that the arrest was connected in any way to the Newsnight broadcast or  that they had attempted  to stop the interview going out.

Fallen hero: Father Lee Rigby, 25, from Manchester, was described as 'cheeky and humorous' in tributes. He was executed by two suspected Islamic terrorists in Woolwich on Wednesday afternoon

Fallen hero: Father Lee Rigby, 25, from Manchester, was described as 'cheeky and humorous' in tributes. He was executed by two suspected Islamic terrorists in Woolwich on Wednesday afternoon

Lee Rigby
Lee Rigby

A great character: Father of one and soldier Rigby, of Greater Manchester, pictured relaxing on Army leave

A BBC spokesman said: ‘This interviewee had important background information  that sheds light on this  horrific event.

‘When we discovered it we  had a duty to share it with our viewers. And when we asked  him to appear and interviewed him, we were not aware he  was wanted for questioning  by the police.
‘He was arrested immediately on BBC premises after he left the interview.’

Hassan, who has three children and claims benefits, said that he has known Adebolajo since 2003.

He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I first converted to Islam, and  then he converted about six months later.

‘It was me who invited him to Islam, and then he turned to Islam. We went to Islamic talks all over East London.’

Hassan said that he and Adebolajo used to attend talks given by the firebrand preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad, who has been banned from re-entering the UK after he went to Lebanon for holiday in 2005. 

Bakri founded the extremist group Al-Muhajiroun in the mid-90s. It was banned first banned in 2005 by Tony Blair after the 7/7 attacks and then again in 2010. 

Hassan said that Bakri was a major influence on Adebolajo at the time.

 

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

i have no axe to grind on immigration as i am an irish immigrant my kids and grandkids were born here as were my sisters and brother we all went to work and none of us has ever claimed welfare of any kind except when we were ill but still worked i find it repulsive that other immigrants would rather be parasites and hate the country that gave them a better standard of living i was not born in britain but the republic of ireland but i will give my life for the society we live in now where we allow those who hate our tolerance to speak out - paddyleeds1 , leeds, 25/5/2013 23:52 As the grandchild of immigrants I fully agree with you. Britain is a wonderful place that DESERVES defending!

Click to rate     Rating   643

In the wake of the brutal murder of Lee Rigby, people have been arrested under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred. So why are radical preachers STILL allowed to speak on the streets? Why were they not stopped under the same Public Order Act before now?

Click to rate     Rating   829

Don't know what to believe any more!

Click to rate     Rating   184

These people see our Nations kindness as a 'weakness' to be exploited and lying as a 'tool' to use against us.

Click to rate     Rating   570

We know that he was a former member of Al-Muhajiroun... he said it himself...no big surprise!

Click to rate     Rating   340

Why did they arrest this guy strait after he mentioned MI5.... Complete cover up so he didn't say anything else to implicate the government and services.

Click to rate     Rating   140

Its the norm for most religious families of any faith to heavily depend on Charity/Government handouts. ...Religion has created hatred , intolerance, division etc...The god word is wearing very thin for me...Atheists United.

Click to rate     Rating   92

We cannot even begin to sort out any of these problems while inside the EU Dictatorship, principally while we are still signatories of Labour's (EU) Human Rights Act of 1998.

Click to rate     Rating   321

The vast majority of English people have for decades opposed mass immigration, especially since 1997, it has been imposed on them regardless by the Politicians, the people instinctively knew it was wrong and would be a recipe for disaster, well look at the 'Utopia' the Politicians have created! i do hope they are proud of themselves!, just don't expect them to actually do anything about it as that would mean having to admit they were wrong in the first place!, and that is the last thing Politicians will ever do.

Click to rate     Rating   485

I hate evil in all it's forms, down with all the maniacs of the world

Click to rate     Rating   199
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