Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Extremists are pulling the wool over the eyes of Denmark, says the French journalist who captured two prominent imams making veiled death threats

Copenhagen Post:

A French-Algerian journalist has accused two prominent imams of being extremists after he captured them on a hidden camera joking about death threats and claiming knowledge of suicide actions.

The journalist, Mohammed Sifaoui, travelled to Denmark during the height of the Mohammed crisis in February and met the two imams, Ahmed Akkari and Abu Laban.

Using a hidden camera, he captured, among other things, Laban stating that he had knowledge of someone willing to conduct a suicide bombing.

Copenhagen police questioned the two imams after they returned from a conference in Bahrain, but released them after two hours.

'I can confirm that they both have been questioned. But beyond that, I don't want to reveal what was said,' said Copenhagen Police's chief detective Ove Dahl.

Laban told daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten that the documentary misquoted him about an immenent suicide bombing.

'If I ever heard a person say that, I would use my fist to knock his teeth out,' said Laban.

Sifaoui, who has investigated extremist groups in Europe for 18 years, offered a grim warning in daily newspaper Politiken on Tuesday.

'I have never stated that Abu Laban or Ahmed Akkari are terrorists in the sense that they are bombers themselves. They are something far worse: They are the ideologues who give young lunatics the necessary excuse for carrying out an act of terrorism in Denmark.'

Sifaoui said he would be willing to provide Danish police with the raw tapes of his documentary if asked.

'I have to talk with my lawyer about whether we can turn in the raw tapes. Normally it would not be ethically correct for a journalist, but if there is a security risk in Denmark, and if it can prevent criminal acts or innocent people from dying, I would not hesitate to help,' he said.

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