British peer suspended over bounty for Obama, Bush (JERUSALEM POST) By JONNY PAUL JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT 04/17/12)
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LONDON – A member of the House of Lords has been suspended by the
Labor Party following reports that he offered a £10 million bounty
for the capture of President Barack Obama and his predecessor, George
Lord Nazir Ahmed allegedly made the offer after the US announced a
$10 million bounty for Hafiz Muhammed Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-
Taiba, the terrorist group blamed by India for a series of attacks in
Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people.
Ahmed has denied the allegations.
According to Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper, Ahmed offered the
cash for their capture at a reception in his honor in Haripur,
Pakistan, on Friday.
Ahmed, who became Britain’s first Muslim peer in 1998, reportedly
said: “If the US can announce a reward of $10 million for the capture
of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10 million for the
capture of President Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush.”
He said the bounty for Saeed was an “insult to all Muslims” and that
he would arrange the bounty for Obama and Bush “at any cost,” even if
it meant selling his personal assets, including his house.
The Labor Party moved swiftly and suspended the peer on Sunday
“We have suspended Lord Ahmed pending investigation.
If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which
are totally unacceptable,” a spokesman said.
“The international community is rightly doing all in its power to
seek justice for the victims of the Mumbai bombings and halt
terrorism,” the spokesman added.
However, Ahmed, speaking from Pakistan on Monday, said he had only
told the meeting that Bush and former Prime Minister Tony Blair
should be prosecuted for war crimes.
“I never said those words.
I did not offer a bounty. I said that there have been war crimes
committed in Iraq and Afghanistan and those people who have got
strong allegations against them – Bush and Blair have been involved
in illegal wars and should be brought to justice. I do not think
there’s anything wrong with that,” he said, adding that he was
equally concerned that anyone suspected of terrorism should face
justice as well.
He challenged the party to produce evidence against him.
“They have suspended me? That’s a surprise to me. I did not know,” he
told the Press Association on Monday. “If the Labor Party want to
suspend me I will deal with the party.”
The Muslim community leader has regularly courted controversy.
In 2009 he was jailed for dangerous driving after sending and
receiving text messages minutes before being involved in a fatal
motorway crash. An appeals court later suspended his 12-week jail
In the same year, Ahmed joined forces with a number of British-based
Islamists to sign a letter praising Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan after he walked out of a debate with President Shimon
Peres at the annual Davos Conference in Switzerland.
Following the incident, he led a delegation to the Turkish Embassy in
London to pay tribute to Erdogan for walking off the stage.
He also reportedly threatened to mobilize 10,000 Muslims that year,
to prevent the House of Lords from screening Fitna, a film by Dutch
politician Geert Wilders that claims that Islam sanctions terrorism.
He threatened to take the organizer of the event to court.
He called the decision not to screen the film a victory for the
In 2005, Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for an
activist who frequently uses anti-Semitic stereotypes in his work.
Russian-born Israel Shamir claimed that blood libels against the Jews
were in fact true and that all political parties were
In an interview on the Iranian regime’s Press TV during Operation
Cast Lead in the winter of 2008-2009, Ahmed said that Jewish student
groups actively recruited for the IDF. He added that British Jews who
fought in the IDF should be arrested and, if necessary, charged with
“We know that there are student unions that have been actively
recruiting young people in Britain to join the IDF and we also know
that there are young Jewish students who go and serve on the kibbutz
and also in schools, who are also then doing national service in
Israel,” he said.
“How many of those have been involved in war crimes? How many of
those have broken the Geneva Convention? When they come back to this
country, we want our government to take some legal action against
them,” Ahmed said. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/17/12)
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