Crazy UK

The father of a Muslim extremist who waved hate-filled placards and shouted at soldiers during a homecoming march has insisted he is proud to be British.

Jalal Ahmed brandished a sign saying 'Anglian soldiers: Butchers of Basra' at the welcome parade for the Royal Anglian Regiment in his home town of Luton earlier this week.

His part in the protest yesterday saw him lose his airside pass at Luton Airport, where he worked as a baggage handler on a part-time basis. His duties involve loading luggage onto conveyor belts into aircraft holds.

But his father, Helal, insisted today: 'He has done nothing wrong. He was just exercising his right to protest. I wouldn't stop him if he wanted to do something similar again.'

He told the Star: 'He was born in this country in Newcastle and he is proud to be British. He's a good boy. He doesn't smoke, he's done nothing violent and he just likes to pray five times a day at home.'



Venom: Jalah Ahmed, centre, brandishing a banner calling British soldiers 'Butchers' during the Royal Anglian Regiment's homecoming parade on Tuesday

Yesterday Ahmed's employer, Menzies Aviation, said it had rescinded his airside pass and he would not be working for them until a full investigation was complete.

The 21-year-old was among a 20-strong group who took part in a demonstration on Tuesday as 200 soldiers from 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment were welcomed home.

It is believed to have been organised by hard-line Islamist group Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaaha, which took over from banned organisation Al-Muhajiroun.

Menzies Aviation is a global firm providing passenger, ramp and cargo handling facilities for 500 airlines in 24 countries. Each year it oversees turnarounds on 430,000 flights.

Parent firm John Menzies plc yesterday confirmed Ahmed was a contracted employee.

A spokesman said: 'He works as a baggage handler and has an airside pass. He is a ramp agent so would put bags onto trolleys going to planes and load bags onto conveyor belts into aircraft.

'All employees are subject to a five year criminal record check and airport authority checks before they can be given an airside pass to work on the airport.

'Jalal Ahmed passed these checks, which are the standard security checks for every airport in the UK.

'Menzies Aviation has safety and security as its number one priority at all times. We are carrying out a full internal investigation and until such times as this is complete we have rescinded Jalal Ahmed’s airport pass and he will not be offered any work with us.'



Approved: Ahmed has access to secure areas of Luton Airport (above)

The firm has sent a team to the airport to look into Ahmed's work and conduct.

He is not a full-time employee and is understood to work mainly during holidays or peak periods.

Ahmed, who is a British citizen, lives with his parents in a run-down terraced house in the Bury Park area of Luton.
A man who answered the door yesterday identified himself as his father and said: 'He's a good boy. He hasn't done anything wrong. I'm not telling you where he is.'

In another development, there were suggestions that another protester, Abu Omar, chaired a meeting last September in which hardline Islamists discussed taking over Britain 'from within' using the massive baby boom among Muslim families.

Firebrand preacher Anjem Choudary - who further inflamed feelings this week by taunting the families of three Royal Anglian Regiment soldiers killed in a friendly fire incident by saying they were 'not heroes but closer to cowards' - told 100 young followers at the meeting: 'The Home Office say there are 1.5million Muslims but there were 1.5million ten years ago.

'Since then our brothers in Bethnal Green, Whitechapel and other places have had eight or nine children each. Eight children here, ten children, 15 children. There must be at least six million people.

'It may be by pure conversion that Britain will become an Islamic state. We may never need to conquer it from the outside.'

Chaudary also said during the 'debate' on whether the West had 'learned the lessons of 9/11' that Britain would eventually be ruled by Sharia law, adding: 'The flag of Islam will rise over Downing Street.'

Mr Omar yesterday refused to deny chairing the meeting, saying: 'Is it me? Does it sound like me? I'm just a guy from Luton.'

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Tuesday's protest led to fury from families of soldiers and was condemned by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

It also sparked a counter protest on the day, which led to two white men being arrested by police. None of the Muslim protesters have been arrested.

An 18-year-old man from Luton had been charged with racially aggravated harassment, involving verbal abuse. He is due to appear before magistrates next week.
A second man, in his 40s, was issued with a fixed penalty notice.

A second parade by the battalion, known as The Poachers, in Watford, passed peacefully on Wednesday.

Another march in Lincoln yesterday was marked by a fly-past from the Red Arrows.

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