Several of yesterdays newspapers splashed large on an Irishman called Mark Townley, who is now known as Anwar Islam. The day after the Woolwich murder, he walked into a police station in Hounslow, and was arrested for threatening to kill Prince Harry. He has since pleaded guilty to making threats to kill, and has been remanded in custody. In response the Irish journalist Philip Boucher-Hayes, who knows Townley/Islam, has written an article saying the story is all nonsense, and he is simply a con-man who poses no threat to Harry.
Battling through yesterday's Daily Mirror on Anwar Islam, a few things struck me:
1. Who were the ‘hate preachers’ who radicalised him at HMP Maghaberry? Hate preachers in that part of the world are usually more concerned with battling Rome than infidels………..
2. Curiously for an article that has been denounced as ‘Islamophobic’, we are told Islam attended a mosque in Dublin, but it is not named. Why not? Is it possible the authors don’t even know?
3. It would be interesting to hear more about the Muslim groups Islam is supposed to have met on business in the Middle East, and whether they are of particular interest to the security services?
Two possible explanations came to my mind for his behaviour:
1. The whole thing is another con, with Townley hoping to do a book and or media appearances on his time as a Jihadi. Hassan Butt seems to be a British example of this.
2. We know that informant Sean O’Callaghan was used to spy on IRA members in the UK prison system. Is this whole story a scam to get Townley/Islam in a London prison, on the wing where some actual real Jihadis are, and then he can report back to the police and/or security services?
Either of the above seem as likely as what we have been told so far.