The Spectator reports that three “British-born Muslims of Asian origin from Blackburn, Lancashire, and … aged 21, 22 and 23″ have been arrested in connection with a threat/truce offer from al Qaeda to the UK.
The threatening communication originally appeared on “an Arabic language website called al-ekhlaas.net, which often carries messages from senior members of al-Qaeda.” It read as follows:
Statement of the Leader of al-Qaeda in Britain, Shaykh Umar Rabie al-Khalaila:
We, the organization of Al-Qaeda in Britain, offer a truce to the British government.
Our demands are as follows:
I. A complete withdrawal of the British troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.
II. To free all Muslim captives from Belmarsh prison, and the foremost of them Shaykh Abu Qatada al-Filistini and Shaykh Abu Hamza al-Misri.
If the British government fails to respond to our demands by the last day of March 2008 as they fail to answer to the truce of our Shaykh Usama bin Laden and to the truce of the Emir of Believers Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, then the Martyrdom seekers of the organisation of al-Qaeda in Britain will target all the political leaders especially Tony Blair and Gordan Brown, and we will also target all Embassies, Crusaders Centers and their Interests through out the country, with the help of Allah.
Finally, all praise is to Allah.
Umar Rabie al-Khalaila The leader of Al-Qaeda in Britain
The organisation of Al-Qaeda in Britain
ME: I wrote recently about Justice Department efforts — foiled thus far — to have Abu Hamza al-Masri extradited to the U.S. Qatada, the Spectator reports, has been released from prison on the basis of a court ruling and placed under house arrest.