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UK: #Portsmouth teenager Mehdi Hassan killed fighting for #ISIS in #Syria

Mehdi Hassan, also known as Abu DujanaMehdi Hassan, also known as Abu Dujana. He is the fourth member of the ‘Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys’ to die.

Lizzie Dearden reporting,

A teenage jihadist from Portsmouth has become the fourth extremist from the city to be killed fighting with Isis in Syria.

Mehdi Hassan, 19, travelled to the war-torn country in October last year with a group of friends calling themselves the “Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys”.

Photos purporting to show his dead body appeared on Isis-affiliated Twitter accounts on Friday night, with fellow militants claiming he was killed fighting in Kobani.

The Syrian border town has seen intense fighting in recent weeks, with the US-led coalition bombing Isis militants and dropping weapons to Kurdish fighters attempting to stop the group’s advance.

The Foreign Office said it could not confirm Mr Hassan’s death but “was aware of reports about the death of a British national in Syria”.

Mehdi Hassan's Twitter accountMehdi Hassan’s Twitter account

The news did not reach his family, who live in Southsea, until Saturday morning as gruesome pictures of his body circulated on social media.

The chairman of their local Portsmouth Jami Mosque, Abdul Jalil, said he had spoken to Mr Hassan’s relatives.

“It has been confirmed with the family that he has died. Right now they are very upset,” he told the BBC.

“I am saddened and again shocked for the community about this news.”

The teenager, a former pupil at the independent St John’s College in Southsea, flew to Turkey and crossed into Syria instead of going to university.

His friends, Iftekar Jaman, Mamunur Roshid and Hamidur Rahman, have previously been killed in the fighting.

Mr Roshid’s death, at the age of 24, had been confirmed on Tuesday.

People watch an explosion after an apparent US-led coalition air strike on Kobani, SyriaPeople watch an explosion after an apparent US-led coalition air strike on Kobani, Syria

Mr Hassan went by the name Abu Dujana in Syria and on social media.

He last posted on his Twitter account @AbuDujana___ on 17 October, writing about the intensity of air strikes in Ayn al-Arab – an alternative name for Kobani.

“Between 20-40 US strikes daily in ayn al arab. Alhamdulillah they are spending $10’s of billions…against themselves,” he wrote.

He had previously written about jihad and the goal of “ultimate success in the hereafter”, although his account had been deleted by Twitter several times.

Mashudur Choudhury, who left the UK with Mr Hassan, returned to the UK after just a few weeks and was arrested at Gatwick Airport.

He has since been convicted of terrorist offences in the first such case related to the conflict in Syria.

Assad Uzzaman is believed to be the last surviving member of the “Bad Boys” still fighting there.

An estimated 500 Britons are among 2,000 foreign fighters who have joined Isis, which calls itself the Islamic State.

It is waging a bloody war across Syria and Iraq to establish a hardline Islamic caliphate.

The Independent.

#Society has not failed you! You have failed society.

I don’t know about you but I am sick to death of hearing of every Tom, Dick or Harriet blaming society for the failures of its people; most seem to have the impression that ‘society’ is the group of men and women who make up the government when in fact it is all of us who reside in these beautiful and free group of countries we call the United Kingdom, we are all part of society whether we feel like it or not.

First there was the white ‘disadvantaged’ living on council estates around the country, many living on state benefits, who said ‘society had failed them’ as the reason that they turned to drugs and crime, then there were the ethnic minorities who said ‘society failed them’ for the reason for their failures and now we have some religious leaders singing from the same song sheet! Society has not failed you! If anything, you have failed society.

I am only talking about a small minority of our population here as I’m sure many of you are aware that most people of all colours and religious backgrounds thrive in our society, this is what has made Britain great.

I am not a religious person, though I do believe in good and evil, and any religion, be it Catholicism, Islam or any of the many others that says a man must kill another because they do not share your beliefs, then it does not belong in any civilised society, religion should be about love for one another and not hate, if there is a ‘god’ then surely it is for him (or her) to punish or judge and not man, we do not have the right to judge a person because of who they are, or what they believe in so long as they are not hurting anyone else. We are after all equal!

And it is up to us ‘old’ people to teach our young from an early age, that at times life is tough but together we can build a better place for ALL men, women and children to live in peace regardless of our religious beliefs (or lack of them).

So enough of this ‘society had failed me’ crap the only one who has failed you is YOU! We are all in control of our own destiny, and if you feel let down, you need to pick yourself up, dust off your feelings, and try again, failure is not an option!

Peace to all!

You thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated

Woman arrested in #UK on #terrorism charges

A Twenty five-year-old woman arrested north of London for suspected offences relating to the civil war in Syria.

Detectives said security investigations were taking place at an 'exceptionally high' pace not seen in years.Detectives said security investigations were taking place at an ‘exceptionally high’ pace not seen in years. [Reuters]

Bedfordshire, England – British police have taken a 25-year-old woman into custody on suspicion of terrorism offences related to the ongoing civil war in Syria, officials have said.

London’s counter terrorism command said on Wednesday that officers had arrested the woman in Bedfordshire, north of the capital, on suspicion of preparing terrorism acts.

The police said she had been taken to a police station in London for questioning.

Two addresses in Bedfordshire were being searched, they added.

Last week, four men were charged with swearing allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who have seized large swathes of Syria and Iraq, and preparing to launch an attack on policemen or soldiers in the capital.

On Tuesday, London police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe said at least five Britons were travelling to Iraq and Syria every week to fight for ISIL, while the authorities estimate that about 500 Britons have already travelled to the region to join the fighting.

Mark Rowley, Britain’s national policing spokesman for counter-terrorism, said last week that the police had made 218 arrests so far this year, and that detectives were carrying out security investigations at an “exceptionally high” pace not seen in years.

Al Jazeera English.

UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court

Associated Press
— A fraudster who pretended to be quadriplegic and sometimes comatose for two years to avoid prosecution has been convicted after police caught him on camera driving and strolling around supermarkets.

Prosecutors say Alan Knight stole more than £40,000 ($64,000) from an elderly neighbor with Alzheimer’s disease.

When police began investigating, Knight claimed to be quadriplegic and so sick he sometimes fell into a coma. He checked himself into a hospital to avoid court appearances.

His deceit was uncovered when police tracked the use of his supermarket card, and produced surveillance camera footage of him walking and driving.

Knight pleaded guilty Tuesday at Swansea Crown Court to 19 counts of forgery, fraud and theft.

The court said Wednesday that Knight is due to be sentenced Nov. 7.

#UK farmers warn of #pumpkin crisis in runup to #Halloween

Growers say this has been worst pumpkin season in a decade with hundreds of vegetables left rotting in fields after wet weather.

An estimated 10 million pumpkins are grown in the UK every year – 95% will be carved into lanterns for Halloween.An estimated 10 million pumpkins are grown in the UK every year – 95% will be carved into lanterns for Halloween. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

 Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent,

UK farmers and producers are warning there could be a shortage of pumpkins in the runup to Halloween, with hundreds of thousands rotting in the fields following the wet weather having to be pulped rather than heading for the supermarket.

Growers said this year has been the worst pumpkin season in a decade, citing Lincolnshire as the most affected area, where dwindling supplies would run out by the end of this week.

But supermarkets sought to play down suggestions of a shortage, saying that shoppers wanting to buy pumpkins ahead of Halloween next Friday would not be disappointed.

Halloween – imported from the US – is a major money-spinner for supermarkets and is the UK’s second largest retail festival after Christmas. An estimated 10 million pumpkins are grown in the UK every year – 95% will be carved into hollowed-out lanterns for Halloween and 5% will be used for soups, stews and pies. Demand from retailers has soared by 35% this year as the annual festival gets ever more popular.

Jim Meer, director of fruit and vegetable supplier Barfoots, said: “The 2014 season has been extremely challenging for the supply of pumpkins into the UK market. The recent weather has made harvesting conditions extremely difficult and with increased demand and lower yields it’s a juggling act to ensure our retail customers are getting sufficient stock through to fulfil the demand in store.”

He said his company was taking the unusual step at this stage in the season “of now ceasing supply to wholesale customers which will unfortunately cut off supply for the smaller independents. With the other suppliers in Lincolnshire facing worse issues we are doing what we can to cover the inevitable stock shortage in the lead up to the main Halloween celebration.”

After good, sunny, growing conditions in August and September, the heavy rain of October has made pumpkin skins soft, he said, which means that with extra humidity they get soggy and collapse before they are harvested. On some farms JCB diggers are being used to remove the wasted crops.

One Lincolnshire-based farmer, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s the worst I’ve seen for a decade. It’s a very short harvesting season of three to four weeks but it is a write-off for 2014. The weather has made it impossible to harvest the crop in the field and what is coming out is neither up to the appearance required by the retailer or the quality to last through until Halloween. Our forecast is very bleak and I cannot see supply lasting further than the weekend.”

Waitrose said there might be supply problems in the north of England, despite a plentiful crop of giant and carving pumpkins following an increased level of rain and higher temperatures. A spokeswoman said: “As pumpkins continue to grow based on the volume of water they have access to, the giant pumpkins continue to absorb as much water as possible – this has resulted in a larger than normal percentage of pumpkins seeing levels of breakdown.”

The picture was better in the south, she said: “Reports from our southern producers (based along the south coast, Southampton and the Isle of Wight) have seen a very different story to our northern growers in Lincolnshire. Our southern growers have enjoyed warmer weather earlier in the growing season – this inevitably results in smaller, green pumpkins turning orange before they have fully developed, this then creates an abundance of carving pumpkins available, rather than the giant pumpkins.” Waitrose expects to sell 12% more carving pumpkins than last year.

Sainsbury’s said it expects customers to buy almost 1.5 million pumpkins, with just over one million likely to be sold in the week running up to Halloween. To avoid pumpkins going unnecessarily into landfill, the company will be educating shoppers about disposal – including using local authority composting facilities or composting at home – while customers in 10 trial stores will be able to return their pumpkins to store to be composted by its waste partners Biffa.

In the south-west, Barry Loudhrey, director of Over Farm Market in Gloucester, said growing conditions had been good, and his farm expected to sell 12,000 pumpkins between Halloween and Christmas. “This year we have an abundance of large to extra large pumpkins as well as small ones. We find the interest generated at Halloween makes people more interested in cooking with pumpkin.”

The Guardian.


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