Bob Lambert and the Muslim Community

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This article is part of the Undercover Research Portal at Powerbase - investigating corporate and police spying on activists



Part of a series on
undercover police officers
Robert Lambert
PX A 07.016.jpg
Alias: Bob Robinson
Deployment: 1983 or 1984[1] until 1988
Unit:
Targets:
Animal liberation and anti-authoritarian movements

Subsequent to his retirement from police service in 2007, Bob Lambert - previously an undercover officer with and then operational commander of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch's Special Demonstration Squad - pursued a second career as an academic, until his exposure as a police spy in October 2011 slowed things down.

This page summarises the many groups and people Lambert associated with in his capacity as a former-police-officer-turned-academic specialising in Islamophobia and de-radicalisation, building on his work with the Met's Muslim Contact Unit. The other half of this page is Bob Lambert and the Academic Community. Also see Bob Lambert Writing and Speaking.

  • For a full overview of all pages on him, see Bob Lambert.

The intention is to show how Lambert worked his way into networks and discourse subsequent to his retirement from the Metropolitan Police in a manner consistent with the way he did whilst a serving officer, particularly during his time in the Special Demonstration Squad. It also aims to map how he used a relatively small number of individuals to effect his passage into and through much larger numbers of organisations.

Disclaimer. This page was developed using only open source materials, and it is not meant as a critique (or, for that matter, as an endorsement) of the groups and individuals mentioned.[2]

Background

This is one of a series of pages on Bob Lambert and his work, first as an undercover for the Special Demonstration Squad, and later as a mentor to and manager of further generations of spycops. Towards the end of his police career Lambert focused on islamophobia and deradicalisation. With at least two other former undercover officers, he set up the Muslim Contact Unit as a pilot within Special Branch, to work with muslim communities to push out jihadi recruiters. After his retirement on 2007, Lambert continued this work for his PhD. His thesis was published as Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership.[3] Little over a month after the book was launched in September 2011, Lambert was exposed, and his academic career has dwindled since.

When working with muslim communities, Lambert has always been open about his career of 27 years with the Metropolitan Police's Special Branch and the Counter Terrorism Command. On the contrary, when embarking on his academic career he presented this as his unique selling point - that he has “a perspective that combines academic research and police practitioner experience”.[4]

What Lambert consistently failed to mention, was the fact that at least ten of those years had been with the Special Demonstration Squad),[5] infiltrating activist groups and gathering intelligence about their political work.

A note on Lambert's use of language, he would talk of 'Islamist' to describe groups which have the risk to radicalise, a contested term often strategically used by conservative or government spokespersons to brand people as possibly terrorist and to exclude them from the debate.

Policing-related contacts

Engaging with Muslims on Islamophobia and deradicalisation - both whilst in the Muslim Contact Unit and as an academic - Lambert has of course utilised police-community panels.

Muslim Safety Forum (MSF)

The Muslim Safety Forum was set up In London in 2001 by the Diversity Directorate of the Metropolitan Police "following the events of 9/11 to provide a platform for Muslim community representatives to voice their attitudes and concerns about crime, security, Islamophobia and violent extremism.[6][7] The forum was to become “home to regular meetings between senior police officers and representatives of Islamic institutions and Muslim community organizations.”[8]

The MSF was initially an ad hoc arrangement to facilitate dialogue between the Metropolitan Police and representatives of Muslim interest groups - typically those with which the Met had previously dealt with. Lambert notes that “two of its first leading members” were Zaki Badawi (then approaching eighty years of age, and a founder of the Muslim College; director, Islamic Cultural Centre; senior imam, London Central Mosque) and Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei (who has run the Al Khoei Foundation since 1991).[9] Both had previously worked with the Met; Lambert himself had, whilst in E Squad, worked with Badawi as early as 1989 when dealing with the Salman Rushdie affair.[10]

Initially - from 2001 until 2003 - MSF meetings were usually chaired by David Veness, the Met's long-serving Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations,[11] or another senior officer. After this though, “MSF community appointees” took on the role of chair, with Azad Ali from the Islamic Forum of Europe first taking the responsibility,[12][13] and then “briefly” in 2004 Raza Kazim from the Islamic Human Rights Commission.[14] Later on Abdurahman Jafar took on the chairmanship,[13][15] with Fatima Khan acting as vice-chair.[16][17][18]

In time the MSF took on a more solidified form. This included having monthly meetings with the Met, registration with both Companies House (incorporated April 2006) and the Charity Commission (registered November 2007).[19][20] It developed into a formalised group which was independent of the Met, meeting in locations of its own nomination, and complete with its own organisational structure - by 2004 the MSF had “its own constitution, held election for chair and the executive committee” and even “a dedicated office with two employed staff, a voluntary executive body, and a membership of over 30 national and regional Muslim organisations.”[21] Temporary office space was initially found near Marble Arch before more permanent accommodation at the London Muslim Centre was arranged in 2006.[22])

Lambert notes that the MSF was “both a forum for debate between police and Muslim community representatives and a forum for discussion simply among those Muslim community representatives who are engaging with police.” He adds that:[23]

often those MSF meetings away from police would take place in the board-room of the Islamic Cultural Centre adjacent to the London Central Mosque [or] the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel. [...] At an early stage in the development of the MSF, Muslim participants sought and obtained a degree of independence and came to take ownership of MSF as a body that engaged with police.

Lambert had attended meetings of the MSF from the earliest days of the Muslim Contact Unit, as a researcher he also began to share platforms with its representatives at academic and activist events. The groundwork was laid in October 2007 whilst still a serving police officer when he attended ‘The Politics Of Radicalisation: Reframing The Debate And Reclaiming The Language’, a one-day seminar organised by Marie Breen Smyth and the Centre for the Study of Radicalisation & Contemporary Political Violence at the University of Wales Aberystwyth, where he took part in discussion with others including Azad Ali representing the Muslim Safety Forum.[24]

By March 2010 Lambert (and his EMRC colleague Jonathan Githens-Mazer) was well-thought of enough to be invited to a special closed meeting to be an expert witness on the subject of “the growing spate of attacks in all its forms against British Muslims” held at the House of Commons, organised by the Muslim Council of Britain “in partnership with the Muslim Safety Forum...and the University of Exeter’s European Muslim Research Centre”; Abdurahman Jafar represented the MSF.[25][26][27]

In October 2011, Lambert spoke on how the English Defence League was “an extremist organisation” at the ‘One Society Many Cultures’ conference; Shamiul Joarder, the Muslim Safety Forum's counter terrorism spokesman, delivered a talk critical of the ‘Prevent’ programme, noting “it has been imposed upon the community and risks being counterproductive as counter-terrorism must not alienate the Muslim community.”[28]

The Muslim Safety Forum was certainly considered important enough in 2005 that two of its representatives - Azad Ali and Tahir Butt - were personally briefed about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes on 22 July (a case of mistaken identity following the failed 21/7 bombings) by senior police officers. This included Commissioner Ian Blair, Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson, Assistant Chief Constable Robert Beckley (Hertfordshire Police), Commander Alfred Hitchcock, Commander Roderick Jarman, Acting Commander Steven Gwilliam and Acting Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Wolfenden.[29]

In 2007, Lambert and Basia Spalek had characterised the Metropolitan Police as being “loyal to engagement with Islamist and Salafi groups, most notably in support of the Muslim Safety Forum (MSF)”.[30]

London Muslim Communities Forum

In 2011 the Forum was closed down when the Met decided to instead engage with Muslims through its own London Muslim Communities Forum. This was to be a strategic consultative group chaired by senior Met officers, hosted in Met premises, and with attendance limited to representatives nominated through the Met's four Area-based Local Muslim Communities Forums (each of which was to be similarly chaired and hosted by the Met).[31] The first meeting of the LMCF took place at New Scotland Yard, chaired by former head of SO15 Counter Terrorism Command Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh.[32]

It is perhaps worth noting that of twenty-three attendees at the inaugural LMCF meeting, thirteen were police officers (with one representing each of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the City of London Police, and the Association of Muslim Police), two were civilian staff members, and one was an official from the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPaC). Only seven were there representing London's Muslim Communities (or eight if one includes the local AMP rep).[33] This contrasts with an MSF meeting, which Lambert estimates would typically comprise around fifteen MSF community reps, ten officers from the Metropolitan Police Service, one from the Metropolitan Police Authority (subsequently replaced by MOPaC), one from the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and one from the Crown Prosecution Service.[23][34]

The MSF was listed as a group “Political/entry-level Islamist” group ”associated with Jamaat-e-Islami”by the Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology..[35][36][16] In contrast, the Forum was also thanked by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer in their London Case Study.[37]

National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP)

Set up in July 2007 as “the first national representative body of Muslim Police Officers and Police Staff” in the UK,[38][39][40] the National Association also assists in establishing local Associations, such as in the Metropolitan Police area.[41] Given the overlap in interest, Lambert does not appear to have engaged with NAMP very much. However, in March 2010 Lambert along with his then-principal academic collaborator Jonathan Githens-Mazer were among invited attendees at a closed session on Islamophobia hosted at the House of Lords; also in attendance was President of NAMP Zaheer Ahmed.[27] In his book, Lambert does note that prior to 9/11, “British Muslims had grown used to their faith identity being relegated to a private space while their ‘Asian’ or ‘ethnic’ identity was actively engaged by government, police and public servants”.[42] In support of this he claims that prominent senior Muslim police officers Tariq Ghaffur and Ali Dizaei “only came to describe themselves publicly as Muslims after 9/11”,[43] adding that “in 2008 [both Ghaffur and Dizaei] were aligned to the National Black Police Association (NBPA) rather than the more recently formed” NAMP.[44]

From mid-2013 until October 2015, the President of NAMP was Asif Sadiq, who in February 2014 followed in the footsteps of Lambert colleague Tim Parsons as Head of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights at the City of London Police.[45][46]

Mosques and Islamic centres

Aerial view of East London Mosque, London Muslim Centre and Maryam Centre, to which Bob Lambert was a regular visitor both in his time running the Muslim Contact Unit and after his retirement as an academic.

In the early days of the Muslim Contact Unit he had set the “ambitious target of visiting every mosque, Islamic institution and Muslim organisation in London.”[47] By 2011 at a round table discussion at Strathclyde University's ‘9/11 Ten Years On’ conference he claimed that he had visited more than three hundred Islamic associations across Britain.[48][49] Accordingly - and for the sake of brevity - this section focuses on a small number of such institutions in London which Lambert had repeated contact with, particularly after he had left the Metropolitan Police.

Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre (Masjid Ibn Taymiyyah)

Established in 1990,[50] Brixton Mosque is a Salafi place of worship strongly associated with black British Muslim converts.[51] In the early 1990s the extremist Jamaican convert Abdullah el Faisal preached there, until he was expelled in 1993.[52] The mosque's managers (including Abdul Haqq Baker, chair 1994-2009)[53] attempted to engage with local police in Lambeth over concerns about el Faisal and the threat of extremism in the 1990s, but were rebuffed. Nonetheless they challenged el Faisal and other extremist preachers such as Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada in Brixton and elsewhere,[54][55] and in the late 1990s had attempted to persuade local convert Richard Reid (in December 2001 to become infamous as the attempted ‘Shoe Bomber’) away from a path of radicalisation.[56]

By the end of 2002, the Muslim Contact Unit had already having visited more than one hundred and eighty mosques and Muslim centres, and drawn up a shortlist of ten where it had found expertise in countering Al Qaeda - with Brixton topping it. With this in mind, Brixton Mosque and its Salafi leadership became one of two principal foci for the MCU's work during the 2000s (the other being Finsbury Park Mosque and its Muslim Brotherhood-linked new management). Lambert (and the MCU) worked closely with Brixton Mosque, its Salafi leadership and Baker in particular.[57]

Lambert worked closely with Baker whilst at MCU and then later as an academic, both as a director of the STREET outreach project, and as an academic mentor to Baker, who was to become a colleague at both the European Muslim Research Centre (where Lambert oversaw his PhD research) and the University of St. Andrews (where Baker like Lambert lectured in the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence).[58][59]

Baker - whom Lambert referred to as “my good friend” during his Chatham House Q&A[60] - later dedicated his book Extremists In Our Midst: Confronting Terror[61] to the memory of Lambert's acknowledged son Adam, an employee of STREET until his death in February 2011. Lambert similarly dedicated his own book to the memory of Adam.[62][63][64][65][66][67]

Brixton Mosque was listed as a “Wahhabist influenced” mosque by the Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology.[35][36][16]

East London Mosque (ELM)

Replacing a smaller venue which served as a place of worship from 1940 until 1974, the current East London Mosque opened its doors in 1975. Since then the trust operating it has expanded its reach with two large multi-purpose buildings located adjacent - the London Muslim Centre and the Maryam Centre.[68] Among its prominent trustees is Muhammad Abdul Bari, who chaired the ruling trust from 2003 until 2013.[69] Bari was a member of the Advisory Board the European Muslim Research Centre.[70]

East London Mosque and the London Muslim Centre have both been closely associated with the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), a primarily Bangladeshi organisation based in East London, which had been set up in 1988 with Bari as its founding President.[71][72] Lambert has noted that he “first saw East London Mosque and Islamic Forum Europe street skills in action in 2005 when they robustly dispatched extremists from Al Muhajiroun who were in Whitechapel attempting to recruit youngsters into their hate filled group.”[73]

In 2007 an article in The Times based on a report by right-wing think tank Policy Exchange led to accusations of extremist literature being sold at the mosque;[74][75] a subsequent apology indicated that the bookshop where the material was purchased was a commercial tenant and that the mosque “has no responsibility for or control over the material that is being sold there.”[76]

When their Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies report was published by the European Muslim Research Centre in 2010, Githens-Mazer and Lambert began it with a three page dedication to Muhammad Abdul Bari, praising his leadership of the East London Mosque as well as that of the Muslim Council of Britain (where he was Secretary General 2006-2010).[77][78][79][80]The East London Mosque is an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain.[81]

The Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, listed it as a “Political/entry-level Islamist” group ”associated with Jamaat-e-Islami” in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology.[35][36][16]

Finsbury Park Mosque (also known as North London Central Mosque)

Located in a busy North London neighbourhood, the Finsbury Park Mosque was set up in 1988, with the main building opening in 1994.[82][83][84] By 1997 the Egyptian-born veteran jihadist Abu Hamza al Masri had become involved - ostensibly to broker peace among various factions of trustees - and gradually took over the mosque, which then developed a reputation for extremism. In 2003 the mosque was raided by police in relation to suspected terrorist activity,[85][86][87][88] and the building subsequently closed leading to the spectacle of the “one-eyed, hook-handed”[89] jihadist preaching to hundreds in the streets outside the shuttered building.[90]

In time a new board of trustees comprising local worshippers and Anas Altikriti's Muslim Association of Britain (then based nearby at the Muslim Welfare House[91]) was put together and supported by Lambert and his Muslim Contact Unit.[92] This new mosque administration was able to fully wrest control both legally and practically from Abu Hamza's followers in February 2005, in an operation involving around a hundred MWH and MAB volunteers, coordinated by senior MAB leaders from the Muslim Welfare House. Lambert claims the four person police team including two from the MCU, running a liaison office at MWH at the time had a crucial role in this take-over.[93] [94][95] The new trustees (Mohamed Kozbar, Mohamed Sawalha, Ahmed Sheikh Mohammed, Abdel Shaheed El Ashaal and Hafez al Karmi) were all at the time trustees of the Muslim Welfare House, and all bar al Karmi had also been office holders at the Muslim Association of Britain. MAB founder Kemal Helbawy also served as a spokesman.[96] The mosque was initially renamed North London Central Mosque to underline the break with Abu Hamza,[97] though it has since reverted to Finsbury Park Mosque.[82]

Lambert has noted that the close working relationship between the MCU and the MAB/MWH Islamist group which subsequently took over the Finsbury Park Mosque lasted from January 2002 until October 2007 (i.e. ending around the time he was coming to the end of his time in the Metropolitan Police).[98]

In June 2010 Lambert was a featured speaker at the ‘Stop Islamophobia Defend the Muslim Community’ one-day conference co-organised by Stop The War and the British Muslim Initiative (which itself was co-founded by Finsbury Park Mosque/Muslim Welfare House trustees Mohamed Kozbar and Mohammad Sawalha[99]) and supported by (inter alios) North London Central Mosque.[100][101][102]

The mosque listed as a “Political/entry-level Islamist” group “associated with the Muslim Brotherhood”by the Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology.[35][36][16]

London Central Mosque (‘Regent's Park Mosque’)

The mosque dates back to 1944 when the UK government donated land in Regent's Park to the Muslims of the Empire in exchange for land provided by the Egyptian government in Cairo for the building of an Anglican cathedral; the mosque itself was built in 1977.[103][104] London Central Mosque as well as its associated Islamic Cultural Centre is administered by a board which includes representatives of thirteen foreign states.[105][106] Its Director General is Ahmed al Dubayan, an educationalist who was an advisor to the European Muslim Research Centre run by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer at Exeter University.[70][107]

Lambert has said that his personal experience of working with London Central Mosque stretches back to 1989 when he was in Special Branch's E Squad working on the Salman Rushdie affair and liaising with “prominent figures” at the mosque.[10][108] Lambert's involvement with the mosque was fully reignited by 2003, by which time his Muslim Contact Unit duties saw him again working closely with its staff.[109]

It was listed as a “Wahhabist influenced” mosque by the Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology.[35][36][16]

London Muslim Centre

Run by the trust which also governs the adjoining East London Mosque (and the Maryam Centre next door),[110] the London Muslim Centre has been host to a number of events in which Lambert has been involved.[24] An event there to promote Lambert's book and the SpinWatch Islamophobia report in October 2011 was cancelled following his outing as a former undercover policeman.[111][112]

According to the Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology, the Centre was a “Political/entry-level Islamist” group ”associated with Jamaat-e-Islami”.[35][36][16]

Muslim Welfare House (MWH)

Originally set up in 1970 as a way of helping Muslim students who had come to study in Britain, the MWH - based on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, North London - is now a “social, cultural, learning and advice centre for more than 15 nationalities, ranging from Algerians and Somalis, to Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.”[113][114][115] It is a short distance away from the Finsbury Park Mosque, from which it is separated by a railway bridge.[116] Lambert has noted that he first met officials at the MWH in November 2001 - that is, before the creation of the Muslim Contact Unit.[117] In 2002 the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) (then perceived as aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood through the involvement of Anas Altikriti and others) moved into offices in the MWH;[117] it was this combination of location and personnel which Lambert and the Muslim Contact Unit was later able to utilise in the ouster of Abu Hamza and his followers from the Finsbury Park Mosque.[92][118]

The Muslim Welfare House, according to the Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology, a “Political/entry-level Islamist” group “associated with the Muslim Brotherhood”.[35][36][16]

Festivals and cultural projects

Lambert started making public connections with Islamist at large cultural events in the mid-2000s, predating his retirement from the Metropolitan Police, and his second career as an academic.

Global Peace & Unity (GPU)

A large cultural conference first held in London in 2005, and most recently in 2013,[119] Global Peace & Unity (GPU) is organised by the Islam Channel, with that television station's founder Mohamed Ali Harrath acting as chair.[120] Harrath was the former Tunisian Islamist identified as an ‘advisor’ of Lambert's Muslim Contact Unit.[121][122] Lambert attended the event in 2007, when he was presented with a ‘Friends of Islam’ award by the Muslim Council of Britain.[123][124][125] In July 2008, Lambert attended a GPU event hosted by the Islam Channel at the House of Lords.[126]

Islam Expo

Intended as an annual conference and exhibition, Islam Expo was founded in November 2004 by Fida Alaeddin, Asif Laher and Muslim Association of Britain director Mohammed Sawalha, who also acted as company secretary. In September 2005, Laher left the board, to be replaced by Anas Altikriti, Ismail Patel and Azzam Tamimi. (Tamimi stayed a director until late 2009, Sawalha resigned in September 2013, and the rest remained until the company was dissolved in 2015.[127][128]

Whilst still leading the Met's Muslim Contact Unit, Lambert attended the first Islam Expo, held at Alexandra Palace in 2006,[129] and he was a featured speaker at the 2008 event (at which he was also presented with an award by Cordoba Foundation).[130][131][124][126] Islam Expo was thanked by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer in their London Case Study produced through the European Muslim Research Centre.[37] This is not surprising, given that Islam Expo bankrolled their research projects to the tune of £100,000.[132]

Pressure groups and advocacy

This section includes some of the larger and more visible organisations seeking to influence civil society from a Muslim perspective with which Lambert has ingratiated himself. Some have a relatively narrow sectional focus (e.g. FoSIS, serving students), while others can be seen as umbrella organisations to which others are affiliated (e.g. the MCB). Some have had - at least at some times - an Islamist edge to them.

Also listed are organisations active in advocacy, rather than seeking to influence policy on a macro level (though clearly there is overlap). These groups work directly with those supposedly ‘vulnerable to radicalisation’ or, indeed, those who already have been ‘radicalised’. Some of them are quite likely to already be on the radar of Special Branch or other security and intelligence agencies. This makes Lambert's involvement with these groups - sometimes a at a quite personal level - particularly interesting.

British Muslim Initiative (BMI)

The British Muslim Initiative (BMI) was set up in 2007 by members of the ‘young activist’ faction within the Muslim Association of Britain when the ‘old educationalist’ tendency came into control of the organisation. The founders were people active in other organisations as well, - notably Anas Altikriti, Muhammad Sawalha and Azzam Tamimi.[133][134][135] It was formally run by Sawalha and Mohamed Kozbar; who had a history as director of the MAB, and of the Muslim Welfare Trust/House; at the time they were directors of Finsbury Park Mosque after Abu Hamza was forced out. Other prominent activists involved include Daud Abdullah.[136] Whilst its website has been suspended, it continues to have an active Facebook page.[137][138][134][135]

The BMI was one of the hosts of the July 2008 Islam Expo event in London, at which Lambert was a featured guest.[130] The Initiative also co-organised the ‘Stop Islamophobia Defend the Muslim Community’ one-day conference with Stop the War Coalition in June 2010, with Lambert as one of the speakers.[139][100][101][102] Lambert and Daud Abdullah both featured as speakers at Enough Coalition Against Islamophobia event at London Muslim Centre in May 2011.[140]

The Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology listed the BMI as a “Political/entry-level Islamist” group “associated with the Muslim Brotherhood”.[35][36][16]

Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FoSIS)

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FoSIS), founded back in the early 1960s,[141] hosted or sponsored at least two events at which Lambert was a guest speaker. These include the June 2010 one-day conference ‘Stop Islamophobia’ mentioned above[100][101][102] and ‘Radical thinking – between extremes of freedom and security on campus’, in March 2011.[142] The Federation was thanked by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer in their London Case Study produced through the European Muslim Research Centre.[37]

FoSIS has been accused of being a Muslim Brotherhood front.[143]

Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE)

With its roots in groups going back to the 1970s, the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) was formally set up in 1988 to represent the interests of British Bangladeshis, with its first chairman being Muhammad Abdul Bari.[144][145] It is closely linked with the East London Mosque and the adjoining London Muslim Centre, where its governing trust is based.[146]

Lambert has noted that he “first saw East London Mosque and Islamic Forum Europe street skills in action in 2005 when they robustly dispatched extremists from Al Muhajiroun who were in Whitechapel attempting to recruit youngsters into their hate filled group.”[73]

Lambert has attended a number of IFE-hosted events, and events organised by others at its principal venue, the London Muslim Centre.[71][72] He appeared alongside Respect Party MP George Galloway in April 2010.[147] In addition whilst attending the Muslim Safety Forum in his capacity as head of the Muslim Contact Unit, Lambert worked closely with IFE's Azad Ali, who functioned as the Forum's chair for much of its life,[148][149] and who very publicly complimented the work of the MCU.[12] He also came across Ali in other spheres, such as those involving Unite Against Fascism, of which Ali was Vice Chair.[150]

The Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology called them a “Political/entry-level Islamist” group ”associated with Jamaat-e-Islami”.[35][36][16]

Muslim Association of Britain (MAB)

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) was set up in 1997 by Kamal Helbawy, an Egyptian-born Islamist who moved to the UK in 1994 and acted as spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in the West; he brought “tens of Muslim activists...together to establish a community grassroots organisation.”[151][152][153] The Association is an affiliate member of the Muslim Council of Britain, which Helbawy also helped found.[81]

The MAB played a key role in organising anti-war protests from 2002 onwards, notably co-organising the two million-strong February 2003 London demonstration with the Stop the War Coalition and CND.[154] This can be seen as an effect of the activist-minded leadership of the time, which centred around Anas Altikriti.[133]

This same MAB leadership group was integral to Lambert and the Muslim Contact Unit's plans to seize back the Finsbury Park Mosque from Abu Hamza.[118][155] According to Abdul Haqq Baker, in 2005 Lambert appraised the MAB to be “amongst the few to have effectively tackled Al-Qaida. It was an organisation that had gained significant credibility due to its stance regarding the Palestinian issue.”[156][157]

The Association was named as a “Political/entry-level Islamist” group “associated with the Muslim Brotherhood” by the Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology..[35][36][16] The Quilliam Foundation has also noted that “the MAB aims to draw attention to perceived injustices against Muslims throughout the world and seeks to mobilize both Muslims and non-Muslims to campaign on these issues”.[158] Former Islamist-turned-think tank founder Ed Husain describes the foundation of the MAB as coming from a split in the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) in which “the Muslim Brotherhood brigade broke off”, and which subsequently “was instrumental in creating George Galloway's Respect Party in 2004”.[159]

Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)

Founded in 1997 after negotiations between various bodies stretching back to 1994, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is an umbrella organisation of around 450 affiliated groups and mosques. From 1997 until 2000, and then from 2002-2006 its Secretary General was Iqbal Sacranie,[160] whom previously had built up a profile as a spokesman of the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs.[161][162] Sacranie was clearly someone with whom establishment figures felt that they could do business with on ‘Muslim issues’. Labour Cabinet Minister Jack Straw called him “a personal friend”,[163] whilst London Mayor Ken Livingstone recalls how Sacranie stood with him at a press conference in the immediate aftermath of the July 2005 bombings and was applauded.[164] Bob Lambert notes that it was “not uncommon” for Sacranie to meet Met Commissioner John Stevens personally at New Scotland Yard.[165] Subsequent Secretaries General have been Yousef Bhailok (2000-2002),[166] Muhammad Abdul Bari (2006-2010),[167] Farooq Murad (2010-2014),[168] and Shuja Shafi (2014 to present).[169][170] Lambert has written and spoken approvingly of Bari in particular, considering him a “mainstream Islamist” in contrast to the “khalifate revolutionaries” such as those associated with the Quilliam Foundation.[171][172] (For more on the relationship between Lambert and Bari, see below Political activists)

Affiliates of the MCB include a number of organisations in which Lambert has shown great interest, such as the Muslim Association of Britain and the Muslim Welfare House, as well as others to which he has had connections, including the Islamic Forum of Europe and Interpal.[81] The MCB is thanked by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer in their London Case Study produced through the European Muslim Research Centre.[37]

Lambert has attended many events hosted by the MCB, and has shared platforms with its representatives, since before he left the Metropolitan Police. These include Marie Breen Smyth's conference on ‘The Politics of Radicalisation’ in October 2007,[24] the IHRC's tenth anniversary event that November,[173] the Global Peace & Unity conference later the same month (where he was presented with a ‘Friend of Islam’ award by the MCB),[123][124][125] as well as events in 2008,[174][13][175][176] 2009,[177] 2010,[27][102] and many more in 2011 and onwards.[178] He lent particular support to MCB media officer Murtaza Shibli, whose 2010 book, 7/7: Muslim Perspectives,[179] was launched at the House of Lords on the fifth anniversary of the London terrorist attacks under the auspices of the European Muslim Research Centre, with strong endorsements from both Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer.[180][181] Sacranie acted as trustee of the think tank ENGAGE, which Lambert helped set up and acted as ‘Policy Research Specialist’ for (with MCB media officer Inayat Bunglawala acting as CEO).[182]

The Quilliam Foundation, a London based 'counter-extremism' think-tank, in a controversial briefing paper aligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology, thinks of the MCB as a “Political/entry-level Islamist” group “associated with the Muslim Brotherhood”.[35][36][16]

CAGE (formerly CagePrisoners)

Initially set up in 2003 as a human rights pressure group to raise “awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror,” in 2005 Moazzam Begg, himself a former Guantanamo detainee, took up the post of Director at what is now an advocacy organisation.[183][169] For a number of years CAGE activists have sometimes crossed paths with Lambert. The first known instance is in October 2007, when shortly before his retirement from the police Detective Inspector Lambert attended Marie Breen Smyth's ‘The Politics Of Radicalisation: Reframing The Debate And Reclaiming The Language’ a one-day seminar at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, East London, along with a number of other police officers, politicians, academics and activists including Makbool Javaid, Moazzam Begg, Adnan Siddiqui and Saghir Hussain from CAGE.[24] Begg and Lambert were also both featured guests at the tenth anniversary event held for the Islamic Human Rights Commission at the London Muslim Centre in November 2007.[173] By June 2010 Lambert and Begg were both featured speakers at the ‘Stop Islamophobia Defend the Muslim Community’ a one-day conference co-organised by Stop The War and the British Muslim Initiative.[100][101][102] In September 2011 the pair were part of a panel discussing Islamophobia on Mohamed Ali Harrath's Islam Channel.[184][185][186][187][188] The following month they spoke at a ‘Bangladesh In Crisis’ event in East London.[189]

CAGE and Moazzam Begg appear to have been targeted by the Lambert-led Muslim Contact Unit as part of its efforts to engage with non-violent extremists to neutralise key Salafi and Islamist figures such as Abu Qatada. The Unit does not appear to have been successful in this regard.[190]

Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)

An “independent, not-for-profit, campaign, research and advocacy organization” Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) was set up to “work with different organizations from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds, to campaign for justice for all peoples regardless of their racial, confessional or political background.” It was set up in 1997,[191] with both a formal corporate structure and an underlying charitable trust established in early 2003.[192][193] Thanked by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer in their London Case Study produced through the European Muslim Research Centre.[37]

Lambert provided a strong endorsement of Policing, Protest and Conflict: Report Into the Policing of the London Gaza Demonstrations in 08-09. This report, published by the IHRC in January 2010, was highly critical of the Metropolitan Police's handling of demonstrations in London against the Gaza war. He describes it as “precisely the kind of perspective the Met should engage with as it seeks to restore confidence in its unique tradition of public order policing in the capital”. He claims that the Met “is generally at its best when listening to its sternest critics”, and evokes the willingness of John Grieve (“who led the Met's radical and effective response to Lord Macpherson's stinging criticism at the conclusion of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry”) to do just that.[194]

Shortly before his retirement from the Metropolitan Police a little over two years prior to this, Lambert was honoured with an award by the IHRC at its tenth anniversary celebrations. It was inscribed “In appreciation for his integrity and commitment to promoting a fair, just and secure society for all, which, is a rarity and will be greatly missed”.[173]

Islamix

The website of Islamix (which describes itself as “the premier community cohesion advocate organization - working nationally with Governments and relevant agencies with a local perspective, always at the forefront”) has Lambert described as a member of the ‘team’. Also cited as ‘team members’ are Jonathan Githens-Mazer, businessman Kevin McGrath, and politicians Phyllis Starkey MP and Peter Skinner MEP.[195][196] The founder of Islamix, which appears not to be either a registered company or a registered charity, is Mohammed Khaliel. He has featured in media articles over the years as an expert, variously described as a “Community leader and diversity trainer”,[197] someone “who advises the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police on gang, gun and knife crime”,[198] and someone “whose advocacy group works to create a deeper understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims”.[199] Local paper the Bucks Free Press has referred to him as “director of community relations organisation Islamix” as recently as 2015.[200]

Previously Khaliel had been cited as spokesman for High Wycombe's Muslim Education Centre,[201][202] which in 2007 was accused of selling Islamist texts by right-wing think-tank - a claim refuted by the Centre and in some respects subsequently rebutted by BBC's Newsnight.[203][204]

Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism (FAIR)

Set up in 2001 to monitor Islamophobia and to promote positive images of Muslims,[205] FAIR has some tangential connections to Lambert. In 2004 FAIR and both Lambert and the Muslim Contact Unit were among the groups and individuals consulted by the EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program of the Open Society Institute for its Muslims In The UK: Policies for Engaged Citizens. The report's authors included Basia Spalek (later a close academic associate of Lambert's) and Zamila Bunglawala, sister of Shenaz Bunglawala (ENGAGE and MEND) and Inayat Bunglawala (Muslim Council of Britain and ENGAGE).[206][207] The Forum was also thanked by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer in their Islamophobia: A London Case Study report for the European Muslim Research Centre.[37] In 2011 the inaugural chairman of FAIR, Jeremy Henzell-Thomas, was published in the same Spring/Summer edition of the Cordoba journal Arches as Lambert.[208]

Islamophobia Watch

Set up in 2005 by Eddie Truman and Bob Pitt to monitor what its authors perceived to be anti-Muslim and racist sentiments, the Islamophobia Watch website was supportive of the Muslim Contact Unit, Bob Lambert and his academic work for a number of years.[209][210][211][212][213][214] The founders split in 2013, with Truman's site being mothballed sometime in 2014 and Pitt shuttering his iteration in 2015.[215][216][217] In 2014 Bob Pitt was given as a referee in support of Lambert's work in the John Grieve Centre's impact summary to the Research Excellence Framework.[218] Thanked by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer in their London Case Study produced through the European Muslim Research Centre.[37]

Middle East Monitor (MEMO)

Established in 2006 by Daud Abdullah (a former senior elected official of the Muslim Council of Britain),[219] MEMO is a media monitoring website which has published essays and articles by Bob Lambert,[220][221][222] of which Abdullah is the director.[219]. MEMO also published a book edited by Abdullah, in which Lambert had a chapter.[223] Lambert has sometimes cited MEMO without declaring his own involvement, such as in July 2011.[224][225]

It was at MEMO's invitation that Sheikh Raed Salah, a leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, came to Britain for a speaking tour in 2011, only to be arrested and detained with a view to being deported at the behest of Home Secretary Theresa May. Subsequent appeals in the tribunals process (which saw Lambert and SpinWatch's David Miller speak on Salah's behalf as expert witnesses) ultimately proved successful.[226][227][228][229][230]

In his capacity as founder of MEMO, Abdullah has shared a number of platforms with Lambert over the years, including at the book launch in 2011 for the SpinWatch report The Cold War On British Muslims.[231][232][233]

Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK)

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, which was set up in February 2006 by Asghar Bukhara, Zulfiquar Bukhari, Catherine Heseltine and Mohammed Safdar,[234] describes itself as “a grass roots civil liberties pressure group, set up in 2001 to encourage civil engagement within the Muslim community at all levels in the UK”.[235][236] The group - through Asghar Bukhari - was involved with Lambert and others in setting up the think tank/media monitoring organisation ENGAGE in 2008.[237] It was thanked by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer in their London Case Study produced through the European Muslim Research Centre.[37]

People

In addition to the groups above, this section focuses on individuals who have had specific and direct public interplay with Lambert.

  • Daud Abdullah: A defender of Lambert following his exposure has been Daud Abdullah; in a comment piece for the Guardian website, he claimed that those who brought about Lambert's “exposure” (Abdullah's scare quotes) “seek to achieve two things: to assassinate Lambert's character and discredit his academic work” and that in contrast to Lambert's own achievements, those “who smear Lambert have no such accomplishments”.[238] This reciprocated the support provided by Lambert and his colleague Jonathan Githens-Mazer in 2009, when Abdullah himself had been on the receiving end of criticism for perceived support for Hamas.[239]
Abdullah has been involved in a number of organisations, including the Muslim Council of Britain (where he has been described variously[240][239] as a former assistant or deputy secretary-general), and the British Muslim Initiative. He has served as a director of media monitoring website the Middle East Monitor (MEMO), which has published essays and articles by Bob Lambert.[219] Lambert also provided a chapter for a book edited by Abdullah and published by MEMO.[223]
Abdullah and Lambert have shared many conference and meeting platforms, including the Islamic Human Rights Commission's tenth anniversary celebration in 2007, at which Lambert was honoured,[173] and the ‘Stop Islamophobia: Defend the Muslim Community’ event in June 2010.[101][102][100]
Abdullah has also been a trustee of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism (CfSoT) set up by Kamal al-Helbawy,[241] a Middlesex-based think tank which describes itself as “an independent research and training organisation that looks at terrorism and security-related issues from the other point of view including Islamic one”.[242][243] Other Lambert-connected people involved in CfSoT have included Anas Altikriti from the Muslim Association of Britain[244] and Abdullah Faliq, editor of the Cordoba Foundation's journal Arches.[245]
Abdullah was lecturer at various academic insitutions and active in the An Noor mosque in West London.[246][247][248][249][249][250]
  • Anas Altikriti: Altikriti (whose name is sometimes rendered al-Tikriti) has been a significant partner of Lambert in his work both at the Muslim Contact Unit and in academia. He was also a member of the EMRC advisory board and was thanked by Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer in their London Case Studies report.[251][70]
Altikriti is often linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, either through family connection (his father Osama Tawfiq Altikriti was a leader of MB in Iraq)[118][252] or by way of the organisations in which he has been involved.[253] He rose to prominence in his own right first as a spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain in 1997, and became its president in 2003.[244] On behalf of the MAB he helped organise, along with the Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the two million-strong anti-war march in central London in February 2003.[154][254] This then led Altikriti into the StWC-inspired Respect Party in 2004 (for which he headed up the party's slate at the European elections for the Yorkshire and Humberside constituency).[255] Following the 2005 London bombings, [133] he founded the Cordoba Foundation, which defines itself as “an independent public relations, research and policy think tank promoting intercultural dialogue and positive coexistence among civilisations, ideas, cultures and people”,[256][257] With Muhammad Sawalha and Azzam Tamimi he then set up the British Muslim Initiative, “an organisation which seeks to fight racism and Islamaphobia, combat the challenges Muslims face around the world, encourage Muslim participation in British public life, and improve relations between the West and the Muslim world.”[134][135][99]
It was through the Muslim Association that Altikriti first came to work with Lambert and the Muslim Contact Unit, when Altikriti's Muslim Brotherhood-aligned MAB assisted the Met in ousting Abu Hamza and his supporters from Finsbury Park Mosque, and to take over its management.[118]
The pair have shared platforms a number of times since then, with Altikriti typically representing the Cordoba Foundation or the BMI (which have both sponsored or co-hosted various of these events). Lambert and Altikriti were both speakers at the ‘Stop Islamophobia Defend the Muslim Community’ one-day conference in June 2010, which was co-organised by Stop The War and the British Muslim Initiative.[139][100][101][102] Altikriti and Cordoba also hosted two launch parties for the EMRC's UK Case Studies,[258][259][260] and a further two for Lambert's own book - though one was cancelled following his exposure.[261][262] A few days before his exposure, both Lambert and Altikriti also attended the launch of SpinWatch's book on Islamophobia.[233][232][231] They also both attended events organised by Islam Expo.[130][263] It should also be noted that in addition to the aforementioned book launches and other events Cordoba has also funded several projects on which Lambert has worked, including both the London Case Study and the UK Case Studies, and the foundation and operation of the European Muslim Research Centre.[264][265][266]
Like Daud Abdullah, Altikriti has acted as a trustee for the Centre for the Study of Terrorism (CfSOT), an “independent research and training organisation” set up in 2006 by Kamal el-Helbawy.[243][244]
  • Muhammad Abdul Bari: When Lambert and Githens-Mazer published their 2010 UK Case Study on Islamophobia for the European Muslim Research Centre, they prefaced it with a three page dedication to Muhammad Abdul Bari, praising his leadership of the East London Mosque and the Muslim Council of Britain, where he had been Secretary General 2006-2010.[77][78][79][80] In addition, Bari was a member of the Advisory Board of the European Muslim Research Centre]].[70] In 2010 Lambert was one of the first signatories of an open letter drafted by Bari in his capacity as Secretary General of the MCB to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for the Israeli blockade of Gaza to be lifted.[267][268]
Bari is also closely identified with the Islamic Forum Europe (IFE), a primarily Bangladeshi organisation based in East London (set up in 1988 with Bari as its founding President); Lambert has attended a number of IFE-hosted events, and events organised by others at its principal venue, the London Muslim Centre.[71][72]
Lambert has attended several events where both he and Bari have been prominent guests or participants, including a 2007 conference hosted by the School of Oriental and African Studies.[174][13] a 2008 iftar reception organised by IFE at the London Muslim Centre,[176] a Parliamentary meeting on the Prevent programme organised by Lord Ahmed of Rotherham and the Cordoba Foundation later in 2009,[177] the formation of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, which was launched at an invitation-only event at the House of Commons in 2010,[27] and at a conference entitled ‘Radical thinking – between extremes of freedom and security on campus’ hosted by the UCL Islamic Society and the Federation of Student Islamic Societies at University College London in 2011.[142]
  • Ibrahim Hewitt: The chairman of the Palestinian Relief and Development Fund, also known as Interpal,[269][270] and a senior editor on Daud Abdullah's MEMO website.[271] Though Hewitt has not shared conference tables or writing credits with Lambert as much as others, there are repeated connections. Hewitt was a featured speaker (along with Anas Altikriti from Cordoba Foundation and Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding) at the Parliamentary launch of Lambert's book hosted by Jeremy Corbyn at Portcullis House in September 2011.[261][272][273][274]
During his talk at Chatham House in 2011 Lambert himself noted that he first visited the offices of Interpal in 2002 “because they had been attacked [with] bricks thrown through the window.” He further indicated that he visited many times after that - “it was also a pleasure, to be able to spend so many days, so many hours and days at the Interpal office” - and added that “it's a great pleasure that Ibrahim Hewitt is here this evening.” Hewitt then provided the first question of the Q&A session that followed.[275][108]

Further Undercover Research resources on Bob Lambert

Notes

  1. The Evans/Lewis book states that Lambert first met ‘Charlotte’, AKA Jacqui, in 1983, “the first year of his deployment”. This is slightly contradicted by the account in The New Yorker piece, which is based upon interviews with Jacqui, in which it is said the two met “in early 1984”. In his 2013 interview with Andy Davies for Channel 4 News, Lambert himself implies that it could not have been 1983, with the words “I must say, in 1984 when I adopted that identity [Bob Robinson]…” In a 2014 article for an academic journal, Lambert himself strongly implies that his undercover tour began in June 1984 and ended in December 1988 (see Robert Lambert, ‘Researching counterterrorism: a personal perspective from a former undercover police officer’. Critical Studies on Terrorism Volume 7 Number 1, pp165-181 (2014)).
  2. Please note that many of the sources used here could be considered hostile to the groups they describe. The intention is to show that Lambert willingly - and knowingly - engaged with or even supported organisations and individuals at a time when they were being openly being criticised for connections to (perceived) extremists; and to show that such criticism came not just from traditional conservative or neoconservative quarters (e.g. the Daily Telegraph, Policy Exchange), but also from those in the neoconservative tradition such as Harry's Place and the Quilliam Foundation. The latter reportedly received £700,000 as part of the government's Preventing Violent Extremism Programme, £400,000 of which was given by the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT). Vikram Dodd Spying Morally Right, says Think-Tank, The Guardian, 16 October 2009
  3. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011
  4. Robert Lambert, ‘British Muslim Organisations: The Target of an Orchestrated Neocon Campaign of Denigration’. Arches Quarterly Volume 4 Issue 7, pp128-142, Winter 2010.
  5. To be clear, he served in the Special Demonstration Squad from no later than September 1983 until sometime in 1989, and then from November 1993 until late 1998. See Lambert's police career timeline for details and references.
  6. Policing Terrorism: A Review of the Evidence, The Police Foundation, February 2009 (accessed 7 October 2015).
  7. John Upton, ‘In the Streets of Londonistan’, London Review of Books, 22 January 2004 (accessed 14 April 2016).
  8. Robert Lambert, ‘The Muslim Safety Forum: Senior Police and Muslim Community Engagement during the War on Terror’. P. Daniel Silke, Basia Spalek & Mary O’Rawe (ed.), Preventing Ideological Violence: Communities, Police and Case Studies of “Success”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, p67.
  9. Robert Lambert, ‘The Muslim Safety Forum: Senior Police and Muslim Community Engagement during the War on Terror’. P. Daniel Silke, Basia Spalek & Mary O’Rawe (ed.), Preventing Ideological Violence: Communities, Police and Case Studies of “Success”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, p70.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p81.
  11. Robert Lambert, ‘The Muslim Safety Forum: Senior Police and Muslim Community Engagement during the War on Terror’. P. Daniel Silke, Basia Spalek & Mary O’Rawe (ed.), Preventing Ideological Violence: Communities, Police and Case Studies of “Success”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp71.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Vikram Dodd, ‘Special Branch to track Muslims across UK’, The Guardian, 20 July 2005 (accessed 9 March 2015).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 ‘Participants Biographies’, School of Oriental and African Studies website, 2008 (accessed 30 March 2016). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AWB488" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AWB488" defined multiple times with different content
  14. Robert Lambert, ‘The Muslim Safety Forum: Senior Police and Muslim Community Engagement during the War on Terror’. P. Daniel Silke, Basia Spalek & Mary O’Rawe (ed.), Preventing Ideological Violence: Communities, Police and Case Studies of “Success”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, pp70-71.
  15. Abdul-Rehman Malik, ‘Building on the foundations’, The Guardian, 13 August 2007 (accessed 9 March 2015).
  16. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 Vikram Dodd, ‘List sent to terror chief aligns peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist ideology’, The Guardian, 4 August 2010 (accessed 9 March 2015).
  17. Robert Lambert MBE, ‘7/7: What a Public Inquiry Would Have Addressed’, The Platform website, 17 May 2011 (accessed 16 May 2016).
  18. ‘Fatima Khan’, LinkedIn.com, 2016, (accessed 18 May 2016).
  19. ‘THE MUSLIM SAFETY FORUM’, Companies House website, 2016 (accessed 12 May 2016). The MSF's directors were Naeem Darr (secretary), Azad Ali, and Tahir Butt (until February 2009).
  20. ‘THE MUSLIM SAFETY FORUM’, Charity Commission website, 2016 (accessed 18 May 2016). The MSF's trustees were Azad Ali, Abdurahman Jafar, Abul Kalam, Fatima Khan and Mujibul Islam.
  21. ‘Introduction’, Muslim Safety Forum website, September 2006 (accessed via Archive.org 17 May 2016).
  22. ‘Muslim Safety Forum (MSF) Community Update’, Muslim Safety Forum website, 2 June 2006 (accessed via Archive.org 17 May 2016).
  23. 23.0 23.1 Robert Lambert, ‘The Muslim Safety Forum: Senior Police and Muslim Community Engagement during the War on Terror’. P. Daniel Silke, Basia Spalek & Mary O’Rawe (ed.), Preventing Ideological Violence: Communities, Police and Case Studies of “Success”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, p72.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Centre for the Study of Radicalisation & Contemporary Political Violence, ‘The Politics Of Radicalisation: Reframing The Debate And Reclaiming The Language’ (event leaflet), University of Wales Aberystwyth, 2007 (accessed 17 March 2016).
  25. Dr Chris Allen, ‘Momentous Occasion: A report on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia and its Secretariat’, All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, 2011 (accessed via ConservativeHome 19 May 2016).
  26. ‘Tackling Islamophobia - Reducing Street Violence Against British Muslims’ (notice of debate), Cordoba Foundation website, 3 March 2010 (accessed 21 November 2014).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 MCB Press Office, ‘MCB Brings Experts and Parliamentarians Together to Discuss Islamophobia’, Muslim Council of Britain website, 10 March 2010 (accessed 4 April 2016).
  28. ‘Celebrate Diversity Convention unites communities to oppose racism, fascism and Islamophobia’, One Society Many Cultures website, October 2011 (accessed via 26 March 2012 archive.org cache, 28 August 2014).
  29. Stockwell Two: An investigation into complaints about the Metropolitan Police Service's handling of public statements following the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes on 22 July 2005, Independent Police Complaints Commission, July 2007(accessed via StateWatch 21 November 2014), pp124 & 128.
  30. Basia Spalek & Robert Lambert, ‘Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Muslim Community Engagement post 9/11’. Rebecca Roberts & Will McMahon (ed.), Social Justice and Criminal Justice, Centre for Crime & Justice Studies, 2007, p209.
  31. ‘London Muslim Communities Forum’, Metropolitan Police Service website, 2012 (accessed 17 May 2016).
  32. ‘London Muslim Communities Forum launched’, Metropolitan Police website, 27 March 2012 (accessed 16 July 2014).
  33. Chris Hulbert, ‘Minutes of the London Muslim Community Forum 26.03.2012’, Metropolitan Police Service website, 26 March 2012 (accessed 18 May 2016).
  34. It is perhaps instructive that the LMCF comes under the administrative purview of SO15 - Counter Terrorism Command; and it is not uninteresting to note that the Met has not published any further minutes of LMCF meetings (if indeed any more have taken place).
  35. 35.00 35.01 35.02 35.03 35.04 35.05 35.06 35.07 35.08 35.09 35.10 Maajid Nawaz & Ed Husain, ‘Letter to Charles Farr, Director General OSCT’, Quilliam Foundation, 14 June 2010 (accessed 4 April 2016).
  36. 36.00 36.01 36.02 36.03 36.04 36.05 36.06 36.07 36.08 36.09 36.10 Preventing Terrorism: where next for Britain?, Quilliam Foundation, 2010 (accessed 2 April 2016).
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 37.5 37.6 37.7 Dr Jonathan Githens-Mazer & Dr Robert Lambert MBE, Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: A London Case Study (research project), European Muslim Research Centre/University of Exeter, January 2010 (accessed via counterextremism.org 16 April 2014), p9.
  38. ‘About us’, National Association of Muslim Police website, May 2008 (accessed via Archive.org 16 May 2016).
  39. ‘Home page’, National Association of Muslim Police website, May 2008 (accessed via Archive.org 16 May 2016).
  40. Various Wikipedia contributors, ‘National Association of Muslim Police’, Wikipedia, 2016 (accessed 16 May 2016).
  41. ‘Association of Muslim Police’, Metropolitan Police Service website, 2016 (accessed 20 April 2016).
  42. Former Metropolitan Police Commisioner Ian Blair lends support to this in his autobiography, which whilst published in 2009, refers to how in the immediate aftermath of 7/7 (i.e. 7 July 2005) he was “much helped in [his] decision to [challenge casual Islamophobia perpetuated in the media immediately after the bombings] by Tarique Ghaffur, the country's senior Asian officer.” See: Ian Blair, Policing Controversy, Profile Books, 2009, p28.
  43. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p54.
  44. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, n54 p314.
  45. ‘Asif Sadiq’, LinkedIn.com, 2016, (accessed 16 May 2016).
  46. Büşra Akin Dinçer, ‘Muslim police: A bridge between different cultures’, Daily Sabah website, 20 March 2015 (accessed 16 May 2016).
  47. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p79.
  48. David Miller, ‘Public meeting: From 9/11 to the Arab Spring, The Norway killings and the English riots: What have we learned about political violence and terrorism?’, A Decade of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (blog), 28 August 2011 (accessed 8 February 2016).
  49. Mancha Productions, ‘Bob Lambert, Plenary: Muslim Partners or Muslim Extremists?’, via Vimeo, filmed 8 September 2011 (accessed 9 February 2016).
  50. ‘Welcome to MasjidIT.co.uk!’, Brixton Mosque website, 2006 (accessed 10 May 2016).
  51. Simon Hooper, ‘Black Britons confront 'radical Islam'’, Al Jazeera website, 19 December 2013 (accessed 12 May 2016).
  52. Various Wikipedia contributors, ‘Abdullah el-Faisal’, Wikipedia, 2016 (accessed 12 May 2016).
  53. ‘Abdul Haqq Baker’, The Guardian, 2013 (accessed 12 May 2016).
  54. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, pp182-5.
  55. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p191.
  56. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p58.
  57. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p197.
  58. Jonathan Githens-Mazer, Robert Lambert, Abdul-Haqq Baker, Safiyah Cohen-Baker & Zacharias Pieri, Muslim Communities: Perspectives on Radicalisation in Leicester, UK, Centre for Studies in Islamism and Radicalisation, March 2010 (accessed 5 January 2016).
  59. ‘Dr A H Baker’, Abdul Haqq Baker PhD website, 2015 (accessed 7 February 2016).
  60. Dr Bob Lambert & Professor Rosemary Hollis, ‘Partnering with the Muslim Community as an Effective Counter-Terrorist Strategy’, Chatham House, 20 September 2011 (accessed 17 April 2014), p6.
  61. Abdul Haqq Baker, Extremists In Our Midst: Confronting Terror, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  62. Lambert directly refers to Adam Lambert, his work with STREET, and his untimely death in February 2011 in his talk at IISS in September of that year. See around 22m into Robert Lambert & others, ‘Countering al-Qaeda in London’, International Institute for Strategic Studies, 19 September 2011 (accessed 15 April 2014).
  63. Lauren Collins, ‘The Spy Who Loved Me: An undercover surveillance operation that went too far’, The New Yorker, August 25 2014 issue (accessed 30 September 2014).
  64. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda In London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, C Hurst & Co, 2011, p vii. Note that this dedication indicates that Lambert had inducted his acknowledged son into his Special Branch-related work at STREET UK.
  65. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda In London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, C Hurst & Co, 2011, p13.
  66. Mark Duell, ‘Metropolitan Police agrees to pay £425,000 compensation to woman who had child by undercover officer: She had 'psychiatric care after learning of his real identity'’, Mail Online, 24 October 2014 (accessed 8 November 2014).
  67. Glenda Cooper, ‘Bob Lambert, undercover cops, and the awful cost of sleeping with the enemy’, Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2014 (accessed 8 November 2014).
  68. Various Wikipedia contributors, ‘East London Mosque’, Wikipedia, 2016 (accessed 3 May 2016).
  69. ‘EAST LONDON MOSQUE TRUST’, Companies House website (accessed 3 May 2016).
  70. 70.0 70.1 70.2 70.3 ‘EMRC Advisory Board’, University of Exeter website, 5 October 2011 (accessed 1 February 2015 via Archive.org). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AMD103" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AMD103" defined multiple times with different content
  71. 71.0 71.1 71.2 Konrad Pędziwiatr, The New Muslim Elites in European Cities: Religion and Active Social Citizenship Amongst Young Organized Muslims in Brussels and London, Centre for Sociological Research, Catholic University of Leuven, 2008 (accessed 27 April 2016), p129 n140.
  72. 72.0 72.1 72.2 Andrew Gilligan, ‘Inextricably linked to controversial mosque: the secret world of IFE’, Daily Telegraph, 28 February 2010 (accessed 26 April 2016).
  73. 73.0 73.1 Dr Robert Lambert, ‘Muslims Tackle Looters and Bigots’, Huffington Post UK website, 14 August 2011 (updated 14 October 2011) (accessed 5 January 2016).
  74. Denis MacEoin, The Hijacking of British Islam, Policy Exchange, 2007 (accessed via Scribd 2 April 2016).
  75. Sean O'Neill, ‘Lessons in hate found at leading mosques’, The Times, 30 October 2007 (accessed via Free Republic 26 April 2016).
  76. ‘Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari’, The Times, 17 December 2007 (accessed 26 April 2016).
  77. 77.0 77.1 Robert Lambert & Jonathan Githens-Mazer, Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies 2010 - An introduction to a ten year Europe-wide research project (first edition) (research project) European Muslim Research Centre/University of Exeter, November 2010 (accessed via counterextremism.org 11 June 2014), pp11-14.
  78. 78.0 78.1 Robert Lambert & Jonathan Githens-Mazer, Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies 2010 - An introduction to a ten year Europe-wide research project (second edition) (research project), European Muslim Research Centre/University of Exeter, January 2011 (accessed via Archive.org 11 June 2014), pp13-16.
  79. 79.0 79.1 Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p255.
  80. 80.0 80.1 Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p272.
  81. 81.0 81.1 81.2 ‘Affiliates’, Muslim Council of Britain website, 2016 (accessed 26 April 2016).
  82. 82.0 82.1 ‘ABOUT US’, Finsbury Park Mosque website, 2016 (accessed 16 May 2016).
  83. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p82.
  84. Various Wikipedia contributors, ‘Finsbury Park Mosque’, Wikipedia, 2016 (accessed 3 May 2016).
  85. John Stevens, Not For The Faint-Hearted, Phoenix, 2006 (revised paperback edition), pp354-359. Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner John Stevens notes that “Operation Mermant, the raid on the mosque, carried very high risks, and was authorised by Assistant Commissioner David Veness”. As we have seen elsewhere, the later career of Veness is closely entwined with that of Lambert.
  86. ‘Anti-terror police raid London mosque’, BBC News website, 20 January 2003 (accessed 16 May 2016).
  87. ‘Mosque raid: Police statement in full’, BBC News website, 20 January 2003 (accessed 16 May 2016).
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  109. Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, p96. Lambert appears to praise al Dubayan for his support, though he does not name him: “In London the best support came from the London Central Mosque where the director lent his personal authority to the task.”
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  116. This is a geographical fact which Lambert is particularly fond of repeating. See: Robert Lambert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership, Hurst & Company, 2011, pp92-93, p104, p105, p111, p114 & p115.
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  162. It is perhaps of interest that when novelist Salman Rushdie became subject to the fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, UKACIA spokesman Sacranie reportedly declared that “Death, perhaps, is a bit too easy for him his mind must be tormented for the rest of his life unless he asks for forgiveness to Almighty Allah.” See: Peter Murtagh, ‘Rushdie in hiding after Ayatollah's death threat’, The Guardian, 18 February 1989 (accessed 26 April 2016). Lambert had at this time just been pulled out of SDS duties and redeployed to the Metropolitan Police Special Branch's E Squad, where he appears to have first been tasked with dealing with ‘Muslim issues’. By his account, in 1991 he arrested Omar Bakri Mohammed in relation to death threats connected to the Rushdie fatwa. For more details, see E Squad (1989-1993) and Mark Curtis, Secret Affairs: Britain's Secret Collusion with Radical Islam, Serpent's Tail, 2012 (updated edition), p273. It is not currently known whether Lambert crossed paths with Sacranie or the other UKACIA activists, many of whom later crossed over to the MCB, at this early juncture.
  163. Jack Straw, Last Man Standing: Memoirs Of A Political Survivor, Macmillan, 2012, p480. Note that Straw does incorrectly call his title ‘President’.
  164. Ken Livingstone, You Can't Say That, Faber & Faber, 2011, pp533-534.
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  246. Coincidentally, former Metropolitan Police Special Branch officer, suspected Special Demonstration Squad member and co-author of a book about MPSB, Ray Wilson, was in the late 2010s a student at Birkbeck. See: Ray Wilson & Ian Adams, Special Branch - A History: 1883-2006, Biteback Publishing, 2015, p.ix; and ‘Sally's Night’, Birkbeck College website, 2009 (accessed 5 May 2016).
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  251. ‘Full profile: Anas Altikriti’, The Guardian, 3 June 2008 (accessed 14 April 2016).
  252. For example: the Muslim Association of Britain, the British Muslim Initiative, the Cordoba Foundation and Finsbury Park Mosque were all critiqued in the secret briefing on Islamist-linked groups sent to the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism by the rival Quilliam Foundation - see Maajid Nawaz & Ed Husain, ‘Letter to Charles Farr, Director General OSCT’, Quilliam Foundation, 14 June 2010 (accessed 4 April 2016) & Preventing Terrorism: where next for Britain?, Quilliam Foundation, 2010 (accessed 2 April 2016). Altikriti has also been involved in other more recent creations, such as the short-lived International Coalition for Freedoms & Rights (ICFR), which was incorporated between 2014 and 2015 with Altikriti as sole director. See: ‘ICFR LTD’, Companies House website, (accessed 14 April 2016); and ‘About us’, International Coalition for Freedoms & Rights website, 2014 (accessed 10 April 2016). Like the Cordoba Foundation, ICFR was also headquartered in Westgate House, a serviced office block in West London. See: Andrew Gilligan, ‘How the Muslim Brotherhood fits into a network of extremism’, Sunday Telegraph, 8 February 2015 (accessed 14 April 2016).
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  256. Altikriti is the sole director of two separate corporate entities representing TCF - The Cordoba Foundation Ltd, and The Cordoba Foundation UK Ltd, both founded in 2008, and both extant. See: ‘THE CORDOBA FOUNDATION LTD’, Companies House website (accessed 14 April 2016); and ‘THE CORDOBA FOUNDATION UK LTD’, Companies House website (accessed 14 April 2016).
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  263. Of a total of £912,482.09-worth of research funding accrued by Jonathan Githens-Mazer between 31 August 2007 and 31 August 2011, £100,000 - more than 10% - came from the Cordoba Foundation, a sum matched by Islam Expo. Together with £35,000 from Al Jazeera media network, this proportion rises to one-quarter. As a side note, in addition to setting up the EMRC together, and collaborating on the Islamophobia reports, Lambert and Githens-Mazer also worked together on the latter's ‘Cultures of Repression’ project, which pulled in a further £412,448.09 from funders. See: ‘Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies: Externally funded research projects’, University of Exeter website, 2016 (accessed 10 April 2016).
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  265. Between 2010 and 2014 SpinWatch also received funding from Cordoba in the form of three tranches each worth £5,000. See: ‘Our funding’, SpinWatch.org, 2016 (accessed 22 March 2016).
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  267. Other signatories included union leaders John F Smith, Dave Prentis, Christine Blower, Brendan Barber, Billy Hayes, Sally Hunt, Matt Wrack, Mark Serwotka, Hugh Lanning, Chris Keates, Steve Gillan, Gerry Doherty, Jeremy Dear and Bob Crow, politicians Ken Livingstone, Jeremy Corbyn, John Griffiths, Sandra White, Hywel Williams, Tony Benn, Christine Chapman, Bethan Jenkins and Lords Ahmed of Rotherham and Dafydd Elis-Thomas, as well as Lambert-linked figures like Ibrahim Hewitt, Daud Abdullah, Jonathan Githens-Mazer, Oliver McTernan, Lindsey German, Anas Altikriti and Mohammed Sawalha.
  268. ‘About Interpal’, Interpal website, 2016 (accessed 26 April 2016).
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  270. ‘Ibrahim Hewitt’, MEMO website, 2016 (accessed 26 April 2016).
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  272. Robert Lambert, Staff profile page, Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St. Andrews website, 3 November 2015 (most recent update) (accessed 5 January 2016).
  273. Full disclosure: in 2014/15, Interpal made a grant of £2,000 to Public Interest Investigations, which runs SpinWatch and Powerbase projects. See: ‘Our funding’, SpinWatch.org, 2016 (accessed 22 March 2016).
  274. Dr Bob Lambert, ‘Partnering with the Muslim Community as an Effective Counter-Terrorist Strategy’, transcript of Chatham House talk on 20 September 2011 (accessed 9 February 2016).