Alan Ayling

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Alan Ayling AKA Lake

Alan Ayling is a British businessman accused of operating under the pseudonym Alan Lake as a counterjihad activist in a December 2011 Sunday Times article.[1]

He appears to have given money to and been a strategist for the English Defence League (EDL)[2] and also has also worked closely with the far-right Sweden Democrats party.


Supporting the English Defence League

In October 2009, the anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate described Lake as a 45 -year-old businessman from Highgate, North London, who claims to have made his money through computers, and runs a series of intranet services for far-right groups around the world:

In addition to funding materials and publicity, Lake has established a website that he hopes will become a clearing house for the EDL and like-minded organisations. He says that people in the movement must choose their roles. Some can debate on forums, some can be experts on the Koran. He is, however, quick to distance himself from fascist organisations and one of his only demands of the EDL in return for his funding is that it distances itself from groups such as the British National Party.[3]

The Guardian reported in September 2009 that Lake was advising the EDL:

"We are catching a baby at the start of gestation," said Lake, who is considering funding the EDL. "We have a problem with numbers. We have an army of bloggers [in the far-right] but that's not going to get things done.
"Football fans are a potential source of support. They are a hoi polloi that gets off their backsides and travels to a city and they are available before and after matches."[4]

According to the Telegraph, Lake "admits to having met Robinson and some 10 other EDL supporters, but denies any connection to the Far Right."[5]

In April 2010, Lake admitted to a Norwegian TV channel that he had helped to fund the EDL.[6][7]

A December 2011 Sunday Times article named him as Alan Ayling, revealing his Alan Lake name to be a pseudonym.[1] Soon after the paper's investigation, Ayling was reportedly suspended from his post at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as the manager of its Oracle databases team. [8]

Sweden Democrats strategy seminar

<youtube size="medium" align="right" caption="Alan Lake speaking in Malmo on counterjihad strategy to the Sweden Democrats, 6 September 2009">oY7FL0LgIrA</youtube>

Lake has described Kent Ekeroth of the far-right Sweden Democrats as a 'good friend'[7]. He spoke at a seminar organised by Ekeroth in Malmö on 6 September 2009.[9]

Lake referred his audience to a number of people associated with the counterjihad movement as experts in Islam:

We have got people out there who can win these arguments, people like Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Brigitte Gabriel.[10]
How many experts do you want? There's Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Bill Warner, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brigitte Gabriel, Geert Wilders is an expert, fantastic, he can argue any of these, Pamela Geller, Jay Smith.[11]

Describing the pitfalls of 'counterjihad work', Lake went on to add:

It's difficult to form alliances in general and its difficult to form alliances between the groups. The groups tend to fragment a lot. There's loads of counterjihad groups out there. They don't work very well together, and some groups appear to be on the wrong side or neutral. It's astounding to find some Jews that actually support Islamic groups. We're not so suprised to find left-wingers in there, but it strictly speaking doesn't make sense.[12]

Lake claimed that intimidation contributed to paranoia among counterjihad activists:

You've got to have pseudonyms, you've got to have, you know, five email addresses, one for your friends, one for your counterjihad, one for your really extreme counterjihad comments, and all the rest of it.[13]

He went on to describe the role of the internet in counterjihad strategy:

The solution for the problem of numbers is to build alliances. I've made a website, it's called [actual url not clear from video], which is a community or it's a hub where lots of people can go and make their own groups. There was a preceding website to that called mnemosyne [name indistinct in video] , but the security was so tight it was very difficult to expand it. So at this website you can go and make your own room, so that room could be a Swedish Democrats room, or it could be a room for the Free Press Society so from that room, it can be a platform to reach out and make messages to the web. You could have two rooms. Another room could be the private room, and the private room would be one where you have discussions which we don't want to be public.
It is quite crazy I always think. I'm sure lots of you have looked at Jihad Watch. You look at some of these blogs out there on the web, and some of the discussions really shouldn't be had in public, certainly discussions about strategy.[14]

In an apparent reference to his links with the English Defence League, Lake added:

Another strategy we're trying to do in the UK, is reach out to more physical groups like football fans, get them involved. Well actually they're contacting us, because they're concerned, and these are people who are happy to go out on the street. I mean your average intellectual is happy typing on his PC, but we've reached the end of that road. You're not going to get a fat lot more mileage out of that.
You can blog and write letters to your MP as much as you like. Your MP doesn't care, he doesn't care what you say. The only thing that is going to make people start caring again, that is our nobility, our elite leaders, is if we have more numbers, and if we sometimes get out on the street. Ten they'll care but they don't care about our words. They don't care whether we're right or wrong and they don't read the blogs.
So if you can engage with the physical groups, people who are quite happy to go on the street, the thing about the football fans is they go see a match, and then after the match, they're already there on the street, so if you can then bring them off for a demo that works really well. You get the numbers. And they're not scared as well. Everybody else is scared of being beaten up and attacked. They're not scared of that.[15]

Lake also advocated Buddhists, Hindhus, Sikhs, gays and women, arguing that "All non-Muslims are under threat from Islam."[16]

Mysterious friend Kinana Nadir

Lake is reportedly close to a man who goes by the alias Kinana Nadir.

According to Bartholomew's Notes on Religion, the organisation Searchlight has suggested that the EDL forged links in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands and the U.S. and that

The driving force behind these links are two men who have been guiding the EDL from the shadows, Alan Lake and his close friend whom we know only as 'Kinana'.[17]

On 30 March 2011, the Redding Tea Party Radio show based in Northern California featured an interview with Kinana, who was reported to be visiting family in the United States nearby. The programme stated the Kinana worked closely with Alan Lake on the website. Kinana appeared to have an American accent.[18]

Searchlight also wrote about the link between Lake and Kinana: The two men are believed to have met at Kensington Temple, in Notting Hill Gate, west London, which belongs to the Elim Pentecostal Church, a protestant evangelical church, elements of which have attracted controversy for their hardline views on Christianity, homosexuality and Islam. It is believed that Lake has moved away from the church but Kinana has maintained his links.[17]

July 2009 meeting

Counterjihad activist Paul Ray has claimed that in July 2009 Ayling/Lake met with Ann Marchini and a counterjihad activist using the pseudonym Richard the Lionheart in what was one of the earliest meetings of the English Defence League.[19][20] Ray, whose own blog is called Lionheart, had previously denied claims that he himself was the Richard (he Lionheart whom Norwegian mass murder Anders Breivik described as his mentor.[21]

2010 meeting

According to blogger Richard Bartholomew, Charlie Flowers posted on Facebook in late 2010 about having a two hour meeting with Lake, Abdullah al-Andalusi of the Muslim Debate Initiative and Paul Williams, likely the Family Security Matters contributor.[17]

Lake's site is a social network on the Ning platform.[22] The site lists both the English Defence League and the International Civil Liberties Alliance as affiliates.[23] Both sites have reciprocal links back to[24][25]

On 14 April 2011, Lake/Ayling commented on the site, "The best we can do is try shock 'the masses' out of their complacency."[26]

Comments on the Utoya massacre

Alan Ayling watches Anne Marie Waters speak in Hyde Park, October 2014

Following the Utoya Massacre in Norway on 24 July 2011, Lake commented:

Apparently, in a long screed Anders Behring Breivik posted on line, he did this attack to protest against the way that Islam is taking over large parts of Europe. By attacking the leftist politicians that are enabling this, the chickens have actually come home to roost - altho I'm sure it won't be depicted that way.[27]

Anne Marie Waters

In a series of videos taken in October 2014 at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park, Ayling could be seen watching Anne Marie Waters of UKIP and Sharia Watch UK - and others - delivering diatribes against Islam, among a group of people who appeared largely supportive. During a Spinwatch investigation, Waters did not respond to repeated requests to clarify her relationship with Ayling.[28] However, after the publication of a critical article, she wrote: 'I do not know Alan Ayling; he has certainly never given me any money.'[29]

Pamela Geller

According to British group Hope Not Hate, Geller is 'personally linked' to Ayling as well as his close associate who uses the pseudonym Kinana Nadir and former EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson). Hope Not Hate also reports that Ayling told other UK activists that Geller will fund a Mohammed cartoon campaign.[30]

Mohammed cartoon exhibition / 'civil war' plot

In June 2015, Ayling met with other far-right activists including Anne Marie Waters of Sharia Watch UK, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon AKA Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the English Defence League and Jim Dowson, formerly leader of Britain First. The group planned to host an exhibition of Mohammed cartoon exhibitions in September that year and according to Dowson - who blew the whistle on the plan on his Knights Templar blog - they hoped to spark a civil war.[31]


External resources


Facebook Alan Lake - now deactivated (2015)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dipesh Gadher and Robin Henry, Unmasked: wealthy backers behind far-right league, Sunday Times, 11 December 2011, archived at Hope Not Hate.
  2. Robert Booth, Matthew Taylor and Paul Lewis, English Defence League: chaotic alliance stirs up trouble on streets, The Guardian, 12 September 2009.
  3. Nick Lowles, Businessman bankrolls ‘street army’, Hope Not Hate, October 2009.
  4. Robert Booth, Matthew Taylor and Paul Lewis, English Defence League: chaotic alliance stirs up trouble on streets, The Guardian, 12 September 2009.
  5. Neil Tweedie, The English Defence League: will the flames of hatred spread?,, 10 October 2009.
  6. Anti-islamister bygger et verdensomspennende , TV 2 Nyhetene, 7 April 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Richard Bartholomew, Alan Lake: “I have given some money to help some EDL things happen”, Bartholomew's Notes on Religion, 10 April 2011.
  8. Tash Shifrin, EDL strategist ‘Alan Lake’ suspended from manager job in City, Unite Against Fascism, 31 January 2012
  9. Seminar about islamization, speaker Alan Lake, part 1, Youtube, uploaded 10 October 2009, accessed 12 October 2009.
  10. Seminar about islamization, speaker Alan Lake, part 1, Youtube, uploaded 10 October 2009, accessed 12 October 2009. Quote from 4 min. 40 secs to 4 min. 47.
  11. Seminar about islamization, speaker Alan Lake, part 1, YouTube, uploaded 10 October 2009, accessed 12 October 2009. Quote from 8 min. 08 secs to 8 min. 20.
  12. Seminar about islamization, speaker Alan Lake, part 2, YouTube, uploaded 10 October 2009, accessed 12 October. Quote from 2 min. 20 secs to to 2. min. 50.
  13. Seminar about islamization, speaker Alan Lake, part 2, YouTube, uploaded 10 October 2009, accessed 12 October. Quote from 4 min. 39 secs to to 4. min. 49.
  14. Seminar about islamization, speaker Alan Lake, part 3, YouTube, uploaded 10 October 2009, accessed 12 October. Quote from 2 min. 16 secs to 3 min. 19.
  15. Seminar about islamization, speaker Alan Lake, part 3, YouTube, uploaded 10 October 2009, accessed 12 October. Quote from 3 min. 19 secs to 4 min. 32.
  16. Seminar about islamization, speaker Alan Lake, part 3, YouTube, uploaded 10 October 2009, accessed 12 October.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Alan Lake and a Couple of Friends, Bartholomew's Notes on Religion, 16 December 2010
  18. Political Islam in England,, 11 March 2011.
  19. Paul Ray, Breivik: In my defence, Lionheart, 12 December 2011.
  20. UK Breivik enquiry – Alan Lakes friend ‘Richard the Lionheart’, Lionheart, 10 December 2011.
  21. Gordon Rayner and Matthew Holehouse, Norway attacks: Is the man who inspired Breivik a Briton?, Telegraph, 30 July 2011.
  22. 4 Freedoms Worldwide, accessed 13 October 2009.
  23. 4 Freedoms Worldwide, accessed 13 October 2009.
  24. English Defence League, accessed 13 October 2009.
  25. International Civil Liberties Alliance, accessed 13 October 2009.
  26. Comment at 4.56am on 14 April 2011, in thread: Tyrus W. Cobb: In a rage over ‘Muslim rage',, 12 March 2011.
  27. Norwegian Room - 4 Freedoms Community(24-7-11).pdf Screenshot of, accessed 24 July 2011.
  28. Sharia Watch UK and the Metamorphosis of Anne Marie Waters, Institute of Race Relations, 21 January 2015
  29. Hilary Aked, Sharia Watch UK, accessed 26 January 2015
  30. Hope Not HateThe Muhammed Cartoons: the counter-jihadist plot to ignite a civil war in Britain, Hope Not Hate, July 2015
  31. The Muhammad cartoon exhibition, free speech and the counter-jihadists, Hope Not Hate, 27 July 2015
  32. THE BRIDGEWATER HOUSE RTM COMPANY LIMITED, LevelBusiness, accessed 14 December 2011.