Man Charged with “Soliciting Murder” over Islamic Extremist Website

News from Wolverhampton:

A man has been charged with soliciting murder in relation to a blog listing MPs it claimed voted for the Iraq war.

Bilal Zaheer Ahmad, 23, of Dunstall, Wolverhampton, was also charged with other offences under the Terrorism Act, West Midlands Police said…

Ahmad is alleged to have made the posting to the notorious and distasteful RevolutionMuslim website, which was in the news in April for carrying a threat against the creators of South Park; although his name has only just been made public by the police, a posting to the blog of Yousef al-Khattab (who founded the site but who is no longer associated with it) on 11 November mentioned “the arrest of brother Bilal in the UK” and criticised his actions.

Last year, RevolutionMuslim carried a death threat against Paul Ray, the self-described “spiritual leader” of the English Defence League (although currently estranged from the organisation); the author of the threat signed himself as “Bilal”. Interestingly, the attack on Ray had been provoked by a posting made to the site by somebody impersonating him; I received a fake message from a bogus Ray around the same time, sent in the hope that I would publish inaccurate information.

Presumably, whoever posted to RevolutionMuslim in Ray’s name was playing some sort of game, trying to manipulate extremists such as “Bilal” for his or her own ends.  This is a practice I’ve written about a couple of times previously (here and here); of course, it in no way mitigates or excuses the behaviour of the extremists (and there’s no reason to suppose it played a part in the matter over which Bilal Ahmad has been arrested), but meddling in this way is ill-considered and misleading at best, and vicious at worst.