• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Glen Jenvey Describes Meeting EDL Members

A couple of weeks ago I noted that former “terror tracker” Glen Jenvey had recently begun writing articles for a (dubious) Sri Lankan website called the Asian Tribune. Jenvey wrote two opinion pieces (here and here) in the wake of the underage “sex grooming” scandal in Rochdale, in which he railed against “Muslim drug gangs, Muslim sex gangs and Muslim supporters of terrorist groups”, as well as the “commie Guardian”. The articles express Jenvey’s resentment that media supposedly dubbed the Rochdale perpetrators as “Asian”, rather than highlight their religion as “Muslim men who had strong links to their local mosques” (details of these alleged “strong links” are not described).

Jenvey has now progressed from punditry to journalism, with a gushing article about the English Defence League:

I was amazed at the grass root support of EDL and the British Freedom Party which is a new political party which has been now merged with the EDL leadership…

Other members are serving members of the British armed services who I also met in a English pub for a drink in Salisbury, a British army town in Wiltshire. 18 local members turned up 15 were serving members of the armed forces who told me how they cannot attend demonstrations because of fears of being thrown out of the military.

I then invited the EDL to send some Asian members to my home for a meeting and 25 turned up and spoke about their concerns about how radical Islamic groups have given the whole British Asian community a bad name, some said that they want no part in the attacks on the British public by Muslims…

Two days later I interviewed the EDL leader Tommy Robinson a who tells me he has to wear a bulletproof vest due to threats on his life and family, a man who has been attacked many times by Muslim gangs in his home town of Luton .

…I then asked him why he came out in public about the Asian Tribunes campaign ‘MUSLIM SEX GANGS NOT ASIAN’ and he said because its right, these sex gangs were Muslim…

The article has received some attention on Twitter, including a link by “Tommy Robinson” (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) himself. However, the notion of 25 Asian EDL members descending on Salisbury to talk to Jenvey is difficult to envisage, and critics have expressed scepticism by focusing on Jenvey’s troubled history.

Much of this history has been charted on this blog: Jenvey originally made a name for himself as “terror tracker”, monitoring Islamic websites for evidence of extremism and even creating a jihadi website as a honey trap. He claims that evidence he uncovered played a role in prosecutions, and, as part of a group called the “VIGIL Network” in 2006, he had a line to Patrick Mercer MP, at that time the Shadow Minister for Homeland Security.

In early 2009, Jenvey claimed to have discovered evidence of a Muslim plot to target British Jews (most notably, Alan Sugar), which  provided the Sun with a front-page splash. Unfortunately, however, it was quickly discovered by Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads that the “evidence” consisted of postings to a Muslim website which Jenvey had himself made, under the name of “Abu Islam”.

Jenvey’s initial response was to attack Tim through anonymous smears, which simply made matters worse: he was repudiated by Mercer, and his deception was referenced in a Daily Mail article. Shortly thereafter, Jenvey announced his conversion to Islam and he appeared publicly with Islamic extremists as “Omar Hamza Jenvey”. This seemed suggestive of fit of pique and symptomatic of instability,  but three months later he announced that it had all been an undercover ploy. He did, though, confess to his fabrications, and was interviewed by Tom Mangold for a BBC Radio 5 Live documentary about fake spies. At the end of the year he was arrested on suspicion of “inciting racial hatred against Jews”, but the charges were eventually dropped.

Jenvey claims to have played a role in exposing the terror links of Abu Hamza, and he made a formal statement on the subject for lawyers in early 2009. During his “Omar” period he made a revised statement on behalf of Hamza, which he later repudiated in a third statement, dating from the end of 2011:

I can confirm statement two was only made due to threats against me by british bloggers towards me and my family.I wish to with-draw statement two from the court leaving statement one and this statement in place.

This statement was posted by “Glenn” (sic) to an EDL forum.

Jenvey’s story overlaps with that of a number of other individuals who have appeared on this blog: Dominic Wightman, Charlie Flowers, and Paul Ray (known as “Lionheart”). Jenvey and Wightman worked together at VIGIL until there was a falling out in 2007; in 2009, Wightman concocted a fake document in Jenvey’s name in an attempt to manipulate Tim Ireland and me into attacking a (completely innocent) third party. Wightman also dispatched Flowers to Jenvey’s home in the guise of a journalist to gather further information; during Jenvey’s “Omar” period, Flowers’s friends posted messages to a Muslim extremist forum with personal details likely to put Jenvey in physical danger.

Ray, meanwhile, spoke out in support of Jenvey after the Sun story first appeared; oddly, he has refrained from any further mention of Jenvey since then, despite maintaining a voluminous blog. Ray subsequently became known as one of the founders of the EDL, although he was quickly sidelined and he has since written bitterly about Tommy Robinson and the EDL leadership. Ray’s views on Islam and use of the name “Lionheart” brought media attention in the wake of the Utoya massacre, as I discussed here.

UPDATE: Jenvey’s article has been commended by British Freedom; Casuals United also reposted it, under the headline “Oh deary me, I reckon several Commies/Marxists/Expose freaks will keel over when they read this lol”, but deleted the post shortly afterwards.