Tonight is a big night. A documentary on Radio 4 will blow wide open various links between Sikh extremist groups in the UK and worldwide. It will expose groups here and the folly of our politicians who pander to them.
Below is the blurb about the programme. I’m going to post more stuff later on in the day.
Britain has been warned of a new terror threat from Sikh extremists who are forging links with Islamist terror outfits linked to Al Qaida.
The revelation comes after the FBI compiled a Watchlist of American and British-based Sikhs who they believe are agitating for an independent Sikh homeland. Names on the watchlist include US-based Sikh activists who are regular visitors to Pakistan which is believed to be backing the movement for Sikh soveriegnty.
US authorities are concerned that Sikh radicals are being trained alongside Kashmiri militants at mobile terror camps run by the Pakistan secret service the ISI. Most of the main Sikh terror group leaders, who feature on the Indian Government’s Most Wanted lists, are based in Pakistan from where they occassionally deliver fiery speeches to supporters over the internet.
An FBI source said: “Though the Sikh groups are relatively ill-equipped and not very effective in their own right we have evidence to suggest that they have the ability to tap into the resources of pan-Islamist groups like Al Qaida. “The link has been established for a number of years now but recent incidents point to a hardening of these connections.”
He added: “The British authorities have been made aware of our interest in certain individuals residing in the UK who may have connections to Sikh terror groups based in Pakistan.”
Last October six people were killed and 32 injured when a bomb exploded in a packed cinema in Ludhiana in Punjab. According to Punjab Police the alleged mastermind Gurpreet Singh is a Sikh militant who had been trained in Pakistan from where he had smuggled explosives across the border into Punjab.
Dr Ajay Sahni, from the independent Institute of Conflict Management in New Delhi said interrogation of Sikh terror suspects revealed that British Sikh recruits had also visited the training camps. He said: “We are aware that at least about 100 Sikh radical elements, just from Europe and the UK alone, have trained in Pakistan-based terror camps
“The presumption is that they’re training as a reserve to act in India when the opportunity arises.”
He added that Kashmiri militant groups like Lashkar e Toyba (LET), who have established links with Al Qaida, have worked closely with Sikh militants.
He added: “The co-oepartion between the Sikh militants and Al Qaida can only be opportunistic and cannot be a permanent settlement.
“It is only that at this juncture they see a common enemy in India.”
Britain is home to more than 700,000 Sikhs, the vast majority of whom are well-integrated respectable members of the community. The call for an independent Sikh homeland called Khalistan, gained momentum in 1984 when the Indian army stormed the Sikh’s holiest shrine the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
There followed a decade-long Sikh insurgency which included bringing down a trans-atlantic airliner which until 9-11 was the single deadliest terrorist attack involving aircraft. In 2001 the Home Office banned two UK-based Sikh organisations, the International Sikh Youth Federation and Babbar Khalsa International, under the Terrorism Act 2000.
The issue of Sikh militancy is explored in a BBC Radio Four File on Four documentary tonight (TUE 26 February) at 8pm
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Filed in: Culture,Organisations,Religion,Sikh