|The claim of responsibility for the London attacks was first posted on
one of the dozens of Islamic websites that are routinely monitored by
western intelligence services.
The statement, under the name of the Secret Organisation of the al-Qaida
Jihad in Europe, said: "The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed
raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its
northern, southern, eastern and western quarters."
It was posted on an Arabic website, al-qal3ah.com, which is registered by
Qalaah Qalaah in Abu Dhabi and hosted by a server in Houston, Texas. But
two Israeli groups devoted to exposing the network of jihadist sites claim
that it is connected to the London-based Saudi dissident Saad al-Faqih. Mr
Faqih, who is based in Willesden, north-west London, and runs the Movement
for Islamic Reform in Arabia (Mira), was designated by the US treasury
last December as a supporter of al-Qaida. The UK Treasury followed suit by
freezing Mr Faqih’s assets.
Speaking in December 2004 before the assets were frozen, Mr Faqih
ridiculed any idea that "millions of dollars" would be frozen. "I have no
assets in the US and all I have in the UK is a current account with a few
The US claimed that Mr Faqih was an associate of Khaled al-Fawwaz, who was
arrested in Britain on a US extradition warrant for his alleged
involvement in the 1998 east African embassy bombings.
The US said that "extremists utilise a website controlled by al-Faqih and
Mira on messageboards to post al-Qaida-related statements and images.
While Mira has issued disclaimers warning users to not attribute postings
on Mira message boards to al-Qaida, information available to the US and UK
governments shows that the messages are intended to provide ideological
and financial support to al-Qaida affiliated networks and potential
Mr Faqih has always vigorously denied being involved with terrorism.
Yesterday he was indignant about being linked to the website.
"It does not belong to me at all," he told the Guardian. "It is a Zionist
He had seen the message on Thursday morning and doubted its authenticity.
"It was only there for a few minutes, and they misquoted the Qur’an." He
also said the website - or more accurately a bulletin board - could be
used by anyone.
The server in Houston has intriguing connections. Everyone’s Internet
was founded by brothers Robert and Roy Marsh in 1998 and by 2002 had an
income of more than $30m (now about £17m).
Renowned for his charitable work, Roy Marsh counts among his friends
President George Bush’s former sister-in-law, Sharon Bush, and the
president’s navy secretary.
Everyone’s Internet, which also hosts a number of pornographic sites,
states: "We support the uncensored flow of information and ideas over the
internet and do not actively monitor subscriber activity under normal
However, the company has responded to requests to take down objectionable
material and insists it cooperates with US law enforcement agencies.