CAIRO - The Muslim community in Wales have breathed a sigh of relief following the conviction of four radicals for plotting attacks in the country, saying the verdict clears the image of the community and their faith.
The Muslim community in Cardiff have been very concerned about these individuals, Riverside councilor Mohamed Islam told The Wales Online on Thursday, February 2.
We respect the courts and we believe that anyone who is involved in these sorts of activities should be punished severely.
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Four Islamist radicals admitted in court Wednesday that they plotted to attack the London Stock Exchange as part of a campaign of attacks across Britain.
The plot included plans to post bombs to the United States Embassy and the home of London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Police foiled the plot at an early stage before firm dates were agreed or explosive devices assembled.
The defendants were all British nationals with Bangladeshi or Pakistani backgrounds.
"They weren't coming to any community engagement or mosque," Islam told BBC Radio Wales.
Undercover officers had followed two of the conspirators in November 2010 as they made observations of London landmarks including the Big Ben clocktower, parliament, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye ferris wheel.
The two men, Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, and Shah Rahman, 28, both from east London, admitted preparing for acts of terrorism by planning to plant an improvised bomb in the toilets of the London Stock Exchange.
Brothers Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah, 25, both from Cardiff in Wales also pleaded guilty to the same charge.
The Muslim councilor said that the four were first noticed by the community in 2008.
The only time they've been noticed was during the 2008 local elections when they came to the mosque and started distributing hatred leaflets and saying Muslims shouldn't vote, Muslims shouldn't be part of democracy.
"Immediately the mosque and the local community decided to ban them... saying you're not welcome here."
Wales Muslims breathed a sigh of relief that the conviction would clear the name of the community and their faith.
At the time everybody wasn't sure what had happened, people were asking if these boys had actually been planning to do something but no-one was providing any answers, Islam said.
He said the ruling ends a dark cloud that hang over the Muslim community since the anti-terror raids in December.
Now we are all clear.
The Muslim councilor said that community leaders are now working with the police to make sure that similar plots be repeated.
This shouldn't happen anywhere in a civilized world - activities like this are barbaric and inhuman and they will never be tolerated, he said.
They have caused irreparable damage to the Muslim community in Cardiff but people need to understand these aren't real Muslims.
These people aren't religious, they are using religion to serve their own personal agendas and to promote their own radical views.
Saleem Kidwai, chairman of the Muslim Council of Wales, agrees.
I think these people have been used by others - they are just other men's tools, he said.
Unfortunately though, now it hasn't gone to trial we may not know what went wrong, how these men were recruited and how they were planning to be used.Britain is home to a Muslim minority of nearly 2.3 million.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net