Shock: Famous ex-jihadi Hassan Butt arrested on ... terrorism charges

Old school HA readers know I’m not being sarcastic. Given the insight and eloquence with which this guy’s spoken about jihad, the possibility that it was all some sort of grand ruse to conceal his continuing plotting is genuinely shocking. So shocking, in fact, that I don’t quite believe it — although maybe that’s just my inborn reluctance to accept that I could have been so badly suckered kicking in. Via JWF, is it taqiyya, a case of mistaken identity, or something else?

A muslim author who admits being a former al-Qaida recruiter was today being questioned by anti-terror police.

Hassan Butt, who penned a book on his terrorist past – was detained at Manchester Airport yesterday afternoon.

Mr Butt, 31, is understood to have arrived at Terminal 2 and bought a ticket to Lahore, Pakistan, 45 minutes before the Pakistan International Airlines flight was due to leave.

He is being questioned by Greater Manchester’s regional counter terrorism unit. Since his arrest, police have searched his home in north Manchester and two other properties nearby and two cars were last night taken away for forensic examination…

He has claimed Greater Manchester police are harassing him over suspicions that he is secretly still a Jihadist.

It’s not clear what the charges are yet but a police spokesman says they fall under the Terrorism Act. Even so, reserve judgment for now; if it turns out that he was in fact up to no good, it’ll be one of the most sinister “hiding in plain sight” scams ever. Exit quotation: “[W]e were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary state that would eventually bring Islamic justice to the world.”