Al Shabaab and its affiliate Al Qaeda among other jihadist groups have over the years twisted Islam and the Quran as a whole to justify innocent deaths and atrocities on humankind.
In many terrorist attacks, the mode of operation is often to create a precedent for attacking locations “where there is certainty that civilians will die”. This they claim is a directive from the Quran that non-muslims (kafirs) deserve to die…and anyone else against the faith.
However, what people do not know is that the group runs on twisted 13th Century Fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority) and for this reason, most militants who end up joining this groups leave once they realise the outfits’ agenda is not religion based but maliciously twisted around non-existing religious practices.
Aimen Dean committed himself to jihad at the age of 14, by 19 he was sitting at Osama bin Laden’s right hand. So what made him turn his back on militant Islam and risk his life to be a double agent for British Intelligence?
When he was 19, he sat with Osama bin Laden in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and pledged allegiance to his cause. As a member of al-Qaida, he got to know almost all the leadership; he taught Islamic theology and history and the essentials of religious practice to recruits and worked as an apprentice to a notorious bomb-maker, Abu Khabab.
However, his loyalty was shaken in 1998 when explosions at Kenya and Tanzania US embassies in east Africa killed 224. They weren’t his bombs – “I never built a device outside of Afghanistan and they were all for training” – but, at the same time, Dean says: “I felt I was part of that. Therefore, I needed to help dismantle it.”
After weeks of soul-searching, Dean decided to leave al-Qaida. He travelled to Qatar on the pretext of requiring a medical examination, whereupon landing he was immediately made “a guest of the Qatari intelligence services”.
“Using 13th Century Fatwas really alarmed me because this is basically a blank cheque to disregard human life – in fact, to maximise casualties, rather than minimise them,” he says. “So, even then I saw that this would take us into bloodshed on a scale that had never been seen before in modern Muslim history.”
“Islam is a guilt-based religion, just like Catholicism,” he says. “But, unlike Catholicism, you do not have a priest who you can confess to and gain absolution, so therefore you need to find a way to redeem yourself. So, jihad is always sold by groups like Al-Qaeda and Isis as the shortest path to redemption and the shortest path to heaven.”
Consequently, when he was asked to go to a training camp in Afghanistan, Dean leapt at the chance. He had seen people close to him going to war and never returning home including his mathematics teacher when he was 14 years of age.
He would finally opt for a ‘normal life’ but it was not as easy. He would work for the British intelligence as a double agent. During this time, Aimen Dean helped foil multiple attacks including the poisonous gas attack on the New York subway among other deadly plots by Al Qaeda.
Dean says disillusion led to him defecting after realising it was an evil course only baying for innocent blood.