Terrorist threat denied

November 11, 1994

The London School of Economics has strongly denied allegations that it is a recruiting ground for Muslim terrorists.

A spokesman for the Indian High Commission in London this week named only one Muslim group -- Hizb-ut-Tahrir --operating in the school. Yet in Tuesday's Guardian L. M. Singhvi, the Indian high commissioner, was quoted as saying: "We now have concrete information to prove that a large number of young people are being recruited from here by different organisations."

Ahmed Sheikh, a former LSE student, is in gaol in India accused of the kidnapping of three Britons and an American.

At a press conference, Mr Singhvi said that colleges like the LSE and the School of Oriental and African Studies were breeding grounds for Muslim terrorist candidates. He accused Pakistan of funding their training.

The High Commission spokesman was unable to give details of the "concrete information" referred to by the High Commissioner. When asked how the commission knew that Mr Sheikh had been recruited at the LSE, he could only reply that it "seems so".

Iain Crawford, a spokesman for the LSE, said that the school has been monitoring the activities of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an Islamic group that has been the centre of widespread anxiety on British campuses, for the past 18 months.

"Hizb-ut-Tahrir have failed to recruit a single student here," he said. "We have held regular meetings with the Muslim Society at the LSE, which has co-operated in monitoring the activities of this fundamentalist group." Mr Crawford added that when Hizb-ut-Tahrir sought to distribute leaflets at the freshers' fair this year, it was ejected. The school has also called in the police to prevent the group from distributing literature allegedly inciting racial hatred on the streets outside the college.

Mr Sheikh, a British citizen, had developed contacts with the fundamentalist group Convoy of Mercy which claims to bring atrocities in Kashmir to public notice. He is believed to have made contact with the group on a visit to Bosnia earlier this year.

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