Jameah Islameah School was an independent Islamic school in East Sussex. The school was located on a 54 acre site and had residential facilities to house male students aged 11 to 16. The school was independently owned and the proprietor functioned as the principal. In December, 2005, Jameah Islameah was inspected by the Office for Standards in Education which noted that it "does not provide a satisfactory education for its pupils."[1] At the time of the inspection, the school had nine students.[2]

According to BBC News the school purported to teach students to become Islamic leaders, training them to the level high enough to teach in local Masajeds and Madares.[3]

Terrorism arrests[edit | edit source]

There had been allegations that the school was used in the training and recruitment of terrorists. According to testimony from Al Qaeda suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, in 1997 and 1998, Abu Hamza[disambiguation needed] and groups of around 30 of his followers held terrorist training camps at the school, including training with AK47 rifles and handguns, as well as a mock rocket launcher.[4] In 2003 or 2004, the grounds of the school were used for an Islamic-themed camping trip, at which Omar Bakri Mohammed lectured. The trip, which was advertised by word-of-mouth, was attended by 50 Muslim men, most of whom were members of al-Muhajiroun. Bakri claimed the activities at the camp included lectures on Islam, football, and paintballing.[5]

On 1 September 2006 the Jameah Islameah school was searched by up to a hundred police officers[6] as part of their operations, although no arrests were made.[7] The local Sussex Police held a cordon around the site for 24 days in an operation that cost them over one million pounds.[8] Meanwhile the Metropolitan Police searched the buildings and grounds and the lake.[9]

On the evening of 2 September over 40 police officers entered a south London halal Chinese restaurant called The Bridge to China Town and, after talking to customers for over an hour, arrested twelve on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.[10] Two further arrests were made elsewhere in London.

By 6 September two men had been released.[11]

Closing[edit | edit source]

On February 9, 2007, the Department for Education and Skills closed down the school, because it "continues to fail to meet the standards which all independent schools must meet under the Education Act 2002." The school had not been operating at the time, due to lack of students.[12]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Office for Standards in Education, Jameah Islameah School inspection report, 5 - 8 December 2005
  2. "No arrests at UK Islamic school after police search", Irish Examiner, 2 September, 2006
  3. "14 held in terror police swoop", BBC News, 2 September 2006
  4. "The Islamic school that played host to Hamza" The Observer 3 September 2006
  5. "Exiled Islamic extremist lectured at school raided by terror police" The Telegraph 10 September 2006
  6. Press Association (2 September 2006). "Police search Islamic school". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-6053954,00.html. 
  7. "School 'not involved in violence'". BBC News. 3 September 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/southern_counties/5310522.stm. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  8. Trinity Mirror (21 October 2006). "£1m bill after Islamic school probe". Western Mail & Echo Limited. http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0600uk/tm_headline=-pound-1m-bill-after-islamic-school-probe&method=full&objectid=17970440&siteid=50082-name_page.html. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  9. "Terror police continue searches". BBC News. 3 September 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5309604.stm. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  10. "Terror police swoop on restaurant". BBC News. 2 September 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5307818.stm. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  11. "Two terror suspects are released". BBC News. 6 September 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5318844.stm. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  12. "Terror alert school is shut down". BBC News. 2007-02-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6345865.stm. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 

References[edit | edit source]

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