The appearance in court today of the younger brother of a dead British jihadi on terrorism offences after the arrest of five members of the same family may further entrench the growing reputation of Portsmouth as a hotspot for radicalisation.
Mustakim Jaman, 23, was arrested two weeks ago with his mother, father, and elder brother, and his sister, reports The Times. He has been charged with preparing acts of terrorism under the terrorism act. The arrested elder brother has already appeared in court for terror charges and will appear for a preliminary hearing next month.
Both were believed to be in the final stages of preparation to go abroad to commit Jihad, having bought military style survival equipment and sought advice on travel to Turkey. Their parents were arrested on suspicion of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism and later bailed.
Another brother, Ifthekar Jaman, had successfully travelled to Syria last year and was killed in his first engagement alongside other ISIS fighters. At home, Jaman enjoyed a reputation as a “celebrity jihadi” who encouraged young women to perform sexual jihad and even appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight.
Another son of Portsmouth was announced as having died in Syria last week, taking the total of dead Islamist terrorists from the city to four, a disproportionately high proportion of the twenty-four Britons thought to have died in the conflict so far. As reported by Breitbart London, the death of privately-educated Mehdi Hassan was confirmed by his mosque in Portsmouth and his family, but not by the Government which has suspended consular activities in Syria.
Since the end of the Second World War, the once significant maritime city of Portsmouth has been slowly eclipsed as British governments sent successive warship orders north as bribes to placate the voters of west Scotland. In areas once dominated by great workshops, shipyards, and railway yards, high levels of unemployment and rising migrant populations have caused significant friction, and some locals object to what they see as the ‘Islamification’ of areas including Fratton and Somerstown.
Portsmouth’s growing Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslim communities from which the six ISIS ‘Pompey lads’ hailed have borne the brunt of this frustration. Earlier this month a protest staged by the English Defence League and other groups marched through the city, expressing anger at the opening of what was described as a “muslim only” Primary school. One marcher told a local newspaper: “With everything going on in Syria, and all the stuff with Isis, it is just a concern because it is a Muslim school.
“If you are a Christian, you would not qualify to go there. This is not about race. There is just a lot stuff going on in Portsmouth today which I think there is a real concern about”.
Last year, a severed pigs head was impaled on a spike outside another Portsmouth school in Fratton. Although all faiths would be admitted to the establishment, teaching at the new Madani Academy is said to be “based on Islamic practices”.