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Government adviser on Islamic terror arrested after man is stabbed at his home
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Inayat Bunglawala is waiting to find out whether he will face charges over an alleged stabbing
A Muslim who advised the Government following the July 7 London bombings has been arrested after an alleged stabbing.
Inayat Bunglawala, 39, was held on suspicion of attacking another man at his Â£300,000 home.
Mr Bunglawala, who also briefed former Security Minister Tony McNulty on the threat posed by Islamic radicals in the UK, was arrested two weeks before Christmas last year.
The identity of the alleged victim is unknown and it is not clear what circumstances led to the alleged attack in the early hours of December 13 last year.
Mr Bunglawala has been released on bail while the Crown Prosecution Service considers bringing charges.
Mr Bunglawala is one of the most prominent members of the Muslim Council of Britain, an organisation which advises the Government on extremism and counter-terrorism.
After the July 7 London bombings in 2005, he was one of seven Muslims appointed to a Home Office taskforce tackling radicalisation in the UK.
Last week, Mr Bunglawala was featured on the BBC and in many newspapers as the moderate ‘voice’ of British Islam after the Luton anti-war demonstrations.
Critics claim his arrest will once again focus attention on the MCB.
In his final years as Prime Minister, Tony Blair came to distrust the organisation amid claims it was linked to Islamic extremism. But the MCB has enjoyed a renaissance under Gordon Brown and briefed Counter-Terrorism Minister Bill Rammell on community tensions last week. MCB representatives also advised Foreign Secretary David Miliband during last year’s Israel-Gaza War.
Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, who worked as a security adviser to Mr Brown, said of the alleged incident: ‘This calls into question the Government’s vetting of its Islamic advisers.’
Mr Bunglawala has previously worked as a civil servant at Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs but now runs an Islamic website.
His wife, Tahmina Saleem, works for Redbridge Council in East London. They have several children. According to the Land Registry’s records, Mr Bunglawala bought his large Luton townhouse for Â£300,000 in August 2007.
Many in the Islamic community have been concerned at his behaviour. Mr Bunglawala â€“ the MCB assistant general secretary and Press spokesman â€“ lodged a complaint with the BBC after its website described firebrand cleric Abu Qatada as an ‘extremist’.
Dubbed Al Qaeda’s ‘Ambassador in Europe’, Abu Qatada gave religious authority to extremist groups in the UK and abroad, including the men behind the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre.
Last night, a BBC News source said: ‘We were right to call Abu Qatada an extremist and we would be happy to do so again.’
Complaint: Muslim cleric Abu Qatada, who Inayat Bunglawala said should not have been called an extremist
In 2005, following his appointment to the Home Office, it was revealed that Mr Bunglawala had previously accused the BBC’s management of ‘Zionism’ due to the presence in the Corporation of several prominent Jews, including Michael Grade and Alan Yentob.
Five months before the 9/11 attacks, Mr Bunglawala circulated writings of Osama Bin Laden, whom he regarded as a ‘freedom fighter’, to hundreds of Muslims in Britain.
When this came to light in 2005, Mr Bunglawala said he did not hold those views any longer.
Last night, Mr Bunglawala refused to discuss the alleged stabbing as it was a ‘police matter’.Â
His lawyers, the Â£400-an-hour celebrity firm Carter-Ruck, said that he ‘vigorously denies having committed any criminal act whatsoever in relation to this incident’.
A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police confirmed the arrest of Mr Bunglawala but refused to comment further.
A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman refused to comment on the case.
Last night, the Muslim Council of Britain also refused to comment.