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London's Mayor Calls For Leniency For British Muslims In Afghanistan - 2001-11-24


London's mayor is calling on British authorities to be lenient towards British Muslims who went to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taleban.

Mayor Ken Livingstone says those who volunteered for Afghan duty did so because of a deep sense of injustice about what is happening in Israel and the West Bank.

The London mayor says al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden might be destroyed. But he says there will be more terrorists unless what he calls the festering sore -- the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- is resolved.

Mayor Livingstone, however, also says that he personally does not think the Taleban are worth fighting for.

British authorities have threatened to prosecute any British Muslims that return from Afghanistan on charges ranging from terrorism to treason. British news reports have suggested that as many as 200 British Muslims may have joined up with the Taleban.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone's comments about British Muslims in Afghanistan were included in an interview published (Saturday) in the British Daily Telegraph newspaper.

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