NATO investigation into Dundee’s ‘Tartan Taliban’ who allegedly taught insurgents how to use deadly explosives

July 17 2017, 7.21amUpdated: July 17 2017, 8.29am
© DC Thomson
James McLintock

A Muslim convert from Tayside has been accused of teaching insurgents how to use deadly improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Former Lawside Academy pupil James McLintock – known as the ‘Tartan Taliban’ – has been included in a global investigation by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) into the “regional and transnational networks that facilitate IED use”.

The newly-published report was undertaken by the London-based charity with assistance from the NATO Counter-IED Centre of Excellence which is based in Madrid.

Dundee-born McLintock, 53, who changed his name to Yaqoob Mansoor Al-Rashidi, is president of the Al Rahmah Welfare Organisation (RWO), which the US Treasury alleges has been providing money for al Qaida, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Afghan extremist groups under the guise of helping orphans.

The report stated: “McLintock is said to have hired fighters to obtain photos and personal details of children in order to create falsified dossiers and attract funding for the Taliban under the guise of supporting orphans.

“RWO has supposedly been used as a front to fund militant activities in Kunar Province, and McLintock has reportedly provided funds to Shaykh Aminullah, who runs the designated Ganj Madrasa which has been said to provide funds to the Taliban.

“In 2013, McLintock met with several Taliban commanders and was actively involved in preparing madrasa students to travel and fight in Afghanistan, as well as teaching insurgents how to use IEDs.

“According to the Treasury, RWO was used as a front to collect more than $180,000 from unknowing UK donors that went directly into Taliban hands.

“Interestingly, RWO has currently or in the past, at least according to their website, several cooperative efforts together with organisations around the world.

“These include Masjid al-Tahwid in London; Qatar Charity; the Kuwait-based International Islamic Charity Organisation; the Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan Foundation; the Saudi-based King Abdullah’s Relief Campaign for Pakistani People; the Pakistan-based Welfare and Development Org; and the Saudi-based World Assembly for Muslim Youth.

“It should be noted that McLintock and RWO have ‘categorically denied’ all accusations.”

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has a central mission to reduce harm and to rebuild lives affected by armed violence.

They do this by carrying out programmatic, research and advocacy work to reduce the incidence and impact of global armed violence.

One of the main pillars of AOAV work is to monitor the impact of explosive weapons around the world and investigate what causes armed violence – from guns to suicide bombings.

AOAV’s global reporting on explosive violence is considered by many as the ‘main’ data set for such and is regularly quoted in both the media and at the highest levels of the United Nations.

McLintock, whose mother still lives in Arbroath, was last year put on the Treasury’s “specially designated global terrorist” list, which freezes any property he has within US jurisdiction and bans Americans from doing business with him.

He has previously “categorically denied” allegations made by the US Treasury that his Pakistani orphanage is providing money for extremist groups.

McLintock has been not responded to attempts to reach him since he last spoke to The Courier from Pakistan last year.

Raised a Catholic in Dundee

As a boy growing up in Dundee, James McLintock was raised a Catholic and attended Lawside Academy.

But it was while studying at Edinburgh University in the early 1980s that he embarked on the path that would see him fighting against communist Russians in Afghanistan and Serbs in 
Bosnia.

However, it was not until 2001 that the former Dundee schoolboy earned himself the nickname the ‘Tartan Taliban’.

He was arrested on Christmas Eve at a checkpoint near Afghanistan’s border and held until he had been interrogated by intelligence services.

Eventually McLintock was released when it was proved that he had been working for a charity.

However, Wikileaks documents released three years ago suggested that McLintock had links with al Qaida leader Ali Muhammad Abdul Aziz al-Fahkri.

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