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The Home Office ends its £2.5million contract with The Unity Initiative (TUI)

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2019 14:42
Assalamu Alaikum,

I just came across this article:

Home Office ends contract with couple paid £2.5m to deradicalise jihadi brides returning from Syria as the GP and her former cage fighter husband are accused of bullying and harassing firm's low-paid staff

- Company The Unity Initiative became subject to a Home Office probe
- Dr Angela Misra, 34, and husband Usman Raja, 42, received more than £2.5m
- Whistleblowers say the reality was the business was poorly run and in chaos
- Home Secretary, Priti Patel, had raised concern over 'bad contracts' with firms


The Home Office has ended its contract with a firm paid millions of pounds to deradicalise jihadi brides returning from Syria, following allegations that the owners bullied staff and made excessive profits.
The Unity Initiative, which is run by a GP and her cage-fighter husband, became the subject of a Home Office investigation after officials received a number of complaints, including a letter reportedly from a group of former employees sent to both the Home Office and Probation Service.

In addition to allegations of 'bullying and harassment', former staff complained that their salaries were comparatively poor compared to the income enjoyed by the company's husband and wife bosses who last year bought a five-bedroom home in Surrey for £1.2 million.

Government sources last night confirmed that the Home Office 'is ending its relationship with The Unity Initiative (TUI)'.

Jihadis who were being mentored by the firm will be transferred to other agencies. It is understood the contract will end this week.

The controversy swirling around TUI, whose owners did not respond to repeated requests for comment, is likely to raise fresh questions about the Government's controversial deradicalisation programme.
TUI was among those who benefited from the collapse of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq from 2016.
As Britons who had flocked to join the terror group fled back to Britain, the Government created the Desistance and Disengagement Programme (DDP) to rehabilitate returning extremists, particularly jihadi brides and those who could not be prosecuted due to a lack of evidence.

Critics of the DDP scheme say Ministers and the police should focus on prosecuting those who joined IS.
TUI also worked with terror suspects issued with Terrorism Prevention Investigation Measures (TPIMs) that effectively kept them under house arrest and some of those released from prison after serving sentences for terror-related crimes.

But over the past two years, TUI's owners Dr Angela Misra, 34, and her husband Usman Raja, 42, received more than £2.5 million from the DDP budget.

The firm was established in 2009 and had drawn praise for its work to deradicalise extremists linked to Al-Muhajiroun, a banned group headed by hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

In a written parliamentary answer last November, then-security minister Ben Wallace refused to say who else was receiving funding from the scheme.

Meanwhile, Dr Misra boasted in media interviews of how her company had secretly counselled at least 13 jihadi brides after they returned from Syria.

She said many were from similar backgrounds to Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, three schoolgirls from Bethnal Academy in East London who travelled to Syria to join IS in 2014.

Meanwhile, Mr Raja claimed that he had mentored around a dozen male jihadis, using mixed martial arts sessions in gyms in Hampshire and East London to turn them away from violence.
However, The Mail on Sunday has spoken to a number of whistleblowers who claim that the inspiring message delivered by Dr Misra and Mr Raja hid the reality of a poorly run organisation in chaos.

It is understood the letter sent to the Home Office and Probation Service claimed that several employees – known as 'Intervention Providers' or IPs – had quit as a result of bullying from the couple or a fear of being criticised if they asked for help.

It also claimed that some IPs were too frightened to take holidays or even days off to attend family funerals.

One former employee, who asked not to be named, alleged his hourly rate was slashed from £80 in early 2018 to £30 just two months later with no explanation. That was despite TUI claiming £275 an hour from the Home Office for its services. He became increasingly disillusioned after discovering the difference between TUI's claim and his rate of pay and eventually quit in March.

'They were pocketing about £245 for every hour we did,' he said, adding: 'We were also made to attend compulsory training sessions for four to five hours every Sunday, but we were not paid, nor our travel expenses covered.' Describing what he considered to be poor training during which he alleged IPs were not taught how to deradicalise extremists, the source said: 'The training session involved Usman speaking for four hours, telling us about this hippy version of Islam, which had nothing to do with deradicalisation.'
He said IPs usually met terror suspects and jihadi returnees in probation hostels or cafes and often helped them to fill in online job applications, rather than trying to alter their warped hatred of the West.
'Most of the time, these people would not be allowed to log on to the internet themselves because of police or probation restrictions, so we would log on for them and watch as they filled in their job applications,' he claimed. 'But how is that deradicalising? That could be done by Jobcentre staff.'

TUI recruited IPs from a range of backgrounds and professions, including at least two former minicab drivers with no apparent previous experience or background in deradicalisation work. 'There was one guy who could not even string a sentence together, and he was hired,' said a former IP.

According to a source, the Home Office was told that at least one former theme park worker was taken on by TUI and then set to work deradicalising IS returnees.

The whistleblowers also alleged that Dr Misra and Mr Raja paid higher hourly rates to those who were devotees of a cleric called Sheikh Aleey Qadir who the couple followed. And two former employees said Mr Raja was detained by police following an alleged leak of classified information held by TUI. It is understood that no further action was taken by the police, but that Mr Raja received a written warning from the Home Office and was banned from providing one-to-one mentoring with extremists himself.

One of the individuals seen by TUI was Lewis Ludlow, a convert who was plotting a devastating terror attack in Oxford Street while being mentored by the company. The 27-year-old planned to blow up an explosive-laden truck in Central London bringing death and mayhem to one of Britain's busiest shopping streets.
Ludlow, from Rochester, Kent, had previously been stopped by police at Heathrow Airport while trying to board a plane to the Philippines to join IS's terrorist wing there. His plot was foiled because counter-terrorism chiefs had decided to put him under surveillance. Ludlow was found guilty of terrorism offences and given a life sentence.

Last night the Home Office declined to comment, but a source confirmed that a number of complaints had been made about TUI which had resulted in due diligence checks within the department.
'In order to get out of the contract, the Home Office offered TUI new terms which were unreasonable, so the company has decided to walk away from the contract,' the source said, adding that the new Home Secretary, Priti Patel, had expressed concern about the number of 'bad contracts' that had been negotiated by the department with private companies.
'There are too many bad contracts that are too difficult to get out of quickly at the moment,' the source said. 'Priti's finding all sorts of things and is going to get a grip on the way the department contracts services.'

In a statement, the Home Office said: 'Keeping the public safe is our first priority, and an important part of this is working with individuals who have been radicalised to reintegrate them safely back into society.
'Mentors working to help deradicalise individuals drawn into extremism have a difficult and demanding task and are serving a vital public interest.

'The wellbeing of these mentors, and the support provided to them, is of critical importance.
'Home Office suppliers are subject to robust contract management to ensure the highest standards are being delivered.'

Dr Misra and Mr Raja declined numerous requests for comment.

(This is an abridged version, the full article can be read at the Daily Mail website).

This raises lots of serious question marks about TUI's work and its effectiveness. Why did the government give them so much taxpayers money in the first place and will they now be asking for it back???
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2019 14:58
I've met Usman Raja (ex-Qulliam) a number of times and also know some of his family. He's good at cracking jokes and making you laugh but doesn't come across as being knowledgeable or serious about Islam. His so called "deradicalisation" consists of him taking people to his brother's gym to train them and talking loudly about bits of history, amateur psychology and "manifestation" which doesn't make much sense but might succeed in further confusing the already confused people he works with. His wife Angela Misra (aka Khadijah Raja) is a Hindu convert/revert. She's more articulate than her husband even when she's talking nonsense like him.

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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2019 16:42
I know these jokers! When I first met Usman Raja a few years ago and he was living in a very small house in Farnborough which is not very far from my house. He's done very well for himself in getting millions of pounds out of the Home Office through its Prevent funds to "deradicalize" people. He now lives in a very big house worth around £1.2 million. I don't think he and his wife will be too bothered about the Home Office contract ending as they've now made millions from them and set themselves up for life. All in the name of Islam of course!

I've also met a couple of people he's mentored and can tell you 100% percent they've not changed their views. A few people have claimed he helped them but I think these are people who just needed attention and anyone who gives them a bit of attention they'll follow them. That's how they ended up in extreme groups in the first place! I didn’t know about the bullying and harassment issues and under paying of their workers. That sounds horrible and should be investigated by the Home Office.
TUI is also a miniscule company – I think just Usman and his wife and maybe a couple of their mates. Good hussle though! Wish I can find a contract like that!
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2019 17:09
It was reported in The Sunday Times newspaper last Sunday that one of the people TUI mentored was Usman Khan who later went on to commit the London Bridge terror attack:

"He was on the government's desistence and disengagement programme for convicted terrorists, which involved weekly visits by two mentors from a private contractor called The Unity Initiative (TUI).

Set up by a GP and her cage-fighter husband, TUI lost its £2.5m deradicalization contract with the Home Office in September amid allegations that its owners had bullied staff and made excessive profits. TUI denies the allegations"


See the full article 'Graffiti supporting London Bridge terrorist is daubed near his home' 08/12/19 on The Sunday Times website

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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2019 17:20
Gosh! The TUI 'deradicalization' mentoring clearly didn't work on this guy. Makes one wonder exactly what they were doing with him whilst getting paid millions of taxpayers cash! I hope there are no others like him.
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2019 18:21
Glad these Charlatans and frauds got exposed. May Allah expose the others as well.

That chap Fiyaz Mughal front man for government puppet organisations Tell Mamma, Faith Matters, and MAAS ( Muslims against anti-semitism)
has been exposed on social media..as a sex-pest Mughal who is 50 years old harassing young muslim women who contacted his organisation for help.

Here is the thread.... twitter.com/Sister_Alia/status/1201602764645830656?s=20
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 14th December 2019 18:44
Astaghfirullah - all these lot are charlatans with no community or academic credibility but good at talking the government into handing them over tax payers money! I heard Usman Raja, his wife Angela Misra (Khadijah) and Fiyaz Mughal were all celebrating at Qulliam's gala event last week. What a bunch of jokers!

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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 15th December 2019 21:35
Shaytan uses money to lead many people astray and some are led astray more quickly than others. Audhu billahi minashaitanir rajim.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 29th January 2020 10:06

I heard that a brother who used to work for The Unity Initiative is now taking them to the Employment Tribunal for the way they used Islam to bully, harass and manipulate him and other ex-workers.
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 29th January 2020 10:30
The Unity Initiative was also allegedly involved in the discredited Muslim Entrepreneur Network (MEN) which reportedly carried out a large scale investment scam in Barking Mosque. One of the things Haroon Qureshi of MEN was questioned about by the Muslim Reviews was:

"Use East London Mosque’s images, history and reputation to promote The Unity Initiative without the mosque’s approval" (www.muslimreviews.org/2018/03/20/haroon-qureshis-video-in...)

One of the other people who was central to this investment scam Ashfaque Siddique was the The Unity Initiative Director of Operations: www.muslimreviews.org/2018/11/17/exposed-did-ashfaq-siddi....

The Unity Initiative also set up another organisation called Quintessential Insight in which Ashfaque Siddique was also involved. Both Angela Misra and Ashfaque Siddiqui are listed as being from Quintessential Insight on page 12 of this brochure: globaldonorsforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/GDF2016_...

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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 29th January 2020 10:46

Allah (SWT) will always expose the hyprocrites and wrongdoers.
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 4th February 2020 14:15
Hello all,

I'm a journalist looking to find out a bit more about this organisation.

If anyone can point me in the direction of someone who was mentored by them - or who has worked for them - that would be greatly appreciated.

Of course, all approaches at this stage would completely confidential and anonymous.

Please message me directly for contact details.

Many thanks in advance.
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 4th February 2020 22:42
moonsafari wrote:
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Hi

Your name and bio, please. Thank you.
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 5th February 2020 10:15
xs11ax wrote:
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Hello - thanks for your post. Please do get in touch directly and I can give you more information.

Many thanks!
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 5th February 2020 11:49
moonsafari wrote:
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Please post your details here as I am sure others would like to know as well. Thank you.
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