Scotland: Police warn of ‘suspicious activity’ on Taliban supporters’ farm near nuclear submarine submarine base | UK News

Residents living near a nuclear submarine base in Scotland have warned police of suspicious activity on land leased by a Taliban supporter.

Waheed Totakhyl once publicly called for the death of American soldiers Afghanistan, and has a brother who is currently serving as military commander of the Taliban in Kabul.

He rents Aldonaig Farm, located four miles from HMNB Clyde. Also known as Faslane, the base at Gare Loch in Argyll and Bute is where the Royal Navy houses the British fleet of nuclear submarines.

Waheed Totakhyl says Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has left it 'safer than Europe'
Waheed Totakhyl rents land close to where the Royal Navy stores Britain’s nuclear submarines

Police in the Department of Defense were contacted by local residents in August, who were witnessing behavior at the Aldonaig farm, which they considered suspicious.

They reported that on August 10, eight men showed up in two cars and left after about 20 minutes. Residents who were present say the men claimed to be Afghan nationals who had traveled from London.

A resident who wished to remain anonymous told Sky News: “Of course there can be absolutely nothing to worry about.

“However, look at the circumstances of this and the geography. The farm is located next to one of the country’s most sensitive military sites.

“We are receiving new warnings of a terrorist threat, and now we are told that the tenant in Aldonaig is supporting the Taliban, along with a brother who is a commander.

“I think when you join the dots, the least we could do was pass on our concerns. The fleeting appearance of these young men after leaving London was very strange.”

Waheed Totakhyl VT GRABS
Mr Totakhyl rents Aldonaig Farm, four miles from HMNB Clyde, where the Royal Navy houses Britain’s nuclear submarines

The farm overlooks Gare Loch, a stretch of water used by sea traffic traveling to and from the base, and also overlooks accommodation used by naval personnel in the village of Rhu.

George Freeman, an independent councilor in the local Argyll & Bute Council, told Sky News he was aware of concerns among people living nearby.

“We’re sitting right next to Faslane and Coulport just over the hill,” he said. “The nation’s nuclear deterrent effect is here, so it’s a very sensitive area.

“The fact that we have individuals here who admit to supporting the Taliban, then they ask questions: ‘Is there no one in the security services, do they not have concerns?’

“So far, we just can not get an answer to that.”

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How popular is the Taliban in Afghanistan?

Totakhyl, the last registered chairman of the Scottish Afghan community, insists he is not a danger and says he rents the land because he “likes being a farmer”.

When Sky News put the residents’ concerns to him, he said he had actually hosted visits to the Aldonaig farm by Afghan nationals from across the UK.

He denied that any such event took place on August 10, but said he was visited on June 12 by colleagues in Afghanistan’s Hezb e Islami party.

It is led by Gulbuddin Helmatyar, a notorious Afghan warlord called “the butcher in Kabul”, who has promised his support for the recent takeover of the Taliban.

Waheed Totakhyl has this picture on his office wall where he meets Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, also called 'the butcher in Kabul'
Waheed Totakhyl has this picture on his office wall where he meets Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, also called ‘the butcher in Kabul’

Totakhyl told Sky News: “My friends are visiting me from Birmingham, London. They came this year just to visit me and tell about the situation in Afghanistan.”

Asked if he understood the concern surrounding the meeting, which took place so close to Faslane base, he said: “Yes, but we did not have a meeting on Britain or Scotland.

“We talked about Afghanistan, what would happen in Afghanistan and how we can help the people of Afghanistan from Britain.”

He added: “I rent [the farm] because I like being a farmer and enjoying the weather … in Scotland. I have never done wrong in the UK. Whatever I have done, this is for my people, for my country. “

The concerns of the local residents were reported to the Ministry of Defense police at the Faslane base itself and the information was passed on to Police Scotland.

When Sky News approached, Police Scotland declined to comment.

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How did the Taliban pay for the takeover?

Totakhyl came to Britain from Afghanistan in 2001 and settled west of Scotland.

He owns a takeaway store that once sold Osama Bin Laden pizzas.

A photo on his Facebook feed, taken in Afghanistan, shows him holding a rifle in the company of armed men.

He told Sky News that it was taken during a visit to the Bagram prison to visit his brother before he was released to take up his current position as Taliban commander, and the gunmen who accompanied him were bodyguards from Hezb e Islami party.

Waheed Totakhyl VT GRABS
A photo on Totakhyl’s Facebook feed shows him (second from the right) holding a rifle in the company of armed men in Afghanistan

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In 2018, Totakhyl was arrested for his part in a protest at a home office building in Glasgow in support of two asylum seekers on hunger strike.

And in September he faced calls for his deportation from Afghan refugees who recently arrived in Glasgow over his continued support for the Taliban.

He previously told Sky News that Afghanistan has been since the takeover of the Taliban “safer than Europe”.

Earlier in the year, firefighters were deployed to deal with a series of hill fires at Aldonaig farm and prevent them from burning out of control.

A spokesman for the Argyll and Bute Council told Sky News: “We are aware of some local concerns and understand that the individual has been consulted about environmental damage caused by wall burning.”

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