LONDON: Residents living near a military complex holding nuclear submarines in Scotland, UK, have alerted police to suspicious activity on land rented by a supporter of the Taliban adjacent to the naval base, Sky News reported.
Waheed Totakhyl once publicly called for the death of US soldiers in Afghanistan and his brother is currently serving as a military commander for the Taliban in Kabul.
He rents a farm less than five miles away from a critical Royal Navy submarine base, which holds submarines equipped with nuclear weapons.
Local residents said they have witnessed a number of men visiting him in recent weeks. They alerted local police to the activity, telling them that on Aug. 10 eight men arrived on Totakhyl’s farm in two vehicles and then left just 20 minutes later.
Local residents said the men claimed to be Afghans who had traveled there from London — a trip that takes around eight hours each way.
One anonymous local told Sky News: “Of course, there may be absolutely nothing to worry about. However, look at the circumstances of this and the geography. The farm is next door to one of the country's most sensitive military sites.
“We're being given new warnings of a terrorist threat, and now we learn that the tenant at (Totakhyl’s farm) supports the Taliban, with a brother who is a commander.
“I think when you connect the dots, the least we could do was to pass on our concerns. The fleeting appearance of these young males, having traveled from London, was very odd.”
Totakhyl’s farm overlooks a strip of water used by vessels as they enter and leave the base, as well as an accommodation building housing Royal Navy personnel. He rejected, however, any accusations that he was using the base for nefarious purposes.
He “likes to be a farmer,” he said, explaining that his visitors were there purely to discuss events in Afghanistan, which was recently seized in its entirety by the Taliban.
“My friends visit me from Birmingham, London. They came this year just to visit me and talk about the situation in Afghanistan,” Totakhyl told Sky News.
“We were talking about Afghanistan, what was going to happen in Afghanistan and how can we help the people of Afghanistan from the UK.”
He added: “I rent (the farm) because I like to be a farmer and enjoy the weather… of Scotland. I have never done anything wrong in the UK. Whatever I have done, this is for my people, for my country.”
However, the man — who arrived in the UK in 2001 and now owns a takeaway shop — has taken actions in the past that may warrant additional scrutiny of his behavior.
His shop once sold Osama bin Laden pizzas, and a picture online depicts him holding a rifle alongside three other armed men dressed in military fatigues.
The picture, he said, was taken in Afghanistan during a visit to Bagram jail where his brother was held before being released by the Taliban and reclaiming his position as a commander in the group.
In 2010, he publicly called for the death of American soldiers in Afghanistan during a protest, and even other Afghans have called for action to be taken against him. In September, Afghan asylum seekers called for Totakhyl to be deported over his vocal support of the Taliban.
Speaking anonymously, one former interpreter who worked with the British Army said last month: “He's helping support the refugees and he is helping support Taliban. He needs to take one side, not two.
“If it is right that his brother is a commander of Taliban or supports Taliban, he needs to be deported.”