Cleric defiantly leads prayers outside closed London mosque

LONDON, Jan 24 (AFP) A radical Muslim cleric today defiantly conducted a prayer service outside his controversial mosque in north London even though it was boarded up following a dramatic raid by anti-terrorist police. Six rows of men and boys knelt on their coats on the road outside the Finsbury Park mosque as preacher Abu Hamza chanted "God is great" in Arabic. The charitable trust responsible for running the mosque boarded it up yesterday and visitors were advised to pray instead in a nearby Muslim welfare centre. Hamza, an Egyptian-born fundamentalist who supported Afghanistan's fallen Taliban regime, told about 150 people who gathered on the road: "Who can be more evil than those who tried to close down places of worship? "This kind of tyranny should finish. These people claim they have freedom of speech and democracy but the people are praying outside. Is that fair? Is that Islamic?" He vowed worshippers would return every Friday to pray on the same spot. "If the weather is bad, we will come. We will show the entire world what kind of people these are." The mosque was raided by around 150 police in the early hours of Monday. Seven people were arrested under Britain's Terrorism Act 2000, six of whom were said to be North Africans, aged 23 to 48, and the seventh an eastern European, 22. Police later dropped terrorist charges against three of the men arrested.



Muslim cleric wants 'women of mass destruction' 2004

In a tape seized by authorities, radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri is heard urging Muslim women to breed children for the purpose of creating suicide bombers.

Lauding a mother who encouraged her son to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel, the British-based leader said in the lecture: "Everywhere, these are the women of mass destruction to the kuffar [unbelievers], and these are the action [sic] that put terror in their hearts."

The recording, one of dozens handed over to authorities, was reported by British investigative journalist Neil Doyle in his new book "Terror Tracker," which chronicles his efforts to penetrate the internal workings of the al-Qaida terrorist network.

Hamza has been indicted by the U.S. on 11 terrorism charges. Authorities are studying the tape to build a case for the cleric's extradiction to the U.S, Doyle said.

Hamza is at the high-security Belmarsh prison in east London pending a court hearing.

The recordings were discovered by a British undercover investigator who infiltrated Hamza's group at the Finsbury Park mosque in London.

In the lecture reported by Doyle, Hamza refers to a suicide bombing in Israel and says: "Last week we seen a mother ... she put happiness in the hearts of every Muslim on earth and for years to come.

"She took her son, she took him herself, and she filmed a video with him for him to go and do a martyrdom operation against the Zionists.

"She's encouraging him. She's left a message for the Ummah [Islamic nation] "this is my son, I'm giving him for you, for the Ummah of Mohammad to wake up, for the mothers to follow!

"And he wrote a will and said how much his mother she was encouraging him. And she was waiting all night and after that he went for his mission. Waiting all night, not for the news that her son had passed his A-level [British school exam] or he has got his degree, or he has married the most beautiful woman in the club, but he was shaheed [martyred] and he inflict a lot of suffering and terror in the hearts of Zionists!

"... this happened right now in the front of us, in the television [sic], we have seen the tape, you've seen the video if you haven't seen it, go and ask for it!

"Everywhere, these are the women of mass destruction to the kuffar [unbelievers], and these are the action [sic] that put terror in their hearts.

"This kind of women, when they miss their killed children, they don't go and look for their graves ... they look for their position in paradise, so they become more happy, more anxious to go and see them, they want to sacrifice more and more."

Cleric 'urged children to fight'

LONDON, England -- The jury in the trial of Abu Hamza al-Masri has heard recorded sermons of the Muslim cleric telling followers to "join the front line" in the fight against infidels and calling for children to be trained for a violent struggle.

Egyptian-born Hamza, former head preacher at the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, faces life in prison if convicted of inciting murder and stirring racial hatred in speeches recorded on nine video and audio tapes made for supporters. He denies all the charges.

Prosecutors on Friday played jurors tapes in which the preacher urged Muslims to carry out the destruction of the "enemies of Allah," The Associated Press reported.

"Islam will never be dear to your hearts unless you sacrifice for it, until your blood comes out for it, your teeth get broken for it, you have enemies because of it," he said in one of the tapes played at London's Central Criminal Court.

The three-hour speech was delivered in 1999, prosecutor David Perry said.

"You are a fighter, so when the time comes for fighting you can fight and if you want more reward in what you do, join the front line," Hamza told followers, urging them to target non-Muslims and that children should be prepared to act as holy warriors.

The cleric said once a child reached 10 years old, they must get used to "sleeping rough, sleeping tough, going for training, sweating, getting a couple of punches in his face," AP said.

Jurors were played a tape on Thursday in which the cleric said supporters should "bleed" their enemies and treat Britain like a toilet.

The cleric is also accused of keeping a terrorism "manual" containing a dedication to Osama bin Laden and suggested a list of potential targets including Big Ben.

Hamza, 47, from west London, faces nine charges under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 alleging he solicited others at public meetings to murder Jews and other non-Muslims.

He also faces four charges under the Public Order Act of 1986 of "using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior with the intention of stirring up racial hatred."

Hamza also faces one charge of possessing threatening, abusive or insulting sound recordings, and another charge under anti-terrorism laws.

Following his arrest Hamza did not answer questions, but instead gave a statement in which he claimed Islam was being placed on trial and that he had been the object of a witch hunt by the media and a hate campaign, the court was told.

The cleric also denied hating Jews or Christians and said the encyclopedia had been given to him as a "gift" and that he had never read it.

The trial continues.


Cleric:''God sent Hitler to kill the Jews'

LONDON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri told followers that Allah had cursed the Jews and had therefore sent Hitler for them, a British court heard Monday.

The Egyptian-born preacher -- who is wanted in the United States on a terrorism indictment -- also said Israel was blackmailing western politicians in order to control their governments' policies.

"Jews know how to control people. This is how they know how to control our leaders," he said in a October 2000 sermon, watched on video by jurors.

The 47-year-old, who holds British citizenship, denies 15 charges including soliciting murder, inciting racial hatred and possessing documents likely to be useful in preparation for terrorist acts.

Jurors heard Hamza criticize "the dogs of the West" for not condemning Israeli policy.

Western governments "act like sugar daddy for Israel" even though "they hate them very much" because the Israelis keep files on every politician detailing their secrets, he claimed.

In the October 2000 sermon, Hamza said Muslims could not have a peace treaty with Jews.

"They are enemies to one another and Allah has cursed them," he said.

"This is why he send Hitler for them. Jews they have nowhere to go, they are going to be buried in Palestine all of them."

He then told his audience that there was no liquid loved more by Allah "than the liquid of blood."

"Whether you do it by the lamb, or you do it by a Serb, you do it by a Jew, you do it by any enemies of Allah," he said.

Hamza is also accused of possessing a "terrorism manual" -- the Encyclopedia of Afghani Jihad -- containing instructions for making explosives, identifying targets and operating terror cells.

He is wanted in the United States on an 11-count indictment from 2004 that charges him with conspiring to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon; conspiring to take hostages in Yemen and facilitating terrorist training in Afghanistan. However, under British law, the domestic charges take precedence over the U.S. case.


Muslim Cleric Says Killing Unbelievers Is 'Okay'

By Mark Mayne Correspondent
January 13, 2006

London ( - The prosecution in the U.K. trial of Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri said Friday he preached that killing non-Muslims was justified, even if there was no reason for it.

"Killing an adulterer, even if he is a Muslim is okay. Killing a Kaffir (infidel) who is fighting you is okay. Killing a Kaffir for any reason you can say it is okay even if there is no reason for it," the jury heard Hamza say in a video of his September 1999 sermon, entitled "Adherence to Islam in the Western World."

In it, Hamza argued that Islamic beliefs should be spread with the help of the sword. "Dawa (propagation of Islam through word and action) needs a sword next to it and also needs effort," the alleged race-hate cleric said in the video.

Hamza added that those selling alcohol should be persuaded to come to the mosque. "Make sure that the person who gave him the licence for that wine shop doesn't exist anymore on the Earth. Finish him up. Give him Dawa. If he doesn't respect Dawa, kill him," he said.

On Thursday, the jury heard Hamza's voice for the first time, in a video in which he told his followers "to bleed the enemy" as part of the struggle to set up a global Islamic state.

The two-hour video, recorded in late 1997 or early 1998, showed Hamza speaking below a banner which read "Al Jihad" next to the words Palestine, Bosnia, Kashmir, Egypt and Afghanistan.

Hamza told his supporters that the fight to establish a global Khilafah (Islamic state) would be a "long bloody way" and divided into phases. The first, he said, was known as "the needle of bleeding the enemy."

"We ask Muslims to do that, to be capable to bleed the enemies of Allah anywhere, by any means," Hamza said. "You can't do it by nuclear weapon. You do it by the kitchen knife, no other solution. You cannot do it by chemical weapons. You have to do it by mice poison."

"Imagine you have only one small knife ... you have to stab him here and there until he bleeds to death, until he dies," the video showed Hamza saying.

According to Hamza's speech, such a fight should continue "so on and so forth, until you see the Khilafah sitting in the White House ruling from there."

The jury also heard the cleric dismiss Britain as a "toilet" and describe brothels, courts, banks that charge interest, video shops and wine sellers as being targets worthy of attack by Islamic militants.

Hamza also claimed western democracies are in a "freefall" because they had given too much personal freedom to their citizens. "It is falling down, it is crumbling now," he said.

"The society is crumbling because of democracy - because it gives freedoms to the silly people who do not know how to use freedoms and they end up destroying themselves, their family, their country, their morals, their even humanity," said Hamza.

Hamza , 47, denied 15 charges, including having a document "useful" to a terrorist and soliciting people to murder non-Muslims.


Muslim cleric jailed in Britain for preaching race hate

LONDON, Feb. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- Muslim cleric Abu Hamza was given seven years imprisonment on Tuesday after being found guilty of inciting race hate and murder.

The 47-year-old preacher at Finsbury Park mosque in north London was convicted 11 of the 15 charges he faces by the judge at the renowned criminal court of Old Bailey, the British Broadcasting Corporation news reported.

He was found guilty of inciting murder, and of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior with the intention of stirring up racial hatred.

Justice Hughes said Hamza had "helped to create an atmosphere in which to kill has become regarded by some as not only a legitimate course but a moral and religious duty in pursuit of perceived justice".

The cleric has been in prison since May 2004.

The United States is seeking his extradition for terror-related matters. He is also wanted on charges of trying to set up a "terrorist training camp" in the Oregon.

Hamza's lawyer said that as a "prisoner of faith", Hamza would appeal against the conviction and extradition to the United States.

The prosecution alleged he was a recruiting sergeant for terrorism and murder.

Following Hamza's arrest, more than 3,000 audio cassettes and 600 videos were found of speeches intended for wider distribution.

An encyclopedia of Afghani Jihad found at his home in west London listed Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty as possible targets for an attack. A search of Finsbury Park Mosque discovered forged passports, knives, guns, tents and guns capable of firing blanks.

Hamza, however, claimed the case against him was politically motivated.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the court judgment showed the original decision to prosecute was "the right one".