A Who’s Who of Extremist Clerics

OMAR BAKRI MOHAMMED: Came to Britain in 1985 after being deported from Saudi Arabia. Founded the now-disbanded radical Islamic group al-Muhajiroun. The group repeatedly came under scrutiny, particularly after the Sept. 11 attacks, which some members praised. Bakri is from Syria, but his wife’s family is Lebanese and he has citizenship in both Syria and Lebanon. He left for Lebanon last weekend but says he hopes to return to Britain.

ABU IZZADEEN: Describes himself as the spokesman for the Islamic group al-Ghurabaa. British-born and of Jamaican descent. Reportedly converted to Islam at age 17. Has been quoted as saying Britain’s failure to accept a “cease-fire” from Osama bin Laden led to the July 7 attacks in London. Al-Ghurabaa called on Britons not to vote in the last general election. OMAR MAHMOUD ABU OMAR: A Palestinian better known as Abu Qatada. Granted political asylum in Britain in 1993. Sentenced in Jordan in absentia for his alleged involvement in a series of explosions and terror plots. Regarded as Osama bin Laden’s spiritual ambassador in Europe and allegedly an inspiration for Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta. Spent three years in a high security British prison without being charged, under anti-terror powers introduced after the Sept. 11 attacks. Released in March after Britain’s highest court ruled the legislation breached human rights. Electronically tagged and required to live under a curfew. Likely to be deported to Jordan.

ABU UZAIR: Reportedly a former member of al-Muhajiroun and believed part of its successor organization, the Saviour Sect. Told BBC “Newsnight” that the Sept. 11 attacks were “magnificent.” Says he is a British citizen.

ABU HAMZA AL-MASRI: Regarded as one of Britain’s most radical clerics. The Egyptian-born preacher – who has one eye and hooks for hands, which he says were lost fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan – was a cleric at Finsbury Park mosque, long a magnet for extremist Muslims. In custody, awaiting trial on charges that include encouraging the murder of Jews and other non-Muslims and using threatening or abusive language. Has pleaded innocent to all charges.


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