Radical cleric arrested for" incitement" together with 5 UK Muslims for "radicalisation" and "financing international terrorism"
April 24, 2007
6 held under UK anti-terrorism law(Reuters)
LONDON - Anti-terrorism officers arrested six Muslim men in London in dawn raids on Tuesday, on suspicion of inciting terrorism overseas and raising funds for terrorists.
The suspects were held "in low key operations" at 5 a.m. at five addresses in London and one in Luton, north of the capital.
"The arrests form part of a long-term pro-active and complex investigation into alleged incitement and radicalization for the purposes of terrorism, as well as alleged provision of financial support for international terrorism," the spokeswoman said.
A security source said the arrests were not related to the July 7 2005 suicide bomb attacks by four British Islamists in London which killed 52 people or any other ongoing major counter terrorism operation.
Anjem Choudary, a former leader of the banned organization Al-Ghurabaa, confirmed that Izzadeen, who had been another senior figure in the group, was among those arrested.
Izzadeen, who was born Trevor Brooks in Jamaica, shot to prominence when he heckled Reid during a speech to Muslim leaders last September, urging them to root out extremism.
He has not been accused of any crime over that outburst but was charged by police earlier this year with encouraging terrorism during a speech he gave in Birmingham in 2006.
Choudary told Reuters the latest accusations related to speeches and talks the men had made in 2004.
"They are all active Islamists in the community. They are all passionate about what they believe," he said.
"They all stand up against the government and their foreign policy. At the end of the day they have done nothing illegal and this is just another witch hunt and crusade against the Muslim community."
Radical Muslim held in terror raids
Six men, including radical Muslim Abu Izzadeen, have been arrested over speeches made at a mosque two-and-a-half years ago.
Scotland Yard said the men were detained in an investigation into incitement of others to commit acts of terrorism overseas and terrorist fundraising.
The men, aged between 21 and 35, were held at addresses in east London, Southall and Luton at around 5am.
The speeches were allegedly made at a mosque in London in November 2004.
A Yard spokesman said a number of searches were ongoing in connection with the investigation.
He said: "The arrests form part of a long-term pro-active and complex investigation into alleged incitement and radicalisation for the purposes of terrorism, as well as alleged provision of financial support for international terrorism."
Izzadeen, a former electrician who lives in Leytonstone, east London with his wife and three children, is perhaps best known for his barracking of Home Secretary John Reid last September.
At a speech to British Muslims in Leyton, east London, Mr Reid was interrupted by Izzadeen, who called him "an enemy of Islam" and "a tyrant".
He also accused the British Government of state terrorism and said Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush could "go to hell".
He was also reportedly involved in protests against the Danish anti-Muslim cartoons and has been linked to radical Islamic group al-Ghurabaa, an offshoot of al-Muhajiroun, both of which are now banned in the UK.