OMAR BAKRI MOHAMMED, the extremist cleric whose followers have engaged in suicide bombings overseas, was believed to be in hiding last night as police intensified efforts to discover who radicalised the London bombers. Some of the young men from Leeds who killed themselves in the bombings had connections with another group of alleged terror suspects, detained last year, who have been linked to Bakri Mohammed's al-Muhajiroun organisation.
Bakri Mohammed, 46, has not been at his home in Edmonton, North London, for several days. His wife said she did not know his whereabouts. She added that the London bombings were "very, very sad" and denied that her husband had anything to do with them. The outspoken cleric has also failed to answer his telephone and his closest associates have switched off their mobile phones. Since January Bakri Mohammed has been telling his followers that Britain is a "land of war" where nonMuslims no longer have the right to live in peace. Bakri Mohammed has a strong following in Luton, Bedfordshire, where the bomb gang met last Thursday morning before catching a train to King's Cross. He is also known to have preached in Leeds and other parts of West Yorkshire. In the 1990s his organisation was banned from the campus of Leeds Metropolitan University where Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, two of the suicide bombers, were students. Though Bakri Mohammed claimed that he had disbanded his organisation, he took it underground and continued to preach to invited followers at secretive meetings or via subscription-only internet chatrooms.
MIM: Before the bombings Omar Bakri Mohammed had warned that Britain would be attacked by 'Al Qaeda in Europe'.
Radical cleric warned of a ‘big operation' Abul Taher and Dipesh Gadher THE NETWORK
A RADICAL Muslim cleric based in London claimed more than a year ago that an Al-Qaeda cell was planning to launch "a big operation" in the capital.
Omar Bakri Mohammed said a group calling itself Al-Qaeda Europe was "very well organised" and predicted that a terrorist attack was "inevitable".
In an interview with Portugal's Publica news magazine, Bakri said: "It's inevitable because several (attacks) are being prepared by several groups." He said a group calling itself Al-Qaeda Europe "has a great appeal for young Muslims . . . I know that they are ready to launch a big operation".
This is the full text of the statement claiming responsibility from the Secret Organisation Group of al-Qaida of Jihad Organisation in Europe. Its authenticity remained uncomfirmed last night:
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, may peace be upon the cheerful one and undaunted fighter, Prophet Muhammad, God's peace be upon him.
Nation of Islam and Arab nation: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge against the British Zionist Crusader government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters.
We have repeatedly warned the British government and people. We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our mujahideen exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid.
We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the Crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused.
God says: "You who believe: If ye will aid [the cause of] Allah, He will aid you, and plant your feet firmly."
MIM: For more on Omar Bakri Mohammed and Al Muhajiroun see:
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