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UK Muslim policeman who refused duty at Israeli embassy was married by suicide bomber cleric who fled Britain after London attacks

October 10, 2006

Embassy row Pc married by radical cleric
By Duncan Gardham and John Steele

(Filed: 06/10/2006)

Audio: Pc case was 'unusual circumstances'

Video: Embassy calls row a 'grave problem'

A Muslim police officer who asked to be excused from guarding the Israeli embassy was married by the radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

  • Omar Bakri Mohammed praised the July 7 bombers

    Pc Alexander Omar-Basha's father-in-law is related to Bakri, who performed an Islamic ceremony at the family home in north London.

    The cleric, who founded the now disbanded Al-Muhajiroun group of radical Muslims, is living in Lebanon after being barred from the UK.

    Bakri caused consternation when he said he would never warn the police if he learned of an impending suicide bomber attack by fellow Muslims. He also called the July 7 London suicide bombers "the fantastic four".

    Scotland Yard said yesterday that Pc Omar-Basha, a member of the Metropolitan Police armed Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG), had been allowed to absent himself from armed patrols outside the Israeli embassy after expressing concerns about the effect it might have on the safety of his relatives in Lebanon during Israel's military campaign in August.

    The decision provoked a debate about political correctness in the police force and drew accusations that Muslim officers were being treated differently to others.

    The officer's father-in-law, Abdul Majid el-Katme, is a doctor and Muslim activist, although he does not share Bakri's extremist views.

    Bakri said yesterday he was not aware that Pc Omar-Basha was a policeman until he was involved in the arrest of some of his followers in Wood Green, north London.

    Bakri said he had told Pc Omar-Basha to leave the police. Speaking from the Lebanon, Bakri said: "After a while I learned he was in the police force because brothers were arrested in Wood Green for distributing leaflets outside the library which, they said, offended homosexuals.

    "I was told he was involved in stopping the stall."

    Dr el-Katme is the president of the Islamic Medical Association and a member of the Muslim Council of Britain. Bakri said yesterday: "I know the couple because I married them. Alex's father-in-law is also my brother-in-law. He also asked me to give a little talk in front of the family after they got married. To be honest we didn't have a good relationship because of my radical views."

    Bakri claims to have performed 1,300 Muslim wedding ceremonies.

    Pc Omar-Basha, 24, married his wife, Dania, three years ago when she was 17 and at school. They have a two-year-old son and live in north London. Pc Omar-Basha's father is an electronics engineer.

    A report in The Sun newspaper alleged that senior officers within the DPG gave Pc Omar-Basha a special dispensation not to work outside the embassy after he objected on "moral" grounds because of Israeli bombings in Lebanon. The officer was not available for comment yesterday. However, the Muslim Police Association, which promotes the interests of Muslim officers, said it was a "welfare issue", as Pc Omar-Basha had raised concerns about his family in Lebanon.

    The Deputy Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Paul Stephenson, said in a statement that impartial policing was "non-negotiable", addding that upon joining the police, "officers swear an oath of attestation, which says that they serve 'without fear or favour'. If on this or any other occasion that principle has been broken it would be wholly improper."

    However, he added: "At the height of the Israeli/Lebanon conflict in August this year, the officer (Pc Omar-Basha) made his managers aware of his personal concerns which included that he had Lebanese family members. "Whilst the Israeli Embassy is not his normal posting, in view of the possibility that he could be deployed there, a risk assessment was undertaken, which is normal practice. It was as a result of this risk assessment - and not because of the officer's personal views, whatever they might have been - that the decision was taken temporarily not to deploy him to the Embassy. This is not about political correctness. This decision was taken on the basis of risk and safety."

  • MIM: The SUN paper broke the story

    Bakri rage over cop wedding,,2-2006460625,00.html

    Hate preacher ... Omar Bakri Mohammed

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    HATE preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed who officiated at the wedding of the Muslim PC excused from guarding the Israeli embassy would not have done so if he had known he was a cop. He insisted no one told him that Alexander Omar-Basha, then 21, was a policeman before his marriage to wife Dania, 17, at Wood Green, North London, four years ago. The Sun was the first to reveal that diplomatic gun cop Omar-Basha had been excused from guarding the Embassy during Israeli bombing of the Lebanon. Bakri who fled Britain to live in Lebanon, said: "How dare this man be in the British police and claim to be a Muslim? If I'd known I'd never have married them. I have since told Alex that his type of job is forbidden in Islam, but he isn't interested." PC Omar-Basha met Bakri through his own father-in-law Dr Abdul Majid el-Katme a moderate Muslim activist who is a brother-in-law of the cleric. Bakri vowed to "tear up" the wedding certificate if he got a chance. And he added: "My advice to Alex and all Muslims in the police is to leave their jobs. "It is clear from the Koran it is forbidden to join non-Muslim forces whether that is as a policeman, soldier or MP."

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