Muslim fanatic who heckled John Reid faces life in prison for inciting and funding terrorism

 Daily Mail 

A preacher of hate who heckled former Home Secretary John Reid faces life in prison for inciting terrorism overseas and fundraising for terrorists. Abu Izzadeen made inflammatory speeches at the Regent's Park mosque in central London on November 9 2004 - when U.S. forces began their battle for the city of Fallujah in Iraq.

Izzadeen, and others, denounced the fighting in speeches made inside the mosque and later, after a clash with the Muslim authorities, out on the street.



The jury saw a DVD of speeches made by eight defendants talking about jihad and Osama Bin Laden and including claims that American and British soldiers would kill and rape innocent Muslim civilians in Iraq.





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Abu Izzadeen first made headlines when he interrupted a speech by the then Home Secretary John Reid in 2006.

The DVD was found at the London home of al-Qaeda spiritual leader Omar Bakri Mohammed, who spent years fostering terrorism in Britain before fleeing to exile in Lebanon in 2004.




In it, Izzadeen, who changed his name from Trevor Brooks after converting to Islam, called the Government "crusaders who come to kill and rape Muslims" and said any Muslim who joined the Army should have his head "removed".


Izzadeen gave no response yesterday as he was found guilty at Kingston Crown Court of the fundraising and incitement charges.


Family and friends of the 33-year-old former electrician, who lives on benefits in Leyton, East London, gasped as the verdicts were delivered.



In four speeches on the DVD which, the court heard, were "a clear call to arms", Izzadeen hailed suicide bombers as heroes.


He said: "Those who give their life in the name of Allah will terrify the enemy."


When questioned about his words in court, Izzadeen told the jury: "That's what a demonstration is all about.

"At a demonstration it's about getting the point across and sometimes I do use insulting and abusive language but it's nothing more than that.

"It's rhetoric. When we are told about people being killed and tortured the only weapon we have is our tongue."


Simon Keeler, 36, was convicted of the same offences as Izzadeen - becoming the first white Muslim to be found guilty of terror charges.


Father-of-three Keeler, who claims he was born a Muslim but is understood to have converted from Roman Catholicism, begged crowds to "come fight the jihad, support your brothers in Iraq" and referred to 9/11 as the "big sign of revival".


Keeler, who changed his name from Simon to Sulayman, lives with his wife in a council block in Shadwell, East London.


He once declared the Queen an "enemy of Islam" and has described democracy as "something we hate".


On the DVD, Keeler exhorted followers to go to Iraq and ranted: "You go there physically and fight, you support them financially, you send them money."



In court, Jonathan Laidlaw, for the prosecution, rejected the claim that the speeches were mere protest.


He said: "They actually encouraged others to join in the jihad in Iraq; to join the insurgency and to take up arms against American and British forces serving there.


"Izzadeen sought to glorify the acts of terrorism committed in London in July 2005 in an effort to encourage members of the audience to terrorism."


Izzadeen shot to prominence in 2006 when he launched a furious tirade during a speech to Muslims by then Home

Secretary Mr Reid in East London.



In front of TV cameras, he denounced Mr Reid as a "tyrant" and an "enemy of Islam" before being escorted out by security guards.



Izzadeen was born in Hackney, East London, and has a Jamaican background. He was raised as a Christian but converted to Islam when he was 17. He became a hard-liner after coming across the preachings at Finsbury Park mosque of "Tottenham Ayatollah" Omar Bakri.


Izzadeen eventually chose a new name, which means Might of the Faith in Arabic, and immersed himself in his new religion.

He lived with his wife Mokhtaria and their three young children in an endofterrace house in Leyton. Before was arrested he lived on benefits of £176 a week. His £100-a-month council tax was also paid.


In the months before he was detained he had been advertising on the internet for more wives, because he wanted "more than nine children" and was looking for a "second, third or fourth wife".


Izzadeen has been on trial for three-and-a-half months alongside seven other defendants.


Six of them will be sentenced today by Judge Nicholas Price QC.


The men, all members of the outlawed Al-Muhajiroun group formed by Omar Bakri, were found guilty by the jury yesterday after more than 22 hours of deliberations.



The Metropolitan Police is searching for one defendant, Shah Jalal Hussain, 25, who absconded during the jury's deliberations last Tuesday.


He will be sentenced in his absence after being found guilty of one count of fundraising for terrorism.


Abdul Saleem, 32, and Ibrahim Hassan, 25, were convicted of inciting terrorism but cleared of fundraising for terrorists.


Two more, Shah Jilal Hussain and Abdul Muhid, both 25, were found guilty of fundraising for terrorists.


Rajib Khan, 29, was cleared of the same charge.

The jury failed to reach a verdict in respect of the charge of inciting terrorism overseas in his case and also failed to reach a verdict on Omar Zaheer, 28, who was charged with the same offence.

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