Extremist Islamist has returned - via Internet

The exiled radical Islamist cleric Omar Bakri Mohammad is continuing to reach his followers in Britain through websites and Internet chatrooms.

After a period of silence that came after Bakri Mohammad’s decision to leave Britain for Lebanon to avoid the threat of arrest and deportation, his followers have re-emerged online.

They have been detected using a chatroom labelled “Muslims in the UK” to deliver lectures that deliberately challenge proposals in the Terrorism Bill to outlaw the glorification of terrorist acts.

The nature of the material suggests that Bakri Mohammad’s movement is prepared to be more explicit in its preachings and teachings.

In one session a man calling himself Mizaan, who spoke with an English accent, said: “We should all of us glorify terrorism and we should incite religious hatred.

“Don’t worry, it’s not illegal for us to say that the Mujahidin on 9/11 were the magnificent 19, and it’s not illegal for us to say that Mohammad Sidique Khan (July 7 ringleader) and the four on 7/7, that they were the fantastic four.”

Although the speaker was inciting violence, the problem of identifying him and his location would make it almost impossible to prosecute him.

Intelligence analysts are increasingly concerned that al-Qaeda and its allies are using the internet to lure a less visible generation of recruits to the cause of militant Islam.

Speaking animatedly, Mizaan stated that the world was divided into two camps — Islam and kuffar (non-believer) — which would always be at war. He repeatedly urged his listeners to take part in that war.

He said that he was in contact with Bakri Mohammad. but it was not possible to determine from where in the world the lecture was being broadcast.

The chatroom appeared on the Paltalk Internet network which is run by a New York-based company. In January The Times revealed that Bakri Mohammad used the same network to declare Britain a “land of war” and encourage his followers to join al-Qaeda.

Bakri Mohammad’s followers have also reactivated their al-Ghurabaa website, which carries his sermons, as well as extremist videos and articles. A series of lectures by Bakri Mohammed is available to download and his books can be bought from the site.

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