Jihadis jailed for spreading speeches by hate preacher who inspired terrorists
Affected Countries: united-kingdom;
Two men have been jailed for spreading extremist propaganda that called on Muslims to wage violent jihad around the world.
Muhammad Abdur Raheem Kamali and Mohammed Abdul Ahad edited and uploaded speeches by hate preacher Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal to a website and social media pages.
Police said the material promoted terrorism and encouraged people to join Isis in Syria, but The Independent has confirmed that the website remains online.
The site claims that Muslims must “hate disbelievers” and “fight them,”, and urges followers to spread their beliefs and contact others of the same faith in British prisons.
Sheikh Faisal’s followers included two of the bombers in the 7 July 2005 attack in London, a terrorist jailed for conspiring with the 9/11 hijackers, and shoe bomber Richard Reid.
London Bridge attacker Usman Khan had his phone number when he was arrested over the London Stock Exchange bomb plot in 2010, and the Streatham attacker, Sudesh Amman, is believed to have followed his teachings, The Times reported.
Mohissunnath Chowdhury, who attacked police with a sword outside Buckingham Palace in 2017 and planned more attacks after being released from prison, also cited Sheikh Faisal as an inspiration.
The website contains speeches by Sheikh Faisal, as well as other extremist preachers who have inspired terrorist plots, and solicits donations for the extremist.
Police said that Kamali, 31, of Rochdale, and Ahad, 38, of London, were two of the website’s “main administrators and contributors”.
The Old Bailey heard that the pair recorded Sheikh Faisal’s speeches, then transcribed, edited and prepared them for uploading to the website.
“A significant number of these speeches glorified terrorist organisations including al-Qaeda and Isis, and encouraged support for acts of terrorism,” a spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said.
Kamali and Ahad first came to police attention in 2016, when counter-terrorism police officers in northeast England were investigating a 20-year-old woman over the website and a linked Facebook page.
Investigators discovered that Kamali and Ahad were web managers for the project, and the pair were simultaneously arrested in March 2017.
Kamali, who police said had been the owner and lead administrator of the website since 2011, was convicted on four counts of disseminating terrorist publications and jailed for four and a half years.
Ahad was also sentenced to four and a half years in prison after being found guilty on four counts of disseminating terrorist publications and one of possessing a document useful for an attack.
Both men were handed an extended licence period and a court order requiring them to notify police of changes to their circumstances for 10 years after they are released from prison.
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command, called the pair “online publishers of toxic ideologies which promoted terrorism and encouraged its readership to join Isis in Syria”.
“We take the dissemination of this type of material incredibly seriously and we will prosecute anyone involved in such illegal activity,” he added.
Born Trevor William Forrest in Jamaica, Sheikh Faisal converted to Islam before moving to Saudi Arabia and then the UK.
He was the imam of Brixton Mosque in London in the early 1990s before being ejected for his extremism but continued to speak to audiences around the UK.
In 2003, the hate preacher was jailed for urging Muslims to kill Jews, Christians, Americans, Hindus and other “disbelievers”.
Dismissing an appeal against his conviction the following year, the Court of Appeal said speeches made to crowds of young Muslim men had been recorded on tapes, which were distributed in bookshops.
“In his speeches, the appellant encouraged his listeners to kill,” judges said. “He asserted that it was compulsory for all Muslims to undertake jihad and that the meaning of that word was the killing of those who did not believe in the Islamic faith.”
Sheikh Faisal was deported to Jamaica halfway through his sentence and is currently in prison while fighting extradition to the US on new terror charges, which he denies.