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Omar Bakri Mohammed

Born: 1958;

Place of Birth: Aleppo, Syria;

Birth name: Omar Bakri Fostock;

Established: Al Muhajiroun;

Omar and his band of followers (including Anjem Choudary) have spent the subsequent years trying to develop the “Al Muhajiroun” organization in the UK.

By 2001 it had become a well-known radical group which had sought to recruit in Muslim communities, principally outside mosques in poorer areas.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks Bakri praised the attackers as “magnificent”, and changed his leanings towards the theology and philosophy of Al Qaeda. Bakri then stated that he had become a Salafi Muslim.

Media outlets and British Muslims criticised him for his open support for various international jihadist organisations. On 13 September 2001, Bakri told the Daily Mail, “When I first heard about (the September 11, 2001 attacks), there was some initial delight about such an attack. I received a phone call and said, ‘Oh, wow, the United States has come under attack.’ It was exciting.

“For several years Bakri was one of the best-known, high-profile Islamists based in London, and was frequently quoted and interviewed in the UK media.

In December 2004 he vowed that Muslims would give the West “a 9/11, day after day after day,” if Western governments did not change their policies.

In 2005, following the 7 July 2005 London bombings, The Sunday Times reported that “a dozen members” of his group Al-Muhajiroun “have taken part in suicide bombings or have become close to Al-Qaeda and its support network.”

Shortly after, he left the UK, where he had sheltered for 20 years, for Lebanon.

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