Izzadeen guilty of terror charges

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The Independent Online

Notorious Muslim activist Abu Izzadeen was today found guilty of fundraising for terrorists and inciting terrorism overseas.

Izzadeen was convicted at Kingston Crown Court at the end of a three-and-a-half month trial.

The outspoken 32-year-old former electrician, who once heckled former Home Secretary John Reid on live TV, was on trial with seven other men.

Five of them were also found guilty by the jury today after more than 22 hours of deliberations.

One other defendant was cleared and the jury failed to reach a verdict on another man.

Simon Keeler was convicted of the same two charges as Izzadeen, who stood trial under the name of Omar Brooks.

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

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.

They also failed to reach a verdict in respect of Omar Zaheer, 28, also charged with the same offence.

The jury did not return a verdict on a third offence of encouraging terrorism faced by Izzadeen, who changed his name from Trevor Brooks after converting to Islam.

The charges related to the evening of 9 November, 2004 when US forces were locked in a fierce battle for the city of Fallujah in Iraq.

The city was being used as a base for al-Qa'ida terrorists and Sunni rebel forces but the American onslaught, coming as it did during the month of Ramadan, attracted fierce criticism.

Izzadeen and the other defendants gathered at the Regent's Park mosque to observe a holy day in the Muslim calendar.

Once there he, along with others, started to denounce the fighting in speeches made both inside the mosque and later, after a clash with the mosque authorities, out on the street.

But the court heard that their preaching quickly went much further than mere protest.

Prosecuting Jonathan Laidlaw said: "What occurred was that these eight men delivered or contributed to a series of speeches and appeals for money, and in the case of five of the defendants, for volunteers to join in the fight against coalition troops.

"The speeches became progressively more emotive and inflammatory and insulting in their tone."

The guilty men were all members of a controversial group called, Al-Muhajiroun.

Run by an extremist preacher, Omar Bakri, who has since left the country, the group believed in the creation of a Muslim state and the imposition of shariah law. They also support armed struggle to achieve their ends.

The group has now been disbanded and a number of the defendants, including Izzadeen, formed off-shoot organisations in its place which were subsequently banned by the government.