An Islamist extremist who called himself "Osama bin London" has been found guilty of leading his own "al-Qa'ida-style" cell which trained terrorists, including those who attempted to carry out the "second wave" of London bombings on 21 July 2005.
From his home in east London, Mohammed Hamid, 50, organised training camps in the New Forest, Berkshire and the Lake District and encouraged other fanatics to murder "non-believers". A jury at Woolwich Crown Court found him guilty of organising terrorist training and soliciting murder.
Atilla Ahmet, 43, Hamid's right-hand man and an ally of the cleric Abu Hamza, had earlier admitted three counts of soliciting murder.
Kibley Da Costa, 25; Mohammed Al-Figari, 45; and Kader Ahmed, 20, were found guilty of attending terror camps in the New Forest and at a Berkshire paintballing centre. Two others, Mohammed Kyriacou, 19, and Yassin Mutegombwa, 23, admitted attending terrorist training camps. The would-be terrorists were captured on video doing army-style rolls and jumping across rivers shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) at the camps.
The intelligence services face embarrassment over the fact that the men were able to attempt the attacks despite being under surveillance. Five of the men behind the July 21 bombings – Muktar Said Ibrahim, Hussain Osman, Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohammed and Adel Yahya – met at the training camps in the Lake District. In August 2004, an MI5 surveillance team was monitoring the gang's leaders when they visited Baysbrown Farm in Cumbria. Bugged conversations revealed Hamid repeatedly describing the death toll of 53 from the London bombings on 7 July 2005 as "not even breakfast to me".
Hamid and Ahmet will be sentenced on 7 March. The five followers were yesterday jailed for up to four years and 11 months. The judge, Mr Justice Pitchers, described the two leaders as "charismatic and powerful figures".Reuse content