Omar Bakri Muhammad: Islamist leader seeks return to UK, after being banned in wake of 7/7 praise

Omar Bakri Muhammad, the Islamist leader who has publicly supported terrorist attacks in the UK and elsewhere, says he is being tortured in Lebanon and is attempting to return to the country despite being permanently excluded in 2005

The family of Omar Bakri Muhammad are asking for the militant Islamist leader to be allowed to return to the UK, nearly ten years after he left the country for Lebanon, where he has since been arrested multiple times and where he claims to have been tortured.

Bakri’s family says that he has been tortured during his time in a Lebanese maximum security prison, though the claims have yet to be independently verified. The family says that he is close to death.

Bakri was permanently excluded in 2005 on the grounds that he was not conducive to the public good. The Home Office has said that because he is outside of the country he will not be able to apply for asylum.

The preacher received political asylum in the UK in the 1980s and stayed until 2005. He left the UK soon after the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005, and fled to Lebanon. But he was arrested in Beirut towards the end of May for allegedly supporting terrorism.

Bakri has been accused of founding militant Islamist groups Hizb ut-Tahrir and Al Muhajiroun, and of glorifying terrorists including those that perpetrated 9/11 and 7/7. He helped convert Michael Adebolajo, who took part in the murder of Lee Rigby and was a member of Al-Muhajiroun.

Bakri is understood to have been living in the Libyan city of Tripoli for some of the time since his arrest in 2010. Source: Getty

 “This person has contributed in every aspect in supporting terrorism,” Lebanon’s interior minister, Nouhad Machnouk, alleged after the arrest.

Bakri has been considered by some to court publicity, a view that his son Mohammad Bakri seemed to support.

“I think unless you know the character himself, like my father – I grew up with him – so therefore I understand the tactics that he uses to attract the media in order to pass the message of Islam,” he told Sky News. “You may find that distasteful, but at the end of the day he has not committed any crimes in the UK.”

He was previously sentenced to life in prison in Lebanon in 2010, but was released after witnesses recanted their testimony. He is thought to have been living in Tripoli in Lebanon for some of the time since, and has Syrian and Lebanese citizenship.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power