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British martyrs ‘promised • Thursday January 23, 2003

BBC, Jan. 23, 2003

British teenage boys were told to train with Kalashnikov rifles and promised 72 virgins in paradise if they died as religious martyrs, an Old Bailey jury has heard.

Muslim cleric Abdullah el-Faisal, 39, made the claim in a video recording of him addressing a study group after the 11 September terrorist attacks in New York.

The video was played at the trial of the preacher, who is charged with nine offences, including inciting race hate and soliciting murder.

Mr el-Faisal, of Albert Square, Stratford, east London, told the gathering that Muslims were only allowed to sacrifice their lives fighting for Islam.

In the video he says it is the duty of women to bring up their sons “with a Jihad mentality – not be wimps” and boys should train as soldiers for Islam when they were 15.

He said: “Is it sensible for you to be soldiers without Kalashnikov training?

“So when you are on holiday from school or college, you must have Jihad training – this is your holiday.”

Mr el-Faisal tells them: “Even if you are hit by a Cruise missile, the pain will feel like that of a mosquito bite.”

‘No democracy’

Their rewards in paradise would include 72 virgins and eating from the fruits of paradise, he said.

“Religious martyrs are not dead. Do not cry for them. There is a conspiracy against Jihad”, he added.

“Democracy is not the way forward. The only way to liberate land and man is Jihad.

“The way forward is the bullet. Our motto is `might is right’.”

The prosecution allege the Jamaican-born convert stepped outside his role as a spiritual leader to preach race hate and murder.

Mr el-Faisal denies the charges and the trial continues.

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