Top Islamic extremist recruiter is jailed

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A man convicted as a major recruiter for Islamist extremism has been jailed indefinitely for public protection.

Mohammed Hamid, 50, of east London, organised secret training camps, one of which was attended by the four failed suicide bombers of 21 July 2005.

Hamid was jailed for seven-and-a-half years – but told he would not be released until he had reformed.

His accomplice, Atilla Ahmet, who made hate speeches alongside Hamid, was jailed for six years and 11 months.

The Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence against Hamid was the first use of the powers in a terrorist case.

Police say Hamid, who once described himself as “Osama bin London”, played a crucial role in grooming young men for terrorism and possible training overseas.

The trial judge at Woolwich Crown Court, Mr Justice Pitchers, told him: “Mohammed Hamid, you are, in my judgement, dangerous.

“You can be quite genuinely amusing and charming. You also have real knowledge of the Koran and Islamic teaching. However, that is only one side of you.”

The judge said he rejected claims that Hamid was some kind of “clown”.

“You used your charm and knowledge of the Koran to influence others to terrorism,” he said. “I believe you have sent trainees to Afghanistan.

“You continue to be a danger, not directly from your own actions, but from your ability to persuade others by criminal actions to commit terrorism offences themselves.”

Hamid was found guilty of three counts of soliciting to murder and three counts of providing terrorism training.

Ahmet, the former right-hand-man of jailed preacher Abu Hamza, had pleaded guilty to three counts of soliciting to murder relating to hate speeches.

Henry Blaxland QC, for Ahmet, said his client had become a “changed man” during his time awaiting sentencing.

Ahmet, who had shaved off his long Islamic beard, had written a long letter to the judge demonstrating what Mr Blaxland said was “genuine contrition”.

Seven other men have been convicted in connection with the camps in a series of linked trials that were under a partial reporting black-out.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
BBC, UK
Mar. 7, 2008
news.bbc.co.uk

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This post was last updated: Mar. 8, 2008