Terror preacher out by Christmas reveals the Sunday Mercury
A terror preacher convicted of raising funds for suicide bombers could be free by Christmas, the Sunday Mercury has learned.
An appeal by lawyers for Muslim cleric Abu Izzadeen, who was caged in April for a string of violent jihadi rants, casts doubt on crucial evidence filmed at a community centre in Small Heath, Birmingham, and at mosques in London.
Izzadeen, 32, whose real name is Omar Brooks, was convicted of terrorist fund-raising and inciting terrorism overseas after jurors at Kingston Crown Court were shown video clips of extremist speeches.
He was jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Today, the Sunday Mercury can reveal that the authorities were alerted as early as November 2005 to images of Izzadeen calling for jihad and holding bile-filled lectures.
The clips from his rants in Small Heath were handed over in July 2006, but the hate preacher was not arrested until April 2007. The Birmingham videos formed the evidence for his arrest, but were not shown in court.
A source close to the law firm acting for Izzadeen, Ahmed and Co, outlined the significance of the Metropolitan Police’s decision not to follow up on footage of the Birmingham hate speeches earlier.
“The concern that we have is that these videos were in the possession of the police for a long time,” he said.
“The prosecution did convince a judge that they had to do work on the footage and that is why it took so long from the first reports of these speeches to the arrest and charge of Mr Brooks.
“We’re concerned that they had it for this long. If it was that sinister surely they would have launched an inquiry earlier?
“The appeal will ask why there was such a gap between this material being submitted and him being taken in for questioning. We will also present fresh evidence.”
Izzadeen is currently being held on the Isle of Wight at maximum-security Parkhurst Prison, referred to by inmates as Britain’s Guantanamo Bay.
The appeal against his conviction could cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds as the authorities defend their tactics in gathering information.
Videos handed to the Sunday Mercury show the radical Islamist preacher laughing at the victims of terrorist attacks, and warning that Britain faced more death and destruction unless our troops left Muslim lands.