Cleric backs July 7 London attacks

Feb. 12, 2006 at 6:44 PM

BEESTON, England, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- British Muslim leaders who publicly opposed the July 7, 2005, attacks in London, are now calling the bombers martyrs, the Sunday Times of London reported.

An undercover investigation by the newspaper revealed Hamid Ali, the spiritual leader of the al-Madina mosque in Beeston, has recently called the July 7 attacks that killed 56 people a "good" thing.

After the attacks Ali said the perpetrators should be punished.

Three of the July 7 suicide bombers worshipped at Ali's mosque and jailed leader Abdullah al-Faisal had lectured there. Al-Faisal is serving seven years for inciting murder and racial hatred in 2003.

Since the 1990s he toured mosques with a message that non-Muslims were "cockroaches" to be killed. Audio and video of his speeches are hot commodities in the underground extremist Muslim world, the newspaper said.

A Times reporter, posing undercover as a student, was offered some of the tapes.

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