Online extremist imam calls young to war

Jan. 17, 2005 at 10:07 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- A Syrian-born Muslim cleric living in London is using the Internet to recruit young fighters for a holy war with Britain, The Times of London said Monday.

In his nightly Web casts, Omar Bakri Mohammed, pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and told his followers they were in a state of war with Britain based on its new anti-terror legislation.

In his broadcasts through an Internet chat room, Bakri Mohammed stopped short of calling for terrorist attacks in Britain but said Muslims should join the jihad "wherever you are" and told one woman she was permitted to become a suicide bomber.

The imam has lived in Britain for 18 years on social security benefits, but is banned from preaching in many British mosques, the newspaper said.

Andrew Dismore, a Labor member of parliament, told the newspaper he was pursuing legal action.

"With these words he may well be committing offenses under the Terrorism Act and other legislation," Dismore said. "I will be raising this immediately with the home secretary and the Metropolitan Police."

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