Abu Hamza, el clérigo radical pro-terrorista de la mezquita londinense de Finsbury Park, ha sido condenado a 7 años de cárcel. Sin embargo, es todavía mucho más interesante conocer los vínculos entre este clérigo y los terroristas del 7/J (Times On Line):
ABU HAMZA AL-MASRI, who was jailed for seven years yesterday for inciting murder and racial hatred, preached his message of violence to three of the July 7 London suicide bombers.
The Times has learnt that Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer and Jermaine Lindsay, who detonated rucksack bombs on London Tube trains, visited Finsbury Park mosque where Abu Hamza taught that Muslims were obliged to kill unbelievers to defend Islam.
Khan and Tanweer heard the clerics sermons inside the North London mosque. They and Lindsay were also among crowds that heard Abu Hamza preach on the street after the building was closed in a police raid in 2003.
The link between Abu Hamza, 47, and the bombers, who killed 52 people and themselves, raises a possible new explanation for the timing of the attacks.
On the morning of July 7 Abu Hamza was in the dock at the Old Bailey about to stand trial. But his case was postponed for six months. It resumed last month, concluding when a jury of seven men and five women returned unanimous guilty verdicts on eleven of fifteen charges.
Abu Hamza, who refused to recognise the court because it did not administer Islamic law, remained seated as the verdicts were delivered. Sentencing him, Mr Justice Hughes said: You used your authority to legitimise anger and to encourage your audiences to believe that it gave rise to a duty to murder.
You commended suicide bombing, you encouraged them to kill in the cause you set out for them. He added that the radical imam had created a real danger to the lives of innocent people in different parts of the world.
The judge said that in handing down a seven-year sentence he was aware that upon release Abu Hamza was likely to be rearrested and extradited to the United States where he faces serious terrorist charges, including conspiracy to take hostages.
Abu Hamza was led away to begin his sentence at Belmarsh high-security jail in southeast London.
Mudassar Arani, Abu Hamzas solicitor, said that her client was a prisoner of faith who believed that he had been subjected to a slow martyrdom.
The charges against Abu Hamza, a father of seven, were based on hours of videotapes of his sermons. He urged training for holy war, told congregations that the Holocaust and Hitler were sent from God to punish the Jews and repeatedly urged the killing of kuffars (non-believers). There is no drop of liquid that is loved by Allah more than the liquid of blood, he preached.
Abu Hamza, whose appearance made him a hero to his followers - he lost his hands and an eye to a landmine in Afghanistan - also taught that suicide bombing was legitimate and that martyrs would be rewarded in paradise. Among the hundreds of potential terrorists who passed through Finsbury Park was Khan, 30, the ringleader of the 7/7 bombers, who first went to the mosque in in 2002. He returned several times with Tanweer and the pair slept the night in the building.
Lindsay, 19, first heard the cleric speak during his street sermons which became a rallying point for young Muslim radicals from around the country.
Detectives are still examining surveillance footage to establish if Hasib Hussain, the fourth 7/7 bomber, was ever in the crowds at Finsbury Park.
Abu Hamzas lawyers made a last-ditch attempt to have the trial stopped yesterday because of the row over newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Within minutes of the judge rejecting that application the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on six charges of soliciting murder and three of inciting race hate.
The jury also convicted the preacher of possessing offensive tapes with the intention of distributing them. More than 3,000 recordings were found in his home in West London. He was also found guilty of a charge under the Terrorism Act of possessing an item of use to terrorists, the Encyclopaedia of Afghani Jihad.
But he was acquitted on three charges of soliciting murder and one of stirring up racial hatred.
Los cargos por los que se le han condenado en inglés, aquí. (la noticia en español, de EL MUNDO, aquí) Antecedentes: no habrá una investigación pública sobre el 7/J, Sheshad Tanweer tenía unos ahorros de 212,460 dólares (con 22 años y habiendo sólo servido en la tienda de fish & chips de su padre ).
UPDATE/ACTUALIZACIÓN: Los ingleses sabían desde hace mucho de las lecciones que impartía Abu Hamza pero no actuaron porque Temieron que pudiera producir una crisis racial (Times on Line):
AMERICA will use phone tap evidence gathered by Britain seven years ago to try to jail Abu Hamza al-Masri for life on terrorist offences.
Bugged conversations between the radical imam and the leader of a gang that kidnapped 16 Western tourists in Yemen are banned in the British courts. Yet the same wiretap material, amassed by British Intelligence, will be central to the case against Abu Hamza if he is extradited to America, The Times has been told.
Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service faced mounting criticism yesterday for delaying action against Abu Hamza, who was jailed for seven years on Tuesday for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred.
Last night David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, suggested that the police, MI5 and the CPS could have acted earlier to seize the cleric. He claimed that they rejected his warnings because they feared it would trigger a race crisis.
Writing in The Sun, Mr Blunkett said: So much for those in the security services who told me when I was Home Secretary that I was exaggerating the threat and the closure of the Finsbury Park mosque where he preached his evil message would be a massive overreaction.
There was a deep reluctance to act on the information coming out of Abu Hamzas own mouth. And some in the police and security services did not want to believe how serious it all was.