Hate cleric Omar Bakri on the run after life sentence for training terrorists
Firebrand cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed was on the run from a life sentence last night after being convicted in the Lebanon of terror charges.
The preacher – known as the ‘Tottenham Ayatollah’ after founding radical group Al Muhajiroun in London – was found guilty of teaching terror recruits how to use weapons at an Al Qaeda training camp and of planning violent attacks.
The 52-year-old failed to appear in court and is thought to be in hiding with relatives.
He was convicted alongside more than 40 Lebanese, Palestinian and Saudi citizens, all of whom were found guilty in their absence.
Bakri, who holds Lebanese nationality and lives in Tripoli, lived in Britain on benefits with his wife and seven children for more than two decades before he was banned from the UK five years ago.
Yesterday he took to the airwaves to protest his innocence.
Branding the findings against him ‘lies and fabrications’, he blamed Britain and America for the court’s decision.
Speaking from his hideout, he claimed he was incapable of giving weapons training because he is disabled and has diabetes.
He also threatened protests around the world once his followers learned of the court’s ruling.
He said: ‘The American and British government is responsible for what has happened to me, especially the British.
‘They say I have been training people in weapons in Tripoli.
'I have never held a weapon in my life.
'I rang the court this morning and they said I have 15 days to challenge the decision.
‘But I am not going to court. It is against my religion. I will never give myself up.’
Syrian-born Bakri’s bile-fuelled rants have included claiming Britain brought the July 7 attacks on itself and describing the 9/11 hijackers as ‘magnificent’.
Lebanese officials said he was guilty of ‘belonging to an armed group with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks and plotting to kill Lebanese soldiers’.
British-born radical cleric Anjem Choudary said it will be 'a sad day for Islam' if Bakri is silenced.
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