OMAR BAKRI MUHAMMAD
Omar Bakri Muhammad was born in Syria in 1959. He joined in Syria the Muslim Brotherhood activity against the ruling Baath Party. In 1982, after the Syrian regime crashed the Muslim Brotherhood in the Hama Massacre, Omar Bakri Muhammad arrived to Lebanon and established there an ephemeral organization Hizb ut-Tahrir (the Liberation Party – in Arabic). At that time, the year of Israeli invasion to Lebanon, and under the strong influence of Humeini s’ Islamic revolution in Iran hundreds of Islamic group immerged in Lebanon, one of them was the Hizbullah.
In 1983 Omar Bakri Muhammad moved to Saudi Arabia and established there another ephemeral organization Al-Muhajiroun. He studied at the Islamic School of al-Saltiyah in Mecca but did not graduate. Because of the extreme Islamic philosophy that Al-Muhajiroun preached the organization was banned in 1986 and Omar Bakri Muhammad was forced to leave the country.
Omar Bakri Muhammad arrived to UK on 01/14/1986 and asked for political asylum on the ground that he faces torture and death in Syria because of his religious beliefs. He immediately founded Al-Muhajiroun ‘s British branch as part of the Islamic Party Hizb ut-Tahrir (the Liberation Party – in Arabic) same as in Lebanon. He also wrote a book – “Essential Fiqh” teaching his extreme interpretation of Islam. Only in 1996, after disagreements on policy, style and methods with Hizb ut-Tahrir, Omar Bakri Muhammad, with other Islamic militant leaders in UK – Anjem Choudary and Abu Qatada, declared Al-Muhajiroun as an independent Islamic political movement.
The year of the attack on USA embassy in Kenya and Tanzania, on 08/07/1998 , Omar Bakri Muhammad distributed in UK the Fatwah (an Islamic religious statement) issued by Osama Bin Laden titled “The World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders” referring to the Global Jihad and claimed he is an Al Qaeda spokesman.
Omar Bakri Muhammad activity in the Muslim community in UK was through Al-Muhajiroun. After Al-Muhajiroun was disbanded in UK on 10/13/2004 Omar Bakri Muhammad served a short period of time as the Imam of Luton, about 30 km North of Londonstan. After the London public transportation attacks in 07/2005 and after British police searched his home in Luton, Omar Bakri Muhammad fled Britain to Lebanon on 08/08/2005. On 08/11/2005 UK government forbade his return to UK. Today (05/2007) Omar Bakri Muhammad is in Lebanon.
* On 10/24/2006 British anti-terror police stopped Omar Bakri’s son, Abdul Rahman Fostock, at Heathrow Airport and seized £13,000 that he intended to deliver to Omar Bakri Muhammad in Lebanon.
* Omar Bakri Muhammad, through Anjem Choudary, formed a new group in UK – Islam4UK. The new group was also disbanded on Tuesday 01/12/2010, following the Wootton March attempt. He responded in Lebanon and said that his followers were looking forward to regrouping under a different name. ”Tomorrow we can call ourselves whatever we think is suitable for us,” he said.
* Omar Bakri Mohammad, claimed in a phone interview with BBC from his home in Tripoli, Lebanon, on Friday 11/12/2001, he has been sentenced to life in prison in Lebanon and he had 15 days to appeal. Twenty-four others were also convicted by the court, he said. After few days detention, on Wednesday 11/24/2010, Omar Bakri Mohammad was released on bail for a retrial.
* In a phone interview with the British newspaper Independent, on Friday 05/23/2013, Omar Bakri Muhammad admitted he knew well Michael Adebolajo , the Woolwich Beheading perpetrator, ” I knew him as Michael when he came to the meetings and then he converted and he became known as Abdullah; I hear he then started calling himself Mujahid. He asked questions about religion, he was curious. He had first started coming when there was a lot of anger about the Iraq war and the war on terror. Whether I influenced him or not, I do not know. But he was a quiet boy, so something must have happened.”
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