Mohamed Hamid: From petty criminal to tutor of terrorists

Preacher, described as ‘dangerously charming’, progressed from shoplifting to turning young men into jihadists. When Mohamed Hamid had his first brush with criminality, it saw him thieving a tin of sweetcorn and a packet of fishfingers. By the time he had finished, he had become one of Britain’s most prominent recruiting sergeants for Islamist extremism.

 

But while the man who told once told a police officer arresting him during a row in London’s Oxford’s street that his name was “Osama Bin London” insisted he dealt only in theology, his real stock in trade was providing the ideological groundwork for terrorism.

 

In his early 30s, he became a crack addict. After a redemptive trip to a mosque, Hamid rediscovered a version of his faith and opened an Islamic bookshop in the Clapton area of east London as well as attending rallies at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

 

It was at this point that he became increasingly radical and voluble, becoming involved with the coterie surrounding notorious cleric Abu Hamza. The judge in his trial, Mr Justice Pitchers, told him: “Mohammed Hamid, you are, in my judgement, dangerous. You can be quite genuinely amusing and charming. You also have real knowledge of the Koran and Islamic teaching. However, that is only one side of you.”

 

“You used your charm and knowledge of the Koran to influence others to terrorism… You continue to be a danger, not directly from your own actions, but from your ability to persuade others by criminal actions to commit terrorism offences themselves.”

 

Muslim protesters burn poppies in London

12 November 2010

As the clock struck 11:00 and people stood for Armistice Day’s two minutes of silence, Islamic protesters in London burned a model of a poppy, and shouted out messages such as “British soldiers burn in hell.” The poppy is a symbol commemorating fallen British soldiers of the First World war and all wars thereafter.
About 35 protesters, many with their faces masked, gathered near Hyde Park. They set a model of a poppy on fire at the stroke of 11am, and then marched through the area carrying signs and chanting. Messages on the signs included “Hands off Muslim lands,” “Islam will dominate,” “There is no God but Allah,” “Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell” and “British soldiers burn in hell.”
The protesters said they were members of a group called Muslims Against Crusades.
The Muslim Council of Britain said that while the protesters claim to speak for Muslims, many more join fellow Britons in remembering the sacrifice of the armed forces.