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.”

 

Islamic terror chief ‘Osama Bin London’ facing life in jail

An Islamic terror chief who dubbed himself “Osama bin London” and helped train the 21/7 bombers faces life in jail, it was revealed yesterday. Mohammed Hamid, 50, called on followers to carry out attacks even worse than the 7/7 atrocity in which 52 died when four devices exploded on London’s public transport system. The former football coach said 7/7 was “not even a breakfast for me” and teamed up with jailed cleric Abu Hamza’s right hand man Atilla Ahmet to recruit and train followers. He was convicted last week of three charges of soliciting to murder and three of providing terrorist training at camps in the Home Counties. But the verdicts could not be revealed until yesterday, when a number of other recruits pleaded guilty to various charges at Woolwich crown court, South London. Adrian Shaw reports.