The Lebanon has taken action against Omar Bakri Mohammed, a formerly UK-resident Islamic extremist who famously managed to extract some $500,000 in British welfare benefits while busily railing against the wickedness of, well, Britain. The Daily Telegraph has the details:
A radical Muslim cleric who preached hatred of the West from his base in north London for 20 years has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Lebanon. Omar Bakri Mohammed, known as the “Tottenham Ayatollah”, was on the run after a court in Beirut found him guilty of funding al-Qaeda and starting a militant group to weaken the Lebanese government. Bakri, who now lives in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, was one of 54 people convicted in the latest of a series of trials against suspected militants who fought clashes with the Lebanese army in 2007. The Syrian-born preacher became an irritant to the British government after he hailed the September 11, 2001 terrorists as the “magnificent 19″ and told the British public it was responsible for the attacks on tube stations in London four years later.
“There is no crime that has been committed neither here in Lebanon or abroad,” he told Sky News. “We never carry weapons. We never fight against anybody.”
Bakri received a life sentence because he failed to turn up in court. He has been ordered to report to prison within 15 days but has said he will not do so on religious grounds, insisting that he was answerable to no “man-made court”.
He added that it was as wrong to send him to prison as it was to cage a lion.
Bakri’s fanaticism is, it seems, matched only by his vanity.