London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Exiled Islamic cleric Omar Bakri insists that the £13,000 seized from his son by anti-terror police at Heathrow Airport were intended to help him purchase a car.
In a telephone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat from Beirut yesterday, Bakri insisted that “the money was a present from his students and loved ones for the sole purpose of purchasing a car, and was intended to be a surprise for the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration.”
The former Muhajiroun leader also told Asharq Al-Awsat that his son was delivering the money personally because the bank transfer would have taken four weeks and the Eid occasion would have passed.
Bakri also asserted that the money was legitimate and is not a part of any money laundering or terror financing schemes.
Bakri’s son Abdul Rahman Fostok, 23, was stopped by anti-terror police at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday as he was preparing to board a flight to Beirut.
Although the envelope of money marked “Daddy” was confiscated by authorities Bakri’s son was allowed to continue his journey to Beirut.
Bakri was barred from Britain last August when then home secretary Charles Clarke ruled that his presence in the United Kingdom was “not conducive to the public good”.