Asharq al-Awsat, London- The founding of a new militant Islamist group will be announced at a press conference in Walthamstow, East London on Friday.
Anjam Choudry a lawyer and the former leader of al Muhahjiroun, an extremist organization which disbanded itself in October 2004, told Asharq al Awsat on Wednesday he had invited the group’s 700 ex- members to unite under the banner of “Ahl al Sunnah and al Jamaa” (the community following the teachings of the Prophet.) Arab and foreign journalists are expected to attend the conference.
Choudry also expected several students of Omar Bakri Mohammad, the spiritual guide of the banned al Ghurabaa who currently lives in Beirut, to attend the launch.
The new group “will concentrate on preaching and not jihad” (armed struggle), the lawyer indicated. It aims to unite British Muslims under one roof, away from more secular organizations.
Bakri will be one of the religious figures consulted for their fatwas (religious edicts) but will not hold any other responsibilities.
Choudry, who was sent back by the Lebanese authorities with three other Islamists after he visited Bakri in Beirut earlier this month, indicated, “We will be part of the group Ahl al Sunna and al Jamaa which exists worldwide. Amongst our sheikhs are Omar Bakri, Abu Mohammed al Maqdisi [detained in Jordan], the Palestinian Islamist Abu Qatadah, [real name Omar Mahmoud Othman, currently in a London jail accused by the British authorities of being al Qaeda’s spiritual leader in Europe].”
Meanwhile, in a telephone conversation with Asharq al Awsat on Wednesday, Bakri revealed internal divisions amongst his students as Abd al Muid, a Pakistani Islamist and the former Amir (leader) of al Ghurabaa had refused to join the new organization.
“Ahl al Sunna and the Jamaa are the victorious sect”, he said.