LONDON (Reuters) – Six British Muslim men were due to be sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of inciting acts of terrorism or raising money for terrorist purposes.
Among them was Omar Brooks, also known as Abu Izzadeen, a man who leapt to public attention in 2006 when he heckled then Home Secretary John Reid in front of television cameras.
Thursday’s guilty verdicts followed a three-month trial at Kingston Crown Court in Surrey.
One of the six jumped bail while the jury was considering its verdict and is being hunted by police.
“These are extremely serious offences. The overwhelming majority of people totally reject the deeply offensive views peddled by these defendants,” said John McDowall, head of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command.
“They deliberately set out to incite people to carry out terrorist acts.”
The charges arise from speeches and preaching the men were involved in at London’s Regents Park Mosque on November 9, 2004.
The court was told that the men had gone to the mosque to observe Ramadan. During the late afternoon and evening their speeches became progressively more inflammatory.
The men called on people to fight British and American forces in Iraq and to donate money to fund terrorism.
Police were called to the mosque in the evening by security staff who were concerned about the activities of the men and the content of their speeches.
During searches of a property following the Danish cartoon protests in central London in February 2006, police discovered video tapes of some of the speeches made by the men in the November 2004 incident.