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    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    'Osama bin London' guilty of terrorist work

    'Osama bin London' guilty of terrorist work

    By Megan Murphy, Law Courts Correspondent

    Published: February 27 2008 03:36 | Last updated: February 27 2008 03:36

    A senior figure in extremist Islamic networks has been convicted of organising al-Qaeda style training camps across Britain.

    Mohammed Hamid, a Muslim street preacher, was accused of grooming groups of young men – including the five men convicted of carrying out failed suicide bombings in London on July 21 2005 – to wage jihad abroad.

    Mr Hamid was found guilty of three counts of providing terrorism training and three counts of encouraging his followers to commit murder after a four-month trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

    Reporting restrictions on the case were lifted on Tuesday, allowing the convictions to be reported.

    Atilla Ahmet, a close associate of both Mr Hamid and jailed Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, admitted three counts of soliciting murder at the start of the trial. The two men are due to be sentenced next month.

    The jury heard how Mr Hamid, who once dubbed himself "Osama bin London'', set up secret paramilitary training sites in the Lake District and at paintballing centres in south-east England.

    He would also use weekly talks at his Hackney home to radicalise his followers, urging them to take up arms to defend their faith.

    After the July 7 attacks in London, which claimed the lives of 52 people, Mr Hamid boasted that the level of loss was "not even breakfast for me''.

    Muktar Said Ibrahim, the ringleader of the July 21 plot, and four of his co-conspirators were photographed attending one of Mr Hamid's training camps in Cumbria in the spring of 2004.

    Police said that while there was no evidence that Mr Hamid helped to co-ordinate the botched bombings, he was at least partially responsible for the terrorists' extremist motivation.

    An undercover officer infiltrated the group and made secret recordings of Mr Hamid's violent speeches. The preacher and his followers were arrested in a raid on a Chinese restaurant in south-east London in 2006.



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