Friday, May 24, 2013
Two Muslim hardline preachers say that one of the suspects in the
killing of a London soldier was interested in their teachings. And a
British government official said one of the men tried to go to Somalia
to train or fight with the terror group al-Shabab.
Here's a look at the preachers and al-Shabab.
OMAR BAKRI MUHAMMED
leader and founder of the group al-Muhajiroun. The group catapulted to
notoriety after the Sept. 11 attacks by organizing an event to celebrate
the airplane hijackers. Bakri, who now lives in Lebanon, had been one
of the most aggressive voices of radical Islam in Britain. Members of
the cell behind the July 7, 2005, London transit bombings also had links
to the group.
The government banned al-Muhajiroun
after the July 7 attacks but it has reformed under new names — such as
the Saved Sect or al-Gurabaa, which have also been banned. He is barred
from returning to Britain. Bakri says the man depicted in the startling
video that emerged after the death of British serviceman Lee Rigby was
named Michael Adebolajo, a Christian who converted to Islam. Bakri
recalled Adebolajo was a shy person eager to learn about Islam.
former head of the radical group al-Muhajiroun, the Islamist group
notorious for glorifying al-Qaida and tied to terror plots at home and
abroad. Choudary has in the past described the 9/11 hijackers on the
United States as the "Magnificent 19." He also featured prominently in
fiery protests against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet
Muhammad. He is the manager of the Sharia Court in Britain. Sharia is
Muslim law as derived from the Quran. Choudary says Adebolajo took part
in several demonstrations by the group in London.
linked terrorist group in Somalia. Al-Shabab boasts several hundred
foreign fighters, including those from the Middle East with experience
in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. It has also recruited fighters
from Somali communities in the United States and Europe. Al-Shabab once
controlled almost all of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, but African Union
and Somali forces pushed the militants out of the city in 2011.