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Hate preacher Hamza's trial begins

The trial of Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza has opened a Pandora's Box of terrorism, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 19:31 IST
Vijay Dutt

Pandora's Box of terrorism has been opened at the trial of Abu Hamza, the radical Muslim cleric who preached at the north Finsbury Park. He kept a "manual for terrorism" alongside a videotape that showed him preaching hatred and inciting murder and featured a list of targets like Big Ben in London, the Statue of Liberty in New York, Eiffel Tower in Paris, skyscrapers, airports, football stadiums and big crowds at Christmas.

A 10-voulme set in Arabic of The Encyclopaedia of Afghani jihad, with one of them dedicated to Osama bin Laden, explained how to make explosives and weapons, sabotage techniques and assassination.

The Old Bailey was told that the first volume talks of a holy war against the French, the English and communist imperialists who protect Israel. The prosecution said the set was a "manual, a blueprint of terrorism".

Hamza who was born in Egypt and has lived in Britain for several years as a British citizen is accused of nine charges of soliciting to murder, four counts of using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour and for distributing documents useful for preparing terrorism. He once said: "killing the kafirs for any reason is OK, killing the kafir for no reason is OK."

The court also heard that he was calling for a worldwide caliphate of Muslim Shariah law and a Muslim ruler in the White House. He incited Muslims by saying, " Muslims in this country are living like animals and living in toilets."

Hamza preached at the Finsbury Park until 2003 when police raided and closed it. Richard Reid, the shoe bomber who tried to blow an airliner flying from Paris to the US in midair, used to go there.

First Published: Jan 12, 2006 19:31 IST