Preacher of Murder ..with an Encyclopedia of Terrorism; Abu Hamza Goes on Trial

The Mirror (London, England), January 12, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Preacher of Murder ..with an Encyclopedia of Terrorism; Abu Hamza Goes on Trial


Byline: By ADRIAN SHAW

ISLAMIC cleric Abu Hamza kept a terrorist encyclopaedia as he used his sermons to urge Muslims to kill, a court heard yesterday.

The book, described as a "blueprint for terrorism" contained a hit-list of targets including Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty.

It also urged attacks on skyscrapers, ports, airports, football grounds and even Christmas church congregations.

It gave guidelines on how to make bombs and assassinate people and contained a dedication to Osama bin Laden, jurors heard.

David Perry, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey: "This is a blueprint, a manual for terrorism which echoes the things which feature in the defendant's speeches."

Hook-handed Hamza, 47, allegedly used his position as a religious leader to encourage Muslims to kill non-Muslims and he told followers that Adolf Hitler was sent to rid the world of Jews.

Mr Perry said: "As a person delivering sermons in a holy place and having responsibility as a spiritual leader, you might expect that talks delivered by such a person would contain expressions of hope, charity and compassion.

"In fact the speeches with which we will be concerned contain very little of those matters because the prosecution case in a sentence is that the defendant was preaching murder and hatred in these talks.

"The defendant told his listeners it was part of a religious duty to fight in the cause of Allah and it was their duty to kill."

The 10-volume terror manual - called the Encyclopaedia of Afghani Jihad - was found at Hamza's home when he was arrested for preaching hate-filled messages at Finsbury Park mosque in North London, the court heard.

Police also recovered more than 3,000 tapes of Egyptian-born Hamza's speeches in which he allegedly urged the murders of Christians and Jews and called for a worldwide Islamic state. The court heard Hamza's most hate-filled messages were aimed at Jews - but also allegedly called for the deaths of Arab Muslim leaders who had liaised with Israel.

Mr Perry said: "He occupied a position of responsibility. You might think that having occupied such a position he would be preaching tolerance. In fact, he preached the opposite. He preached intolerance, bigotry and hatred in particular against the Jews.

"He accused the Jews of being blasphemous, traitors and dirty.

"He said that it was because of their treachery, because of their bigotry and because of their filth that Hitler was sent into the world. He told his audiences that the Jews controlled the West and must be removed from the earth."

Hamza, who appeared in court without his hook, was arrested at his home in Shepherds Bush, West London in May 2004. Mr Perry said the accused's case may be that he was "speaking as a follower of Islam and he was speaking the words of the holy Koran".

He added: "I wish to make it clear this is not a trial against Islam.

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