Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Extremists' Provocative Press Call

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Extremists' Provocative Press Call

Article excerpt

The extremist Islamic group al-Muhajiroun risked provoking further outrage yesterday by calling a press conference at nine minutes past 11 on the second anniversary of the Twin Towers attacks.

This morning's meeting will be used to announce the venues for the group's "Magnificent 19" rallies, which have been advertised with flyers showing the faces of the September 11 hijackers alongside Osama bin Laden and the World Trade Centre on fire.

Omar Bakri Mohammed, one of the leaders of al-Muhajiroun, said 19 speakers would talk about the lives of the 19 hijackers at four venues around the UK.

A fatwah against Muslims serving with British and US forces in Iraq would also be read out.

Mr Mohammed said the first rally would be held in London after today's press conference, followed by events in Birmingham on Friday, Manchester on Saturday and Leicester on Sunday.

Outlining the motives behind the "Magnificent 19" rallies, Syrian-born Mr Mohammed appeared to compare the hijackers to folk heroes but also claimed the events were not a celebration.

He said: "It's the magnificent 19 not the magnificent terrorists or the magnificent heroes. Robin Hood was magnificent but he was an outlaw, the Magnificent Seven were outlaws.

"It's significant for everyone to remember the day the whole world changed. We need to look at what their motives were.

"We have 19 speakers and each of them will speak about the life of one individual, where they came from, their culture, what made them go to America and do this. All these questions need answers.

"We are not going to say this is a happy moment or this is a sad moment but look at the cause and effect.

"I am expecting British Muslims who carry falsehood to be angry with us, but Muslims around the world are praising this - we are not British Muslims, we are Muslims in Britain."

Flyers for the rallies have gone round the world on the Internet. They carry two mobile phone numbers to be called by those wanting to attend.

Home Office officials and the intelligence services are expected to monitor the rallies and the press conference, which is being held at al-Muhajiroun's north London offices. …

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