There was growing anger last night that Abu Hamza’s family are continuing to be bankrolled by the British public. As the hate preacher was convicted of 11 terror offenses in the U.S., it emerged that his wife and 7 children are still being housed at an exorbitant cost in one of the most upmarket areas of the country.
UK Daily Mail It is thought the family have cost taxpayers more than £3million (US$5,000,000) in benefits and social housing, as well as legal fees for Hamza and his sons. Hamza’s second wife Najat Mostafa, 55, with whom he has seven children, lives in a £1.25 million (US$2,111,000) five-bedroom council house in Shepherd’s Bush, West London – an area popular with bankers and City lawyers.
Last night, neighbours said they were ‘sickened’ the family were continuing to benefit from state handouts. Hamza, 58, has nine children – seven sons and two daughters.
His eldest son Mohamed Mostafa, 32, was jailed for his part in planning to blow up churches in Yemen on Christmas Day 1998. He was jailed again in 2008, along with his brother Hamza Kamel, now 27, for their part in a £1 million luxury car scam. Hamza’s fifth son Imran Mostafa, 20, was jailed for 11 years in 2012 for armed robbery. Another son, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed in February for 12 years for conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to commit false imprisonment.
A neighbour of the family said yesterday: ‘What would they do in America? Put the terrorist’s family up for free in a gorgeous road where everyone else has worked hard to live there? I don’t think so.’ Another neighbour said: ‘Given how hard it is for hard-working Britons to get on the housing market in London, it is sickening how easy it has been for them.’
Scaffolder Grant Lawrence, 28, who was working on the street yesterday, said: ‘I work hard and I can’t get on the property ladder. It is disgusting. ‘It is sickening that a terrorist’s family are living here and we are all paying for it.’ Not only that, just a few years ago, council bosses approved expensive renovations on the property, also funded by British taxpayers.
Even worse, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has sparked outrage by defending the taxpayer-funded £1.25 million house lived in by hate preacher Abu Hamza’s family. He rejected demands to cut benefits for the hook-handed cleric’s wife and children after he was convicted of 11 terror offenses in the U.S.
The firebrand – who for years spouted evil on Britain’s streets – is expected to die behind bars after a jury in New York found him guilty of aiding the kidnapping of hostages in Yemen in which three Britons were killed and trying to set up an Al Qaeda training camp in Oregon.
It emerged yesterday that Hamza’s wife Najat Mostafa, 55, and some of their eight children continue to live rent-free in a five-bedroom home in upmarket Shepherd’s Bush, West London. The family are understood to be raking in at least £650 (US$1,098) a week in housing and child benefits – a total of £33,800 (US$57,000) a year.
On his call-in radio show yesterday, Liberal Democrats leader Mr Clegg defended the family’s right to be housed at an extortionate cost to the British taxpayer. He said he understood people’s ‘frustrations’, but added: ‘He’s been convicted, he’s going to serve time in prison. It’s not his family, they’ve not decided to take action against his family.
‘If they’ve committed any wrongdoing, if they’ve broken the law, then charges should be brought against them much like anybody else.’ Tory MPs said Mr Clegg was ‘out of touch’ with hard-pressed British families. Tory MP Peter Bone, who represents Wellingborough, Northants, said: ‘Taxpayers up and down the country will be grossly offended that the family of a convicted terrorist is being kept in the lap of luxury at taxpayers’ expense.
‘Why do they have to be housed in London, why in this kind of accommodation? You would be able to buy half a street in Wellingborough for that. It makes the law of this land an ass when people can rip off taxpayers in this way.
‘We are hamstrung by the bleeding-heart Liberals, in particular Nick Clegg, who are just so out of touch with the British people.’
Greg Hands, Tory MP for Chelsea and Fulham, urged Hammersmith and Fulham Council to take action. He said: ‘I think it’s right for the council to look at this situation in the light of the conviction and see what action could be taken.’