Radical Muslim hate preacher, Omar Bakri Muhammad, known as the ‘Tottenham Ayatollah’ has been warned that any bid to return to the UK and seek asylum will fail. The Syrian-born firebrand lived in London for nearly 20 years until he fled for the Lebanon in 2005. His children are asking for the militant Islamist leader to be allowed to return to the UK from Lebanon, where he has been arrested multiple times and claims to have been tortured.
UK Express He disappeared fearing the prospect of a police investigation for treason over his extremist views. It is thought he is now hoping to come back to Britain and lodge a bid for refugee status to escape Lebanese justice. But the Home Office today vowed he would never be allowed to set foot on British soil again.
The announcement comes after another former UK-based fundamentalist, Abu Qatada, was warned not to try to return after he was cleared of terror charges in Jordan last week. Bakri became a figure of hate in the West after infamously describing the 9/11 bombers as “the Magnificent 19” and the London 7/7 bombers as the “Fantastic Four.”
As the former leader of banned Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun, he is also credited with playing a key role in the radicalisation of one of the two Lee Rigby killers, Michael Adebolajo. He slunk away from the UK in 2005 claiming to be visiting his mother after it emerged the authorities were investigating him over allegations of treason.
There had been growing public outrage over his vocal support for terror attacks in Britain and the proud boast that he would not inform police if he knew Muslims were planning a bombing. When he disappeared Charles Clarke, the-then Labour Home Secretary, issued an order barring him from ever returning.
It is thought the fundamentalist cleric wants to come back to Britain after his family claimed he was tortured in a Lebanese prison and threatened with the death sentence for running a terror cell. Mohammad Bakri, his son, said that although the public find his views “distasteful”, “at the end of the day he has not committed any crimes in the UK.”
But today a Home Office spokesman said: “An individual must be physically present in the UK in order to make a claim for asylum. “Omar Bakri Muhammad was permanently excluded from the UK in 2005 on the grounds that his presence is not conducive to the public good. “As Omar Bakri Muhammad is excluded from the UK, he will be unable to make a claim for asylum.”
He had been living in the Lebanese coastal town of Tripoli until earlier this year when he went on the run following a crackdown on local militants behind sectarian violence that left dozens dead. After his arrest in a mountain hideout six weeks ago, Lebanon’s Interior Minister, Nouhad Machnouk, issued a statement saying Bakri had “contributed in every aspect in supporting terrorism.”